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44 of 48 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Why General Clark's Four Stars Shine So Bright
First of all, this title is heavy. It is not 'dumbed down' for the reading ease of the majority population.
Second, prepare to be amazed because General Wesley Clark seems almost a seer in his predictions of the Iraq offensive (initiated by the Bush Administration). He explains in detail the dynamics of the Middle East, and exactly what type of participation needs...
Published on October 16, 2003 by Melissa J. Kramer

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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Iraq and Foreign Diplomacy Reconsidered
Four-star General and presidential aspirant, Wesley Clark, has written a book that deals with the US role in Iraq and in world affairs. Clark does a good job of keeping his work concise and on-point.
Clark begins the book by giving an excellent recitation of the background and actually fighting that occurred in the 2003 Iraq War. Clark also describes the post-war...
Published on January 21, 2004 by Crack Reviewer


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44 of 48 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Why General Clark's Four Stars Shine So Bright, October 16, 2003
By 
Melissa J. Kramer (Oakwood, Ohio United States) - See all my reviews
First of all, this title is heavy. It is not 'dumbed down' for the reading ease of the majority population.
Second, prepare to be amazed because General Wesley Clark seems almost a seer in his predictions of the Iraq offensive (initiated by the Bush Administration). He explains in detail the dynamics of the Middle East, and exactly what type of participation needs to be involved to achieve peace. His theories are nothing short of brilliant, and sensitive, as were his CNN commentaries and analysis. You would be hard pressed to find so thorough a volume, so accurate a volume, by any other military leader.
General Wesley K. Clark, with this book, gives credibility to his vast knowledge of foreign policy, and demonstrates his superior critical thinking skills. He is a shining star on the political horizon, and, quite possibly, will be the brightest military strategist and diplomat to hold the office of President of the United States.
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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An Absorbing Entry By A Presidential Hopeful!, November 11, 2003
By 
Barron Laycock "Labradorman" (Temple, New Hampshire United States) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
Parts of this fairly brief yet well-written work by former general Wesley Clark fairly sing. For example, when describing the active military strategy employed that shrewdly manipulated the Iraqis into alternatively exposing themselves to Allied airpower and armor, Clark is obviously in his element, illustrating how the kind of `lean and mean' profile of the new American military tactics can be used to actively spur and influence the conduct of overwhelming blitzkrieg-type rapid advances. Moreover, as he describes the geo-political hazards of playing bait and switch with Saddam Hussein, using him as the `flight dummy', a substitute standing in for Osama Bin laden as the resident bad-guy American military might can be deployed against, Clark illustrates why he was a controversial yet acknowledged tactician who understood every element of the quicksilver calculus of modern battle. Yet when he begins to draw obvious political conclusions from all this, his argument somewhat stalls and slows down.
While it is hard to argue with his observations regarding the way the Bush administration cynically manipulated and played on the fears and trepidations of the populace in pursuing rather conventional engagements since it would be easy and likley successful, first with the Afghans and later the Iraqis, it is also true that it is extremely self-serving to do so for a man who is now an announced candidate for President. And while I agree that he is very much on the mark in terms of the accuracy and cogency of his arguments against both the tenor and intensity of the war effort since 911, one tires of the repeated criticism and attacks on Bush, even though Clark sometimes does so quite convincingly. For example he cites how Donald Rumsfeld and others within his entourage craved a chance to attack Iraq even before assuming office, and also how both they and Condoleeza Rice consciously viewed the event of 911 as offering them an opportunity to use the situation to go after Saddam. For Clark, Saddam was a virtual "hobbyhorse" they wanted to ride, even at the expense of ignoring more pressing concerns such as the active pursuit of Al Qaeda and exaggerating the threat and the evidence concerning Saddam's possible role as a threat to America. So, Clark maintains, we attacked the wrong target at the worst possible moment, squandering our resources in an unnecessary and pointless showdown with Sadam Hussein.
Finally, as he turns his focus to concentrate on more global concerns, including how he would approach the foreign policy issues he feels have so far vexed the current administration, he becomes more general, more philosophical, and less specific. Just like a serious Presidential candidate might! While this is to be expected, I was disappointed by his reflections, which seemed to me to be more likely written by consulting committees worried about offending popular sensibilities than anything else. Yet all that said, it is obvious that he is bright, energetic, and extremely ambitious. What worries me most about this remarkable man is the fact that he rose within the military to become a general, which mean he is a master politician, for no one becomes a general in today's army without being what they call a "team player" one who goes along to get along". The military values conformity and obedience more than anything, and we have to ask ourselves, do we really need another Colin Powell type, another guy so willing to work for consensus above all else that he sacrifices his beliefs and principles to carry the day? Based on what I read in this book, Clark is obviously bright enough to carry it off. Whether he makes a good choice to be our next President is something the reader will have to decide for himself. Enjoy!
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66 of 78 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent rebuttal of Bush policies, October 12, 2003
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Clark's book main topics include: the situation in Iraq, how to deal with terrorism, foreign policy, and the U.S. economy. He presents a smart rebuttal of the Bush administration policies. His ideas will resonate with the U.S. electorate. It will ensure our next President will be more of a Centrist.
