The American Way of War

A History of United States Military Strategy and Policy

Author: Russell Frank Weigley

Publisher: Indiana University Press

ISBN: 9780253280299

Category: History

Page: 584

View: 8196

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"... a strong and stimulating book. It has no rival in either scope or quality. For libraries, history buffs, and armchair warriors, it is a must. For political science students, career diplomats, and officers in the armed services, its reading should be required." —History "A particularly timely account." —Kansas City Times "It reads easily but is not a popularized history... nor does the book become a history of battles.... Weigley's analyses and interpretations are searching, competent, and useful." —Perspective

Technology and the American Way of War Since 1945

Author: Thomas G. Mahnken

Publisher: Columbia University Press

ISBN: 0231517882

Category: History

Page: 256

View: 1589

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No nation in recent history has placed greater emphasis on the role of technology in planning and waging war than the United States. In World War II the wholesale mobilization of American science and technology culminated in the detonation of the atomic bomb. Competition with the Soviet Union during the Cold War, combined with the U.S. Navy's culture of distributed command and the rapid growth of information technology, spawned the concept of network-centric warfare. And America's post-Cold War conflicts in Iraq, the former Yugoslavia, and Afghanistan have highlighted America's edge. From the atom bomb to the spy satellites of the Cold War, the strategic limitations of the Vietnam War, and the technological triumphs of the Gulf war, Thomas G. Mahnken follows the development and integration of new technologies into the military and emphasizes their influence on the organization, mission, and culture of the armed services. In some cases, advancements in technology have forced different branches of the military to develop competing or superior weaponry, but more often than not the armed services have molded technology to suit their own purposes, remaining resilient in the face of technological challenges. Mahnken concludes with an examination of the reemergence of the traditional American way of war, which uses massive force to engage the enemy. Tying together six decades of debate concerning U.S. military affairs, he discusses how the armed forces might exploit the unique opportunities of the information revolution in the future.

The American Way of War

How Bush's Wars Became Obama's

Author: Tom Engelhardt

Publisher: Haymarket Books

ISBN: 1608460711

Category: Political Science

Page: 222

View: 2054

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Tom Engelhardt, creator of the vital website TomDispatch.com, takes a scalpel to the American urge to dominate the globe. Tracing developments from 9/11 to late last night, this is an unforgettable anatomy of a disaster that is yet to end. Since 2001, Tom Engelhardt has written regular reports for his popular site TomDispatch that have provided badly-needed insight into U.S. militarism and its effects, both at home and abroad. When others were celebrating the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, he warned of the enormous dangers of both occupations. In The American Way of War, Engelhardt documents Washington's ongoing commitment to military bases to preserve?and extend?its empire; reveals damning information about the American reliance on airpower, at great cost to civilians in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Pakistan; and shows that the US empire has deep historical roots that precede the Bush administration?and continue today into the presidency of Barack Obama. "Tom Engelhardt provides a clear-eyed examination of U.S. foreign policy in the Bush and Obama years, and details unsparingly how Obama has inherited -- and in many cases exacerbated -- the ills of the Bush era.... an important book for anyone hoping to understand how the U.S. arrived at its current predicament during the Bush years, and how it remains in this predicament despite Obama's best efforts -- or perhaps because of them." ?Daniel Luban, Inter-Press Service ?Tom Engelhardt is among our most trenchant critics of American perpetual war. Like I. F. Stone in the 1960s, he has an uncanny ability to ferret out and see clearly the ugly truths hidden in government reports and statistics. No cynic, he always measures the sordid reality against a bright vision of an America that lives up to its highest ideals.” ?Juan R. Cole, Professor of History at the University of Michigan

Decisive Force

The New American Way of War

Author: F. G. Hoffman

Publisher: Praeger Publishers

ISBN: N.A

Category: Political Science

Page: 150

View: 7025

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The existence of a national style of warfare, an American Way of War, has been used to characterize fundamental elements of American military strategy. During his tenure as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Colin Powell became the proponent for a strategic framework to guide the consideration of how military forces should be used to support national policy objectives. His framework was reflected in the Chairman's National Military Strategy published in early 1992 after Desert Storm under a concept titled Decisive Force. This book traces the development and evaluates the merits of a New American Way of War embodied in the Decisive Force concept. Military attitudes and lessons about the utility of force are drawn from four recent conflicts.

