For centuries, civilization has been defined by epoch-making cycles of war and peace. But now our world has changed irrevocably. What faces us in this era of fear and uncertainty? How do we protect ourselves against war machines that can penetrate the defences of any state? Is it too late to try? Visionary and proplietic, The Shield of Achilles looks back at history, at the " long war " of 1914-90 and at the future: the death of the nation-state and the birth of a new, terrifying kind of conflict without precedent.