The United States and its allies have been fighting the Taliban and al-Qaeda in Afghanistan for a decade in a war that either side could still win. While a gradual drawdown has begun, significant numbers of US combat troops will remain in Afghanistan until at least 2014, perhaps longer, depending on the situation on the ground and the outcome of the US presidential election in 2012. Given the realities of the Taliban’s persistence and the desire of US policymakers—and the public—to find a way out, what can and should be the goals of the US and its allies in Afghanistan?
Afghan Endgames brings together some of the finest minds in the fields of history, strategy, anthropology, ethics, and mass communications to provide a clear, balanced, and comprehensive assessment of the alternatives for restoring peace and stability to Afghanistan. Presenting a range of options—from immediate withdrawal of all coalition forces to the maintenance of an open-ended, but greatly reduced military presence—the contributors weigh the many costs, risks, and benefits of each alternative.
This important book boldly pursues several strands of thought suggesting that a strong, legitimate central government is far from likely to emerge in Kabul; that fewer coalition forces, used in creative ways, may have better effects on the ground than a larger, more conventional presence; and that, even though Pakistan should not be pushed too hard, so as to avoid sparking social chaos there, Afghanistan’s other neighbors can and should be encouraged to become more actively involved. The volume’s editors conclude that while there may never be complete peace in Afghanistan, a self-sustaining security system able to restore order swiftly in the wake of violence is attainable.
A balanced, comprehensive, and clear-eyed survey of the alternative strategies that can be pursued with the hope of restoring peace and stability to Afghanistan.
When the United States goes to war, the nation’s attention focuses on the president. As commander in chief, a president reaches the zenith of power, while Congress is supposedly shunted to the sidelines once troops have been deployed abroad. Because of Congress’s repeated failure to exercise its legislative powers to rein in presidents, many have proclaimed its irrelevance in military matters.
After the Rubicon challenges this conventional wisdom by illuminating the diverse ways in which legislators influence the conduct of military affairs. Douglas L. Kriner reveals that even in politically sensitive wartime environments, individual members of Congress frequently propose legislation, hold investigative hearings, and engage in national policy debates in the public sphere. These actions influence the president’s strategic decisions as he weighs the political costs of pursuing his preferred military course.
Marshalling a wealth of quantitative and historical evidence, Kriner expertly demonstrates the full extent to which Congress materially shapes the initiation, scope, and duration of major military actions and sheds new light on the timely issue of interbranch relations.
Compelling narratives are integral to successful foreign policy, military strategy, and international relations. Yet often narrative is conceived so broadly it can be hard to identify. The formation of strategic narratives is informed by the stories governments think their people tell, rather than those they actually tell. This book examines the stories told by a broad cross-section of British society about their country’s past, present, and future role in war, using in-depth interviews with 67 diverse citizens. It brings to the fore the voices of ordinary people in ways typically absent in public opinion research.
Always at War complements a significant body of quantitative research into British attitudes to war, and presents an alternative case in a field dominated by US public opinion research. Rather than perceiving distinct periods between war and peace, British citizens see their nation as so frequently involved in conflict that they consider the country to be continuously at war. At present, public opinion appears to be a stronger constraint on Western defense policy than ever.
Revolutions and aborted revolutions and bitter civil and "local" wars in the 1980s and since have raised new questions about national security, its definition, and its implementation. Nevertheless, a number of basic philosophical and political issues remain constant at a level deeper than tactical considerations. These are what eight accomplished philosophers, political scientists, Christian ethicists, and policymakers came together to discuss. They ask the fundamental and perduring questions of pacifism, war, intervention, and political negotiation. They focus on such problems as ascertaining the role of the churches in the quest for peace, defining "national interest" and "national purpose," and construing intervention in other that strictly unilateral terms.
Anthropology and Global Counterinsurgency
Edited by John D. Kelly, Beatrice Jauregui, Sean T. Mitchell, and Jeremy Walton University of Chicago Press, 2010 Library of Congress GN560.U6A58 2010 | Dewey Decimal 306.270973
Global events of the early twenty-first century have placed new stress on the relationship among anthropology, governance, and war. Facing prolonged insurgency, segments of the U.S. military have taken a new interest in anthropology, prompting intense ethical and scholarly debate. Inspired by these issues, the essays in Anthropology and Global Counterinsurgency consider how anthropologists can, should, and do respond to military overtures, and they articulate anthropological perspectives on global war and power relations.
This book investigates the shifting boundaries between military and civil state violence; perceptions and effects of American power around the globe; the history of counterinsurgency doctrine and practice; and debate over culture, knowledge, and conscience in counterinsurgency. These wide-ranging essays shed new light on the fraught world of Pax Americana and on the ethical and political dilemmas faced by anthropologists and military personnel alike when attempting to understand and intervene in our world.
"A classic..., a brilliant interpretation of the origins of mass warfare. In Arms and Men, Walter Millis has helped to explain not only how war has come to dominate our age, but the often troubled, anomalous relationship between the military and the rest of American society. For everyone, from the beginning student to the advanced scholar, there is not a more comprehensive, more stimulating, or more lively introduction to the men, the ideas, the policies, and the forces that have shaped the development of American military power."
--Richard H. Kohn
"In my opinion Arms and Men is a splendid piece of work, clearly organized, well argued and beautifully written. We have long needed an informed and intelligent commentary on the evolution of American military policy; and in Mr. Millis' book we have it. I think that his book will awaken great interest and be widely used. I am sure also that professional students of the subject will find it possible, after reading this book, to see the course of American military affairs with a new perspective. That is one of the great services performed by Mr. Millis. He has covered the whole subject with authority, but - thank heaven - in a short book, in which the arguments are not blunted by unnecessary detail."
--Gordon A. Craig
"This author knows weapons, politics and human nature. His perceptive grasp of these complexes shines in the writing."
--The New York Times
The Army and Democracy
Aqil Shah Harvard University Press, 2014 Library of Congress UA853.P18S53 2014 | Dewey Decimal 322.5095491
In sharp contrast to neighboring India, the Muslim nation of Pakistan has been ruled by its military for over three decades. The Army and Democracy identifies steps for reforming Pakistan's armed forces and reducing its interference in politics, and sees lessons for fragile democracies striving to bring the military under civilian control.
