Johnson, McNamara, the Joint Chiefs of Staff
Author: H. R. McMaster
Publisher: Harper Collins
"The war in Vietnam was not lost in the field, nor was it lost on the front pages of the New York Times or the college campuses. It was lost in Washington, D.C." —H. R. McMaster (from the Conclusion) Dereliction Of Duty is a stunning analysis of how and why the United States became involved in an all-out and disastrous war in Southeast Asia. Fully and convincingly researched, based on transcripts and personal accounts of crucial meetings, confrontations and decisions, it is the only book that fully re-creates what happened and why. McMaster pinpoints the policies and decisions that got the United States into the morass and reveals who made these decisions and the motives behind them, disproving the published theories of other historians and excuses of the participants. A page-turning narrative, Dereliction Of Duty focuses on a fascinating cast of characters: President Lyndon Johnson, Robert McNamara, General Maxwell Taylor, McGeorge Bundy and other top aides who deliberately deceived the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the U.S. Congress and the American public. McMaster’s only book, Dereliction of Duty is an explosive and authoritative new look at the controversy concerning the United States involvement in Vietnam.
Zwanzig Lektionen für den Widerstand
Author: Timothy Snyder
Category: Political Science
Wir sind nicht klüger als die Menschen, die erlebt haben, wie überall in Europa die Demokratie unterging und Faschismus, Nationalsozialismus und Kommunismus kamen. Aber einen Vorteil haben wir. Wir können aus ihren Erfahrungen lernen. „Leiste keinen vorauseilenden Gehorsam.“ So lautet die erste von 20 Lektionen für den Widerstand, mit denen Timothy Snyder die Bürger der Vereinigten Staaten von Amerika vorbereitet auf das, was gestern noch unvorstellbar zu sein schien: einen Präsidenten, der das Gesicht der Demokratie verstümmelt und eine rechtsradikale Tyrannei errichtet. Doch nicht nur in den USA sind Populismus und autoritäres Führertum auf dem Vormarsch. Auch in Europa rückt die Gefahr von rechts immer näher – als ob es das 20. Jahrhundert und seine blutigen Lehren niemals gegeben hätte. Snyders historische Lektionen, die international Aufsehen erregt haben, sind ein Leitfaden für alle, die jetzt handeln wollen - und nicht erst, wenn es zu spät ist. Lektion 8: „Setze ein Zeichen.“ Dieses Buch tut es. Tun Sie es auch.
The Goldwater-Nichols Act of 1986
Author: Gordon Nathaniel Lederman
Publisher: Greenwood Publishing Group
Studies why congress passed the Goldwater-Nichols Act of 1986, and assesses how the Act changed the U.S. military.
U.S. Noncombat Operations and Major Wars
Author: Aaron Rapport
Publisher: Cornell University Press
Category: Political Science
As the U.S. experience in Iraq following the 2003 invasion made abundantly clear, failure to properly plan for risks associated with postconflict stabilization and reconstruction can have a devastating impact on the overall success of a military mission. In Waging War, Planning Peace, Aaron Rapport investigates how U.S. presidents and their senior advisers have managed vital noncombat activities while the nation is in the midst of fighting or preparing to fight major wars. He argues that research from psychology—specifically, construal level theory—can help explain how individuals reason about the costs of postconflict noncombat operations that they perceive as lying in the distant future. In addition to preparations for "Phase IV" in the lead-up to the Iraq War, Rapport looks at the occupation of Germany after World War II, the planned occupation of North Korea in 1950, and noncombat operations in Vietnam in 1964 and 1965. Applying his insights to these cases, he finds that civilian and military planners tend to think about near-term tasks in concrete terms, seriously assessing the feasibility of the means they plan to employ to secure valued ends. For tasks they perceive as further removed in time, they tend to focus more on the desirability of the overarching goals they are pursuing rather than the potential costs, risks, and challenges associated with the means necessary to achieve these goals. Construal level theory, Rapport contends, provides a coherent explanation of how a strategic disconnect can occur. It can also show postwar planners how to avoid such perilous missteps.
