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May 17, 1979 - Image 8

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1979-05-17

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Page 8-Thursday, May 17, 1979-The Michigan Daily
Book predicts abortive
THE THIRD WORLD WAR: Europe, even though both the Warsaw a target, because of its sentimen
AUGUST, 1985, by General Sir John Pact countries and NATO have nuclear value to U.S. citizens). However, So
Hackett and other top-ranking NATO and thermonuclear weapons deployed planners seem to be the only group t
generals and advisors. McMillan and ready to fire. A European war is believes USA-Great Britain will ba
Publishing Company, New York. 368 much more foolhardy than a Middle down from mega-death and agree
pp. $12.95. East, African, or Southeast Asian war. negotiate to meet Soviet demands.
* * * * In addition, a war in the northern stead, two submerged nuclear s
By JOCK HENDERSON hemisphere would threaten the in- marines, firing two missiles each,
Sir John Hackett's World War III dustrial power base of the Soviet bloc nihilate Minsk in the USSR, "if only
lasts from Aug. 4 to Aug. 22, 1985. The and the Western allies, which avoid a catastrophic decline in milita
book's prologue is dated Easter, 1987, dominates the world's ecomony (in- and civilian morale."
so it reads as if its author is describing cluding its arms dealers). Yet Sir John Inside the Kremlin, the nuclear co
events by hindsight. The war begins in portrays the Soviet invasion as having terattack triggers an overthrow oft
West Germany, with a Soviet invasion the political aim of subjugating West thermonuclear suicide faction, w
by conventional forces. It ends after an Germany, the security aim of removing favors all out reprisal against the wo
exchange of five thermonuclear NATO's military threat to the USSR, for not acceding to Soviet deman
missiles. and the propaganda aim of humiliating Finally, the entire USSR disintegra
In the first breach of the nuclear the USA. into its component republics, andt
threshold, the Soviets unleash a single An examination of counterstrategies Warsaw Pact countries are liberat
land-based SS-17 ICBM that destroys available to the United States would from the "bad dream" of Marxi
Birmingham, England. Almost im- reveal Soviet vulnerability in many Leninism, "the myth born in I
mediately afterward, the USA-Great areas; e.g., the USA could sell advan- Bolshevik Revoltion of 1917 ... .
Britain team retaliates with four sub- ced weapons to the 800,000,000 Chinese myth of the emergence of tr
marine-launched missiles, destroying immediately. It could eliminate the democracy from a proletariane
Minsk in the USSR. At that point, on the Soviet security and communications
brink of total termonuclear holocaust, monitoring base in Cuba almost over-
the war ends with a virtual deus ex night. It could convert to a full military
machina. Miracle of miracles, there is a production economy and urge Japan to
coup d'etat in the Kremlin, and the militarize. Above all, the crisis created
USSR collapses. by a European war would signal to the\


ASIDE FROM the book's wlwgance,
its expertise, and its excellent concep-
tual network-and I do recommend it
for these reasons alone-its great
illogic resides in he incredibility im-
probable behavior of the USSR, first in
starting the war, and second, in losing
it. First, Hackett's reader must accept
Soviet willingness to invade Western
Reduced Rates
For Billiards
Every day
to 6 p.m.
at the UNION

world that neither the United States nor
the Soviet Union were capable of
preventing the death of the human
species by thermonuclear war.
IT IS NOT only Soviet aggression
which may strike the reader as im-
plausible. After Hackett's war in Ger-
many has begun, the combat scenario
develops with a successful transatlan-
tic reinforcement convoy from the
United States to the British Isles.
Rejecting nuclear options, the U.S. Air
Cavalry (the good guys!) and other
NATO forces succeed in preventing the
fall of West Germany with conventional
weapons. Once thwarted in their macho
designs, Hackett's Soviets become
inane and/or insane once again. In
Moscow, behind a turmoil of secrecy,
the aggressive nuclear faction arrests
the decision-making process at gun-
point, in order to force the launch of a
single SS-17 upon Birmingham,
England. Its members reject London as

