NATO is an alliance transformed. Originally created to confront Soviet aggression, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization evolved in the 1990s as a military alliance with a broader agenda. Whether conducting combat operations in the Balkans or defending Turkey from an Iraqi threat in 2003, NATO continues to face new security challenges on several fronts.
Although a number of studies have addressed NATO’s historic evolution, conceptual changes, and military activities, none has considered the role in this transformation of the secretary general, who is most often seen as a minor player operating under severe political constraints. In Diplomacy and War at NATO, Ryan C. Hendrickson examines the first four post–Cold War secretaries general and establishes their roles in moving the alliance toward military action. Drawing on interviews with former NATO ambassadors, alliance military leaders, and senior NATO officials, Hendrickson shows that these leaders played critical roles when military force was used and were often instrumental in promoting transatlantic consensus.
Hendrickson offers a focus on actual diplomacy within NATO unmatched by any other study, providing previously unreported accounts of closed sessions of the North Atlantic Council to show how these four leaders differed in their impacts on the alliance but were all critical players in explaining how and when NATO used force. He examines Manfred Wörner’s role in moving the alliance toward military action in the Balkans; Willy Claes’s influence in shaping alliance policies regarding NATO’s 1995 bombing campaign on the Bosnian Serbs; Javier Solana’s part in shaping political and military agendas in the Yugoslavian war; and George Robertson’s efforts to promote consensus on the Iraqi issue, which culminated in NATO’s decision to provide Turkey with military defensive measures. Through each case, Hendrickson demonstrates that the secretary general is often the central diplomat in generating cooperation within NATO.
As the alliance has expanded its membership and undertaken new peacekeeping missions, it now confronts new threats in international security. Diplomacy and War at NATO offers readers a more complete understanding of the alliance’s post–Cold War transformation as well as policy recommendations for the improvement of transatlantic tensions.
An exploration of the nuclear arms race and the dangers arising with the advent of “limited warfare”
After the development of the atomic bomb in 1945, Americans became engaged in a "new kind of war" against totalitarianism. Enemies and objectives slipped out of focus, causing political and military aims to mesh as a struggle to contain communism both at home and abroad encompassed civilians as well as soldiers. In matters relating to Vietnam, Central America, and the nuclear arms race, the domestic and foreign dimensions of each issue became inseparable. Policymakers in Washington had to formulate strategies dictated by "limited war" in their search for peace.
Contributors to this volume demonstrate the multifaceted nature of modern warfare. Robert H. Ferrell establishes the importance of studying military history in understanding the post-World War II era. On Vietnam, Colonel Harry G. Summers, Jr., gives an intriguing argument regarding the U. S. Army; George C. Herring examines how America's decisions in 1954 assured deepened involvement; and Captain Mark Clodfelter uncovers new evidence concerning "Linebacker I." On the home front, Robert F. Burk analyzes the impact of the Cold War on the battle for racial justice; Charles DeBenedetti puts forth a challenging interpretation of the antiwar movement; and James C. Schneider provides perspective on the relationship between the Vietnam War and the Great Society. On Central America, two writers downplay communism in explaining the region's troubles. Ralph Lee Woodward, Jr., fits the Nicaraguan revolution in the long span of history, and Thomas M. Leonard shows how the Reagan administration forced Costa Rica to side with the United States's anti-Sandinista policy. Finally, on nuclear strategy, Donald M. Snow offers a thought-provoking assessment of the "star wars" program, and Daniel S. Papp recommends measures to promote understanding among the superpowers.
These essays demonstrate that the making of foreign policy is immensely complicated, not subject to easy solution or to simple explanation. Despite these complexities, the central objective of policymakers remained clear: to safeguard what was perceived as the national interest.
In the history of international relations, few events command as much attention as revolution and war. Over the centuries, revolutionary transformations have produced some of the most ruinous and bloody wars. Nevertheless, the breakdown of peace in time of revolution is poorly understood. Patrick Conge offers a groundbreaking study of the relationship between war and revolution.
How can we best understand the effect of revolutionary transformations on the politics of war and peace? Conge argues that it is only by bringing in, first, the organizational capacity of revolutionary regimes to extract resources and convert them into military strength and, second, the power of transformative ideas to transcend national boundaries and undermine the ability of opposing regimes to compromise that we are best able to understand the effect of revolution on the origins and persistence of war. By incorporating such key elements, this book provides a new, more comprehensive explanation of the relationship between revolution, war, and peace.
Conditions that lead to and sustain wars in general are identified and placed in the light of revolutionary transformations. Once the argument is presented, historical case studies are used to test its plausibility. Conge demonstrates the importance of the effect of revolutionary organization and ideas on the outcome of conflicts.
Political scientists, historians, sociologists, and the general reader interested in the politics of war and peace in revolutionary times are given new perspectives on the relationship between revolution and war as well as on the implications of political organization for military power and the process of consolidation of new regimes.
Patrick J. Conge is Assistant Professor of Political Science, University of Arkansas.
