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WHY DO COMPETENT ARMIES FAIL? Why did the American-led coalition in Iraq fail to wage a classic counter-insurgency campaign for so long after the fall of Baghdad? Why was the sophisticated Israeli intelligence service so thoroughly surprised by the onslaught of combined Arab armies during the Yom Kippur War of 1973? How did a dozen German U-boats manage to humiliate the U.S. Navy for nine months in 1942 -- sinking an average of 650,000 tons of shipping monthly? What made the 1915 British-led invasion of Gallipoli one of the bloodiest catastrophes of the First World War? Since it was first published in 1990, Military Misfortunes has become the classic analysis of the unexpected catastrophes that befall competent militaries. Now with a new Afterword discussing America's missteps in Iraq, Somalia, and the War on Terror, Eliot A. Cohen and John Gooch's gripping battlefield narratives and groundbreaking explanations of the hidden factors that undermine armies are brought thoroughly up to date. As recent events prove, Military Misfortunes will be required reading for as long as armies go to war.
The relationship between military leaders and political leaders has always been a complicated one, especially in times of war. When the chips are down, who should run the show, politicians or generals? Eliot Cohen reveals the surprising answer.
Discussion of how statesmen and the military should interact.
More than any other episode since the end of the Cold War, the conflict in Kosovo revealed the distinctive attributes of a new American "way of war." In so doing, Kosovo also brought into sharp focus the military, political, and moral dilemmas confronting a liberal democracy intent on wielding preeminent power on a global scale. What are the moral implications posed by waging high-tech warfare for humanitarian purposes? Does the precedent set by intervention of this type point toward peace and stability or toward more war? How well suited are the United States military and American society as a whole to the security challenges of the age of globalization? According to Bacevich and Cohen, gauging the "success" achieved in Kosovo yields important answers to these and related questions. The volume includes a well-crafted historical overview of the war and six essays that place it in a broader context. The contributors explore the conflict's relationship to U.S. grand strategy, the Revolution in Military Affairs, and American civil-military relations, among other topics.
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