7 Deadly Scenarios: A Military Futurist Explores War in the 21st Century

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9780553805390: 7 Deadly Scenarios: A Military Futurist Explores War in the 21st Century
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A global pandemic finds millions swarming across the U.S. border.
Major U.S. cities are leveled by black-market nukes.
China’s growing civil unrest ignites a global showdown.
Pakistan’s collapse leads to a hunt for its nuclear weapons.

What if the worst that could happen actually happens? How would we respond? Are we ready?

These are the questions that Andrew Krepinevich asks—and answers—in this timely and often chilling new book, which describes the changing face of war in the twenty-first century and identifies seven deadly scenarios that threaten our security in the crucial years ahead. As president of the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments and consultant to secretaries of defense, the CIA, the Homeland Security Council and the Joint Forces Command, Krepinevich’s job is to think the unthinkable—and prepare a response in the event our worst nightmares become reality.

Basing his analysis on open intelligence sources, an assessment of the latest global and political trends, and his knowledge of contemporary military history, Krepinevich starts each of the seven scenarios in the context of current geopolitical realities and vividly tracks the path to crisis. From the implosion of Pakistan to a worldwide cyberattack, from the consequences of a timed withdrawal from Iraq to the likelihood of a China on the march, Krepinevich reveals the forces—both overt and covert—that are in play; the ambitions of world powers, terrorist groups, and rogue states; and the actions and counteractions both our enemies and our allies can be expected to take.

As riveting as a thriller, 7 Deadly Scenarios takes you inside the corridors of power, peers into the world of defense planning, and explores U.S. military and political strategy in the past, present, and likely future. The result is a must-read book that will trigger discussion, thought, and—hopefully—action.

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About the Author:

Andrew Krepinevich is president of the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, an independent policy research institute, and a distinguished visiting professor at George Mason University’s School of Public Policy. He has served as a consultant on military affairs for many senior government officials and members of Congress. A West Point graduate, Krepinevich served as a U.S. Army officer for twenty-one years and holds an M.P.A. and a Ph.D. from Harvard University. He has lectured widely before professional and academic audiences at Harvard, Princeton, Yale, the Army and Naval War Colleges, the Air University, Europe’s Marshall Center, and France’s École Militaire, among others. He has testified on numerous occasions before Congress, and his work has appeared in such publications as the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, and Foreign Affairs.

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

Chapter One


The Collapse of Pakistan

A situation threatening the security of Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal and collapse of its command and control could only be brought about by subversion from within the military. Were this to happen, it would signify the Islamists’ penetration of the last bastion of credible power in Pakistan.

Brigadier (Ret.) Arun Sahgal
United Service Institution [1]
Less than three months after assuming office, president Martin Simmons faces perhaps the greatest threat to America’s security since the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis. As Congress rushes to confirm the remaining members of the president’s national security team, the dramatic events of the past eight weeks, which began with the assassination of Pakistan’s president on February 24, are now coming to a head. Also emerging is a clear picture of the danger posed by Pakistan’s Islamist army faction and its militant Muslim allies, who hope to exploit that country’s growing civil disorder to seize power and create a radical Islamist state.
Assassination
The crisis came suddenly. president rehman dhar was planning a trip to the United States. Islamist [2] officers in Pakistan’s shadowy intelligence service, the Directorate of Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), apparently leaked the planning details to a clique of Islamist army colonels. The purpose of Dhar’s trip, as we now know, was to request the deployment of American troops to Pakistan as the lead element of an international military force. The Pakistani president hoped to win U.S. backing and, ultimately, broad international support for his campaign to impose order on several provinces that are the center of a rapidly metastasizing militant Islamist insurrection. The Jihadist [3] sanctuaries located in these frontier areas have long provided support to terror campaigns in Afghanistan and India. More recently, they have extended their reach, claming responsibility for the “Stockholm Massacre” train bombings that killed more than two hundred, and the assassination of moderate Muslim leaders in Egypt and Morocco.

Armed with President Simmons’s support, President Dhar planned to address the United Nations General Assembly to request the world body’s backing for deploying an international peacekeeping force to his country. The purpose was to avoid a possible war with India, whose government had become increasingly anxious following last fall’s increase in Jihadist guerrilla and suicide attacks in Kashmir, which Dhar proved unable to suppress.

