The New Face of War : Weapons of Mass Destruction & the Revitalization of America's Transoceanic Military Strategy

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9780965077026: The New Face of War : Weapons of Mass Destruction & the Revitalization of America's Transoceanic Military Strategy

Rogue regimes and other countries hostile toward the United States are up- gunning their military arsenals with biological and chemical weapons a few with nuclear capabilities advanced conventional weapons and technologies, and ballistic and cruise missiles. These deadly weapons offer weaker non-Western countries new military options for keeping America's superior conventional military forces at bay or striking them with great ferocity when they are within range.

Robert Chandler, a twenty-seven-year Air Force veteran, explains how the dizzying pace of weapons proliferation is changing the face of war and placing America's Cold War-derived military strategy increasingly into jeopardy. Explaining how America's transoceanic power projection strategy is under attack, he recommends a dramatic shift in military strategy and forces to neutralize the growing threat of weapons of mass destruction (WMD).

America's response to the Iraqi seizure of Kuwait in 1990 demonstrated the reach and superiority of U.S. military forces, and a dramatic military victory was won with far fewer casualties than expected. At the same time, however, glaring vulnerabilities in the American global strategy were exposed. Two of the most severe weaknesses were the overwhelming dependence of the U.S. transoceanic power projection strategy on time, and lots of it, to deploy military forces overseas, and, secondly, the presumption of always having available ready and unhindered access to regional seaports, airfields, and other facilities. With America's time and access dependencies exposed, contemporary WMD proliferators are working feverishly to exploit these vulnerabilities.

Robert Chandler takes the reader step-by-step through the logic of how WMD proliferation, advanced conventional weapons, and state-sponsored terrorism will make execution of the current U.S. military strategy highly risky and perhaps even unworkable early in the twenty-first century. He recommends that the United States reshape its military strategy to "mass firepower, not forces" through the creation of a Global Reconnaissance-Strike Complex built from existing military resources, ranging from intelligence and communications assets to air forces and distributed ground combat cells. Launching from bases beyond the reach of deadly WMD-tipped missiles, a balanced long-range precision strike force would immunize U.S. strategy against the effects of weapons of mass destruction.

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From the Publisher:

A wide range of activities in the Executive Branch has led to the creation of an anti-strategy a pressure cooker for defense spending that erects a glass ceiling every year that presents an image of the Clinton Administration striving heartily to achieve the needed military capabilities. Yet, the anti-strategy offers decision-makers no sense of the military risks facing the nation. Proponents of budget-based planning have contributed heavily to development of an anti-strategy by using faulty assumptions and wrongly applied analytical tools to keep defense spending within the limits of the politically defined glass ceiling. Acceptance of the glass ceiling takes on the aura of rule of law for many in uniform feeling themselves obliged to support the commander-in-chief, America's military works diligently within the narrow bounds of the budget-based planning system. The trouble is that Congress is often left out in the cold without an appreciation of the military risks facing the country. And those "risk assessments" that are made available by the Pentagon are the understated risks driven by budget-based planning and associated with the make-believe world of the anti-strategy.

This can sometimes lead to bad decisions. The Air Force, for instance, in effect abandoned long- range airpower during the 1997 Quadrennial Defense Review. This turn toward protecting procurement of short-range fighters occurred at the very time when the need for global reach precision bombing emerged as a vital defense requirement to counter weapons of mass destruction and to deny adversaries any realistic chance of keeping U.S. forces from using regional seaports, airfields, and other facilities. Short-range tactical fighters were protected in the Pentagon plan despite the obvious problems of operating from in-theater bases that could become contaminated by biological and chemical attacks. An honest look at long-range precision strike aircraft, however, was conducted by analysts from the Joint Staff, Office of the Secretary of Defense, and Institute for Defense Analyses in support of the Quadrennial Defense Review the results showed that long-range precision strike platforms were more cost-effective than any other force element in the U.S. defense spending plan. Nonetheless, the study's conclusions were deemed "politically incorrect" since they would lead to force structure choices that would be contrary to the views expressed by President Bill Clinton and Defense Secretary William Cohen. Trashed in the dark of night, the study results never saw the light of day. The anti-strategy had won one of its greatest victories by keeping the truth from members of Congress and the public the fact that "...very small numbers of B-2s could potentially replace large groups of planned and thus preferred forces (such as the entire B-1B fleet). And the cost of those B-2s was substantially less than the forces they were replacing" (Brent Scowcroft and others, Final Report of the Independent Bomber Force Review Commission, presented to The Honorable Duncan Hunter, Chairman, Military Procurement Subcommittee of the Committee on National Security, U.S. House of Representatives (July 23, 1997), pp. 19-22). Accepting politically-defined solutions to threats to the nation's interests, while allowing the military risks to go unrecognized and unanswered, is a classic picture of a declining global power.

