I am a big fan of THE FOREVER WAR, but this "prequel" is highly disappointing, especially if you were expecting much more (like me) based on your love of WAR. Like another reviewer stated, the first third of the book is what makes the novel OK overall: The planet is essentially locked in a First vs. Third World conflict, as technology has made the former's society a "universal welfare state" due to "nanoforges," which can essentially make anything. Want in the First World has been expunged. However, the Third World has no (or little) access to the nanoforges, and has launched a global guerrilla war as a result (or so it seemed to me). However, it's pretty obvious that Haldeman wants to place blame on the North (First World) as unwilling to share its monopoly on the nanotech, and demonstrates this not-so subtlely throughout the first third of the book. (It was interesting to read his knowledge of Costa Rica as that's my second home.) Implications that the North planned nuclear destruction of its own city and other conspiracies are numerous. Maybe Haldeman's Vietnam experience is responsible for this, and is understandable.
I was disappointed by what seemed Haldeman's favorable position towards the ultimate "peace." Forcible brain-washing? Come ON! It says something that I found myself agreeing w/the contemptible Ingram in that the "humanizing" procedure "takes away our humanity!" As another reviewer said, it's incredible that the biggest dissenters to the "humanizing" would be some fringe rightist religious cult. No way, man. I'd be right in there protesting too.
I thought the side premise of the Jupiter Project was intriguing; I actually found myself wishing more would be elaborated on that. Oh well.