America s Deadly Embrace of Counterinsurgency
Author: Colonel Gian Gentile
Publisher: New Press, The
Colonel Gian Gentile’s 2008 article “Misreading the Surge” in World Politics Review first exposed a growing rift among military intellectuals that has since been playing out in strategy sessions at the Pentagon, in classrooms at military academies, and on the pages of the New York Times. While the past years of U.S. strategy in Afghanistan have been dominated by the doctrine of counterinsurgency (COIN), Gentile and a small group of dissident officers and defense analysts have questioned the necessity and efficacy of COIN—essentially armed nation-building—in achieving the United States’ limited core policy objective in Afghanistan: the destruction of Al Qaeda. Drawing both on the author’s experiences as a combat battalion commander in the Iraq War and his research into the application of counterinsurgency in a variety of historical contexts, Wrong Turn is a brilliant summation of Gentile’s views of the failures of COIN, as well as a searing reevaluation of the current state of affairs in Afghanistan. As the issue of America’s withdrawal from Afghanistan inevitably rises to the top of the national agenda, Wrong Turn will be a major new touchstone for what went wrong and a vital new guide to the way forward. Note: the ideas in this book are the author’s alone, not the Department of Defense’s.
A New History of U.S. National Security Policy Since World War II
Author: Andrew J. Bacevich
Publisher: Columbia University Press
Essays by a diverse and distinguished group of historians, political scientists, and sociologists examine the alarms, emergencies, controversies, and confusions that have characterized America's Cold War, the post-Cold War interval of the 1990s, and today's "Global War on Terror." This "Long War" has left its imprint on virtually every aspect of American life; by considering it as a whole, The Long War is the first volume to take a truly comprehensive look at America's response to the national-security crisis touched off by the events of World War II. Contributors consider topics ranging from grand strategy and strategic bombing to ideology and economics and assess the changing American way of war and Hollywood's surprisingly consistent depiction of Americans at war. They evaluate the evolution of the national-security apparatus and the role of dissenters who viewed the myriad activities of that apparatus with dismay. They take a fresh look at the Long War's civic implications and its impact on civil-military relations. More than a military history, The Long War examines the ideas, policies, and institutions that have developed since the United States claimed the role of global superpower. This protracted crisis has become a seemingly permanent, if not defining aspect of contemporary American life. In breaking down the old and artificial boundaries that have traditionally divided the postwar period into neat historical units, this volume provides a better understanding of the evolution of the United States and U.S. policy since World War II and offers a fresh perspective on our current national security predicament.
Iraq, 9/11, and Misguided Reform
Author: Paul R. Pillar
Publisher: Columbia University Press
Category: Political Science
A career of nearly three decades with the CIA and the National Intelligence Council showed Paul R. Pillar that intelligence reforms, especially measures enacted since 9/11, can be deeply misguided. They often miss the sources that underwrite failed policy and misperceive our ability to read outside influences. They also misconceive the intelligence-policy relationship and promote changes that weaken intelligence-gathering operations. In this book, Pillar confronts the intelligence myths Americans have come to rely on to explain national tragedies, including the belief that intelligence drives major national security decisions and can be fixed to avoid future failures. Pillar believes these assumptions waste critical resources and create harmful policies, diverting attention away from smarter reform, and they keep Americans from recognizing the limits of obtainable knowledge. Pillar revisits U.S. foreign policy during the Cold War and highlights the small role intelligence played in those decisions, and he demonstrates the negligible effect that America's most notorious intelligence failures had on U.S. policy and interests. He then reviews in detail the events of 9/11 and the 2003 invasion of Iraq, condemning the 9/11 commission and the George W. Bush administration for their portrayals of the role of intelligence. Pillar offers an original approach to better informing U.S. policy, which involves insulating intelligence management from politicization and reducing the politically appointed layer in the executive branch to combat slanted perceptions of foreign threats. Pillar concludes with principles for adapting foreign policy to inevitable uncertainties.