Clark was against the war in Iraq. This military venture has failed all intended political purposes. We have not found a Iraqi nuclear program. There are no links between Al Qaeda and Saddam Hussein. The invasion of Iraq has not squelched terrorism, but instead exacerbated as thousands of terrorists throughout the Islamic World infiltrate Iraq and shoot U.S. soldiers as easy target. Installing a lasting democracy seems unlikely.
The U.S. Administration post war planning was terrible. The Administration made utopic assumptions that the Iraqis would be ecstatic about being liberated by U.S. forces. The Administration underestimated the Baath party underground resistance, the degree of Shiite factionalism. It also disbanded the Iraqi Army adding 400,000 armed men to the rank of the unemployed. Many boosted the underground Baath party resistance. In attempting to retain full control of the Iraq post war situation, the Administration raised its costs and risks. This is instead of leveraging the UN and NATO peacekeeping forces.
Per Clark, terrorism is supranational with no State allegiance. The Administration is attempting to fight it with an obsolete Cold War framework of State-vs-State conflicts. It is attempting to fight terrorism as it fought back Nazism in WWII, and Communism thereafter. The Administration has listed six other targeted countries for upcoming preemptive wars. These include: Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Iran, Somalia, and Sudan. This is a mistake that the U.S. can't afford. Taking over these countries will do nothing to fight terrorism.
The U.S. is concerned about the wrong countries. The root causes of Islamic terrorism are:
a) Saudi Arabia extreme Wahhabist ideology which dominates its schools;
b) the impoverished, corrupt society of Pakistan and its madrassas schools which teach an equally extreme version of Islam; and
c) the supercharged linkage with the Palestinians.
But, the U.S. considers Saudi Arabia and Pakistan their allies. And, its Israeli bias further inflames the anti-Americanism throughout Islam.
For Clark the solution to fight terrorism is to boost intelligence agencies effectiveness worldwide. U.S. funding should be redirected towards the CIA, FBI, and NSA. Cooperation with European and other intelligence agencies should be implemented. An international legal framework should be developed to reach uniform enforcement actions when dealing with terrorists worldwide.
Regarding Islam, Clark accepts that achieving transformation of the region is a generation away. The concept that we can install democratic regimes that would take hold within these countries in a few years is utopic. These countries do not have an empowered informed middle class capable of supporting lasting democracies.
Clark recommends that bringing the Islamic Middle East to converge towards the remainder of the World entails:
a) focusing on more pragmatic education (eliminate Wahhabism from school curriculum);
b) promote broader economic development; and
c) encourage wider political participation.
These measures are incremental and will take decades. They can't be enforced militarily.
Regarding foreign policy, we have to end our unilateralism immediately. This foreign policy has inflamed both Islam and the West. It has threatened the viability of the UN and NATO. Unilateralism should be replaced by multilateralism. UN and NATO should be fully supported and lead by the U.S. The UN Security Council unanimous rule should be changed. It gives too much power to a single dissenting Security Council country member. And, it does promote doing nothing in even the most egregious circumstances. Clark understands that, and states it is up to the U.S. to lead in the amending of such policies so as to promote the effectiveness of multilateralistic supranational institutions.
Clark has a far reaching 100 year vision. He wants the U.S. to maintain the best environment over the next 100 years. To him the environment has several meanings. It obviously means the physical environment. The U.S. has to do more to protect the Air, Water, and natural resources. He is also concerned about constitutional environment. The U.S. should maintain an integer legal and judicial system. It should also maintain a civic culture of transparency and accountability to set a world standard for governance. He is also concerned about the business environment. The U.S. should implement policies so as to encourage individuals and businesses to reap the fruit of their labor, innovation, and energy to the optimal level. Obviously, these different environments have some diverging interests. And, the key is to maintain an optimal balance between them, so that the U.S. society as a whole remains a leader and enviable model for the World in 2103 (hundred years from now).
Clark is concerned about fiscal responsibility. The U.S. 10 year Budget has shifted from a $5 trillion Budget Surplus in 2001 to a $5 trillion budget Deficit in 2003. This negative swing of $10 trillion was in part due to a global economic contraction after 2001. But, it was in good part due to the Bush Administration policies that combined a reckless boost in Defense spending for fighting aboard combined with equally irresponsible series of fiscally damaging tax cuts.
Clark economic plan follows pretty much the beneficial aspects of Clintonomics. This includes efforts to balance the Budget and reduce government debt. This would reduce government dissavings and promote private sector savings and investments. In turn, the private sector savings and investments will create new jobs and also reduce the U.S. skyrocketing current account deficit. This is because as domestic savings come closer to matching domestic investments, the need for direct foreign investments decline.
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31 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An impressive analysis of the invasion of Iraq and terrorism, October 10, 2003
General Wesley Clark's new book on the invasion of Iraq and the fight against terrorism is an absolutely first rate analysis not merely of those conflicts, but on the historical context of the innovations in foreign policy undertaken by the Bush administration. It is of especial relevance now not merely because of the ongoing difficulties in Iraq, but because Clark has become a candidate for president. Since he has recently been accused of having flip-flopped on Iraq, this book should serve as his definitive statement of his views on the subject. He comes across as deeply insightful, cogent, and profoundly analytical.
Roughly the first half of the book is a marvelous recounting and analysis of the invasion of Iraq, with little regard to the reasons why Iraq was invaded or the overall political context. It is fairly straightforward military history. As such, it is likely to stand as one of the primary sources for future accounts of the invasion.
