Wars begin, continue, and conclude as politicians and military brass spout phrases like final victory and mission accomplished as if they were absolutes. As this original and provocative collection of essays illustrates, wars rarely end so neatly. Moten, currently a professor of history at the U.S. Military Academy, has served in the U.S. Army for more than 27 years. He has elicited the expertise of a variety of political and military scholars to examine how various American military conflicts were ended and how those endings related to policymakers’ stated and unstated goals. The wars covered span our history from the Revolutionary War to the first Gulf War. Each essay has its unique perspective, and many contain assertions that contradict traditional views. Several common themes tie the essays together. Most prominently, wars, once launched, irrevocably change facts and acquire momentum of their own, distorting and altering initial military and political goals. This outstanding and timely anthology is likely to engender controversy amongst both military and political officials. --Jay Freeman
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“Making sense of the headlines…A set of essays devoted to the shadowy ground on which the guns have ceased their roar, but could resume it at any moment. . . . Of considerable interest to students of military history, strategy, tactics and geopolitics.”