Army and Nation
Steven I. Wilkinson Harvard University Press, 2015 Library of Congress UA840.W55 2014 | Dewey Decimal 322.50954
Steven I. Wilkinson explores how India has succeeded in keeping the military out of politics, when so many other countries have failed. He uncovers the command and control strategies, the careful ethnic balancing, and the political, foreign policy, and strategic decisions that have made the army safe for Indian democracy.
Today's protracted asymmetrical conflicts confuse efforts to measure progress, often inviting politics and wishful thinking to replace objective evaluation.
In Assessing War, military historians, social scientists, and military officers explore how observers have analyzed the trajectory of war in American conflicts from the Seven Years’ War through the war in Afghanistan. Drawing on decades of acquired expertise, the contributors examine wartime assessment in both theory and practice and, through alternative dimensions of assessment such as justice and proportionality, the war of ideas and economics. This group of distinguished authors grapples with both conventional and irregular wars and emerging aspects of conflict—such as cyberwar and nation building—that add to the complexities of the modern threat environment. The volume ends with recommendations for practitioners on best approaches while offering sobering conclusions about the challenges of assessing war without politicization or self-delusion.
Covering conflicts from the eighteenth century to today, Assessing War blends focused advice and a uniquely broad set of case studies to ponder vital questions about warfare's past—and its future. The book includes a foreword by Gen. George W. Casey Jr. (USA, Ret.), former chief of staff of the US Army and former commander, Multi-National Force–Iraq.
The history of wars caused by misjudgments, from Napoleon’s invasion of Russia to America’s invasion of Iraq, reveals that leaders relied on cognitive models that were seriously at odds with objective reality. Blinders, Blunders, and Wars analyzes eight historical examples of strategic blunders regarding war and peace and four examples of decisions that turned out well, and then applies those lessons to the current Sino-American case.
In the years since the 9/11 attacks—and the subsequent lethal anthrax letters—the United States has spent billions of dollars on measures to defend the population against the threat of biological weapons. But as Lynn C. Klotz and Edward J. Sylvester argue forcefully in Breeding Bio Insecurity, all that money and effort hasn’t made us any safer—in fact, it has made us more vulnerable.
Breeding Bio Insecurity reveals the mistakes made to this point and lays out the necessary steps to set us on the path toward true biosecurity. The fundamental problem with the current approach, according to the authors, is the danger caused by the sheer size and secrecy of our biodefense effort. Thousands of scientists spread throughout hundreds of locations are now working with lethal bioweapons agents—but their inability to make their work public causes suspicion among our enemies and allies alike, even as the enormous number of laboratories greatly multiplies the inherent risk of deadly accidents or theft. Meanwhile, vital public health needs go unmet because of this new biodefense focus. True biosecurity, the authors argue, will require a multipronged effort based in an understanding of the complexity of the issue, guided by scientific ethics, and watched over by a vigilant citizenry attentive to the difference between fear mongering and true analysis of risk.
An impassioned warning that never loses sight of political and scientific reality, Breeding Bio Insecurity is a crucial first step toward meeting the evolving threats of the twenty-first century.
When presidential candidate Jimmy Carter advocated defense budget cuts, he did so not only to save money but also with the hope of eventually abolishing nuclear weapons. Three yearslater, when President Carter announced his support of full-scale development of the MX missile and modernization of NATO’s Long-Range Theater Nuclear Force, it marked a dramatic policy shift for his administration.
In light of Carter’s cost-cutting in the first year of his administration, previous observers have attributed Carter’s subsequent shift either to the “shocks of 1979”—the Soviet Union’s move into Afghanistan and the seizure of power by Islamic revolutionaries in Iran—or to domestic political pressure, such as interest group activity, executive-legislative bargaining, or interbureaucratic conflict. Brian Auten now argues that these explanations only partially explain this midterm policy change.
In Carter’s Conversion, Auten reveals how strategic ideas and studies, allied relations, and arms control negotiations each worked to deflect Carter’s initial defense stance away from the policy path suggested by the prevailing international military environment. He also shows how the administration’s MX and Long-Range Theater Nuclear Force decisions subsequently hardened following significant adjustments to these three variables.
Employing the approach to international relations known as neoclassical realism, Auten demonstrates that Carter reassessed his strategic thinking and revised his policy stance accordingly. Integrating declassified documents, interviews, and private archives with a mountain of secondary sources, he provides a historical analysis of defense policy transformation over the first three years of the Carter administration and a detailed examination of how Carter and his national security team addressed challenges posed by the expansion of Soviet military power.
Full of rich history and cogent analysis, Carter’s Conversion presents a wealth of detailed arguments about how Carter adjusted his policy outlook, couched in a thorough understanding of weapons, arms control dynamics, and defense policy-making. As a revision ofcommon interpretations, it provides both an example of self-correcting policy change and a realist argument about the end of superpower détente and the start of the “Second Cold War.”
Why do weak states resist threats of force from the United States, especially when history shows that this superpower carries out its ultimatums? Cheap Threats upends conventional notions of power politics and challenges assumptions about the use of compellent military threats in international politics.
Drawing on an original dataset of US compellence from 1945 to 2007 and four in-depth case studies—the Cuban Missile Crisis, the 2011 confrontation with Libya, and the 1991 and 2003 showdowns with Iraq—Dianne Pfundstein Chamberlain finds that US compellent threats often fail because threatening and using force became comparatively “cheap” for the United States after the Cold War. Becoming the world’s only superpower and adopting a new light-footprint model of war, which relied heavily on airpower and now drones, have reduced the political, economic, and human costs that US policymakers face when they go to war. Paradoxically, this lower-cost model of war has cheapened US threats and fails to signal to opponents that the United States is resolved to bear the high costs of a protracted conflict. The result: small states gamble, often unwisely, that the United States will move on to a new target before achieving its goals.
Cheap Threats resets the bar for scholars and planners grappling with questions of state resolve, hegemonic stability, effective coercion, and other issues pertinent in this new era of US warfighting and diplomacy.
Drawing on Chinese military writings, this report finds that China’s strategic-deterrence concepts are evolving in response to Beijing’s changing assessment of its external security environment and a growing emphasis on protecting its emerging interests in space and cyberspace. China also is rapidly closing what was once a substantial gap between the People’s Liberation Army’s strategic weapons capabilities and its strategic-deterrence concepts.
China’s approach to nuclear deterrence has been broadly consistent since its first test in 1964, but it has recently accelerated nuclear force modernization. China’s strategic environment is likely to grow more complex, and nuclear constituencies are gaining a larger bureaucratic voice. Beijing is unlikely to change official nuclear policies but will probably increase emphasis on nuclear deterrence and may adjust the definition of key concepts.