Whether Dhar could have succeeded in his mission will never be known. Pakistan’s president never made it to the airport. On February 24, 2013, his heavily armed motorcade was ambushed by renegade Pakistani Army units under the command of the Islamist faction, who were likely supported by Jihadist elements. In less than ten minutes the president and nearly all his forty-seven-man bodyguard were cut down. [4] A video of the massacre taken by the militant Islamists has been shown repeatedly by al-Jazeera and other Muslim media. [5] Reflecting their mastery on the “war of ideas” battlefield, Islamist military leaders and their cleric allies proclaimed the assassination the work of the Indians and Americans. This has produced large anti-American and anti-Indian public protests in Pakistan and parts of the Arab world. More than a million Pakistanis demonstrated both in Lahore and in Rawalpindi. At the same time public opinion polls revealed that these same people voice admiration for the Muslim radicals for ridding them of the pro-Western Dhar. [6]
“The Century’s Greatest Crisis”
The situation in pakistan continued deteriorating into mid-April, as the world’s second-largest Muslim state slipped toward open civil war. The military was divided between army Loyalists, who had ruled the country off and on for decades amid various ineffectual civilian governments, and the Islamist army faction, whose sympathies are with the militant Muslim groups. The Loyalist army leaders attempted to perform their traditional role of imposing order within the country. This time, however, they had to contend with Islamist elements within the armed forces, led by a clique of young colonels and a few junior generals, who command perhaps a third or more of the country’s military. The Islamist faction supports the formation of a “true” Islamic republic, to be ruled by the country’s radical Islamist parties in league with the army’s “young Paks,” and with the support of many of the nation’s Sunni religious leaders.

There has been a spate of reports, many confirmed, of minor clashes between these two army factions, even as the world remains hopeful that all-out civil warfare can be avoided. [7] Of greatest concern is the disposition of Pakistan’s arsenal of nuclear weapons, estimated to number 80 to 120, each of which is capable of causing greater destruction than the atomic bombs that destroyed the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki at the end of World War II. These weapons are believed to be located at half a dozen or so sites around the country, most of which are currently controlled by Loyalist forces. At least one site, however, is controlled by Islamist units. Both U.S. and other national intelligence ser-vices have concluded that sympathetic elements of the ISI have provided Islamist officers leading the breakaway army units with the activation codes needed to arm the nuclear weapons under their control. [8] If so, there may be little to prevent these weapons from being used.

These events confirm the worst fears of many security experts, who have argued that once Pakistan began to slide toward anarchy, the nuclear command and control structure would soon collapse. [9] As one noted, “Pakistan tends to leak. It has leaked vital weapons information in the past, and it may now be leaking nuclear weapons themselves.” [10]

Fortunately, Pakistan’s ballistic missile units apparently remain under the control of Loyalist elements. [11] These missiles are the most effective means the Pakistanis have of delivering a nuclear warhead at long range. Two air bases with aircraft capable of delivering nuclear weapons are controlled by Islamist forces, but this danger pales in comparison to claims by two Jihadist groups that they have been provided with several nuclear weapons each and have begun moving them to “alternate locations” for safekeeping. [12] These claims have recently been confirmed by an Islamist colonel. Speculation is that the Islamist military elements intentionally transferred the weapons to gain leverage, not so much over their Loyalist rivals as with the international community, to preclude the intervention that Dhar had sought. The danger also exists that these weapons might be smuggled abroad for use against any states that side with the Loyalists to suppress the Islamist forces. The principal targets of such attacks would appear to be India and the United States. In an attempt to reassure an increasingly unnerved U.S. public, senior Defense Department officials have launched a mini–media blitz to point out the difficulties involved in transporting a nuclear weapon halfway around the world and positioning it in an American city. India’s leaders, given their country’s long border with Pakistan, are far less sanguine regarding this threat. They cite repeated statements by Pakistani opinion leaders advocating the use of nuclear weapons if need be to ensure the recovery of Kashmir, a long-disputed province lying between the two countries. For example, in an interview on the Waqt television channel that was published by the mainstream right-wing Urdu daily Roznama Nawa-i-Waqt, senior Pakistani newspaper editor Majeed Kaira discussed Kashmir’s importance to Pakistan, called it “the jugular vein” of Pakistan and added that Pakistan should not hesitate to use nuclear weapons to take it from India. Kaira, who is also editor in chief of the English daily The Nation, declared:

It is better to die fighting than to die from famine. Kashmir is our biggest issue, and showing flexibility on this matter is tantamount to treason. Anyone who shows flexibility on the issue, I will consider a traitor. [13]
Colonel Sajjad, one of the Islamist army leaders, has declared that, in addition to the nuclear bombs provided to the militant groups, other weapons, “at least twelve,” have been removed from storage and dispersed, to ensure that the Islamist army elements “retain a nuclear capability” should the storage sites be attacked by air strikes for the purpose of eliminating the weapons. The colonel has declared that “horrific consequences” would befall any foreign power that attempted to destroy the weapons by a preemptive attack. [14]

Despite their advantage in numbers—well over half of the army has remained loyal to the government in Islamabad—time is clearly not on the Loyalists’ side. Islamist army elements have fanned the flames of street demonstrations by calling for the civilian government and the army’s leadership to resign, citing the failure of both to provide for the country’s security and prosperity in over sixty years of rule. While radical Islamist demonstrations have previously been limited to Baluchistan and the Northwest Frontier Province, they have recently expanded to other parts of the country, to include Peshawar Province, long a source of recruits for the country’s military. Indeed, during the Pakistan Army’s episodic efforts to bring stability to the country’s ungoverned areas, increasing numbers of troops have defected to the radicals’ side rather than fight against their fellow tribesmen.
NOTES

1. Rahul Bedi, “Who Is in Control of Pakistan’s Nuclear A...

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