Anyone read a book about Korea, the Baltic States, and Saladin?
December 12, 2011 10:16 AM   Subscribe

I'm trying to find out the title and author of a near-future geopolitical thriller written sometime back in the 90's.

According to the friend on whose behalf I'm looking into this, the title was/included a numerical date (the title may have been 2010, for example, or The World Goes Nuts: 2009).

The plot involves, among other things, North Korea going to war with South Korea, a revitalized Russia invading Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania and running up against NATO, and a charismatic terrorist nicknamed "Saladin" pulling together the Middle East against the West and firing off an EMP burst/nuclear weapon over Israel to muck up their military systems in the run-up to an invasion.

The book is written from the perspective of multiple characters, with a great deal of "zoom out" style exposition when things heat up ("Meanwhile, the Russian general staff were thinking this...."). My friend suggested that at places it sounds almost like a documentary feature written in the aftermath of the book's events, somewhat like World War Z.

Both our attempts to trawl Google Books and local library catalogues have failed miserably thus far, so I figured I'd see if any of this jingles some memories here.
posted by AdamCSnider to Media & Arts (6 answers total)
I think I have read this book, too. If it is the same one I am thinking of there is a great deal in it about a new, high-tech version of (I think) the M1 Abrams tank that ends up turning the war in the US's favor. I also remember the tone was pretty much "America! Fuck Yeah!" throughout. I'm going to say the title was something like War: 2010, but I've had no luck in my cursory Google Books search either.

I'm going to say I took it out of the library when I lived on Cape Cod, so maybe you want to dig around in CLAMS?
posted by Rock Steady at 10:36 AM on December 12, 2011

I think I found it!

The War in 2020
Peters's latest futuristic war novel (after Red Army, LJ 4/1/89) eerily has some of the same circumstances and certainly some similar "characters" as the war in the Persian Gulf, even though it is fiction. The war in this novel is being fought by an Islamic-Japanese axis, which has attacked a post-Gorbachev Soviet Union weakened by a devastating civil war. Enter the Americans on the side of the Soviets; enter, too, the larger-than-life heroic figure of Colonel George Taylor, who commands a computerized aerial strike force called the U.S. 7th Cavalry. It should be noted that by 2020 the "final" Mideast War has been fought and surviving Israelis have been resettled in "homelands located in the least promising area of the Far West." Peters, an Army intelligence officer, writes believably of high-tech warfare, but the fighters are real people.
posted by Rock Steady at 10:40 AM on December 12, 2011

If it involved Korea, it's not The War in 2020 and Rock Steady is right about Israel in that novel - they're all gone with the wind before the story begins. I think I have that one memorized, I used to love reading me some Ralph Peters back in the day.
posted by codswallop at 10:05 PM on December 12, 2011

Seconding War In 2020.
posted by schoolgirl report at 4:41 AM on December 13, 2011

it's not The War in 2020

Doesn't The War in 2020 have the character of Saladin who unites the Middle East in it? I think he gets the Arab countries to merge into the United Islamic Republic or something? Perhaps I'm conflating two or more books, but I don't read much military fiction, so I thought for sure that was it.
posted by Rock Steady at 5:42 AM on December 13, 2011

Response by poster: Definitely not The War in 2020, according to my friend. At this point I'm inclined to think that he read this book and a couple of others and they all got mixed up in his head. It's been known to happen to me. Thanks all for the suggestions!
posted by AdamCSnider at 10:04 AM on January 11, 2012

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