Through extensive primary source analysis and independent analysis, this report seeks to answer a number of important questions regarding the state of China’s armed forces. The authors found that the PLA is keenly aware of its many weaknesses and is vigorously striving to correct them. Although it is only natural to focus on the PLA’s growing capabilities, understanding the PLA’s weaknesses—and its self-assessments—is no less important.
We have seen recent massive intervention by the United States and its allies in Europe in internal conflict in Bosnia and Kosovo. In Outside Intervention in Intrastate Conflict, Patrick Regan systematically answers the question about the conditions under which third parties intervene in civil conflicts to stop the fighting. It uses data on all civil conflicts since 1945 to identify those conflicts that are amenable to outside interventions and the types of interventions that are more likely to be successful.
Outside Intervention in Intrastate Conflict is a book about how governments can help facilitate the end of civil conflicts. In a time when internal conflicts appear to be increasing in number, and increasingly destabilizing, governments need to know what policies work and when. Interventions are generally of two sorts--unilateral, or when one state takes action, and multilateral, such as UN or NATO action. This book examines the conditions under which each form of intervention is most likely and most effective. The analysis suggests that three conditions associated with multi-lateral interventions will increase the likelihood of success: mutual consent of the parties involved; impartiality on the part of the intervenors; and the existence of a coherent intervention strategy. The questions are posed from the perspective of the decision maker and the answers offered are framed in a language familiar to the decision-making community. The book mixes descriptive case material with systematic statistical analysis of a unique data set of all civil conflicts since World War II, providing contemporary examples to illustrate overall trends in the data. Beyond the policy implications this work is also rich in theoretical development about issues of conflict and conflict management.
This book will appeal to students of international conflict, civil war, ethnic conflict, and those who are concerned with developing policy in the post-cold war world to deal with intrastate conflict.
Patrick M. Regan is Assistant Professor of Political Science, Binghamton University.
The Cold World They Made
Ron Robin Harvard University Press, 2016 Library of Congress UA10.5.R62 2016 | Dewey Decimal 355.03357309045
Ron Robin looks at the original power couple of strategic studies who, during the most dangerous military standoff in history, gained access to the deepest corridors of power. The Wohlstetters’ legacy was kept alive by disciples in George W. Bush’s administration, and their signature brilliance and hubris continue to shape U.S. policy today.
Critical Masses and Critical Choices examines American attitudes on issues of national and international security. Based on over 13,000 in-depth interviews conducted over a ten-year period, Kerry Herron and Hank Jenkins-Smith have created a unique and rich set of data providing insights into public opinion on nuclear deterrence, terrorism, and other security issues from the end of the Cold War to the present day. Their goal is to shed light not only on changes in public opinion about a range of security-related policy issues, but also to gauge the depth of the public’s actual understanding of these matters. Prior to this study, the predominant view held that the American people were incapable of articulate and consistent thought on complex political subjects. This book overturns that notion and demonstrates the sometimes surprisingly cogent positions held by ordinary members of the public on intricate national issues.
The book’s solid data, based on long-term studies, combined with crisp writing and often startling conclusions, will appeal to a wide range of readers: scholars, journalists, and policy makers. Critical Masses and Critical Choices is the definitive account of the change in public perceptions on security threats and reactive strategies from the early 1990s to the post 9/11 period. This broad and highly original study will prove an indispensable tool for policy makers and scholars alike.
Cutting the Fuse offers a wealth of new knowledge about the origins of suicide terrorism and strategies to stop it. Robert A. Pape and James K. Feldman have examined every suicide terrorist attack worldwide from 1980 to 2009, and the insights they have gleaned from that data fundamentally challenge how we understand the root causes of terrorist campaigns today—and reveal why the War on Terror has been ultimately counterproductive. Through a close analysis of suicide campaigns by Al Qaeda and other terrorist organizations in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Lebanon, Israel, Chechnya, and Sri Lanka, the authors provide powerful new evidence that, contrary to popular and dangerously mistaken belief, only a tiny minority of these attacks are motivated solely by religion. Instead, the root cause is foreign military occupation, which triggers secular and religious people alike to carry out suicide attacks.
Cutting the Fuse calls for new, effective solutions that America and its allies can sustain for decades, relying less on ground troops in Muslim countries and more on offshore, over-the-horizon military forces along with political and economic strategies that empower local communities to stop terrorists in their midst.
Defense planning faces significant uncertainties. This report applies robust decision making (RDM) to the air-delivered munitions mix challenge. RDM is quantitative, decision support methodology designed to inform decisions under conditions of deep uncertainty and complexity. This proof-of-concept demonstration suggests that RDM could help defense planners make plans more robust to a wide range of hard-to-predict futures.
In the past two decades, the U.S. Air Force has participated in three contingencies involving no-fly zones (NFZs) over Bosnia, Iraq, and Libya, and NFZ proposals have been proffered for some time as an option for intervention in the Syrian civil war that would avoid placing Western troops on the ground. This paper is intended as a preliminary look at NFZs as a strategic approach in such situations, with an emphasis on the forms they might take, their potential utility, and their probable limitations.
In Disarmed Democracies: Domestic Institutions and the Use of Force, David P. Auerswald examines how the structure of domestic political institutions affects whether democracies use force or make threats during international disputes. Auerswald argues that the behavior of democracies in interstate conflict is shaped as much by domestic political calculations as by geopolitical circumstance. Variations in the structure of a democracy's institutions of governance make some types of democracies more likely to use force than others. To test his theory, Auerswald compares British, French, and U.S. behavior during military conflicts and diplomatic crises from the Cold War era to the present. He discusses how accountability and agenda control vary between parliamentary, presidential, and premier-presidential democracies and shows how this affects the ability of the democracy to signal its intentions, as well as the likelihood that it will engage in military conflict. His findings have implications for the study of domestic politics and the use of force, as well as of U.S. leadership during the next century.
This study will interest social scientists interested in the domestic politics of international security, comparative foreign policy, or the study of domestic institutions. It will interest those concerned with the exercise of U.S. leadership in the next century, the use of force by democracies, and the future behavior of democratizing nations.
David P. Auerswald is Assistant Professor of Political Science and International Affairs, George Washington University.
