A collection of essays by top-selling Peters, author of A Perfect Soldier (1995). Reprinted from such military-science publications as Parameters, Army Times, and Strategic Review, these essays pose major questions about America’s military preparedness to fight the type of conflicts likely to arise in the 21st century, those involving terrorist organizations (both independent and state-sponsored), ethnic strife, and an emerging Third World. Peters examines such possibilities with a sharp eye and then considers the ways in which the American armed forces are preparing to fight them. While his analysis is cogent, his conclusions—for example, that the spectacularly expensive weapons systems being produced today are designed to combat Cold War enemies that no longer exist—are hardly as shocking or controversial as he himself would have the reader believe. (In fact, as long as there has been a military, there have been critics to point out flaws in preparedness.) While Peters is a reasonably proficient writer, his essays are marred by trite epigrams placed throughout the text, offering such no-brainer musings as “Revolutions happen, above all, in the minds of men” and “If there is a single power the West underestimates, it is the power of collective hatred.” When the author gets down to specific topics, such as the future of armored warfare or soldiering in an urban environment, he is at his best; unfortunately these sections form only a small portion of the book. And Peters’s prose is pedantic, clichÇ-ridden, and repetitive. In general, the average reader will be as entranced as if reading a military-science dissertation.