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The Revolution in Military Affairs Outside the West.

Ahmed S. Hasim

Journal of International Affairs, Vol. 51, No. 2 (Winter 1998)

(Published here by permission of the Journal of International Affairs and the Trustees of Columbia University in the City of New York.)


The military gap between the West--symbolized primarily by U.S. military capabilities--and the rest of the world has widened in the twilight years of the 20th century, due to the latest revolution in military affairs (RMA). This paper is about the response of the non-Western world to the ongoing revolution in military affairs in conventional warfare. Specifically, it will explore what non-Western military powers are writing about the RMA.

This, of course, presupposes that their strategic analysts and planners have an understanding of what the RMA really is. There is still debate on this, and no consensus has been reached. In fact, a large number of these non-Western nations are analyzing the current RMA by deriving political, military and technological lessons from the Gulf War of 1991, which was seen as a harbinger of wars to come.

There is also the issue of whether these countries believe that their armed forces can exploit and benefit from the RMA. This raises a number of complex questions that can only be tentatively addressed here. To begin with, do these countries have the technological infrastructure and financial resources to devote to the development of high-technology conventional arms? And if they do, do their armed forces have the flexibility to revamp their strategic cultures, organizational structure and doctrines in order to allow them to exploit the RMA? Finally, if most of these countries cannot undertake these tasks, what other kinds of military options do they have? Revolutionary breakthroughs in the military arena in one country or group of countries almost invariably generate responses from other countries. Responses could be symmetric, emulative or asymmetric (i.e., to attempt to deploy a different set of weapons/technologies or develop new ways of fighting in order to offset or bypass the new capabilities of the breakthrough state).

Examining the responses of other countries to the RMA is an interesting research problem, even if we are to conclude, as is likely, that much of the rest of the world does not "have what it takes" to make and implement revolutionary changes in their militaries. It is interesting for many reasons: first, we advance our knowledge about other armed forces and how they think about military power; second, it advances our knowledge of the role of military capabilities in the conduct of international relations among the world's leading powers, both in the Western and non-Western worlds; and third, because the United States needs to be aware of how others may try to challenge its otherwise unchallenged conventional military superiority in the post-Cold War era.

So far, in the United States, we are only beginning to explore the impact of the RMA on the rest of the world. Even then, the overwhelming majority of analyses written in the United States deal with the RMA in just two countries, Russia and China, the so-called near peer competitors. Since much of the world will not be able to exploit the RMA for a wide variety of reasons, I am not writing about the response of the non-Western world per se, but rather of a limited group of countries that see themselves as influential regional powers with serious armed forces. Clearly, try as they might, countries like Burkina Faso or Paraguay are neither influential regional powers nor do they have armed forces and budgets that can be considered as agents for innovative change. Thus they will never be candidates for the exploitation of the RMA.


The nature of war never changes; "war," after all, "is an act of force to compel our enemy to do our will," as Karl von Clausewitz stated over a century and a half ago in his book On War. But the manner in which war is conducted has undergone considerable change over the course of human civilization. Sometimes these changes are so dramatic that war changes its form. In other words, a historical discontinuity, or revolution, occurs in the way war is fought. Hence, a revolution in military affairs occurs when a combination of technological, organizational, social, doctrinal and political-economic changes take place in conjunction and affect the way militaries plan, equip and train to wage war. Many analysts and strategic thinkers believe that a revolution in military affairs has been taking place in the last two decades of the 20th century, with the primary feature being the re-emergence of conventional weapons after 50 years of being overshadowed by the nuclear weapon buildup of the Cold War.

This current RMA is driven by technology, namely information technologies. The technologies in question--microelectronics, sensors, computers, telecommunications and data processing systems--are the key factors in bringing on the dramatic changes in conventional warfare. These changes are the rapid transmission of real-time intelligence and location of enemy targets, the deployment of a new generation of lethal and accurate precision-guided munitions, continuous 24-hour operations, improvement of the ability to engage in deep-strikes, better control of information flows and the development of the ability to deny the enemy information. In short, we follow the often-quoted definition by Andrew Krepinevich, which says that an RMA has occured when:

   	... the application of new technologies into a significant number of
   	military systems combines with innovative operational concepts and
   	organizational adaptation in a way that fundamentally alters the character
   	and conduct of a conflict. It does so by producing a dramatic
   	increase--often an order of magnitude or greater--in the combat potential
   	and military effectiveness of armed forces.(1)