In Don’t Janet E. Halley explains how the military's new anti-gay policy is fundamentally misdescribed by its common nickname, “Don't Ask/Don't Tell.” This ubiquitous phrase, she points out, implies that it discharges servicemembers not for who they are, but for what they do. It insinuates that, as long as military personnel keep quiet about their homosexual orientation and desist from “homosexual conduct,” no one will try to pry them out of their closets and all will be well. Not so, reveals Halley. In order to work through the steps by which the new law was ultimately drafted, she opens with a close reading of the 1986 Supreme Court sodomy case which served as the legal and rhetorical model for the policy revisions made in 1993. Halley also describes how the Clinton administration’s attempts to offer Congress an opportunity to regulate conduct—and not status—were flatly rejected and not included in the final statute. Using cultural and critical theory seldom applied to explain the law, Halley argues that, far from providing privacy and an assurance that servicemembers' careers will be ruined only if they engage in illegal conduct, the rule activates a culture of minute surveillance in which every member must strictly avoid using any gesture in an ever-evolving lexicon of “conduct that manifests a propensity.” In other words, not only homosexuals but all military personnel are placed in danger by the new policy. After challenging previous pro-gay arguments against the policy that have failed to expose its most devious and dangerous elements, Halley ends with a persuasive discussion about how it is both unconstitutional and, politically, an act of sustained bad faith. This knowledgeable and eye-opening analysis of one of the most important public policy debates of the 1990s will interest legal scholars, policymakers, activists, military historians and personnel, as well as citizens concerned about issues of discrimination.
Combat drones are transforming attitudes about the use of military force. Military casualties and the costs of conflict sap public support for war and for political and military leaders. Combat drones offer an unprecedented ability to reduce these costs by increasing accuracy, reducing the risks to civilians, and protecting military personnel from harm. These advantages should make drone strikes more popular than operations involving ground troops. Yet many critics believe drone warfare will make political leaders too willing to authorize wars, weakening constraints on the use of force. Because combat drones are relatively new, these arguments have been based on anecdotes, a handful of public opinion polls, or theoretical speculation.
Drones and Support for the Use of Force uses experimental research to analyze the effects of combat drones on Americans’ support for the use of force. The authors’ findings—that drones have had important but nuanced effects on support for the use of force—have implications for democratic control of military action and civil-military relations and provide insight into how the proliferation of military technologies influences foreign policy.
The Echo of Battle
Brian McAllister Linn Harvard University Press, 2007 Library of Congress UA25.L63 2007 | Dewey Decimal 355.033573
From Lexington and Gettysburg to Normandy and Iraq, wars have defined the United States. But after the guns fall silent, the army searches the lessons of past conflicts, developing the strategies, weapons, doctrines, and commanders that it hopes will guarantee future victory. Linn surveys the past assumptions--and errors--that underlie the army's many visions of warfare up to the present day.
Thorough examination of the antebellum fortifications that formed the backbone of U.S. military defense during the National Period.
The system of coastal defenses built by the federal government after the War of 1812 was more than a series of forts standing guard over a watery frontier. It was an integrated and comprehensive plan of national defense developed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and it represented the nation's first peacetime defense policy. Known as the "Third System" since it replaced two earlier attempts, it included coastal fortifications, but also denoted the values of the society that created it. The governing defense policy was one that combined permanent fortifications to defend seaports, a national militia system, and a small regular army. The Third System remained the defense paradigm in the United States from 1816 to 1861, when the onset of the Civil War changed that paradigm. In addition to providing the country with military security, the system also provided the context for the ongoing debates in Congress over national defense through the annual congressional debates on military funding.
In charting the philosophy, construction, and maintenance of the forts of the Third System, a history of antebellum American national defense policy emerges, and permits an investigation of the political, economic, social, and military development of the U.S. between the War of 1812 and the Civil War.
Exceptional State analyzes the nexus of culture and contemporary manifestations of U.S. imperialism. The contributors, established and emerging cultural studies scholars, define culture broadly to include a range of media, literature, and political discourse. They do not posit September 11, 2001 as the beginning of U.S. belligerence and authoritarianism at home and abroad, but they do provide context for understanding U.S. responses to and uses of that event. Taken together, the essays stress both the continuities and discontinuities embodied in a present-day U.S. imperialism constituted through expressions of millennialism, exceptionalism, technological might, and visions of world dominance.
The contributors address a range of topics, paying particular attention to the dynamics of gender and race. Their essays include a surprising reading of the ostensibly liberal movies Wag the Dog and Three Kings, an exploration of the rhetoric surrounding the plan to remake the military into a high-tech force less dependent on human bodies, a look at the significance of the popular Left Behind series of novels, and an interpretation of the Abu Ghraib prison photos. They scrutinize the national narrative created to justify the U.S. invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, the ways that women in those countries have responded to the invasions, the contradictions underlying calls for U.S. humanitarian interventions, and the role of Africa in the U.S. imperial imagination. The volume concludes on a hopeful note, with a look at an emerging anti-imperialist public sphere.
Contributors. Omar Dahbour, Ashley Dawson, Cynthia Enloe, Melani McAlister, Christian Parenti, Donald E. Pease, John Carlos Rowe, Malini Johar Schueller, Harilaos Stecopoulos
As the U.S. National Defense Strategy recognizes, the United States is currently locked in a great-power competition with Russia. This report seeks to define areas where the United States can compete to its own advantage. It examines Russian vulnerabilities and anxieties; analyzes potential policy options to exploit them; and assesses the associated benefits, costs, and risks, as well as the likelihood of successful implementation.
Since the end of the Cold War, a new dynamic has arisen within the international system, one that does not conform to established notions of the state’s monopoly on war. In this changing environment, the global community must decide how to respond to the challenges posed to the state by military threats, political and economic decline, and social fragmentation. This insightful work considers the phenomenon of state failure and asks how the international community might better detect signs of state decay at an early stage and devise legally and politically legitimate responses.
This collection of essays brings military and social historians into conversation with political and social scientists and former military officers. In case studies from the former Yugoslavia, Somalia, Iraq, and Colombia, the distinguished contributors argue that early intervention to stabilize social, economic, and political systems offers the greatest promise, whereas military intervention at a later stage is both costlier and less likely to succeed.
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.
Report evaluates strategies for dealing with U.S. partners and adversaries in Europe, Asia, and the Middle East in a time of diminishing defense budgets and American public preference for a domestic focus. The three proposed strategies are to be more assertive, to be more collaborative, or to retrench from international commitments. Each strategy is constrained and a balance will need to be struck among them that varies from region to region.