In writing of the invasion of Iraq, Clark writes like the former general he is. He never writes of any unit in general terms; he always refers specifically to the units involved. He writes not of U.S. soldiers and marines, but of the 3rd Infantry division or the 101st Airborne. They don't merely attack the Iraqi army, but the Republican Guards, the Medina, or the Hammurabi and Nebuchadnezzar Divisions. He writes of the American units as of old friends, dropping their names as if they are luminaries with whom he is proud to have associated in the past. His discussions of the tactics, the technologies, and the hardware used in the war are enormously insightful. I can't imagine many individuals, whether liberal or conservative, Democrat or Republican, who wouldn't enjoy the first half of the book.
The second half of the book delves more into foreign and domestic policy in general, and more specifically into the kind of vision the Bush administration has for America and the kind of future he would have us move towards. Although he has since writing most of the book decided to run for president, the book is in no way the kind of puff piece that many politicians write before embarking on campaigns. In fact, one can easily imagine him deciding to run for president while mulling over the ideas that form the second half of the book. Clark is extremely critical of the Bush approach to a variety of issues. Having overseen an international coalition in waging war in Kosovo as head of NATO forces, Clark is acutely aware of the advantages of international cooperation and coalitions. He deeply laments the Bush embrasure of unilateralism and the eschewal of coalitions working through international organizations like the UN or NATO. He is likewise upset that much foreign policy is being waged through the army, which he points out-and here his argument carries all the weight of four stars-is designed purely and simply to fight wars, not to serve as an occupying force, or act as police, or rebuild national infrastructures, or do anything other than fight. His discussion of the particular pressures the Bush foreign policy unfairly place on the U.S. soldiers is especially illuminating. He also goes into considerable detail about the real reasons for invading Iraq, recounting conversations he had with members of the Pentagon months before the invasion, with generals explaining in disgust that the White House was trying to find any pretext for invading Iraq. Clark explains in great detail why the model the Bush administration utilizes in thinking about Iraq and terrorism-namely, that terrorists have state sponsors, whereas Al Queda represents a stateless form of terrorism-is both a relic of the Cold War and irrelevant to contemporary terrorism. He spends considerable time limning alternatives to both the Bush way of conceptualizing the current situation and more effective responses. Personally, I would have far more confidence in this man being in charge of the United States war on terrorism than the current administration.
In addition to Clark's military and political analysis of Iraq and the war against terrorism, I have been tremendously impressed with his overall knowledge of history. Some writers make historical references as if they have just run to consult a book for a historical illustration. Clark's book bristles with historical references that obviously come from having long been a serious student of history. Moreover, he isn't a student of simply one period of history, but seemingly of all periods. He has a great grasp not merely of military, European, and American history, but Roman, economic, and world history as well. This is never in the foreground, but provides a great deal of depth to all of his discussions.
This book will appeal to three classes of readers: first, anyone interested in the history of the invasion of Iraq; second, anyone interested in a critical discussion of current American foreign policy, especially as it pertains to terrorism; third, anyone wanting to investigate more fully the ideas of the man who could very possibly be our nation's next president.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Iraq and Foreign Diplomacy Reconsidered, January 21, 2004
Four-star General and presidential aspirant, Wesley Clark, has written a book that deals with the US role in Iraq and in world affairs. Clark does a good job of keeping his work concise and on-point.
Clark begins the book by giving an excellent recitation of the background and actually fighting that occurred in the 2003 Iraq War. Clark also describes the post-war difficulties that America has experienced there since and he discusses how the Iraq effort may have impeded US policy in other countries.
He faults the Bush Administration for failing to consider other alternatives to the war such as continuing with arms inspections and the embargo. He believes that even if war were necessary that the Bush Administration should have made more of an effort to seek United Nations approval and participation in the conflict. Lastly, he faults the Bush Administration for not having a better plan in place to police Iraq during the post-invasion phase of the operation. Clark does state, though, that it would be a big mistake for the US to pull out of Iraq at this point. Whatever happens--now that we have occupied the country--we must see the occupation through to a positive ending.
Clark believes that failure to enlist more support from the international community before invading Iraq has harmed US interests in many ways: 1. Its detracted from the resources we have available to assist the pro-western government we installed in Afghanistan; 2. It destroyed much of the sympathy the US received from foreign countries following the attack by terrorists on 9/11; 3. It has strained our armed forces which are trying to get out a number of difficult missions around the globe with limited regular and reserve forces; 4. The cost of the war has limited the amount of money our government has to pursue homeland security needs within the US.
The book is a solid matter-of-fact account about the Iraq War. It should give Americans who read it alot of food for thought about the direction their country has taken.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Clark's View of Iraq, Terrorism, and the American Empire, July 24, 2004
"Winning Modern Wars" is General Wesley Clark's follow up to his similarly titled "Waging Modern Wars". Written in the days shortly following the end of major combat operations, he uses this opportunity to examine the war in Iraq against a context of terrorism and American ideals. In fact, his book is less about his title "Winning Modern Wars" and more about his subtitle "Iraq, Terrorism, and the American Empire".

