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When Tomorrow's War Erupts,
A New Kind Of Warrior Will Fight It.
The twentieth century is ending in a revolution of bold new thought and stunning technological advancement — and nowhere is this more prevalent that within the U.S. millitary. Weaponry unimaginary even a decade ago is already rolling off the assembly lines. Military strategists view the entire world as one enormous battlefield, as they prepare our armed forces to strike swiftly ...
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When Tomorrow's War Erupts,
A New Kind Of Warrior Will Fight It.
The twentieth century is ending in a revolution of bold new thought and stunning technological advancement — and nowhere is this more prevalent that within the U.S. millitary. Weaponry unimaginary even a decade ago is already rolling off the assembly lines. Military strategists view the entire world as one enormous battlefield, as they prepare our armed forces to strike swiftly and effectively anywhere on the planet. And Virtual Reality training — once the exclusive domain of science fiction writes — is being employed even as you read these words.
This astonishing book takes you into the hitherto secret world of tomorrow's warriors to reveal the true face and nature of the battles to come:
You are tomorrow's soldier. You will play your part in the next major war that America will wage.
This war will be fought sometime within the next two decades, possibly as early as the year 2010. Probably it will be a regional war, one involving an aggressor state challenging the strategic interests of America and her global allies. Also probable is that it will be another Coalition war, similar to Desert Storm, Similar...but in many ways very different.
Unlike Desert Storm, this war will likely involve sizable numbers of Coalition casualties. It will be no walk in the desert sun. Among other developments it will see the disappearance of what is now called the "home front." The front lines of tomorrow's war will be everywhere, and everyone will be a combatant.
Western high technology weapons and warfighting tactics have taught the aggressor states of the world an important lesson. But it isn't the lesson that might at first come to mind.
The lesson the aggressor states of the world have learned is that they must invest in new battlefield technologies in order to prevail in the next encounter with Coalition warfighters. They have not learned, however, to live in peace with their neighbors, to stop building up banned chemical weapons stockpiles, to stop exporting terrorism, or to stop marching in lockstep to sloganeering madmen who claim to have a direct communication link to God.
While the next war will be regional in theater, it will beglobal in scope. For the first time in history the American "home front" will become highly vulnerable and will likely become the target of enemy attack.
This attack will materialize in many forms. Terrorists will almost certainly target American cities, launching sudden, unexpected strikes against the dense target populations they offer. But attack may come from other directions. Small, stealthy, and deadly cruise missiles with subkiloton nuclear warheads may be fired from launch platforms such as ships or planes lurking off the coastlines of the continental United States. Virtually impossible to detect or destroy, they could claim a horrifying death toll.
Toxic biological and chemical agents may be introduced into the air and water supplies of New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, and other large American cities. London, Paris, and Rome, among other foreign metropolises, will also be vulnerable. Invisible electronic and information attacks, using computer viruses and digital jamming technologies, may disrupt the fundamentals of life we have all come to depend upon, including electrical power, transportation facilities, and communications of all kinds and at all levels, ranging from telephones to Internet linkages.
In the coming conflict there will be no safe havens, no rear echelons, and no traditional front lines. The battlefield will be located wherever the enemy chooses to carry the fight and wherever our side makes a stand to defend itself. To greater and lesser degrees, we will all be combatants and we will all be targets. And whether we wear a uniform or not, we will all play a role in the deadly game of war that leads to victory or defeat
We will all, in short, be tomorrow's soldier.
Yet despite these developments, for perhaps the first time in human history, the dominant global power has crafted a military doctrine whose object is not to annihilate the enemy but to knock him out and then attempt to reintegrate him into the international community. Warplanners at the Pentagon call this a "soft kill" strategy. Its objective is to destroy the enemy's ability to wage war by annihilating his warfighting infrastructure, to defang the serpent and render it harmless without having to lop off its head.
Not wanting to produce high casualty rates for national and friendly forces is obviously understandable, but to base a strategy on limiting collateral damage to the enemy's forces is revolutionary. Such a military doctrine runs counter to the avowed aims of every ascendant military power that has ever waged war or strategized about waging war. From the days of Sparta to the present, nothing like it has ever been promulgated. For this reason new warfighting doctrines are said to be an RMA, or a "revolution in military affairs."