The American Presidency at War
Author: Andrew J. Polsky
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Category: Political Science
On April 4, 1864, Abraham Lincoln made a shocking admission about his presidency during the Civil War. "I claim not to have controlled events," he wrote in a letter, "but confess plainly that events have controlled me." Lincoln's words carry an invaluable lesson for wartime presidents, writes Andrew J. Polsky in this seminal book. As Polsky shows, when commanders-in-chief do try to control wartime events, more often than not they fail utterly. In Elusive Victories, Polsky provides a fascinating study of six wartime presidents, drawing larger lessons about the limits of the power of the White House during armed conflict. He examines, in turn, Lincoln, Woodrow Wilson, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama, showing how each gravely overestimated his power as commander-in-chief. In each case, these presidents' resources did not match the key challenges that recur from war to war. Both Lincoln and Johnson intervened in military operations, giving orders to specific units; yet both struggled with the rising unpopularity of their conflicts. Both Wilson and Bush entered hostilities with idealistic agendas for the aftermath, yet found themselves helpless to enact them. With insight and clarity, Polsky identifies overarching issues that will inform current and future policymakers. The single most important dynamic, he writes, is the erosion of a president's freedom of action. Each decision propels him down a path from which he cannot turn back. When George W. Bush rejected the idea of invading Iraq with 400,000 troops, he could not send such a force two years later as the insurgency spread. In the final chapter, Polsky examines Barack Obama's options in light of these conclusions, and considers how the experiences of the past might inform the world we face now. Elusive Victories is the first book to provide a comprehensive account of presidential leadership during wartime, highlighting the key dangers that presidents have ignored at their peril.
Agency, Culture and Service Change
Author: Asst Prof Adam N Stulberg,Professor Michael D Salomone
Publisher: Ashgate Publishing, Ltd.
Category: Political Science
Why are some military organizations more adept than others at reinventing themselves? Why do some efforts succeed rapidly while others only gather momentum over time or become sidetracked or even subverted? This book explicates the conditions under which military organizations have both succeeded and failed at institutionalizing new ideas and forms of warfare. Through comparative analysis of some classic cases - US naval aviation during the interwar period; German and British armour development during the same period; and the US Army's experience with counter-insurgency during the Vietnam War - the authors offer a novel explanation for change rooted in managerial strategies for aligning service incentives and norms. With contemporary policy makers scrambling to digest the lessons of recent wars in Kosovo, Afghanistan and Iraq, as well as to meet the unfolding challenges of the new revolution in military affairs (RMA), understanding the sources and impediments to transformation has become critical.
The Man Who Is Not Here with Hands Upon Our Shoulders Whispering in Our Ear
Author: Gary Brosch
Publisher: Xlibris Corporation
I have stated before that the world is not your friend. Nations have little interest in the United States other than what they may gain from her dead or alive; pick her pockets, or pick her bones, it matters little to rag-picking nations. However, America, your danger has become far more profound than ever before. Your external enemies pale in comparison to the beast that currently is consuming you alive from within. Your deadliest enemy is to be found within your own borders now. This enemy is multi-faceted, and relentless. It is your own government. Your own government, at all levels, is at war with the American culture, the American economic and military superiority, the American identity, American citizenship, American education literally everything that has made America unique for three hundred years is under assault from within. Unless this trend is immediately rectified, any attempt to protect your country from external enemies will be useless. What are you prepared to do about that?
A Political Biography
Author: Christopher D. O'Sullivan
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
Category: Biography & Autobiography
In this exploration of Colin Powell's career and character, Christopher D. O' Sullivan reveals several broad themes crucial to American foreign policy and yields insights into the evolution of American foreign and defense policy in the post-Vietnam, post-Cold War eras. In addition, O'Sullivan explores the conflicts and debates between different foreign policy ideologies such as neo-conservatism and realism.
Author: Stephen E. Wright
Publisher: Stackpole Books
Air Force officers of all ranks, from cadets to generals, both active duty and reserves, will find this revised edition essential reading for a successful career.
A Down-to-earth Guide to Effective Managing
Author: Perry M. Smith
Category: Business & Economics
From hiring, firing and promoting to responding to major corporate crises, from day-to-day encounters to long-range strategic planning, Perry covers virtually every aspect of leadership and provides the means to get the job done-and done well.