In a study that extends well beyond military history, David B. Ralston documents the ways in which five different countries—Russia, the Ottoman Empire, Egypt, China, and Japan—refashioned their armed forces along European lines during the three centuries after 1600. The appropriation of Western military institutions in countries outside of Europe was, Ralston argues, the major force driving these countries to adopt European administrative, economic, and cultural modes.
Following the same format in his discussion of each country, Ralston makes this central theme in world history easily accessible to students while offering scholars a sophisticated understanding of the exact nature of the changes brought about by Europeanizing military reforms.
David B. Ralston, associate professor of history at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, is the author of The Army of the Republic.
The Nuremberg Fallacy
Eugene Davidson University of Missouri Press, 1998 Library of Congress D842.2.D38 1998 | Dewey Decimal 355.009045
Available for the first time in paperback, The Nuremberg Fallacy examines the inherent shortcomings of the Nuremberg "rules of war" and the War Crimes Tribunal's impossible expectations. In 1946, the Tribunal declared all aggressive war, war crimes, and crimes against humanity illegal. Yet the period since World War II has witnessed an unprecedented number of armed conflicts. In light of recent crises, including those in Rwanda, Bosnia and Serbia, and the Middle East, it is clear that the issues explored in The Nuremberg Fallacy are as relevant today as they were at the time of the book's first publication a quarter century ago.
In this volume, Eugene Davidson continues his investigations begun in The Trial of the Germans (University of Missouri Press), which studied the Nuremberg trials themselves, by focusing on five major conflicts since the end of World War II: the Suez crisis of 1956; Algeria's war of independence; Israel's recurring (and ongoing) battles with its Arab neighbors, complicated and worsened by intervention of the superpowers; the wars in Southeast Asia; and the Soviet Union's suppression of Czechoslovakia and other border states of Eastern Europe.
By exploring the roots and ramifications of these five conflicts, Davidson is able to chart the crosscurrents between large and small states, between individual nations and the United Nations, between the rules of Nuremberg and the significantly older rules of self- interest. The result is a thoughtful and thought-provoking study of the dynamics of war and peace in the post-Nuremberg world.
The rules of war proclaimed at Nuremberg—observing the flag of truce, prohibiting attacks on surrendered enemies, treating prisoners of war and civilian populations humanely—have become virtually irrelevant in modern guerrilla warfare. If anything, Davidson suggests, conditions have actually become worse than they were before the Nuremberg War Crimes Tribunal.
The continuing importance and relevance of The Nuremberg Fallacy is best summarized in the final sentences of Davidson's text: "The survival of a nation cannot be successfully entrusted to simplistic formulae or to principles that reflect unworkable doctrines. No computers have been programmed for the wisdom that remains essential for survival. People still have to provide that from their own inner and outer resources, no matter how far the weapons may seem to have outdistanced them."
OVERCONFIDENCE AND WAR
Dominic D. P. Johnson Harvard University Press, 2004 Library of Congress U22.3.J64 2004 | Dewey Decimal 355.027
Opponents rarely go to war without thinking they can win--and clearly, one side must be wrong. This conundrum lies at the heart of the so-called "war puzzle": rational states should agree on their differences in power and thus not fight. But as Dominic Johnson argues in Overconfidence and War, states are no more rational than people, who are susceptible to exaggerated ideas of their own virtue, of their ability to control events, and of the future. By looking at this bias--called "positive illusions"--as it figures in evolutionary biology, psychology, and the politics of international conflict, this book offers compelling insights into why states wage war.
Johnson traces the effects of positive illusions on four turning points in twentieth-century history: two that erupted into war (World War I and Vietnam); and two that did not (the Munich crisis and the Cuban missile crisis). Examining the two wars, he shows how positive illusions have filtered into politics, causing leaders to overestimate themselves and underestimate their adversaries--and to resort to violence to settle a conflict against unreasonable odds. In the Munich and Cuban missile crises, he shows how lessening positive illusions may allow leaders to pursue peaceful solutions.
The human tendency toward overconfidence may have been favored by natural selection throughout our evolutionary history because of the advantages it conferred--heightening combat performance or improving one's ability to bluff an opponent. And yet, as this book suggests--and as the recent conflict in Iraq bears out--in the modern world the consequences of this evolutionary legacy are potentially deadly.
With the collapse of the Cold War following the Eastern European revolutions and the ongoing democratization of the Soviet republics, optimism about peace has transformed the international political climate. Incidents such as the Gulf War, however, have tempered this optimism and cast doubts on the prospects for demilitarization. In this book, Martin Shaw examines some of the developments that lie behind the recent momentous changes and argues that, despite the Gulf War and other regional wars, militarism is in decisive retreat.
Writing from a broadly sociological perspective, Shaw examines the roles of war and military institutions in human society and the ways in which preoccupation with war has affected domestic, regional, and international politics in the twentieth century. In doing so, he asks: When does the post-war era end? How have nuclear weapons altered the perception of war by society? What is the relationship between industrialism and militarism?
The author contends that, despite the militarism of some Third World countries, societies in the advanced industrial world (especially in Europe) have been undergoing a profound demilitarization. These societies have become politically insulated from war preparation, have recognized the effect of social movements on inter-state relations, and are experiencing a "revolution of rising expectations."