There have been a number of RMAs in the history of warfare, and military historians and strategic analysts have engaged in long debates within their respective disciplines over what constitutes a revolution in warfare, what are its essential characteristics and how many revolutions there have been. Military historians were the first to address the concept of revolutions in military affairs. In 1955, the British military historian Michael Roberts attempted to explain the transformation of warfare in Europe in the early 17th century. He concluded that four things had changed: (1) tactics-- ranging from the square of the Spanish tercio to the line; (2) technological developments--firearms replaced the lance and pike; (3) armies--which had increased dramatically in size and (4) the impact of war on societies--the pool of recruits had to be enlarged and the need to raise and fund these larger armies enhanced the role of the state over society.(2)

There has been little cross-fertilization between the military historians and the strategic analysts who began writing about the latest revolution in military affairs. The latter probably thought that since military historians were writing on developments that occurred 300 to 400 years ago, they could offer little insights on current innovations. Soviet strategic thinkers and officers were the first to discern the outlines of what they deemed to be revolutionary changes about to take place in late 20th century conventional warfare. Arguing that the emerging RMA was technologically driven, they preferred to use the term "military-technical revolution." Soviet officers, such as Marshal Nikolai Ogarkov, claimed that technological breakthroughs were about to give conventional weapons a level of precision that could only be dreamt of in the past and which would provide a level of effectiveness in battle approaching that afforded by tactical nuclear weapons.(3) In short, argued Ogarkov, new technologies would "make it possible to conduct military operations with the use of conventional means of qualitatively new and incomparably more destructive forms than before...."(4)

Despite their grounding in on-hands strategy, strategic analysts concerned with the current RMA would be remiss in not using the methodological assumptions of the military historians and extrapolating from the grand historical lessons of earlier RMAs. Some of the most interesting assumptions made by military historians concerned the increase in the size of armies and the impact this had on the state and society. Modern strategic analysts studying the RMA would be well advised to study in greater depth the impact of the late 20th century RMA on the state and society. For example, we can already see the interesting development of armies decreasing in size as a result of the current technologically driven RMA. The impact this development has on society is tremendous; RMA militaries have to function within a society that is technologically literate. In many countries, a decrease in the size of the military and a move away from conscription to a full-fledged professional and highly technical service may constitute a strategic culture shock.

Some of these technological characteristics were seen during the Gulf War in 1991. Shortly after the war, none other than Secretary of Defense Richard Cheney claimed that the "war demonstrated dramatically the new possibilities of what had been called the "military-technological revolution in warfare."(5) However, we must not wax lyrical about the Gulf War being a manifestation of these dramatic new changes in war, being that the war was predominantly a vivid demonstration of well-established and tried weapons platforms. On the other hand, the Gulf War did set the stage for writings and thinking on the RMA. After much sober (and ongoing) analyses, people realized that the fascination with the technological artifacts of the Gulf War overshadowed other important aspects. While technology is the driver of this late 20th century RMA, a country would not be able to take advantage of these technologies--assuming it already has access to them-- without undertaking deep-seated changes in its armed forces and indeed, some changes in the way it has traditionally thought about warfare in general.(6)


Despite a vastly altered geopolitical environment (the loss of the USSR as a serious opponent), deep-seated force cuts (as in the United States and North Atlantic Treaty Organization), and paradigmatic shifts in strategic cultures (as in the decision to move from a conscript to a professional force structure, such as in France), the nations of the West, namely the United States and its Western European allies within the current NATO, remain the most powerful military powers in the world.

   	Today, no other nation even approximates America's singular combination 
	of technological prowess, economic vitality, military strength, internal
  	stability ... America's substantial security margin is reinforced by the
   	strength of its allies. The NATO and OECD countries now constitute
  	three-quarters of the world economy, these states plus other long-time
   	American allies ... account for more than 70 percent of world military
   	spending ... thus, not only has the general diffusion of military power
   	slowed dramatically, it has come substantially under the control of the
   	United States and its allies.(7)

Similarly, in an analysis written six years ago, The Economist stated that due to the impact of a "`second high-technology revolution', the military gap between the advanced economies and the vast majority of Asian and African countries is still widening."(8) More specifically, the RMA that is causing this gap has been overwhelmingly associated with the United States. U.S. armed forces are deemed to be the only ones capable of fully exploiting the technologies and making the necessary organizational and doctrinal changes to benefit from the current RMA. These developments would ultimately make it possible to make nuclear war unnecessary.(9) Even the Soviet officers who first began the analysis of the RMA in the midst of the Cold War argued, much to their discomfort, that the United States would stand to exploit the revolution best. They were right. A U.S. ability to develop a reconnaissance strike complex by exploiting advanced technologies and developing new operational concepts would have ominous implications for Soviet doctrine, which called for mass armored strikes across the German plains against NATO targets.