US and UK Armed Forces in Afghanistan and Iraq 2001-2012
Author: Alastair Finlan
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing USA
Category: Political Science
Contemporary Military Strategy and the Global War on Terror offers an in-depth analysis of US/UK military strategy in Afghanistan and Iraq from 2001 to the present day. It explores the development of contemporary military strategy in the West in the modern age before interrogating its application in the Global War on Terror. The book provides detailed insights into the formulation of military plans by political and military elites in the United States and United Kingdom for Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom. Alastair Finlan highlights the challenges posed by each of these unique theatres of operation, the nature of the diverse enemies faced by coalition forces, and the shortcomings in strategic thinking about these campaigns. This fresh perspective on strategy in the West and how it has been applied in recent military campaigns facilitates a deep understanding of how wars have been and will be fought. Including key terms, concepts and discussion questions for each chapter, Contemporary Military Strategy and the Global War on Terror is a crucial text in strategic studies, and required reading for anyone interested in the new realities of transnational terrorism and twenty-first century warfare.
Dangers, Delusions, and Dilemmas in National Security
Author: Richard K. Betts
Publisher: Columbia University Press
Category: Political Science
While American national security policy has grown more interventionist since the Cold War, Washington has also hoped to shape the world on the cheap. Misled by the stunning success against Iraq in 1991, administrations of both parties have pursued ambitious aims with limited force, committing the country's military frequently yet often hesitantly, with inconsistent justification. These ventures have produced strategic confusion, unplanned entanglements, and indecisive results. This collection of essays by Richard K. Betts, a leading international politics scholar, investigates the use of American force since the end of the Cold War, suggesting guidelines for making it more selective and successful. Betts brings his extensive knowledge of twentieth century American diplomatic and military history to bear on the full range of theory and practice in national security, surveying the Cold War roots of recent initiatives and arguing that U.S. policy has always been more unilateral than liberal theorists claim. He exposes mistakes made by humanitarian interventions and peace operations; reviews the issues raised by terrorism and the use of modern nuclear, biological, and cyber weapons; evaluates the case for preventive war, which almost always proves wrong; weighs the lessons learned from campaigns in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Vietnam; assesses the rise of China and the resurgence of Russia; quells concerns about civil-military relations; exposes anomalies within recent defense budgets; and confronts the practical barriers to effective strategy. Betts ultimately argues for greater caution and restraint, while encouraging more decisive action when force is required, and he recommends a more dispassionate assessment of national security interests, even in the face of global instability and unfamiliar threats.
A History of Official Deception and Its Consequences
Author: Eric Alterman
Category: Political Science
“I’ve never read a better explanation of why presidents lie.”—John W. Dean, former counsel to President Nixon, The Washington Monthly By the end of the twentieth century, after decades of demoralizing revelations about the mendacity of their elected officials, most Americans had come to accept the fact that deception was not only an accepted practice in government but also pervasive. Whatever the reasons proposed to justify falsehoods—practicality, expediency, extraordinary conditions of wartime—the ability to lie convincingly had come to be regarded as almost being a qualification for holding public office. Although such behavior has come to be tolerated, little accounting has been taken of the effects of this institutionalized dishonesty in our political culture. When Presidents Lie: A History of Official Deception and Its Consequences addresses its subject not from a moral perspective, but from a pragmatic one, and discovers that in the end, honesty in government is, in fact, the best policy. Journalist and historian Eric Alterman’s meticulous research is drawn from primary-source materials, both government documents and the media reactions to the unfolding dramas, and demonstrates how these lies returned to haunt their tellers, or their successors, destroying the very policy the lie had been intended to support. Without exception, each of the presidents paid a high price for deception. So, too, did the nation. This is history at its most compelling, a balanced, eloquent, and revelatory chronicle of presidential dishonesty and its incalculable costs. In the fundamental questions it raises about leadership, accountability, and democracy, it is required reading for anyone who is concerned about America’s past—or her future.
Author: Jeremy Black
Publisher: Reaktion Books
Why Wars Happen is a groundbreaking inquiry into the crucial yet surprisingly understudied question of why wars occur. Jeremy Black, one of Britain's foremost military historians, presents an interdisciplinary study that draws on subjects such as history, political science, and international relations and marshals a vast range of material with global examples spanning from the fifteenth century to today. Black examines several major modern wars in their historical contexts, taking into account cultural differences and various conflict theories. He analyzes the three main types of war—between cultures, within cultures, and civil—and explores the problems of defining war. Black's investigation inspires fascinating questions such as: Do wars reflect the bellicosity in societies and states, or do they largely arise as a result of a diplomatic breakdown? How closely is war linked to changes in the nature of warfare, the international system, or the internal character of states? Black also considers contemporary situations and evaluates the possible course of future wars. Offering a valuable and thought-provoking analysis on the causes of war and conflicts, Why Wars Happen will interest historians and readers of military history alike.
