Academic journal article Naval War College Review

The Next War

Academic journal article Naval War College Review

The Next War

Article excerpt

Weinberger, Caspar, and Peter Schweizer. The Next War. Washington, D.C.: Regnery, 1996. 404pp. $27.50

Former Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger and Hoover Institution scholar Peter Schweizer have written an intriguing book. The Next War presents five "literary war games," hypothetical future scenarios in which warfare erupts between states. None was based upon any specific current indicators; indeed, Weinberger and Schweizer constructed each scenario so that their "postwar analysis" argues for the authors' current national security policy objectives. Although Weinberger and Schweizer do not explicitly state this as their goal, their preface provides an extensive discussion of perceived weaknesses in current U.S. military force structure, operational readiness, intelligence collection and analysis, and especially nationwide ballistic missile defense. Consequently, the authors designed their scenarios to illustrate these perceived weaknesses.

Each of the five scenarios is concise and well written, and each offers sufficient detail to allow the reader to follow the protagonists' strategic and operational options and intentions without descending into tactical detail. For example, one scenario postulates a nuclear-armed Iran first undermining, then assuming, the government of Bahrain. …

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