At the end of World War II, the Allies were unanimous in their determination to disarm the former aggressor Germany. As the Cold War intensified, however, the decision whether to reverse that policy and to rearm West Germany as a bulwark against the Soviet threat led to disagreements both within the US government and among members of the nascent NATO alliance. The US military took the practical view that a substantial number of German troops would be required to deter any potential Soviet assault. The State Department, on the other hand, initially advocated an alternative strategy of strengthening European institutions but eventually came around to the military’s position that an armed West Germany was preferable to a weak state on the dividing line between the Western democracies and the Soviet satellite states.
Sheldon A. Goldberg traces the military, diplomatic, and political threads of postwar policy toward West Germany and provides insights into the inner workings of alliance building and the roles of bureaucrats and military officers as well as those of diplomats and statesmen. He draws on previously unexamined primary sources to construct a cogent account of the political and diplomatic negotiations that led to West Germany’s accession to NATO and the shaping of European order for the next forty years.
In this book, the distinguished writer Edward Luttwak presents the grand strategy of the eastern Roman empire we know as Byzantine, which lasted more than twice as long as the more familiar western Roman empire. The Grand Strategy of the Byzantine Empire is a broad, interpretive account of Byzantine strategy, intelligence, and diplomacy over the course of eight centuries that will appeal to scholars, classicists, military history buffs, and professional soldiers.
In 1905, British Foreign Secretary Edward Grey agreed to speak secretly with his French counterparts about sending a British expeditionary force to France in the event of a German attack. Neither Parliament nor the rest of the Cabinet was informed. The Hidden Perspective takes readers back to these tense years leading up to World War I and re-creates the stormy Cabinet meetings in the fall of 1911 when the details of the military conversations were finally revealed.
Using contemporary historical documents, David Owen, himself a former foreign secretary, shows how the foreign office’s underlying belief in Britain’s moral obligation to send troops to the Continent influenced political decision-making and helped create the impression that war was inevitable. Had Britain’s diplomatic and naval strategy been handled more skillfully during these years, Owen contends, the carnage of World War I might have been prevented altogether.
The U.S. war in Iraq was not only an intelligence failure—it was a failure in democratic discourse. Hitting First offers a critical analysis of the political dialogue leading up to the American embrace of preventive war as national policy and as the rationale for the invasion and occupation of Iraq. Taking as its point of departure the important distinction between preemptive and preventive war, the contributors examine how the rhetoric of policy makers conflated these two very different concepts until the public could no longer effectively distinguish between a war of necessity and a war of choice.
Although the book focuses on recent events, Hitting First takes into consideration the broader historical, ethical, and legal context of current American policies. Precedents are examined for preventive military action based on conventional as well as nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons threats. The authors also consider recent examples of the rhetoric of “humanitarian intervention,” which have tended to undermine traditional notions of national sovereignty, making purportedly “morally justifiable” actions easier to entertain. Intelligence gathering and its use, manipulation, and distortion to suit policy agendas are also analyzed, as are the realities of the application of military force, military requirements to sustain a policy of preventive war, and post-conflict reconstruction.
Hitting First presents a timely and essential view of the lessons learned from the failures of the Iraqi conflict, and offers a framework for avoiding future policy breakdowns through a process of deliberative public and governmental debate within a free market of ideas. The critiques and prescriptions offered here provide a unique and valuable perspective on the challenges of formulating and conduct of national security policy while sustaining the principles and institutions of American democracy. This collection will appeal to students and scholars of American foreign policy, international relations, political communication, and ethics.
When is a war not a war? When it is undertaken in the name of democracy, against the forces of racism, sexism, and religious and political persecution? This is the new world of warfare that Neda Atanasoski observes in Humanitarian Violence, different in name from the old imperialism but not so different in kind. In particular, she considers U.S. militarism—humanitarian militarism—during the Vietnam War, the Soviet-Afghan War, and the 1990s wars of secession in the former Yugoslavia.
What this book brings to light—through novels, travel narratives, photojournalism, films, news media, and political rhetoric—is in fact a system of postsocialist imperialism based on humanitarian ethics. In the fiction of the United States as a multicultural haven, which morally underwrites the nation’s equally brutal waging of war and making of peace, parts of the world are subject to the violence of U.S. power because they are portrayed to be homogeneous and racially, religiously, and sexually intolerant—and thus permanently in need of reform. The entangled notions of humanity and atrocity that follow from such mediations of war and crisis have refigured conceptions of racial and religious freedom in the post–Cold War era. The resulting cultural narratives, Atanasoski suggests, tend to racialize ideological differences—whereas previous forms of imperialism racialized bodies. In place of the European racial imperialism, U.S. settler colonialism, and pre–civil rights racial constructions that associated racial difference with a devaluing of nonwhite bodies, Humanitarian Violence identifies an emerging discourse of race that focuses on ideological and cultural differences and makes postsocialist and Islamic nations the potential targets of U.S. disciplining violence.
Modern Japan is not only responding to threats from North Korea and China but is also reevaluating its dependence on the United States, Sheila Smith shows. No longer convinced they can rely on Americans to defend their country, Tokyo’s political leaders are now confronting the possibility that they may need to prepare the nation’s military for war.
Lifting the Fog of Peace puts the U.S. military’s frustrating experiences in Iraq into context and reveals how the military was able to turn the tide during the so-called surge in 2007–8.“Lifting the Fog of Peace is a captivating study of an agile and adaptive military evolving through the chaos of the post-9/11 world. In what is certain to be regarded as the definitive analysis of the reshaping of American combat power in the face of a complex and uncertain future, Dr. Janine Davidson firmly establishes herself as a rising intellectual star in government and politics. A thoroughly captivating study of organizational learning and adaptation—a ‘must read’ for leaders in every field.”
—LTG William B. Caldwell IV, Commanding General, NATO Training Mission—Afghanistan “In Lifting the Fog of Peace, Dr. Janine Davidson explains how the American military has adapted itself to succeed in the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq that are the most likely future face of combat. The book is informed by her experience of these wars in the Department of Defense, where she now plays a critical role in continuing the process of learning that has so visibly marked the military’s performance in today’s wars. Highly recommended.”
—John A. Nagl, President, Center for a New American Security“. . . a ‘must read’ on the E-Ring of the Pentagon and in security studies programs across the nation.”
