Academic journal article Military Review

If War Comes Tomorrow?

Academic journal article Military Review

If War Comes Tomorrow?

Article excerpt

The Contours of Future Armed Conflict by General Makhmut Gareev, edited by Jacob W. Kipp, Frank Cars Publishers, Portland, OR, 1998, 182 pages, $22.50.

Books about the future of armed conflict and the world's security environment abound. Many regurgitate old ideas with a new flair, but few propose truly innovative thoughts on the future. If War Comes Tomorrow by retired Russian General Makhmut Gareev, originally written in 1995 and translated into English in 1998, stands out in the context of today's global environment. It combines thoughts on the past, revolutions in technology, warfare and political structures and makes predictions worth considering.

Gareev develops his thoughts by analyzing political and military technical factors that could serve as catalysts for future conflict and necessary military reforms. He warns of two dangers that all military scholars should consider-the assumption that the development of military art is so complex that no forecast will have any true value and the tendency to turn a forecast into advocacy for a specific weapon system or military structure that then becomes an absolute. Gareev stresses that credible forecasts must balance analysis of past military experience with contemporary radical change.

Two current, profound changes serve as catalysts for what Gareev calls radical breaks in military art. First is the transformation of the international system after the Cold War and resulting political; economic and social realignments. …

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