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WAR AND ANTI-WAR by Alvin Toffler


Survival at the Dawn of the 21st Century

by Alvin Toffler & Heidi Toffler

Pub Date: Oct. 25th, 1993
ISBN: 0-316-85024-1
Publisher: Little, Brown

An appraisal of armed conflict that will strike most readers as a typically slick Alvin Toffler production—despite the byline given to wife Heidi and the bulletin that Alvin wrote Future Shock, The Third Wave, and other bestsellers with her help. Here, the authors offer a quickstep guide to warfare in the idiosyncratic context of their wave theory—which, broadly speaking, divides world history into agrarian, industrial, and technological eras. Starting with the hand-to-hand combat of ancient times, they eventually get to WW II's high-explosive and nuclear horrors. Desert Storm, the Tofflers argue, was a showcase for a new generation of intelligent armament (smart bombs and the like) that promises to minimize if not eliminate the importance of brute-force firepower and set-piece battles. Among other examples, the authors cite the possibility of microrobots able to invade an adversary's headquarters, programmable ordnance, and sonic systems that could disable enemy troops without killing them. In the meantime, the Tofflers warn, the breakup of the USSR hasn't made a peaceable kingdom of the Global Village. Indeed, they assert, more rather than fewer brushfire wars are likely to break out, owing to economic and ethnic rivalries, political demagoguery, religious fanaticism, the erosion of nation-states' sovereignty, and allied causes. Worse yet, unstable regimes in backward lands have easy access to state-of-the-art biological, chemical, and other weapons, including missile-delivery systems. Given the high-tech dangers of a small planet, the Tofflers conclude, reasonably enough, that it would be a fine idea for Western leaders and their counterparts in less-favored climes to devise innovative ways to give peace a chance. Worst-case scenarios that afford fans of the doomsday genre a multiple choice of bang-or-whimper endings for a weary world.