Wars Of The Third Kind: Conflict In Underdeveloped Countries
By Edward E. Rice
University of California Press, 1988, 186 pp.
Unconventional conflict in the Third World remains the forgotten stepchild of strategy. This slim, engaging volume, written by a veteran Foreign Service officer who spent World War II in China, ranges quickly across a century of such conflicts, but its heart is Vietnam. He is right to criticize the American body politic for dismissing that war as too unusual to provide guidance, too painful to recall. His own list of "don't's" is sensible: don't extend local wars, and don't take comfort in analogies with more familiar conventional wars. Alas, he provides no "do's": e.g., what to do in the face of domestic upheavals and civil wars.