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7 Deadly Scenarios: A Military Futurist Explores War in the 21st Century Hardcover – January 27, 2009

4.2 out of 5 stars 40 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


“Andrew Krepinevich is one of the most insightful voices we now have on national security issues. You can read this book—or we can go on learning the hard way.” —Thomas E. Ricks, military correspondent, Washington Post, and author of Fiasco: The American Military Adventure in Iraq

“This insightful and provocative book must be read by our nation’s leaders, and those who are charged with protecting us now and into the next decade.” —Bing West, author of The Strongest Tribe and No True Glory

“Andrew Krepinevich has shown, once again, how best to think about the unthinkable. This prescient book identifies the all-too-real threats that our country faces and prescribes the steps that the president, the military, and Congress must take to meet them.” —Senator Joe Lieberman

“Andrew Krepinevich is one of the most original and insightful strategic thinkers of our time….His thought provoking scenarios of the most critical areas of national security policy raise profound and necessary questions that must be addressed today in order to prevail tomorrow.” —Senator Jack Reed

“Compelling.... the scenarios vividly illustrate how recent changes in technology, demographics, economics and war-fighting can expose little-suspected, but easily exploited, chinks in America's armor.... I would feel ... reassured today to see President Barack Obama with a copy of military futurist Krepinevich's 7 Deadly Scenarios. Hillary Clinton and Robert Gates would do well to put it on their reading lists, too. And so should you.”—Wall Street Journal

About the Author

Andrew Krepinevich is president of the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, an independent policy research institute, and a distinguished visiting professor at George Mason University’s School of Public Policy. He has served as a consultant on military affairs for many senior government officials and members of Congress. A West Point graduate, Krepinevich served as a U.S. Army officer for twenty-one years and holds an M.P.A. and a Ph.D. from Harvard University. He has lectured widely before professional and academic audiences at Harvard, Princeton, Yale, the Army and Naval War Colleges, the Air University, Europe’s Marshall Center, and France’s École Militaire, among others. He has testified on numerous occasions before Congress, and his work has appeared in such publications as the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, and Foreign Affairs.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam; 1st edition (January 27, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553805398
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553805390
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.2 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #300,406 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Paul Lappen VINE VOICE on March 7, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Looking at the changing face of war in the 21st Century, this book looks at several deadly scenarios that will threaten America's, and the world's, security in the near future.

A large part of the world's oil tankers have to travel through two geographic choke points: the Strait of Malacca, between Malaysia and Indonesia, and the Persian Gulf. What would happen to the price of oil, and the world economy, if one was closed because a supertanker was sunk in the most inconvenient spot, and the other was closed because Iran decided to flex its political muscle?

Muslim terrorists set off several black-market nuclear weapons in US cities. Beset with internal strife, China decides to take back Taiwan, once and for all. They also send diesel submarines all over the world, to cause lots of economic trouble for any country who considers doing something about it. The Pakistani government collapses, and some of its nuclear weapons find their way into the hands of the more fundamentalist members of the military. There's one about America dealing with a major cyberattack, and one about what will happen after America withdraws from Iraq (faster than it intended). Remember bird flu, from a couple of years ago? Well, it's back, mutated into a form that can be easily transmitted from person to person. Shopping malls and other public places are deserted, hospitals are flooded with the sick and dying, America doesn't have nearly enough retroviral drugs even for emergency personnel, and it takes time to make more. To make things worse, the White House has just gotten word of a human flood of 8 million sick Latin Americans, desperate to reach America. They are scheduled to reach the US-Mexican border in a couple of days.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I bought this book because I subscribe to the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assesments (CSBA) newsletter. I felt that CSBA President Krepinevich would have real insight into the future challenges for peace on our planet. What I find is seven scenarios of existing problems and assumptions, current military organization and defense strategies. The scenarios work through the non-new issues of avian flu as global pandemic, nuclear threat by Iran, the Muslin jihadists, Israel versus Lebanon (Hamas and Hezbollah), madrassas in Pakistan, and Taiwan versus Beijing, among others.

I accept that no one can predict the future, and prediction was not the purpose of this book. The point of the scenarios is to to think in new ways and begin to see global security trends. Yet, defining events that have changed our world since the 2009 printing of this book are not hinted at in these 7 Deadly Scenarios. All of the security knowledge and experience represented by the author and his colleagues does not mention North African regime instability or potential for revolutions. No scenario addresses the security impacts of the 2008 global economic restructuring that places financial actors as powerful shapers of global policy. The U.S. is consistently portrayed as the last Great Power with full military capabilities and the envy of the world for medical care, justice, and wealth.

The scenarios that I feel are missing from this book would address strategic and tactical changes that are required as new contexts reshape global security. Here are my 7 scenarios. First: The international and national security challenges from religions becoming the primary global nonstate political systems.
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Format: Hardcover
Unless you are not planning to be around in a few years, this book should scare the $#!&@ out of you. Why you ask? Is it about graphic violence and torture? No. Is it about Monsters and Demons? No. Is it about the end of the world? Well - maybe.

"7 Deadly Scenarios" is not a "story" book per se. It's an exposition on seven possible scenarios that could confront the US and our military in the not too distant future. It's written by Andrew F. Krepinevich, president of the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments. He's also a distinguished visiting professor at George Mason University's School of Public Policy. He served for 21 years in the Army and has a PhD from Harvard. You could say that he knows his stuff.

I won't dive deep in to the scenarios themselves - I'll leave those for you to read - but here is a tease:

- What would happen is Pakistan collapsed and their nukes fell in to rouge hands?
- How would we react if terrorist where able to detonate a series of nuclear bombs in major American cities?
- Could we maintain order and civility if America were hit with a pandemic illness, much like the last great flu pandemic in 1918?
- If the Middle East finally dissolved in to open warfare, and Iran pledged nuclear attack on Israel - would we come to their aid?
- In a conflict over Taiwan, how would China use cyber warfare and asymmetrical force to counteract US military might?
- If Muslin extremists disrupted global shipping lanes and oil delivery - could the world economy survive?
- If we pull out of Iraq, would it create a power vacuum ready to be filled by Muslim extremists, Iran, Russia, or even China?

All of the scenarios are eerily plausible, and written in a style that could have come straight from a news report, five years in the future. They make you stop and think - are we ready for what could be coming our way?
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