—Joseph J. Collins, Professor, National War College, and former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Stability Operations
William Newmann examines the ways in which presidents make national security decisions, and explores how those processes evolve over time. He creates a complex portrait of policy making, which may help future presidents design national security decision structures that fit the realities of the office in today's world.
In 1958, after fourteen years of military occupation, Khrushchev—in an unprecedented act—withdrew the Soviet Union’s troops from Romania as part of a political move intended to encourage the withdrawal of Western military forces from Europe. In analyzing this crucial historic episode, Sergiu Verona’s comprehensive study illustrates the dynamics of Soviet military presence in Romania and provides a framework for understanding Soviet security policy, then and now, as well as the interaction between Soviet military objectives and diplomacy. Drawing on declassified archival material in the United States and the United Kingdom, the author considers Khrushchev’s reversal of Stalinist expansionism by examining the motivation, function, and operation of the initial occupation of Romania; the complex involvement of Soviet diplomacy and its perception by the United States and other Western powers; the process by which Khrushchev decided to withdraw Soviet troops from that country; and the impact of this decision on Soviet policy. Verona extends his analysis, providing comparisons between Khrushchev’s and Gorbachev’s approaches to Eastern Europe, noting that similarities exist not only in domestic policies but in the realm of foreign policy as well.
After the Vietnam War, the U.S. Army considered counterinsurgency (COIN) a mistake to be avoided. Many found it surprising, then, when setbacks in recent conflicts led the same army to adopt a COIN doctrine. Scholarly debates have primarily employed existing theories of military bureaucracy or culture to explain the army’s re-embrace of COIN, but Peter Campbell advances a unique argument centering on military realism to explain the complex evolution of army doctrinal thinking from 1960 to 2008.
In five case studies of U.S. Army doctrine, Campbell pits military realism against bureaucratic and cultural perspectives in three key areas—nuclear versus conventional warfare, preferences for offense versus defense, and COIN missions—and finds that the army has been more doctrinally flexible than those perspectives would predict. He demonstrates that decision makers, while vowing in the wake of Vietnam to avoid (COIN) missions, nonetheless found themselves adapting to the geopolitical realities of fighting “low intensity” conflicts. In essence, he demonstrates that pragmatism has won out over dogmatism. At a time when American policymakers remain similarly conflicted about future defense strategies, Campbell’s work will undoubtedly shape and guide the debate.
Mission Creep: The Militarization of US Foreign Policy? examines the question of whether the US Department of Defense (DOD) has assumed too large a role in influencing and implementing US foreign policy. After the Cold War, and accelerating after September 11, the United States has drawn upon the enormous resources of DOD in adjusting to the new global environment and challenges arising from terrorism, Islamic radicalism, insurgencies, ethnic conflicts, and failed states.
Contributors investigate and provide different perspectives on the extent to which military leaders and DOD have increased their influence and involvement in areas such as foreign aid, development, diplomacy, policy debates, and covert operations. These developments are set in historical and institutional context, as contributors explore the various causes for this institutional imbalance. The book concludes that there has been a militarization of US foreign policy while it explores the institutional and political causes and their implications.
“Militarization” as it is used in this book does not mean that generals directly challenge civilian control over policy; rather it entails a subtle phenomenon wherein the military increasingly becomes the primary actor and face of US policy abroad. Mission Creep’s assessment and policy recommendations about how to rebalance the role of civilian agencies in foreign policy decision making and implementation will interest scholars and students of US foreign policy, defense policy, and security studies, as well as policy practitioners interested in the limits and extents of militarization.
Confronting insurgent violence in Iraq and Afghanistan, the U.S. military has recognized the need to “re-learn” counterinsurgency. But how has the Department of Defense with its mixed efforts responded to this new strategic environment? Has it learned anything from past failures?
In The New Counterinsurgency Era, David Ucko examines DoD’s institutional obstacles and initially slow response to a changing strategic reality. Ucko also suggests how the military can better prepare for the unique challenges of modern warfare, where it is charged with everything from providing security to supporting reconstruction to establishing basic governance—all while stabilizing conquered territory and engaging with local populations. After briefly surveying the history of American counterinsurgency operations, Ucko focuses on measures the military has taken since 2001 to relearn old lessons about counterinsurgency, to improve its ability to conduct stability operations, to change the institutional bias against counterinsurgency, and to account for successes gained from the learning process.
Given the effectiveness of insurgent tactics, the frequency of operations aimed at building local capacity, and the danger of ungoverned spaces acting as havens for hostile groups, the military must acquire new skills to confront irregular threats in future wars. Ucko clearly shows that the opportunity to come to grips with counterinsurgency is matched in magnitude only by the cost of failing to do so.
The Civil War was barely over before Southerners and other students of the war began to examine the Confederate high command in search of an explanation for the South's failure. Although years of research failed to show that the South's defeat was due to a single, overriding cause, the actions of the Southern leaders during the war were certainly among the reasons the South lost the war.
In No Band of Brothers, Steven Woodworth explores, through a series of essays, various facets of the way the Confederacy waged its unsuccessful war for secession. He examines Jefferson Davis and some of his more important generals, including Pierre G. T. Beauregard, Leonidas Polk, Joseph E. Johnston, Robert E. Lee, James Longstreet, and Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson; the Confederacy's strategic plans; and the South's success in making competent officers out of men with very little military preparation.
Woodworth particularly looks at the personalities and personal relationships that affected the course and outcome of the war. What made a good general? What could make an otherwise able man a failure as a general? What role did personal friendships or animosities play in the Confederacy's top command assignments and decisions? How successful was the Confederacy in making competent generals out of its civilian leaders? In what ways did Jefferson Davis succeed or fail in maximizing the chances for the success of his cause?
In analyzing the Confederate leadership, Woodworth reveals some weaknesses, many strengths, and much new information. No Band of Brothers will be an important addition to Civil War scholarship and will be welcomed by professional historians, amateur historians, students, and the general reader alike.
Nicholas A. Lambert Harvard University Press, 2011 Library of Congress HC260.D4L36 2011 | Dewey Decimal 940.31
Before World War I, the British Admiralty conceived a plan to win rapid victory over Germany—economic warfare on an unprecedented scale. The secret strategy called for the state to exploit Britain's monopolies in banking, communications, and shipping to create an implosion of the world economic system. The plan was never fully implemented.
Since 1945, as the U.S. has engaged in near-constant “wars of choice” with limited congressional oversight, the executive and armed services have shared primary responsibility for often ill-defined objectives, strategies, and benefits. Matthew Moten shows the significance of negotiations between presidents and the generals allied with them.