This is not to say that there is unanimity within the American defense establishment concerning the benefits of the RMA; nor does it mean that there is a need for the U.S. armed forces to rush headlong into embracing it or even that the U.S. preeminence it has caused will go unchallenged. Indeed, there has already arisen complications over a U.S.-centered RMA concerning U.S. allies in the West. Essentially, European countries of the NATO alliance do not have the budgetary capability or research and development incentive to fully emulate the U.S. RMA. In fact, the relative paucity of literature on the subject among western European nations is a reflection of the gap in capabilities between the United States and its NATO partners. This gap is wide enough to cause considerable unease on both sides of the Atlantic. If the United States is figuratively light-years ahead of its allies in its ability to exploit and benefit from the RMA, this can only lead to serious operational difficulties between U.S. forces and other NATO forces that are participating in exercises, operations other than war or combat operations. Recently, a study by the German Army, the Bundeswehr, highlighted the importance of information-driven technologies in the current RMA and warned about the growing gap in this area between the United States and its allies.(10)


"Near peer competitor" is one of those intellectually confusing terms held dear by the post-Cold War strategic community in the United States. It refers to two nations: the Russian Federation and the People's Republic of China. While they are not as strong militarily and economically as the United States, strategic analysts and planners in the United States endow them with potential supernation qualities. They possess a sophisticated understanding of the RMA, no doubt due to their Marxist ideology, which led both powers to think more rigorously about war than Western powers. However, one must ask whether they have the technological capability, resources and national will or desire to emulate U.S. forces and keep pace with the dizzying rate of changes associated with the RMA.

In reality, there are no near or even peer competitors of the United States on the horizon. Of course, to say so is not to preclude the emergence of such powers in the future. Moreover, the term itself is tautological: as the U.S. conventional military becomes more advanced technologically, it will have to keep giving the near peer competitors "near military" capabilities, presumably to "near keep up" with the United States. But we are stuck with the term--whose use has become widespread--because the alternative term, emerging powers, could include countries such as India, Brazil and Indonesia, which are not on the same level as Russia and China in terms of military technology.(11)

The Russian Federation

Soviet officers conducted in-depth analyses of Desert Storm. Their embarrassment at the poor performance of Iraq's largely Soviet-equipped army was tempered by their fierce criticisms of Iraqi operational concepts and satisfaction that their theoretical prognostications on the RMA seem to have been vindicated.(12) However, that the Soviet Union could have responded to the growing gap in conventional technological capabilities became a moot issue with the collapse of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s.

Consequently, it is not clear that the successor state, Russia, wants to bridge the gap at this stage; or more to the point, has the capability, the political will, the resources and the laboratories to exploit the RMA.(13) For starters, Russia's gross domestic product is about a quarter of that of the Soviet Union at the peak of its power and, unfortunately, Russia's scientific, technological, economic and industrial infrastructure continues to deteriorate. This, in turn, has affected the defense budget and the defense research and development infrastructure, both of which have been in precipitous decline for a number of years. The once mighty Soviet Army, which was a relatively good military, has been transformed into a Russian Army that has shrunk in size, prestige, morale and combat capabilities. Moreover, procurement, training and the quality of its personnel have fallen off drastically in the past several years.(14)

