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The Future of Warfare Hardcover – July, 1995

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

At the core of Alexander's book are case studies describing 20th-century conflicts in which small, poorly equipped forces operated successfully against materially superior armies: the Boers against the British, the T.E. Lawrence-led Bedouins against the Turks, Chinese Communists against Nationalists and?most instructive for the future?the Vietnamese Communists against first the French, then the Americans. Because the U.S. will likely encounter comparatively "little" wars in the coming decades, fought mostly against guerrillas whose doctrines will derive from the teachings of Mao Zedong and Vo Nguyen Giap, we no longer need our heavy divisions designed to fight the Soviet Army. Alexander recommends downsizing to small, highly mobile battle groups trained in counterguerrilla tactics. The U.S. can gain its most significant victories by negotiation and diplomacy, he believes, and argues that we should intervene militarily only when protecting our strategic imperatives. In his view, the U.S. would do well to assume the role of "honest broker," working through third parties rather than continuing to serve as the world's police officer. A thoughtful survey of the probable future of U.S. military strategy by the author of Korea: The First War We Lost.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

About the Author

Bevin Alexander is the author of How Great Generals Win, Lost Victories, and Inside the Nazi War Machine. He lives in Bremo Bluff, Virginia. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: W W Norton & Co Inc (July 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0393037800
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393037807
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 5.8 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,702,965 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By David D on March 26, 2004
Format: Hardcover
This book opens with and excellent explanation of the vital interests of the United States that would result in war. It goes on to discuss the probable near term trends and development in warfare, with historical examples to explain these trends. If your interest is military history and probable near term military developments, this is an excellent book. I have read several of Bevin Alexander's books and consider him to be a fine and insightful author and historian. As with all of his books, this one could use more maps, as this would greatly facilitate following his explanation of battles and campaigns.
My main criticism is that this book fails to look over the horizon where the future of warfare lies. There is no mention of the military future of space. One of the first commercial applications of space colonization will be to build large solar collectors that could supply the power requirements of our nation. These would have auxiliary uses in warfare. They could be used in varying intensity to raise the temperature of a battlefield or small country from a few dozen, to hundreds of degrees, in order to discourage or kill an adversary. They could also be used indirectly to influence the weather and rainfall on the planet. Another aspect of a space presence is that it results in complete command of the seas. It is extremely expensive to operate our carrier battle groups and they are more vulnerable than purported. This would be unnecessary if we had a military presence in space. From space one can "shoot" asteroids accurately that would strike at approximately 20 times the muzzle velocity of a rifle. These dumb iron asteroids could be sized from a few ounces (with and ablative coating) to millions of tons.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jan Wlochowski on June 4, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
I did not want to give the book a one review because the author , like many military leaders, simply lacks historical knowledge in spite of being a professor.
" Closed autarkic empires imply selfish aggression, rather than peaceful trade". Nonsense. China did not want trade till the British pushed opium into China to destroy it. So who was the selfish aggressor ? More. " President Roosevelt assured the Japanese that they could secure all the raw materials they desired on the world market, so long as they renounced aggression ". Really ?Roosevelt drew the Japanese to war. He knew of Pearl Harbor attack in advance because the Japanese codes were deciphered months before- yet he kept silent. So much for hidden history. The very reason that Japan went to war was because they were denied raw materials and refused to take loans- the international bankers connection.
Going back in history- "Hunger and despair of the people begat the French Revolution of 1789 ' -wrong. The hunger was created in Paris by blocking food supplies. Thugs from south of France were brought in to raise hell. The revolt was well organized and financed like the Russian Revolution or recently the "revolt" in Libya to steal gold and oil.
Saddam invaded Kuwait in 1990 because our representative , a woman, told him that the US could care less. Ambassador Wilson was punished for telling the truth by having his wife exposed by Bush as a CIA agent which is a crime .So the author is wrong about Saddam and just repeats the official Imperial propaganda.
Mr. Alexander was right about Viet Nam. " American leaders were wrong in committing an army to solve a political problem ".Wonderful-did he know why it was done ?
Overall the depth of his analysis seems shallow, so I do not plan to read more of his books. There are just too many books based on propaganda and truth is hard to find. The book is disappointing to say the least.
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