The New American Way of War

Military Culture and the Political Utility of Force

Author: Ben Buley

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1134086415

Category: Political Science

Page: 192

View: 5714

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This book explores the cultural history and future prospects of the so-called ‘new American way of war’. In recent decades, American military culture has become increasingly dominated by a vision of ‘immaculate destruction’, which reached its apogee with the fall of Baghdad in 2003. Operation Iraqi Freedom was hailed as the triumphant validation of this new American way of war. For its most enthusiastic supporters, it also encapsulated a broader political vision. By achieving complete technical mastery of the battlefield, the US would render warfare surgical, humane, and predictable, and become a precisely calibrated instrument of national policy. American strategy has often been characterised as lacking in concern for the non-military consequences of actions. However, the chaotic aftermath of the Iraq War revealed the timeless truth that military success and political victory are not the same. In reality, the American way of war has frequently emerged as the contradictory expression of competing visions of war struggling for dominance since the early Cold War period. By tracing the origins and evolution of these competing views on the political utility of force, this book will set the currently popular image of a new American way of war in its broader historical, cultural and political context, and provide an assessment of its future prospects. This book will be of great interest to students of strategic studies, military theory, US foreign policy and international politics. It will be highly relevant for military practitioners interested in the fundamental concepts which continue to drive American strategic thinking in the contemporary battlegrounds of the War on Terror.

How We Fight

Crusades, Quagmires, and the American Way of War

Author: Dominic Tierney

Publisher: Hachette UK

ISBN: 0316122319

Category: History

Page: 352

View: 1640

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Americans love war. We've never run from a fight. Our triumphs from the American Revolution to World War II define who we are as a nation and a people. Americans hate war. Our leaders rush us into conflicts without knowing the facts or understanding the consequences. Korea, Vietnam, and now Iraq and Afghanistan define who we are as a nation and a people. How We Fight explores the extraordinary doublemindedness with which Americans approach war, and reveals the opposing mindsets that have governed our responses throughout history: the "crusade" tradition-our grand quests to defend democratic values and overthrow tyrants; and the "quagmire" tradition-our resistance to the work of nation-building and its inevitable cost in dollars and American lives. How can one nation be so split? Studying conflicts from the Civil War to the present, Dominic Tierney has created a secret history of American foreign policy and a frank and insightful look at how Americans respond to the ultimate challenge. And he shows how success is possible. His innovative model for tackling the challenges of modern war can mean longstanding victory in Iraq and Afghanistan, by rediscovering a lost American warrior tradition.

Ethics, Technology and the American Way of War

Cruise Missiles and US Security Policy

Author: Reuben E. Brigety II

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 113598610X

Category: History

Page: 192

View: 7604

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A new investigation into how the advent of precision-guided munitions affects the likelihood of US policy makers to use force. As such, this is an inquiry into the impact of ethics, strategy and military technology on the decision calculus of national leaders. Following the first Gulf War in 1991, this new study shows how US Presidents increasingly used stand-off precision guided munitions (or "PGMs", especially the Tomahawk cruise missile) either to influence foreign adversaries to make specific policy choices or to signal displeasure with their actions. Such uses of force are attractive because they can lead to desirable policy outcomes where conventional diplomacy has failed but without the large cost of lives, economic resources, or political capital that result from large-scale military operations. In a post-9/11 world, understanding alternative uses of force under significant policy constraints is still of supreme importance.

Law, Science, Liberalism, and the American Way of Warfare

Author: Stephanie Carvin,Michael John Williams

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 1107067170

Category: History

Page: 211

View: 1429

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Founded and rooted in Enlightenment values, the United States is caught between two conflicting imperatives when it comes to war: achieving perfect security through the annihilation of threats; and a requirement to conduct itself in a liberal and humane manner. In order to reconcile these often clashing requirements, the US has often turned to its scientists and laboratories to find strategies and weapons that are both decisive and humane. In effect, a modern faith in science and technology to overcome life's problems has been utilized to create a distinctly 'American Way of Warfare'. Carvin and Williams provide a framework to understand the successes and failures of the US in the wars it has fought since the days of the early Republic through to the War on Terror. It is the first book of its kind to combine a study of technology, law and liberalism in American warfare.

Reconsidering the American Way of War

US Military Practice from the Revolution to Afghanistan

Author: Antulio J. Echevarria II

Publisher: Georgetown University Press

ISBN: 1626160678

Category: Political Science

Page: 219

View: 4984

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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. 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. 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.