Clearly, this is not an army on the verge of initiating dramatic and revolutionary changes in the way it wages war. Russia will continue to engage in some serious specialized R&D in military technology within its attenuated and demoralized defense industrial base, but the Russian Army cannot buy the end-results. Moreover, there are very few customers who will be able to afford the increasingly expensive high-technology Russian conventional arms when Western weapons are often, but not always, better and come from reliable suppliers. Senior Russian officers and strategic thinkers will keep on writing wistfully about the RMA in obscure military journals just as they have continued their previous studies on lessons learned from Desert Storm.(15) Indeed, the current Russian Army may contain within its ranks a budding Hans von Seeckt, the innovative commander of the Weimar Republic's Reichswehr, the small post-Versailles Treaty army that Germany was allowed to have after its defeat in 1918. Working within the confines of what the German army was permitted, von Seeckt laid the grounds for the revolutionary doctrinal and organizational changes introduced by the successor to the Reichswehr, Hitler's Wehrmacht.(16) However, whether the current Russian Army can be equated with the Reichswehr is doubtful. The latter was a professional fighting force whose officer corps sought to go beyond recriminations for the 1918 defeat and work within the humiliating confines of the punitive and morally corrupt Versailles Treaty conditions limiting the size of the German military to lay the groundwork for a stronger German army that would bring about a revolution in warfare, namely the blitzkrieg, or lightning war.(17) It is far from clear that the same innovative sentiments are prevalent within the ranks of the dispirited Russian officer corps.

In this context, the Russian Army is not so much concerned with exploiting the RMA as with the implementation of basic reforms. These reforms include cutting down the inflated conventional force structure and possibly creating a professional force (of course, this would make the army better suited to take advantage of the RMA) in order to better reflect the significantly reduced economic base and the size of the federal budget devoted to defense. Even the basic reforms within the military are in danger of stalling.(18) Paradoxically, nothing symbolizes Russia's descent from superpower status more than its grudging decision to rely on nuclear weapons to deter a mass invasion.(19) In its current and near future state, Russia's army would not be able to defend against a mass invasion.

The People's Republic of China

Judging by the quantity of literature put out by Chinese strategic analysts and officers over the past six years on the RMA, it is clear that serious consideration is being given to the dramatic technological, organizational and doctrinal changes occurring in conventional warfare. A small amount of this writing has appeared in English in the annotated book recently written by Michael Pillsbury and published by the National Defense University Press.(20) The output is so vast that the proverbial unsuspecting visitor from Mars would be forgiven for thinking that the People's Liberation Army (PLA) is in the forefront of the dramatic changes taking place in how we think about and wage conventional war on Earth. It is not. Writing about and dissecting the RMA theoretically and conceptually and actually being able to exploit it are two totally different endeavors. Whether the PLA succeeds in the second is another matter altogether.

First, while numerically impressive, the PLA remains an immobile and antiquated behemoth. Its command, control and communications are still relatively rudimentary; it lacks precision-guided munitions and has a very backward electronic warfare capability. In short, it is not in a position to leap into the future; rather, it is incrementally moving from the past into the late 1970s in terms of the quality of its weapons. It is not clear that the PLA high command fully understands the culture of high-technology warfare, symbolized by a strongly held belief in the value of a capital-intensive approach to war and in the decentralization of command and control; or if PLA leaders are even comfortable with that culture. In fact, the believers in the RMA in China are probably still a minority There are many who continue to swear by the various modern iterations of the Maoist doctrine of People's War. Others believe that China must first modernize its forces to wage modern conventional warfare--something it has not been very effective at over the past fifty years--before it can begin to think about waging high-technology warfare.(21) The distinction between the two is crucial.

Second, the Chinese scientific and technological (S&T) infrastructure is considerably behind that of the West. An advanced S&T infrastructure is a prerequisite for the RMA. Between 1948 and the mid-1970s, S&T had a checkered history in the PRC. Despite the Central Committee's issuance of the call for "marching toward science" and the formulation of the PRC's first long-term S&T program in 1956, progress in these fields faced numerous obstacles during the following two decades. The collapse of the Sino-Soviet relationship in the early 1960s resulted in the termination of all Soviet technical assistance to the PRC. More lasting damage came in the wake of the political turmoil occasioned by the Cultural Revolution which resulted in the denigration of the role of intellectuals, scientists and experts in society The long-term negative impact of the Cultural Revolution, on all aspects of the Chinese educational system cannot be underestimated.

Third, more often than not, most of the PLA writings on the subject of Information Warfare or the RMA is derived from American sources or are commentaries on what is supposedly going on in the United States. One seriously doubts whether the senior ranks of the PLA fully understand what it is they are writing about. A recent analysis about the future of war in The Economist concluded with a devastating indictment of America's so-called near peer competitors by saying: "military theorists in Russia and China write copiously about the revolution but neither of these countries' armed forces appear to be doing much about it." The article further added that the "military revolution will greatly expand American power in the years ahead."(22)


