Academic journal article Military Review

BEYOND SHOCK AND AWE: Warfare in the 21st Century

Academic journal article Military Review

BEYOND SHOCK AND AWE: Warfare in the 21st Century

Article excerpt

BEYOND SHOCK AND AWE: Warfare in the 21st Century, Eric L. Haney with Brian M. Thomsen, eds., Berkley Publishing Group, New York, 2006, 258 pages, $24.95.

In Beyond Shock and Awe, Eric Haney claims that the future operating environment will be even more complex than today's, and he ponders how the U.S. might structurally and psychologically transform to meet the challenge. Broad in scope, Haney's book contains a mixed bag of contemporary analyses from an array of authors. From the indifferent to the insightful, the book attempts to forecast the nature of future warfare. Pragmatically, it suggests how we might train, equip, and structure any future force.

How the U.S. military should continue to transform is a topic of immense importance, especially against the backdrop of what promises to be an enduring war on terrorism fought with increasing legal constraints. At a time when innovative thinking is positively encouraged, Beyond Shock and Awe offers some cogent suggestions; overall, however, it falls short of providing novel thinking on the subject.

Perhaps the book's best piece is John Heifers' "Hearts and Minds in 2025: How Foreign and Domestic Culture Will Shape the Future Battlefield." This well-written essay delves into the expected dynamic complexity and ill-defined nature of modern warfare, particularly the need for cultural knowledge, in a balanced, informative manner. …

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