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The size of western armed forces, their stocks of weaponry and their readiness for combat are declining. Meanwhile, growing nationalism is hampering international cooperation and fuelling conflict everywhere. The west's will - as well as its capability - to shape the world is ebbing away. Beset by ecomic woes, western countries are continuing the post-Cold War process of disarmament at the very moment that many believe a new Cold War is starting. NATO members have compared Vladimir Putin's foreign policy to that of Adolf Hitler, newly empowered groups such as ISIS, t to mention some governments, are tearing up the rulebook of acceptable international behaviour, and the military prowess that the western world once regarded as its prerogative is being dwarfed by countries like India and China. Tightly argued by Newsnight's diplomatic and defence editor Mark Urban, The Edge is a sharp polemic that breaks new ground in examining the workings and consequences of these geo-political tectonics, and shows just how rapidly the balance of power has been upended.
Mark Urban is Diplomatic and Defence Editor for Newsnight and the author of The Tank War and the Number One Sunday Times bestseller, Task Force Black.