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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 25 May 2011
This is a good book that clearly defines three modes of conventional war: 1) limited territiorial engagments for border regions and disputed territiories (e.g. the Franco-German disputes over Alsace-Lorriane); 2) total wars of attrition, in which entire industrial economies are mobilized over an extended front (e.g. WWI); 3) the blitzkrieg, in which supply lines and communications are cut so that the entire structure of an enemy crumbles and can be quickly overrun (e.g. WWII). As far as it goes, this is very interesting and brilliantly described. However, it does not cover la guerre subversive, or guerilla wars, as we saw in Vietnam and are seeing today in Irak with the suicide bombers. While this might be called a war of attrition, it does not really fit into the framework that Mearsheimer presented, as the country is already occupied and there is no front. While I enjoyed the analysis of the three types above, what I was looking for was the uncovered type. Nonethless, this is an excellent book and well worth the read.

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