From Publishers Weekly
In dense, academic prose, Brookings Institution scholars O'Hanlon and Bush argue that a war with China is neither as implausible as it might appear nor as inevitable as history would suggest. The likely cause for military intervention, they propose, would come not from China's rise as a regional and global power, nor from the growing threat it poses to the U.S.'s economic strength, nor from its curtailment of human rights-all of which could be addressed diplomatically-but rather the political situation of Taiwan, the semi-autonomous island 100 miles from the mainland, whose independence could upset delicate U.S-China relations. The authors present a number of possible conflict scenarios and discuss the sorts of legislative and diplomatic action that could get the U.S. into them, but wisely avoid bombast by noting regularly that war with China remains unlikely. The only passages of general interest here are those on Taiwanese history; the legislative and diplomatic prescriptions that constitute the majority of the book, while comprehensive and reasonable, will fail to excite even interested lay readers. Professors and lawmakers would do well to read this volume, if only for the reminder that, in this time of seemingly insuperable international dilemma, some problems can still be solved with a bit of level-headed diplomatic maneuvering.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
"A supremely thoughtful, sober assessment of what is one of the most dangerous fault lines in the world today. The authors carefully avoid unduly alarmist assessments, yet convincingly demonstrate that miscalculation and misinformation could produce the unthinkable."
—James B. Steinberg,
Dean, Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs and former Deputy National Security Advisor to President Clinton
"A modern classic for those who think seriously about the prospective national security challenges confronting the United States in a dangerous world. It is must reading for everyone who recognizes that the Asia-Pacific region is where the real drama of the 21st Century will play out."
—Kurt M. Campbell, Senior Vice President, Center for Strategic and International Studies
"A War Like No Other provides a riveting case study about grand crisis and the key insights for managing one successfully. We have been managing this crisis between China and Taiwan for some years now; we know the actors, we know the issues, and we even know the flashpoints firsthand. China is a deliberate actor; we should be able to anticipate her actions, reactions, signaling, and potential use of force from her most recent interventions in Korea, India, and Vietnam. These patterns give hope that this crisis can be contained, perhaps someday resolved. Yet, China-Taiwan remains a dangerous standoff, mandating that all, who represent any of the actors, read this study."
—General Eric K. Shinseki, U.S. Army (Retired)