Offering evidence of "post-military citizenship," Shaw describes the increasing resistance to military conscription throughout the Western world, the replacement of blind obedience with demand for accountability in Eastern bloc countries, and the simultaneous rise of nationalism and communitarianism among common market members. And, in light of the collapse of Stalinist militarism in Europe and the USSR, Shaw suggests some of the changes that face Soviet society.
In this magnificent synthesis of military, technological, and social history, William H. McNeill explores a whole millennium of human upheaval and traces the path by which we have arrived at the frightening dilemmas that now confront us. McNeill moves with equal mastery from the crossbow—banned by the Church in 1139 as too lethal for Christians to use against one another—to the nuclear missile, from the sociological consequences of drill in the seventeenth century to the emergence of the military-industrial complex in the twentieth. His central argument is that a commercial transformation of world society in the eleventh century caused military activity to respond increasingly to market forces as well as to the commands of rulers. Only in our own time, suggests McNeill, are command economies replacing the market control of large-scale human effort. The Pursuit of Power does not solve the problems of the present, but its discoveries, hypotheses, and sheer breadth of learning do offer a perspective on our current fears and, as McNeill hopes, "a ground for wiser action."
“Small Wars is unique in its complexity and breadth. This book would be of great interest to both military and diplomatic historians, and those that teach Recent America.” —Nancy Gentile Ford, author of Issues of War and Peace
Today, conventional fighting waged by massed, industrial armies is nearly extinct as a viable means of warfare, replaced by a broad and diverse array of conflicts that consume the modern American military. Fought in sprawling urban areas of the underdeveloped world or in desolate border regions where ethnicity and tradition reign, these “small wars” involve a vast and intricate network of operations dedicated to attacking the cultural, political, financial, and military layers that surround America’s new enemies. In this intriguing study, Michael Gambone explores America’s approach to small wars since Vietnam, providing a fascinating analysis of the basic goals, missions, conduct, and consequences of modern American conflict.
Going beyond a simple comparison of Vietnam to the current wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, Gambone thoroughly tracks the continuous evolution of U.S. intervention between these events, revealing a dramatic shift in the role of the American military to covert operations that require fluidity, creativity, and ingenuity. He examines in detail the many different forms of military intervention that America has taken in the last forty years, including actions in Central America in the 1980s, the first Gulf War, airstrikes in Kosovo in the 1990s, and the war on terror, as well as the Iran-Contra affair, the drug war in Columbia, and the role of private military contractors such as Blackwater. After the Cold War, Gambone shows, American military missions served a wide variety of tasks—peacekeeping, humanitarian assistance, counterterrorism—that significantly departed from conventional missions, a trend that continued and expanded after 9/11.
By exploring the history and assessing the effectiveness of the small wars fought since Vietnam, Gambone reveals the importance of these smaller actions in modern military planning and operations and clearly traces the development of American warfare from the massive military machine of World War II into a complex hybrid of traditional and innovative techniques.
MICHAEL GAMBONE, a professor of history at Kutztown University in Pennsylvania, is the author of The Greatest Generation Comes Home: The Veteran in American Society and editor of Documents of American Diplomacy: From the American Revolution to the Present.
Ephraim KAM Harvard University Press, 1988 Library of Congress U163.K27 1988 | Dewey Decimal 355.43
Ephraim Kam observes surprise attack through the eyes of its victim in order to understand the causes of the victim's failure to anticipate the coming of war. Emphasing the psychological aspect of warfare, Kam traces the behavior of the victim at various functional levels and from several points of view in order to examine the difficulties and mistakes that permit a nation to be taken by surprise. He argues that anticipation and prediction of a coming war are more complicated than any other issue of strategic estimation, involving such interdependent factors as analytical contradictions, judgemental biases, organizational obstacles, and political as well as military constraints.
Surprise Attack: The Victim's Perspective offers implications based on the intelligence perspective, providing both historical background and scientific analysis that draws from the author's vast experience. The book is of utmost value to all those engaged in intelligence work, and to those whose operational or political responsibility brings them in touch with intelligence assessments and the need to authenticate and then adopt them or discount them. Similarly, the book will interest any reader intrigued by decision-making processes that influence individuals and nations at war, and sometimes even shape national destiny. --Ehud Barak, Former Prime Minister of Israel
Why do civilians suffer most during times of violent conflict? Why are civilian fatalities as much as eight times higher, calculated globally for current conflicts, than military fatalities? In Why They Die, Daniel Rothbart and Karina V. Korostelina address these questions through a systematic study of civilian devastation in violent conflicts. Pushing aside the simplistic definition of war as a guns-and-blood battle between two militant groups, the authors investigate the identity politics underlying conflicts of many types. During a conflict, all those on the opposite side are perceived as the enemy, with little distinction between soldiers and civilians. As a result, random atrocities and systematic violence against civilian populations become acceptable.
Rothbart and Korostelina devote the first half of the book to case studies: deportation of the Crimean Tatars from the Ukraine, genocide in Rwanda, the Lebanon War, and the war in Iraq. With the second half, they present new methodological tools for understanding different types of violent conflict and discuss the implications of these tools for conflict resolution.