Dr. Alexander entered the U.S. Army as a private in
1956 and rose through the ranks to sergeant first class. He later attended Officer Candidate School and retired as a colonel
of Infantry in 1988. During his varied career, he held many key positions in special operations, intelligence, and research
and development. Academically, he holds an M.A. from Pepperdine University, and a Ph.D. from Walden University. He has also
attended the Anderson School of Management at UCLA, the Sloan School of Management at MIT, and the Kennedy School of Government
general officer program “National and International Security for Senior Executives” at Harvard University.
Earlier in his life, Dr. John B. Alexander worked five years as a deputy sheriff for the Dade County Sheriff’s Department.
He is the author of Winning the War: Advanced Weapons, Strategies, and Concepts for the Post-9/11 World
and a co-author of The Warrior's Edge and Future War: Non-Lethal Weapons in Twenty-First-Century
According to publisher’s weekly, Winning
the War: Advanced Weapons, Strategies, and Concepts for the Post-9/11 World, “A former Vietnam Green Beret
commander and developer of "non-lethal defense" at Los Alamos, retired Army Colonel Alexander argues that too much
emphasis has been placed on developing the mass killing power of modern weapons. He makes a predictable alternative case for
developing a spectrum of nonlethal technologies, not merely unmanned aerial vehicles and sensors able to penetrate solid obstacles,
but face recognizers and brain scanners as well. He advocates synergizing these tools with a new generation of lethal technologies
based on "things small and smart," especially robotic systems that will replace humans in such high-risk missions
as mine clearing and security patrolling. According to Alexander, in future conflicts these high-tech methods will increasingly
be juxtaposed with techniques as old as warfare itself. He cites post-September 11 operations in Afghanistan, where precision-guided
bombs supported cavalry charges, then segues into a series of hypothetical future scenarios ranging from a hostage situation
in Nepal to major conflicts in the Middle East. While Alexander offers one scenario in which an "obliging enemy"
fights a tactically conventional battle and is easily destroyed, he takes pains to demonstrate that America's future wars
are most likely to be asymmetric. In the book's final hundred pages, Alexander recommends eviscerating terrorist funding,
developing media as a strategic weapon and using precision weapons to target terrorists' families, but predicts an increase
in the level and success of terrorist activity to a point where an outraged citizenry calls for massive retaliation with no
clear target in sight; Alexander obliges with a series of even more apocalyptic recommendations for winning "World War
X." Connections to political and social realities may be tenuous-but no one can accuse him of unwillingness to think
outside the box.
According to Publisher’s Weekly, Future
War: Non-Lethal Weapons in Twenty-First-Century Warfare, “In a thoughtful examination of the future of
military doctrine, Alexander takes a hard look at what options might be available to the American military in a world in which
the rules of warfare have changed. Non-lethal weapons, he argues, will become more important for both political and practical
reasons. Americans have grown increasingly aware of and sensitive to all casualties on any side in even the most just wars.
At the same time, the armed forces increasingly are expected to play a constabulary rather than a military role (as in Bosnia
and Haiti). Alexander, a retired U.S. Army colonel who was involved in research on non-lethal weapons at Los Alamos National
Laboratory, discusses the use of non-lethal weapons in a series of well-developed near-future operational scenarios in which
conventional weapons would be counterproductive. One is a peace support operation. Another involves technological sanctions
against a rogue state aimed at disabling its communications systems. A third projects the paralysis, by non-lethal means,
of the military capacities of a hostile government. The fourth postulates hostage situations resolved by non-lethal alternatives.
Alexander covers technologies ranging from low-kinetic weapons to chemical options, acoustic systems and "conventional"
electronic warfare. Such weapons, Alexander demonstrates, are not necessarily humane. They inflict pain; they may permanently
disable; they can severely disrupt entire societies. Their sole merit is that they are not designed to kill. Alexander's case
for non-lethal weapons may be disputed, but it shouldn't be dismissed.”