New thinking, however, has not made war any easier.
It is time to reverse course. Let's stop clinging to the notion that the new generation of thinkers is, axiomatically, smarter than those who preceded them.
At its heart, armed conflict remains a dynamic competition between adversaries; each conflict is tinged by the unique circumstances under which it is fought. Why waste time trying to develop complex intellectual tools that, in the end, deliver no better insights than simple, timeless constructs?
There is a case to be made for going simple. For that, the principles might serve well enough.
Sometimes we really do fool ourselves into thinking we are so much smarter today. Usually, this is not true. What did Patton say?
"No dumb bastard ever won a war by going out and dying for his country. He won it by making some other dumb bastard die for his country."
― George S. Patton Jr.
Pretty simple, actually.