American American Force Dangers, Delusions, and Dilemmas in National Security

ISBN-10: 0231151233

ISBN-13: 9780231151238

Edition: N/A

Authors: Richard K. Betts

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Description:

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.
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Book details

List price: $22.00
Publisher: Columbia University Press
Publication date: 9/3/2013
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 384
Size: 6.00" wide x 9.00" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 1.100
Language: English

Richard K. Betts is director of the Arnold A. Saltzman Institute of War and Peace Studies at Columbia, senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, and author of numerous books on military strategy and foreign policy. He has served on the National Commission on Terrorism, staffs of the Senate Intelligence Committee and National Security Council, and advisory panels for the Director of Central Intelligence.

Preface
The Post-Cold War Hiatus
Introduction: From Cold War to Hot Peace
Policy Milestones: Cold War Roots of Consensus
Confused Interventions: Puttering with Primacy
New Threats of Mass Destruction: Capabilities Down, Intentions Up
History Strikes Back
Terrorism: The Soft Underbelly of Primacy
Striking First: Well-Lost Opportunities
Big Small Wars: Iraq, Afghanistan, and Vietnam
The Main Events: China's Rise and Russia's Resurgence
Decision and Implementation
Civil-Military Relations: A Special Problem?
Plans and Results: Is Strategy an Illusion?
A Disciplined Defense: Regaining Strategic Solvency
Conclusion: Selecting Security
Notes
Index
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