Robert A. DOUGHTY Harvard University Press, 2005 Library of Congress D548.D68 2005 | Dewey Decimal 940.4012
As the driving force behind the Allied effort in World War I, France willingly shouldered the heaviest burden. In this masterful book, Robert Doughty explains how and why France assumed this role and offers new insights into French strategy and operational methods.
Quest for Power
Stephen R. Halsey Harvard University Press, 2015 Library of Congress DS761.2.H354 2015 | Dewey Decimal 951.03
China’s late-imperial history has been framed as a long coda of decline, played out during the Qing dynasty. Reappraising this narrative, Stephen Halsey traces the origins of China’s current great-power status to this so-called decadent era, when threats of war with European and Japanese empirestriggered innovative state-building and statecraft.
Challenging several longstanding notions about the American way of war, this book examines US strategic and operational practice from 1775 to 2014. It surveys all major US wars from the War of Independence to the campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as most smaller US conflicts to determine what patterns, if any, existed in American uses of force. Contrary to many popular sentiments, Echevarria finds that the American way of war is not astrategic, apolitical, or defined by the use of overwhelming force. Instead, the American way of war was driven more by political considerations than military ones, and the amount of force employed was rarely overwhelming or decisive.
As a scholar of Clausewitz, Echevarria borrows explicitly from the Prussian to describe the American way of war not only as an extension of US policy by other means, but also the continuation of US politics by those means. The book’s focus on strategic and operational practice closes the gap between critiques of American strategic thinking and analyses of US campaigns. Echevarria discovers that most conceptions of American strategic culture fail to hold up to scrutiny, and that US operational practice has been closer to military science than to military art.
Providing a fresh look at how America’s leaders have used military force historically and what that may mean for the future, this book should be of interest to military practitioners and policymakers, students and scholars of military history and security studies, and general readers interested in military history and the future of military power.
As the rest of the world worries about what a future might look like under Chinese supremacy, Luttwak worries about China’s own future prospects. Applying the logic of strategy for which he is well known, he argues that the world’s second largest economy may be headed for a fall unless China’s leaders check their military ambitions.
This report examines current Russian hostile measures in Europe and forecasts how Russia might threaten Europe using these measures over the next few years. This report observes that Russia has the most strategic interest in influencing western Europe, but it has the most leverage over countries of eastern Europe, and offers a range of recommendations for the U.S. government and for the U.S. Army on countering hostile measures.
Among the most momentous decisions that leaders of a state are called upon to make is whether or not to initiate warfare. How their military will fare against the opponent may be the first consideration, but not far behind are concerns about domestic political response and the reaction of the international community.
Securing Approval makes clear the relationship between these two seemingly distinct concerns, demonstrating how multilateral security organizations like the UN influence foreign policy through public opinion without ever exercising direct enforcement power. While UN approval of a proposed action often bolsters public support, its refusal of endorsement may conversely send a strong signal to domestic audiences that the action will be exceedingly costly or overly aggressive. With a cogent theoretical and empirical argument, Terrence L. Chapman provides new evidence for how multilateral organizations matter in security affairs as well as a new way of thinking about the design and function of these institutions.
“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.
In this closely reasoned and lucid analysis, an important thinker on American strategy surveys weapons technology and its military and political implications for the 1970s. J. I. Coffey refutes the argument that American national security requires “superior” strategic offensive forces or extensive air and missile defenses. In so doing he assesses in simple terms the various factors involved in this complex and difficult subject.
While many books on strategy deal only with a single area or a particular weapons system, this work synthesizes technical and non-technical considerations across the whole range of national security issues affected by strategic power-war-fighting, deterrence, Communist behavior, alliance relationships, nuclear proliferation, and arms control. Its orderly and authoritative marshaling of tabulated data, its citations from Department of Defense documents and congressional hearings, and its classifications of the alternative options which strategy makers can now pursue, are all invaluable to both the student of national security and the professional strategist.
Since 9/11, Russia, China, and Iran have successfully exploited or stretched U.S. thresholds for high-order war in order to further their strategic ends and, in the process, undermine U.S. interests. Each of these countries has made expert use of some combination of measures short of war to enact its strategies. This report describes those measures and how these nation-states use them and explains why U.S. notions of thresholds might be outdated.
Theodore Roosevelt was a man of wide interests, strong opinions, and intense ambition for both himself and his country. When he met Leonard Wood in 1897, he recognized a kindred spirit. Moreover, the two men shared a zeal for making the United States an imperial power that would challenge Great Britain as world leader. For the remainder of their lives, their careers would intertwine in ways that shaped the American nation.
When the Spanish American War came, both men seized the opportunity to promote the goals of American empire. Roosevelt resigned as assistant secretary of the navy in William McKinley’s administration to serve as a lieutenant colonel of the Rough Riders, a newly organized volunteer cavalry. Wood, then a captain in the medical corps and physician to McKinley, was promoted to colonel and given charge of the unit.
Roosevelt later took over command of the Rough Riders. In the Battle of San Juan Hill, he led it in a charge up Kettle Hill that would end in victory for the American troops and make their daring commander a household name, a war hero, and, eventually, president of the United States.
At the Treaty of Paris in 1898, Spain ceded Cuba, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Philippines to the United States. The next year, Wood became military governor of Cuba. He remained in the post until 1902. By that time Roosevelt was president. One of the major accomplishments of his administration was reorganization of the War Department, which the war with Spain had proved disastrously outdated. In 1909, when William Howard Taft needed a strong army chief of staff to enforce the new rules, he appointed Leonard Wood.
Both Wood and Roosevelt were strong proponents of preparedness, and when war broke out in Europe in August 1914, Wood, retired as chief of staff and backed by Roosevelt, established the “Plattsburg camps,” a system of basic training camps. When America entered the Great War, the two men’s foresight was justified, but their earlier push for mobilization had angered Woodrow Wilson, and both were denied the command positions they sought in Europe.
Roosevelt died in 1919 while preparing for another presidential campaign. Wood made a run in his place but was never taken seriously as a candidate. He retired from the army and spent the last seven years of his life as civilian governor of the Philippines.