As for the rest of the world, most of it is lagging behind in the development of advanced conventional military power. In fact, the evolution of military power has come full circle. In the 19th century, the military gap between Western Europe and most of the rest of the world was best exemplified by the famous satirical ditty of the British poet Hilaire Belloc: "Whatever happens, thank God we have got the Maxim Gun and they have not."(24) Many of the non-European countries tried to learn modern warfare, often in the wake of bitter defeats in colonial wars. They strove to imitate European armies and slavishly apply their doctrines, tactics and organizational structures. It is in this light that we must see the frantic efforts by a number of states trying their hand at military modernization and reform: to wit, Mohammed Ali in Egypt in the 1820s, the Ottoman Sultans and the Tzu-ch'iangyun tung, or Self-Strengthening Movement in China, between 1860 and 1895. These attempts were skin-deep and ultimately failed. Only Meiji Japan succeeded in transforming itself and emerging as a formidable power.

Subsequently, modern Japan constitutes an intriguing case study It was the first non-Western nation to successfully emulate Western ways of war. However, following its devastating defeat in the Second World War, Japan developed a strong anti-militarist, indeed pacifist, orientation that abjures war and holds the military profession in low esteem. Modern Japan is an advanced technological society with considerable expertise in many of the information technologies that are relevant to the current revolution in military affairs. Moreover, Japan has a small and insignificant, albeit high quality, defense industrial base and R&D sector. However, it is unlikely, for political and budgetary reasons, to expand that sector. Only the removal of the American security umbrella over Japan, coupled with the emergence of a strong and identifiable threat, would force the country to consider fundamental changes in its strategic culture. In the final analysis, Japan is prevented more by political and cultural constraints than by technological ones from transforming itself into a power that can take advantage of the RMA.(25)

Otherwise in the non-Western world, limits in military capability continue to reflect the global impact of the Cold War. During the Cold War, regional powers and their problems paled in comparison to the potential for total destruction that threatened the world if the U.S.-Soviet standoff were transformed into a hot war. Moreover, many countries hostile to the West were insulated from feeling the full force of Western power by the Soviet umbrella. As we entered the last decade of the 20th century, the West, led by the United States, won two major victories: one, moral and ideological, came in the wake of the unraveling of the Soviet bloc; the other one, military, was against a major regional power, Iraq. A large number of countries--some of them regional powers with huge conventional forces and the ambitions to employ them(26)--conducted studies of the Gulf War.(27) Many have come to bleak conclusions about their ability to transform their large and unwieldy conventional forces into high-technology forces that would be able to exploit at least some areas of the RMA. The reasons are numerous and clear and I only briefly mention them.

First, many countries in the rest of the world have been importers of weapons and not producers. They simply do not have the scientific and technological base to produce major weapons, let alone high-technology weapons. Nor do they have an advanced civilian high-technology industrial infrastructure that can produce the new information technologies that are contributing to the RMA. Moreover, most simply do not have the financial resources and the personnel to build up these kinds of infrastructures. For example, very few regional powers will be able to replicate Iraq's creation of a massive conventional and weapons of mass destruction (WMD) defense industrial base, which Iraq built between 1975 and 1990. Still, even Iraq, with the resources and the grim determination of its rulers had a conventional defense base that was appallingly backward and characterized by many false starts. Moreover, it was a poor second in terms of the financial and human resources devoted to it. Iraq's pride of place went to its WMD programs, which were its ultimate response to the conventional superiority of regional and extra-regional threats. The fact that the Gulf War has halted Iraq's WMD ambitions--at least for now--does not detract from this key aspect of Iraq's strategic culture.(28) On the other hand, some non-Western countries, such as India, are significant arms producers. Indeed, India has one of the largest defense industrial infrastructures in the world, yet it has been plagued by chronic problems in developing ordinary weapons platforms. The fact that the Indian Armed Forces does not think highly of their own defense industrial base and is reluctant to deploy them, is symbolic of these problems.