Andrew Marshall, director of the Pentagon's Office of Net Assessment, warns that the early lead by the United States in the post-Cold War era, while the world is midway through a military revolution, is no guarantee of remaining on top. "Countries that have very good positions can lose them very rapidly," Mr. Marshall explains. "The British are an example" (Thomas E. Ricks, "How Wars Are Fought Will Change Radically, Pentagon Planner Says" Wall Street Journal (July 5, 1994), p. A1).

From the Author:

The genesis of The New Face of War was rather peculiar. At a Christmas party in 1992 several of us who had served in the "Skunk Works" Strategy Division on the Air Staff in the late 1970s mused as to why, after so many discussions about strategy and military forces, we had never discussed the possibility of winning the Cold War. We laughed at ourselves since we were billed by others as the Air Staff's "outside-of-the-box" thinkers with Ph.Ds, a couple Rhodes Scholars, Olmsted Scholars, White House Scholars, and a bevy of other certified smart guys.

We agreed that in a couple of years someone would write "the book" for the development of U.S. security policy, strategy, and military forces for the post-Cold War era. The big Cold War names came to mind: Kissinger, Brzezinski, Huntington, Schelling and others. We mused that a few new names might come to the fore to make the essential arguments for the new era. One colleague, an SR-71 pilot who still holds the world speed record, said it ought to be someone who had served in uniform. I got the "look" from my cast of friends...if any of us was going to write "the book," as we referred to it, it most likely would be me .

I shook off the idea as being too difficult, too time consuming, and too uncertain about its potential impact on changing the deeply rooted Cold War analytical models and mental frameworks that dominated American strategic thinking. Subsequent events conspired against my early judgment. First, I was the research director on "attack operations" on the 1992-93 Theater Defense Architecture Scoping Study for the Defense Department. Secondly, I organized and conducted five major conferences for the Defense Nuclear Agency in 1993-95 on the proliferation of nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons (weapons of mass destruction) and arms control. Thirdly, I organized a team to create a new target planning tool for the Air Force: Counterproliferation Employment Planning Analysis Tool. Finally, in 1995-96 I stumbled across a wealth of new data on the Persian Gulf War contained in the United Nations on-site inspection reports of Iraq's nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons and missile capabilities.

In 1995, I set out to write a tight little monograph of about 150 pages that would compare the number of Iraqi nuclear, biological, chemical, and missile targets we bombed during the Gulf War with the number of facilities in those categories discovered by the U.N. after the war. I was startled by my findings: 245 targets in the U.N. data as compared to the 98 targets we had known about in the Gulf War, e.g., 56 nuclear facilities were found during the post-war inspections versus only 8 nuclear targets identified during the Gulf War the actual number of nuclear facilities was seven times greater than we had known about during the war! I also found that some of Iraq's biological facilities were untouched by the bombing. The results rocked me back on my heels since it was clear that the implications for the future were enormous.

Saddam Hussein had written a virtual "how-to" book on proliferation. The prospect of the United States deploying its forces overseas against adversaries armed with large numbers of weapons of mass destruction and missiles would have profound consequences of U.S. military strategy and forces. It took me four months with a lot of help to write the concluding chapters, even then they merely scratched the surface. The resulting book, Tomorrow's War, Today's Decisions (AMCODA Press, 1996), tells the story quite well about a gigantic lesson of the Gulf War that is painstakingly ignored by the Defense Department Despite my testimony before the House Subcommittee on Military Procurement in 1997, the ideas expressed in the book failed to trigger the necessary strategy and force procurement reforms to assure America's ability to project military power overseas. The United States continues to buy the wrong the military forces for the wrong military strategy.

The New Face of War is a second swing at bat...included is a candid critique of the Clinton Administration's failure to put a practical military planning system into place, which has resulted in a hollowing of the armed forces, military readiness falling into a shambles, and leaving the uniformed services ill-prepared to deal effectively with the threat of weapons of mass destruction looming before us. The New Face of War builds on the data contained in Tomorrow's War, Today's Decisions with a comprehensive analysis of the future threat of weapons of mass destruction, recommendations for correcting the weaknesses in the current strategy, and a realistic military force structure for the future. Fundamentally, The New Face of War argues that we need to "immunize America's military strategy against weapons of mass destruction" and it shows an affordable and sustainable way to do it for the crisis years just ahead of us.

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