In This Review

The Automated Battlefield
The Automated Battlefield
By Frank Barnaby
Free Press, 1986, 169 pp

The author, a former director of the Stockholm Peace Research Institute, contends that, due to microelectronics and other advances, all forms of warfare will become increasingly automated. Already reconnaissance, surveillance, target acquisition, and many command, control and communication operations have been automated. This he sees as dangerous, with risks far outweighing benefits. The spread of advanced weapons to the Third World will make wars there increasingly violent. In Europe he rejects SACEUR General Bernard Rogers' plan for Follow-On Forces Attack (FOFA) as leading to a European arms race, and he argues for a solely conventional "non-provocative" defense. Barnaby makes some telling points, but he may be giving too little credence to what new technologies can offer for enhancing stability and making wars less acceptable and thus less likely.