Second, more often than not, military powers in the rest of the world have shown a marked inability to wage conventional war effectively Their wars bring to mind Eliot Cohen's discussion of distant battles in the so-called Third World which were characterized by the domination of land warfare and a systematic inability to use the other branches of the military, namely air and naval power, effectively.(29) There are several reasons why this is so. Some countries had well-developed ground forces but embryonic air and naval forces when they gained independence from colonial powers in the 1950s. Others did develop large air and naval forces (i.e. Latin American and Arab countries) but there never arose a culture of interservice cooperation or coordination. Often jealous of one another and fighting for a bigger share of the defense budget, the services in many countries exist as autonomous fiefdoms headed by service chiefs more interested in playing national politics or defending their turf than in working with the other services. A classic example of such a situation was to be found with Argentina, where interservice rivalry resulted in a lack of cooperation and coordination among its armed forces during the Falklands War with the United Kingdom. The air force bore the brunt of the fighting responsibility while the navy and the army essentially fought different wars.(30)

In other countries, political rulers have specifically discouraged cooperation among the individual services because they have often cooperated to get rid of the civilian rulers. These disadvantages have profound implications for the rest of the world's ability to exploit the RMA, because one of the key characteristics of the current RMA is jointness, that is, the ability of all the services (land, air and sea) to fight effectively together, creating an effect that is greater than the sum of its parts. Very few countries in the rest of the world will achieve this kind of jointness, because it requires organizational flexibility and a decentralized system of command and control.

Of course, there is the fact that most of these countries in the rest of the world will remain unconcerned by the warfighting implications of the RMA as it pertains to their immediate security, given that their neighbors are just as unlikely to take advantage of it. However, there are those countries that are thoroughly disconcerted by the RMA, particularly those that feel they might become targets of U.S. power projection. Unfortunately for these nations, it seems that the military technological gap between "the West and the rest" has become a yawning chasm. Hilaire Belloc's ditty could be re-written to say: "Whatever happens, thank God we have got the RMA and they have not." Many of these countries have sought an asymmetrical response to the widening gap between their conventional capabilities and those of the United States. This asymmetrical response lies in the acquisition of weapons of mass destruction--chemical, biological and nuclear. Such countries realize that they cannot compete in the arena of high-technology conventional warfare, so they require other means with which to deter U.S. intervention in a regional conflict and make U.S. involvement as costly as possible.

(1) Andrew Krepinevich, "Cavalry to Computer: The Pattern of Military Revolutions," The National Interest, (Fall 1994) p. 30.

(2) Clifford Rogers, ed., The Military Revolution Debate: Readings on the Military Transformation of Early Modern Europe (Boulder: Westview Press, 1995) pp. 13-36.

(3) See Eliot Cohen, "A Revolution in Warfare," Foreign Affairs, 75, no. 2 (March-April 1996) p. 39.

(4) Marshal Nikolai Ogarkov, "The defense of Socialism: experience of history and the present day," Krasnaya Zvezda (9 May 1984) cited in Philip Petersen, "The Modernization of Soviet Armed Forces," NATO's 16 Nations, 31, no. 4 (July 1984) p. 34.

(5) US Department of Defense, Conduct of the Persian Gulf War, Final Report to Congress, (Washington, DC: USGPO, April 1992) p. 164.

(6) For an excellent discussion of the key characteristics of the RMA--technology, doctrine and organizational adaptation--see James Fitzsimonds and Jan Van Toll, "The Revolution in Military Affairs," Joint Force Quarterly (Spring 1994) pp. 24-31.

(7) Carl Conetta and Charles Knight, "U.S. Defense Posture in a Global Context: a Framework for Evaluating the Quadrennial Defense Review," Background on the QDR, (May 1997) p. 2.

(8) Defence in the 21st Century," The Economist, (5 September 1992) p. 12.

(9) Interestingly, several years before, a colleague of Ogarkov's, Marshal A.A. Grechko, implied that dramatic changes in conventional forces would enable forces to accomplish missions "without resorting to nuclear weapons." See The Armed Forces of the Soviet Union (Moscow: Progress Publishers, 1977) p. 153.

(10) Michael Inacker, "Computers Revolutionize Warfare," Hamburg Welt am Sonntag, (5 October 1997) p. 6.

(11) For an excellent analysis of emerging powers, see Thomas Barnett, "The Transatlantic Community and Emerging Powers," unpublished (October 1997).

(12) The Iraqi armed forces were 70 to 80 percent Soviet-equipped, but contrary to popular belief the Iraqis did not follow Soviet doctrine. Their operational concepts were an eclectic mix of Iraqi experience and adaptation of old British and of Soviet operational concepts.

(13) Sergei Rogov, Military Reform and the Defense of the Russian Federation (Center for Naval Analysis, CIM, no. 527, August 1997) pp. 9-15.

(14) For more details see Charles Dick, "A Bear Without Claws: The Russian Army in the 1990s," The Journal of Slavic Military Studies, 10, no. 1 (March 1997), pp. 1-10.

