Book Review: Stephan Frühling. 2014. Defense Planning and Uncertainty: Preparing for the Next Asia-Pacific War

Date01 April 2015
Published date01 April 2015
Subject MatterBook Reviews
00_AIA2_1_i-vi.indd Book Reviews
Yet despite the breadth of its analysis, Cold Peace is best described as compre-
hensive but not complete exploration on the issues behind the Sino-Indian rivalry
owing to the presence of several surprising gaps in Smith’s analysis. One notable
topic absent in the discussion on the Sino-Indian relationship dynamics is the two
countries’ engagement with the variety of international organizations that they are
both involved with from the Shanghai Cooperation Organization to the BRICS
Group to the G20. Another was the lack of a systematic exploration on the coun-
tries where the two growing powers are competing for influence, namely
Southeast Asia. The analysis of the economic aspects of the two countries’ rivalry
is also relatively stunted in comparison to the political aspects. Smith acknow-
ledges this as a failing in his book by declaring that his focus was primary geo-
political and thus ‘a comprehensive look at the economic relationship not only
falls outside of the limited focus of this work but is a task better handled by
a trained economist’ (pp. 207–208). As such, any reader hoping for a nuanced
analysis of the Sino-Indian rivalry will therefore likely be disappointed.
Nonetheless, Smith has produced an accessible and encompassing study of
contemporary Sino-Indian relations that would provide the perfect introduction
for anybody new to this topic or a useful update on the contemporary state of
affairs for already initiated.
Stephen Peter Westcott
School of Management & Governance
Murdoch University, Australia
Stephan Frühling. 2014. Defense Planning and Uncertainty: Preparing
for the Next Asia-Pacific War.
New York: Routledge. 239 pp. ISBN:

DOI: 10.1177/2347797014565303
Preparing for war is a near impossible mission that defence planners are required
to accomplish. Despite the numerous frameworks and methodologies that can be
used for defence planning, preparing for future...

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