Year after year, authors and publishers produce a steady stream of books about wars past, present, and to come. Last year that stream flowed as far back as the early days of the Roman Empire; it reached near flood level when it came to the dangerous days of the 20th and 21st centuries. The cumulative effect of all the histories, all the scholarly studies, all the persistent conspiracy theories, and all the high-decibel political tirades serves as a welcome reminder that more has changed with the years than the astonishing technologies of new weapons. Despite the old canard that generals always plan to fight the last war, today's commanders must plan to take up arms against enemies once thought not worth worrying about, people whose motives we do not really understand, in areas we know about largely from satellite cameras. Although much is new in the profession of arms, past battles and past predictions remain rich sources of interest (and argument) for contemporary readers.