The War That Never Was

Michael A. Palmer, Author Vandamere Press $19.95 (368p) ISBN 978-0-918339-28-7
In 1999, 10 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, retired Russian and American military and civilian leaders (including George Bush and Mikhail Gorbachev) gather in Newport to play out the ultimate war game as it might have unfolded in 1989. This possible WW III was devised by former Russian intelligence officer Yuri Sinuskin and U.S. Navy captain John Griggs as a ``fairly straightforward, if somewhat involved student project, that ultimately became a diplomatic extravaganza.'' The simulated war begins with a Soviet attack on the German border and escalates until most of today's non-nuclear military technologies worldwide are engaged. As a study of geopolitical and military strategy, the book offers stimulating material for scholars and interested military historians, but as a novel it is less successful--mostly a recitation of events with ever-shifting casts of men and machinery. Palmer, a naval historian and author of Guardians of the Gulf , clearly knows his stuff but he might have been better served by the medium of speculative nonfiction. (Dec.)
Reviewed on: 02/28/1994
Release date: 03/01/1994
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