The new battlefield that will come into being as a result of this RMA will be a joint digital combined arms combat theater where advanced combat systems will enable war to be waged in three dimensions.
This war will be ninja war, embodying many of the propositions found in the writings of the ancient Chinese sage Sun Tzu, who counseled to be where the enemy believes you are not, to strike where the enemy least expects, and to use military forces with precision accuracy.
It will also be war according to the dictates of the nineteenth-century Prussian strategist Karl von Clausewitz, whose injunction to strike at the enemy's "center of gravity" became a catchphrase of the Gulf War-era newsmedia.
Historical events tend to run in cycles of action and reaction, thesis and antithesis, yin and yang. The origin of tomorrow's digital and combined arms battlefields lies in the advances in military technology and in the innovations in tactics and strategy driven by the operational realities of World War Two. In the same way, the First World War was a continuation and culmination of innovations in military affairs begun in the nineteenth century, such as those devised by Republican France and the Imperial British during the succession of Napoleonic wars that convulsed much of Europe between 1800 and 1815.
In the same way the twenty-first century will reap the fruits — or the whirlwind, depending on how you look at it — of the technological innovations in warfare that were first developed during the opening decades of the twentieth century.
Stealth, nuclear weapons, radar, jet aircraft, commando warfare, ballistic submarines, terminally guided munitions, and the so-called "flying wing" airframe that matured...
Tomorrow's Soldier. Copyright © by David Alexander. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
Posted August 15, 2000
'You are tomorrow's soldier. You will play your part in the next major war America will wage.' From these opening lines of Tomorrow's Soldier, David Alexander's excellent book on 21st century warfare, the author builds on this theme in a series of eight carefully researched and well-written chapters on combat in the combined arms battlespace of near-future conflicts. Sometimes in clear and concise descriptions of complex weapons systems such as stealth aircraft, main battle tanks and nuclear submarines, at other times in fast-paced narrative that reads like the best fiction, Alexander shows how the warfighters of tomorrow will interact with the weaponry, battlefield communications, and other combatants on the killing grounds of the new century. 'Probably it will be a regional war, one involving an aggressor state challenging the strategic interests of America and her global allies,' the author writes. 'Also probable is that it will be another coalition war, similar to Desert Storm. Similar ... but in many ways very different.' Alexander predicts, for example, that unlike the Gulf War, tomorrow's war might involve sizable numbers of friendly casualties and the disappearance of the 'home front.' 'The front lines of tomorrow's war could expand to include the continental U.S.,' Alexander writes, 'and everyone could become a combatant' to some extent. By this he explains that while the next war might be regional in theater, it could be global in scope, because rogue states now have access to nuclear, chemical and biological weapons and have demonstrated a willingness to use terrorism to carry the fight far from the immediate war zone. The book's eight chapters offer a description of high-technology as applied to the combined arms battlefield written in plain language that is easily understandable by any reader, and glossaries of military terms and acronyms have been included to familiarize those unacquainted with the finer points of that Washington Beltway language called 'Pentagonese.' Chapter one, War: Past, Present and Future, is a concise description of the history of modern warfare. Chapter two, Flashpoints to Future War, goes into likely places where war may break out (note: since the book's appearance, Alexander's predictions concerning fighting in the Balkans and in the Caucasus have become reality). Chapter three, Warzones and Weaponry 2010, offers an overview of major combat systems from the 'digitized G.I.' to robotic reconnaissance aircraft. Chapter four, Synthetic Battlespace, deals with virtual reality in combat. Chapter five, Land Warfighting 2010, discusses future land battle, including some excellent writing on hypertanks and mechanized systems. Chapter six, Tacair 2010, is a comprehensive look at high-tech combat aviation systems, including the Joint Strike Fighter, the F117A Nighthawk and the B-2 Spirit bomber. Chapter seven, From the Sea, is an informative chapter on surface and undersea naval warfare. The final chapter, War Beyond Tomorrow, which deals with such esoteric subjects as weapons of mass destruction, information warfare, robotic assault systems and war in space, concludes the book. As everyone who follows current events knows, a revolution in military technology has taken place. This exceptional book takes you into the secret world of military warplanners, counter-terrorist specialists and high-technology weapons labs to make clear exactly what the 'digital' in digital warfare really means, and what tomorrow's war could mean to you. --Mike Dockweiler, Military Systems Analyst and Pentagon ConsultantWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.