7 Deadly Scenarios: A Military Futurist Explores War in the 21st Century, Andrew F. Krepinevich, 2009, ISBN 9780553805390

Looking at the changing face of war in the 21st Century, this book looks at several deadly scenarios that will threaten America's, and the world's, security in the near future.

A large part of the world's oil tankers have to travel through two geographic choke points: the Strait of Malacca, between Malaysia and Indonesia, and the Persian Gulf. What would happen to the price of oil, and the world economy, if one was closed because a supertanker was sunk in the most inconvenient spot, and the other was closed because Iran decided to flex its political muscle?

Muslim terrorists set off several black-market nuclear weapons in US cities. Beset with internal strife, China decides to take back Taiwan, once and for all. They also send diesel submarines all over the world, to cause lots of economic trouble for any country who considers doing something about it. The Pakistani government collapses, and some of its nuclear weapons find their way into the hands of the more fundamentalist members of the military. There's one about America dealing with a major cyberattack, and one about what will happen after America withdraws from Iraq (faster than it intended). Remember bird flu, from a couple of years ago? Well, it's back, mutated into a form that can be easily transmitted from person to person. Shopping malls and other public places are deserted, hospitals are flooded with the sick and dying, America doesn't have nearly enough retroviral drugs even for emergency personnel, and it takes time to make more. To make things worse, the White House has just gotten word of a human flood of 8 million sick Latin Americans, desperate to reach America. They are scheduled to reach the US-Mexican border in a couple of days.

This is a very sobering, and utterly fascinating, look at what the future may hold. It's not an attempt to predict the future, but to show the sort of things that senior planners at the Pentagon are, or had better be, thinking about. Highly recommended.

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