(15) On both Soviet and Russian views of the RMA see the following English language studies: Jacob Kipp, The Russian Military and the Revolution in Military Affairs: A Case of the Oracle of Delphi or Cassandra? (Fort Leavenworth, Kansas: U.S. Army Foreign Military Studies Office, June 1995); Jacob Kipp, "Confronting the RMA in Russia," Military Review (May-June 1997) pp. 49-55; Mary Fitzgerald, "The Soviet Military and the new air war in the Persian Gulf," Airpower Journal (Winter 1991) pp. 64-78; Charles Petersen, "Lessons of the Persian Gulf War: The View from Moscow," Journal of Strategic Studies, 17, no.3 (September 1994) pp. 238-254.

(16) For an extensive and excellent account of Hans von Seeckt's reforms, see James Corum, The Roots of Blitzkrieg: Hans von Seeckt and German Military Reform (Lawrence, Kansas: University Press, 1992) especially pp. 1-67.

(17) It should be noted from the outset that the Germans never used the term blitzkrieg. The writings of General Hans Guderian are probably the best introduction to the revolutionary innovations undertaken by the Wehrmacht.

(18) Paul Mann, "Economic Morass Foils Military Progress," Aviation Week and Space Technology (26 May 1997) pp. 64-73.

(19) See ITAR-TASS, 22 May 1996 on Russia's decision to focus on nuclear deterrence.

(20) Michael Pillsbury. More is available in Foreign Broadcasting Information Service, China.

(21) The PLA initially did well in the Korean War but it ultimately succumbed to the devastating firepower of the United Nations and especially American forces. After that war, some senior PLA officers sought to restructure the PLA. This did not happen. The PLA won the Sino-Indian War of 1962 mostly because of Indian unpreparedness and arrogance and because of thorough prior intelligence preparation on the part of the Chinese; not because the PLA had learned any lasting lessons about modern conventional war. The Sino-Vietnamese War of 1979 exposed the weaknesses of the PLA even further.

(22) "The future of warfare," The Economist (8 March 1997) p. 24.

(23) I prefer to use the term `rest of the world' rather than the obsolete, widely misleading, and, to many, highly insulting term, `Third World.' With the collapse of the Soviet bloc, the term became obsolete; and given the tremendous disparities in resources and development between countries outside of the West, Russia and China, it would not be accurate to refer to all of them as the Third World with its connotation of misery, poverty and underdevelopment. I do admit that my term is not very accurate either; I merely wish to convey the vast disparities in military power only and particularly as it relates to the RMA.

(24) Barry Buzan, An Introduction to Strategic Studies: Military Technology and International Relations (London: Macmillan Books, 1987) p. 37.

(25) For an extensive study on Japan and the RMA, see Arthur Alexander, Japan in a Military-Technical Revolution, Japan Economic Institute Report (13 January 1995).

(26) These are the countries that the United States calls "rogue states."

(27) Some of the lessons learned by these countries are available in Patrick Garrity, Does the Gulf War (Still) Matter? Foreign Perspectives on the War and the Future of International Security, Center for National Security Studies (Los Alamos National Laboratory, March 1993).

(28) For more details, see Ahmed Hashim, "Iraqi Grand Strategy, 1968-1997," unpublished paper in progress.

(29) Eliot Cohen, "Distant Battles: War in the Third World," International Security, 16, no. 4 (Spring, 1986) pp. 143-171.

(30) Robert Scheina, "Argentine Jointness and the Malvinas," Joint Force Quarterly, (Summer 1994) pp. 95-101.

Ahmed S. Hashim, The views of the author expressed in this article are not those of Center for Naval Analyses, the Department of the Navy or the Department of Defense.

Ahmed S. Hashim is currently a Washington, DC-based defense analyst at the Center for Naval Analyses (CNA), specializing in the military capacities and the defense policies of the Middle East, South Asia and Asia-Pacific regions. Dr. Hashim previously worked for the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) as an expert on Third World military issues and Middle Eastern affairs. Before this he was a research associate at the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London, specializing in Middle Eastern security issues. Of his many published works, Dr. Hashim is best known for The Crisis of the Iranian State: Security and Reform in the Islamic Republic of Iran after Khomeni (Adelphi Paper, January 1995). Dr. Hashim holds a Ph.D. and M.Sc from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a B.A. from the University of Warwick, Great Britain. In addition to English, he speaks French, German, Arabic and Persian.

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