Book Reviews

Parameters Editors
1999 Parameters  
The US Army is the undisputed master of a mode of warfare that may be declining in strategic significance. No military is better at conventional state-on-state warfare where mechanized and armored units participate in combined arms combat. None can match the US Army at the type of operational art defined by corps maneuver and campaigns. But, as Edward Luttwak points out, strategy exhibits a paradoxical logic. Mastery is often fleeting, since only stupid enemies directly confront the primary
more » ... ngths of a first-rate military. This has profound implications for the American Army. As Chief of Staff General Dennis Reimer admits, "Nobody is going to go against us tank against tank, soldier against solider." What, then, are the most likely security challenges the United States might face in coming decades? This is the question James Adams grapples with in The Next World War. His answer is information warfare. Adams paints a picture of a schism within the US defense establishment between "traditional war fighters who see war as a relentlessly brutal exercise that will always require the deployment of large numbers of people and machines to take and hold land," and "the modernists who see war moving away from a fixed battlefield into a location that has come to be called cyberspace." To some extent, this is shaped by service. "While the Navy and Air Force are competing for Information Age roles and missions," Adams writes, "the Army continues to focus on traditional war." He contends (without much explanation) that information warfare will supersede traditional conflict, thus making organizations and individuals who refuse to change obsolete. He writes:
doi:10.55540/0031-1723.1925 fatcat:jusfjtwzvbcqlb6hnjwxquq7om