Dismayed by the shift in military doctrine and procurement efforts towards counter-insurgency in the wake of 9/11, powerful constituencies among Western military establishments have been striving to restore a strategic narrative more consistent with their cultural comfort zone: one in which they yet again will face conventional enemies, in the shape of rising “BRIC” militaries. However, the story of a looming military conflict between “the West” and “the rest” – specifically, the US and China – makes very little sense, other than as a potentially self-fulfilling prophecy. For a start, alarmed reports that highlight increases in military spending among BRIC nations can hardly obscure the stubborn dominance of Western capabilities. This supremacy was born out of a cataclysmic twentieth century; it may find itself marginally eroded as the legacy of the cataclysm recedes: but it will not be seriously challenged in the foreseeable future. Simply put, in matters of security, the world is not shifting to a post-Western or postAmerican order. We are not experiencing a repeat of the late nineteenth century’s “hege monic transition”; China is not a new German Second Reich; and US military supremacy is incomparably less fragile than was that of the UK a century ago.1