A master plan detailing what the US can do to ensure its peace, prosperity, and freedom--one that suffers to some extent by...

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PREVENTING WORLD WAR III: A Realistic Grand Strategy

A master plan detailing what the US can do to ensure its peace, prosperity, and freedom--one that suffers to some extent by comparison with the wider-angle program proposed by Richard M. Nixon in 1999 (p. 435). An experienced Washington hand who served as ambassador to NATO during the mid-1980's, Abshire misses few opportunities here to drop the names of his acquaintances in the global diplomatic corps and federal bureaucracy. In any event, he fears that commercial self-interest, shaky alliances, incipient isolationism, and related problems--including political stalemates that effectively paralyze government--could lead to miscalculations akin to those which helped precipitate WW I. In this context, the author calls for creation of a grand strategy to harmonize national ends and means, in large measure by taking economic as well as military security into account. Under no illusions as to the essentially adversarial nature of East/West relations, Abshire offers vivid briefings on contemporary dilemmas with flash-point potential, e.g., nuclear deterrence and nascent reforms in Gorbachev's USSR. Not too surprisingly, he focuses much of his attention on the probability that Europe will be ""the cockpit for World War III."" Also weighed, albeit in cursory fashion, are the chances that superpower confrontations in the Middle East, Latin America, or other volatile Third World venues could trigger a global crisis. Conspicuous by its absence from the author's listing of trouble spots and/or areas of vital interest is southern Africa. Abshire does, though, assess the evolving role played by so-called balancing powers, i.e., mainland China and Japan. Owing in all likelihood to his NATO tenure, Abshire tends to tip the scale of recommended actions in favor of the Continent. Otherwise, he offers thoughtful, tough-minded advisories on how the US might set the often conflicting priorities of its geopolitical agenda to best advantage.

Pub Date: Jan. 25, 1988

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Harper & Row

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 1988