The American Way of War

Guided Missiles, Misguided Men, and a Republic in Peril

Author: Eugene Jarecki

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

ISBN: 1416565329

Category: History

Page: 288

View: 8720

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In the sobering aftermath of America's invasion of Iraq, Eugene Jarecki, the creator of the award-winning documentary Why We Fight, launches a penetrating and revelatory inquiry into how forces within the American political, economic, and military systems have come to undermine the carefully crafted structure of our republic -- upsetting its balance of powers, vastly strengthening the hand of the president in taking the nation to war, and imperiling the workings of American democracy. This is a story not of simple corruption but of the unexpected origins of a more subtle and, in many ways, more worrisome disfiguring of our political system and society. While in no way absolving George W. Bush and his inner circle of their accountability for misguiding the country into a disastrous war -- in fact, Jarecki sheds new light on the deepest underpinnings of how and why they did so -- he reveals that the forty-third president's predisposition toward war and Congress's acquiescence to his wishes must be understood as part of a longer story. This corrupting of our system was predicted by some of America's leading military and political minds. In his now legendary 1961 farewell address, President Dwight D. Eisenhower warned of "the disastrous rise of misplaced power" that could result from the increasing influence of what he called the "military industrial complex." Nearly two centuries earlier, another general turned president, George Washington, had warned that "overgrown military establishments" were antithetical to republican liberties. Today, with an exploding defense budget, millions of Americans employed in the defense sector, and more than eight hundred U.S. military bases in 130 countries, the worst fears of Washington and Eisenhower have come to pass. Surveying a scorched landscape of America's military adventures and misadventures, Jarecki's groundbreaking account includes interviews with a who's who of leading figures in the Bush administration, Congress, the military, academia, and the defense industry, including Republican presidential nominee John McCain, Colin Powell's former chief of staff Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson, and longtime Pentagon reformer Franklin "Chuck" Spinney. Their insights expose the deepest roots of American war making, revealing how the "Arsenal of Democracy" that crucially secured American victory in WWII also unleashed the tangled web of corruption America now faces. From the republic's earliest episodes of war to the use of the atom bomb against Japan to the passage of the 1947 National Security Act to the Cold War's creation of an elaborate system of military-industrial-congressional collusion, American democracy has drifted perilously from the intent of its founders. As Jarecki powerfully argues, only concerted action by the American people can, and must, compel the nation back on course. The American Way of War is a deeply thoughtprovoking study of how America reached a historic crossroads and of how recent excesses of militarism and executive power may provide an opening for the redirection of national priorities.

Taxing Wars

The American Way of War Finance and the Decline of Democracy

Author: Sarah Kreps

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 019086530X

Category: Political Science

Page: 336

View: 8243

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Why have the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq lasted longer than any others in American history? The conventional wisdom suggests that the move to an all-volunteer force and unmanned technologies such as drones have reduced the apparent burden of war so much that they have allowed these conflicts to continue almost unnoticed for years. Taxing Wars suggests that the burden in blood is just one side of the coin. The way Americans bear the burden in treasure has also changed, and these changes have both eroded accountability and contributed to the phenomenon of perpetual war. Sarah Kreps chronicles the entire history of how America has paid for its wars-and how its methods have changed. Early on, the United States imposed war taxes that both demanded sacrifices from all Americans and served as reminders of their participation. Indeed, thinkers from Immanuel Kant to Adam Smith argued that these reminders were exactly the reason why democracies tended to fight shorter and less costly wars. Bearing these burdens caused the populace to sue for peace when the costs mounted. Leaders in a democracy, responsive to their citizens, would have incentives to heed that opposition and bring wars to as expeditious an end as possible. Since the Korean War, the United States has increasingly moved away from war taxes. Instead, borrowing-and its comparatively less visible connection with the war-has become a permanent feature of contemporary wars. The move serves leaders well because reducing the apparent burden of war has helped mute public opposition and any decision-making constraints. But by masking accountability, however, the move away from war taxes undermines the basis for democratic restraint in wartime. Contemporary wars have become correspondingly longer and costlier as the public has become disconnected from those burdens. Given the trends identified in Taxing Wars, the recent past-epitomized by our lengthy wars in Afghanistan and Iraq-is likely to be prologue.