War, Peace and Politics
Author: Sam Sarkesian,Robert Connor
This brand new edition of The US Military Profession into the Twenty-First Century re-examines the challenges faced by the military profession in the aftermath of the international terrorist attack on the United States on September 11, 2001. While many of the issues facing the military profession examined in the first edition remain, the 'new war' and international terrorism have compounded the challenges. The US military must respond to the changed domestic and strategic landscapes without diminishing its primary function—a function that now many see that goes beyond success on the battlefield. Not only has this complicated the problem of reconciling the military professional ethos and raison d’etre with civilian control in a democracy, it challenges traditional military professionalism. This book also studies the notion of a US military stretched thin and relying more heavily on the US Federal Reserves and National Guard. These developments make the US military profession increasingly linked to public attitudes and political perspectives. In sum, the challenge faced by the US military profession can be termed a dual dilemma. It must respond effectively to the twenty-first century strategic landscape while undergoing the revolution in military affairs and transformation. At the same time, the military profession must insure that it remains compatible with civilian cultures and the US political-social system without eroding its primary function. This is an invaluable book for all students with an interest in the US Military, and of strategic studies and military history in general.
Influence and Perception in Modern Warfare
Author: T. R. McKeldin
Publisher: Potomac Books, Inc.
The United States has struggled to define its approach to what has been called the "information battlefield" since the information era began. Yet with the outbreak of the war on terror, the United States has been violently challenged to take a position and react to the militants' use of emerging information technology. Ideological demigods operating against the United States now have unprecedented channels by which to disseminate their message to those targets who are uncertain, sympathetic, or actively supportive of their philosophy. From the caves of southeastern Afghanistan to the streets of Baghdad, "the message" has dominated the thinking of those who perpetrate horrific acts of violence, whether in the name of ideology, ethnic and sectarian partisanship, or religion. This anthology is divided into four sections: geopolitical, strategic, operational, and tactical. The geopolitical perspective covers world politics, diplomacy, and the elements of national power, excluding military force. The strategic view examines where the violence has begun and the military element of power. The operational perspective handles the campaigns to accomplish a specific purpose on the world stage--for example, as in the Iraq campaign. The tactical level takes the individual's role into account. Because the nexus of information conflict is most easily seen in the world's contemporary violent confrontations, this anthology reflects the experience and lessons learned by military personnel who have managed these difficult issues. With a foreword by Colonel H. R. McMaster, U.S. Army, the author of Dereliction of Duty: Johnson, McNamara, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the Lies That Led to Vietnam.
Lam Son 719
Author: Robert D. Sander
Publisher: University of Oklahoma Press
In 1971, while U.S. ground forces were prohibited from crossing the Laotian border, a South Vietnamese Army corps, with U.S. air support, launched the largest airmobile operation in the history of warfare, Lam Son 719. The objective: to sever the North Vietnamese Army’s main logistical artery, the Ho Chi Minh Trail, at its hub, Tchepone in Laos, an operation that, according to General Creighton Abrams, could have been the decisive battle of the war, hastening the withdrawal of U.S. forces and ensuring the survival of South Vietnam. The outcome: defeat of the South Vietnamese Army and heavy losses of U.S. helicopters and aircrews, but a successful preemptive strike that met President Nixon’s near-term political objectives. Author Robert Sander, a helicopter pilot in Lam Son 719, explores why an operation of such importance failed. Drawing on archives and interviews, and firsthand testimony and reports, Sander chronicles not only the planning and execution of the operation but also the maneuvers of the bastions of political and military power during the ten-year effort to end Communist infiltration of South Vietnam leading up to Lam Son 719. The result is a picture from disparate perspectives: the Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon administrations; the South Vietnamese government led by President Nguyen Van Thieu; and senior U.S. military commanders and army aviators. Sander’s conclusion is at once powerful and persuasively clear. Lam Son 719 was doomed in both the planning and execution—a casualty of domestic and international politics, flawed assumptions, incompetent execution, and the resolve of the North Vietnamese Army. A powerful work of military and political history, this book offers eloquent testimony that “failure, like success, cannot be measured in absolute terms.”