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plosion, when what had really taken
place was the murderous overthrow of
a democratically elected government
by a fanatical authoritarian minority."
All irony aside, no serious military
strategist-General Sir John Hackett
and his colleagues included-would
believe for one moment that the power
of the USSR or any other nation derives
from Marxist-Leninism, or that its
judgement in the use of that power
would stem from its ideology. What,
then, does General Sir John Hackett
expect us to understand by his por-
trayal of the USSR?
IN ORDER to develop a possible
answer, let's posit the existence of in-
terpenetrating wargame computers
based in the USA and the USSR, which
play out simulated battlefield scenarios
in parallel exercises in every sector of
the globe. All armed forces on both
sides act upon orders from two gigantic
aerospace command systems which
operate from second to second, around
the clock, one centrally based inside the
Soviet Union, the other inside the
United States. Let's designate this
system "the worldwide military chain
of command." All armed forces of the
advanced industrial world are hooked
into it. This aerospace surveillance and
communications monitoring system
reduces the probability of any
European war breaking out to virtually
AA Theater
The marquee in front of the Fifth
Forum on Fifth Ave. is dark now, but
soon the theater will reopen under new
management and a new name.
The Goodrich Theater Co. of Grand
Rapids is buying the Forum and
changing its name to The Ann Arbor
Theater. The theater will open June 8
with the Ingmar Bergman film Autumn
Sonata, which won actress Ingrid
Bergman an Oscar nomination.
Prior to the June opening, Goodrich
plans renovation of the heating and air
conditioning, the seats, and the projec-
tion equipment. In a year or so, the new
managment will convert the theater
into two:.' ..'. , *. * - $''

Certainly, Hackett knows that the
science of pacification is virtually com-
plete. His book-and his portrayal of
the Soviet Union-can be conceived asa
product of this worldwide military
chain of command, perhaps as a
simulated scenario tailored to an actual
Warsaw Pact-NATIO contingency plan.
Hackett's prediction of the USSR's ac-
tions is much more a hypothetical
"worst case" devised by NATO than an
offensive option likely to be pursued by
the Soviet Union. By adopting a hair-
raising vision of the Soviet military
beast, Sir John convinces the reader
that NATO should not be permitted to
drift and sink into obsolescence.
In a future ending, Hackett suggests
thit wartime events have created a
new role for mankind in a world "more
and more dominated by electronic
technology . . . we cannot begin to
guess how our lives, and ever more our
children'd lives, will be influenced by
the possibilities which these swiftly
developing techniques are now opening
up. An unfamiliar, perhaps uncomfor-
table world awaits us, very stange and
new. We can only be thankful to have
survived, and wait and see." Though
one would never know it from Hackett's
book, the essential characteristics of
this world are already with us. May the
worldwide military chain of command
prove capable of meeting its civil
responsibility to the population of the
entire planet.
In yesterday's review of Richard
Pryor in Concert, film critic Owen
Gleiberman used a racial term which
some readers may have found offen-
sive. The word certainly should have
appeared in quotes, if at all, and the
Daily apologizes to any reader the word
might have vexed.
Arts Editor
Assistant dean appointed
Allan Stillwagon, who has been
assistant to the director of the Honors
Program at the University's College of
Literature, Science, and the Arts since
1972, has been appointed assistant dean
and admissions officer at the Univer-
sity Law School.
The appointment was approved by
the Regents at their April 19-20
"At the Law School, Mr. Stillwagon
will be responsible for all aspects of the
admissions operation," said University
law Dean Terrance Sanadalow.
"With the guidance of a faculty
committee he will select the incoming
classes; he will supervise research into
our admissions practices and will
generally supervise the operations of
the admissions office. In addition, he
will have contact with admissions
counsellors on other campuses and visit
those campuses in order to represent
the Law School."
Stillwagon graduated with honors
from the University in 1959. After
receiving an M.A. with honors from
Columbia University in 1961, he atten-
ded Michigan Law School in 1963-65 and
has been a Ph.D. candidate in the U-M's
Rackham Graduate School.
Stillwagon succeeds Roger Martin-
dale who served as assistant dean and
admissions officer since 1975. Martin-
dale, a lawyer, recently accepted the
past of assistant counsel at a life in-
surance company in Denver, Colo.

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