An excellent book that delves deep into the frustrating realities of war. Being able to break from "the real world" in order to explore them is almost liberating, since it is free to explore its ideas relatively unbridled by current ideological associations - yet still manages to convey them perfectly and relevantly
to our present conditions and experience. It's clearly an SF world, but it's "hard SF" in the sense that it obeys its own internal rules quite strictly - showing how, in war and battle, there is no enjoyment, no nobility, and ESPECIALLY no "shortcuts". The characterization may be slightly bland, and making it slightly more "ruthless" could have helped, but it still deserves to be read and cherished - not for its details, but for its overall atmosphere and the experience one gets from reading it. Again: there are no "shortcuts" in war; it is between you and the laws of the world, a confusing denial of human interlinkedness and intersubjectivity for which Haldeman's "fighting suit" may, in fact, be the perfect metaphor. A perfect antidote to stories of martial edification - and, crucially, delivered in a form that's far from depressing and alienating, but rather exciting and engaging (even if the actual details don't last for long in one's head after the reading is finished).