The Insurgents

David Petraeus and the Plot to Change the American Way of War

Author: Fred Kaplan

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

ISBN: 1451642660

Category: History

Page: 432

View: 2004

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A finalist for the Pulitzer Prize The Insurgents is the inside story of the small group of soldier-scholars, led by General David Petraeus, who plotted to revolutionize one of the largest, oldest, and most hidebound institutions—the United States military. Their aim was to build a new Army that could fight the new kind of war in the post–Cold War age: not massive wars on vast battlefields, but “small wars” in cities and villages, against insurgents and terrorists. These would be wars not only of fighting but of “nation building,” often not of necessity but of choice. Based on secret documents, private emails, and interviews with more than one hundred key characters, including Petraeus, the tale unfolds against the backdrop of the wars against insurgents in Iraq and Afghanistan. But the main insurgency is the one mounted at home by ambitious, self-consciously intellectual officers—Petraeus, John Nagl, H. R. McMaster, and others—many of them classmates or colleagues in West Point’s Social Science Department who rose through the ranks, seized with an idea of how to fight these wars better. Amid the crisis, they forged a community (some of them called it a cabal or mafia) and adapted their enemies’ techniques to overhaul the culture and institutions of their own Army. Fred Kaplan describes how these men and women maneuvered the idea through the bureaucracy and made it official policy. This is a story of power, politics, ideas, and personalities—and how they converged to reshape the twenty-first-century American military. But it is also a cautionary tale about how creative doctrine can harden into dogma, how smart strategists—today’s “best and brightest”—can win the battles at home but not the wars abroad. Petraeus and his fellow insurgents made the US military more adaptive to the conflicts of the modern era, but they also created the tools—and made it more tempting—for political leaders to wade into wars that they would be wise to avoid.

Sherman's Ghosts

Soldiers, Civilians, and the American Way of War

Author: Matthew Carr

Publisher: New Press, The

ISBN: 1620970783

Category: History

Page: 352

View: 3674

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“To know what war is, one should follow our tracks,” General William T. Sherman once wrote to his wife, describing the devastation left by his armies in Georgia. Sherman’s Ghosts is an investigation of the "tracks" left by the wars fought by the American military in the 150 years since Sherman's infamous “March to the Sea.” Sherman’s Ghosts opens with an epic retelling of General Sherman’s fateful decision to turn his sights on the South’s civilian population in order to break the back of the Confederacy. Acclaimed journalist Matthew Carr then exposes how this strategy became the central preoccupation of war planners in the twentieth century and beyond, offering a stunning and lucid assessment of the impact Sherman’s slash-and-burn policies have had on subsequent wars, including in the Philippines, World War II, Korea, Vietnam, and even Iraq and Afghanistan. In riveting accounts of military campaigns and in the words and writings of American fighting men and military strategists, Carr finds ample and revealing evidence of Sherman’s long shadow. Sherman’s Ghosts is a rare reframing of how we understand our violent history and a call to action for those who hope to change it.

War and Empire

The American Way of Life

Author: Paul L. Atwood

Publisher: Pluto Pr

ISBN: 9780745327648

Category: History

Page: 268

View: 5029

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In this provocative study, Paul Atwood attempts to show Americans that their history is one of constant wars of aggression and imperial expansion. In his long teaching career, Atwood has found that most students know virtually nothing about America's involvement in the wars of the 20th century, let alone those prior to World War I. War and Empire aims to correct this, clearly and persuasively explaining US actions in every major war since the declaration of independence. The book shows that, far from being dragged reluctantly into foreign entanglements, America's leaders have always picked their battles in order to increase its influence and power, with little regard for those killed in the process. This book is an eye-opening introduction to the American way of life for undergraduate students of American history, politics and international relations.

The Ideal Man

The Tragedy of Jim Thompson and the American Way of War

Author: Joshua Kurlantzick

Publisher: John Wiley & Sons

ISBN: 1118098110

Category: History

Page: 272

View: 4437

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How the West's greatest spy in Asia tried to stop the new American way of war—and the steep price he paid for failing Jim Thompson landed in Thailand at the end of World War II, a former American society dilettante who became an Asian legend as a spy and silk magnate with access to Thai worlds outsiders never saw. As the Cold War reached Thailand, America had a choice: Should it, as Thompson believed, help other nations build democracies from their traditional cultures or, as his ex-OSS friend Willis Bird argued, remake the world through deception and self-serving alliances? In a story rich with insights and intrigue, this book explores a key Cold War episode that is still playing out today. Highlights a pivotal moment in Cold War history that set a course for American foreign policy that is still being followed today Explores the dynamics that put Thailand at the center of the Cold War and the fighting in neighboring Laos that escalated from sideshow to the largest covert operation America had ever engaged in Draws on personal recollections and includes atmospheric details that bring the people, events—and the Thailand of the time—to life Written by a journalist with extensive experience in Asian affairs who has spent years investigating every aspect of this story, including Thompson's tragic disappearance