The War in 2020

(Critical Survey of Contemporary Fiction)

The world of 2020 as outlined by Ralph Peters is not a pleasant place. A terrible new plague decimates most of the globe. Moreover, the balance of power shifts from the Atlantic Community to a newly militaristic and expansionist Nippon. The United States is militarily vanquished by superior Japanese technology in southern Africa, racked by riots in its cities, and threatened by disorder on its borders. With the initiative firmly in their hands, the Japanese embark on a new venture—the dismemberment of the Soviet Union.

The Japanese forge an alliance with Iran and indigenous Islamic fundamentalists within the Soviet Union to carve out a new sphere of influence in Northwest Asia. Faced with certain defeat, the Soviet government requests aid and assistance from its old opponent. Eager to recover its position in the world in the wake of the African debacle, the U.S. government is quick to send its most modern formation into battle.

The newly reorganized Seventh Cavalry is equipped with the latest in American technology—the M-100. The M-100 is a sophisticated helicopter gunship built around a powerful and thoroughly revolutionary weapon. Confident the Japanese have nothing to match the M-100, the men of the Seventh Cavalry are eager to revenge themselves on the Japanese and their Islamic allies.

Some pundits insist that the passing of the Cold War will allow the return of the “great game” between nation states. They also maintain that trading blocks will replace alliances in this new epoch—with commerce becoming warfare by other means. Therefore, books based on Japanese plots to conquer the world find a ready audience in some quarters. Indeed, it is probable that this particular theme will become a staple of the genre.