It was a quiet end for two men who had been giants of their time. While their modernization of the army is widely admired, they were not without their critics. Roosevelt and Wood saw themselves as bold leaders but were regarded by some as ruthless strivers. And while their shared ambitions for the United States were tempered by a strong sense of duty, they could, in their certainty and determination, trample those who stood in their path. Teddy Roosevelt and Leonard Wood: Partners in Command is a revealing and long overdue look at the dynamic partnership of this fascinating pair and will be welcomed by scholars and military history enthusiasts alike.
Truman and the Hiroshima Cult
Robert P. Newman Michigan State University Press, 1995 Library of Congress D767.25.N3N48 1995 | Dewey Decimal 940.5425
The United States dropped atomic bombs on Japan in 1945 to end World War II as quickly and with as few casualties as possible. That is the compelling and elegantly simple argument Newman puts forward in his new study of World War II's end, Truman and the Hiroshima Cult. According to Newman: (1) The U.S. Strategic Bombing Survey conclusions that Japan was ready to surrender without "the Bomb" are fraudulent; (2) America’s "unconditional surrender" doctrine did not significantly prolong the war; and (3) President Harry S. Truman’s decision to use atomic weapons on Japanese cities was not a "racist act," nor was it a calculated political maneuver to threaten Joseph Stalin’s Eastern hegemony. Simply stated, Newman argues that Truman made a sensible military decision. As commander in chief, he was concerned with ending a devastating and costly war as quickly as possible and with saving millions of lives.
Yet, Newman goes further in his discussion, seeking the reasons why so much hostility has been generated by what happened in the skies over Hiroshima and Nagasaki in early August, 1945. The source of discontent, he concludes, is a "cult" that has grown up in the United States since the 1960s. It was weaned on the disillusionment spawned by concerns about a military industrial complex, American duplicity and failure in the Vietnam War, and a mistrust of government following Watergate. The cult has a shrine, a holy day, a distinctive rhetoric of victimization, various items of scripture, and, in Japan, support from a powerful Marxist constituency. "As with other cults, it is ahistorical," Newman declares. "Its devotees elevate fugitive and unrepresentative events to cosmic status. And most of all, they believe." Newman’s analysis goes to the heart of the process by which scholars interpret historical events and raises disturbing issues about the way historians select and distort evidence about the past to suit special political agendas.
“The United States does not do nation building,” claimed Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld three years ago. Yet what are we to make of the American military bases in Korea? Why do American warships patrol the Somali coastline? And perhaps most significantly, why are fourteen “enduring bases” being built in Iraq? In every major foreign war fought by United States in the last century, the repercussions of the American presence have been felt long after the last Marine has left. Kenneth J. Hagan and Ian J. Bickerton argue here that, despite adamant protests from the military and government alike, nation building and occupation are indeed hallmarks—and unintended consequences—of American warmaking.
In this timely, groundbreaking study, the authors examine ten major wars fought by the United States, from the Revolutionary War to the ongoing Iraq War, and analyze the conflicts’ unintended consequences. These unexpected outcomes, Unintended Consequences persuasively demonstrates, stemmed from ill-informed decisions made at critical junctures and the surprisingly similar crises that emerged at the end of formal fighting. As a result, war did not end with treaties or withdrawn troops. Instead, time after time, the United States became inextricably involved in the issues of the defeated country, committing itself to the chaotic aftermath that often completely subverted the intended purposes of war.
Stunningly, Unintended Consequences contends that the vast majority of wars launched by the United States were unnecessary, avoidable, and catastrophically unpredictable. In a stark challenge to accepted scholarship, the authors show that the wars’ unintended consequences far outweighed the initial calculated goals, and thus forced cataclysmic shifts in American domestic and foreign policy.
A must-read for anyone concerned with the past, present, or future of American defense, Unintended Consequences offers a provocative perspective on the current predicament in Iraq and the conflicts sure to loom ahead of us.
Unmanning studies the conditions that create unmanned platforms in the United States through a genealogy of experimental, pilotless planes flown between 1936 and 1992. Characteristics often attributed to the drone—including machine-like control, enmity and remoteness—are achieved by displacements between humans and machines that shape a mediated theater of war. Rather than primarily treating the drone as a result of the war on terror, this book examines contemporary targeted killing through a series of failed experiments to develop unmanned flight in the twentieth century. The human, machine and media parts of drone aircraft are organized to make an ostensibly not human framework for war that disavows its political underpinnings as technological advance. These experiments are tied to histories of global control, cybernetics, racism and colonialism. Drone crashes and failures call attention to the significance of human action in making technopolitics that comes to be opposed to “man” and the paradoxes at their basis.
Looking to the 2030–2040 time frame, U.S. policy and military strategy will need to strike a balance among maintaining a cooperative relationship with China, deterring Chinese aggression in regional disputes, and preparing for the possibility that China could become more assertive. The U.S. Army will have an important role to play in preparing for these developments and for protecting and furthering U.S. interests in the region.
Safe from the battlefields of Europe and Asia, the United States led the post–World War II global economic recovery through international assistance and foreign direct investment. With an ardent decolonization agenda and a postwar legitimacy, the United States attempted to construct a world characterized by cooperation. When American optimism clashed with Soviet expansionism, the United States started on a path to global hegemony.
In US Foreign Policy and Defense Strategy, the authors analyze the strategic underpinnings of hegemony, assess the national security establishment that sustains dominance, consider the impact on civil-military relations, and explore the intertwining relationships between foreign policy, defense strategy, and commercial activities. Eschewing conventional analyses, the volume not only identifies drivers and continuities in foreign policy, but it also examines how the legacy of the last sixty-five years will influence future national security policy that will be characterized by US leadership in an increasingly competitive world.
From civil-military relations to finance, and from competing visions of how America should make war to its philosophy of securing peace through reconstruction and reconciliation, US Foreign Policy and Defense Strategy offers unique insights into the links between military and commercial power as it charts the rise of a historical rarity: the incidental superpower. This accessibly written book is suitable for students and general readers as well as scholars.
A RAND study analyzed Chinese and U.S. military capabilities in two scenarios (Taiwan and the Spratly Islands) from 1996 to 2017, finding that trends in most, but not all, areas run strongly against the United States. While U.S. aggregate power remains greater than China’s, distance and geography affect outcomes. China is capable of challenging U.S. military dominance on its immediate periphery—and its reach is likely to grow in the years ahead.
The highly acclaimed Weapons for Victory originally appeared in 1995, the fiftieth anniversary of the end of World War II. Now, in this paperback edition, Robert James Maddox provides a new introduction about the ongoing controversy related to the decision to bomb Hiroshima.