cover image War and Anti-War: Survival at the Dawn of the 21st Century

War and Anti-War: Survival at the Dawn of the 21st Century

Alvin Toffler. Little Brown and Company, $22.95 (302pp) ISBN 978-0-316-85024-7

The husband-and-wife team who collaborated on Future Shock present a chilling look at possible future wars. As set out in their earlier collaboration, The Third Wave (1980), the Tofflers' scenario portrays a world once bisected into First Wave (agrarian) and Second Wave (industrial) powers changing drastically as the U.S., Europe and Japan move toward a Third Wave economy that creates and exploits electronic information and advanced technology. The result on the battlefield, they claim, is the potential for more wars dominated by ``knowledge strategy'' and featuring high-tech weaponry such as battlefield robots, pilotless combat aircraft, omniscient surveillance satellites, non-lethal weapons like sleep-inducing agents, and by low-cost ``niche warfare'' using special forces. The Tofflers sketch a preventive strategy for peace that includes the sharing of information technology to halt weapons proliferation and the creation of a ``rapid reaction contingency broadcasting force'' capable of beaming news anywhere in the world. (Oct.)