General Clark dedicates the first half of the book to examining the basis for and the conduct of our recent military operation in Iraq. He chronicles the campaign's significant events while adding his own expert military analysis along the way. This portion of the book is pro-military, and judgmental of the Bush Administration. He extols the military's planning and execution of the campaign while criticizing the Bush Administration's characterization of the enemy forces and assumptions about Iraqi public support. General Clark is especially critical of Secretary Rumsfeld's management of the war effort and the process for deploying US forces.

The second major section advances the idea that following 9/11, terrorism should be the United States' major imperative. He faults the Bush Administration for failing to maintain an aggressive anti-terror campaign against Al Qaeda by pursuing action against Iraq. He goes on to criticize the Bush Administration's dealings with the international community and lack of UN and NATO endorsement. General Clark's assessment is that the US has disrupted the terrorist's ability to operate but failed to destroy their capability to mount an additional attack. At the same time the US is now fully committed to support Iraqi re-construction.

The final section is a look at some American ideals needed to remain a world leader. I question this chapter's relevance. It came across as a "what I believe" statement or perhaps the beginning of a political platform (he discusses the issue of his potential run for office in the introduction and admits readers will draw their own conclusions as to motive).

Overall, I enjoyed General Clark's book. I thought the first two sections regarding Iraq and terrorism were appropriate and an interesting report and despite my questioning the final chapter's relevance, the entire book is a deserving read. It is not a comprehensive examination of the issues surrounding the war against Iraq and terrorism, but provides the reader with top-level view of General Clark's opinions. When included with other books on the topic, it is an outstanding addition.

I recommend this book.
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23 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Balanced, informative, and detailed......, October 16, 2003
By A Customer
I was impressed by the comprehensiveness of "Winning Modern Wars", particularly with regards to General Clark's combined analysis of diplomacy and the use of force.
Clark's well-rounded analysis of Iraq, terrorism, and current American interests informs the reader of how all of these factors are interconnected to the borader picture, the kind of political environment America faces, and more importantly why multilateralism is as important as it was in the past.
If you support Clark, this book will reinforce your confidence in him. If you don't, you will at the minimum walk away being informed by the intellect of a credentialed ex-General.
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars His thoughts on War, Diplomacy, and America, October 8, 2003
By 
In his book, "Winning Modern Wars", Gen. Wesley K. Clark lays out his thoughts on war, diplomacy and the current state of our country. Although this book was written before he publicly announced his run for the Democratic nomination, it sounds like he has known for some time where his political affiliation lies.
The firs couple chapters discuss the war in Iraq and it's successes and failures. Clark says that, while the military did their job very well, Bush and his administration failed when it came to planning for the post-war situation. Clark also takes the Bush Admin to task for failing, or not trying hard enough, to get broad international support for the war. While we could have easily won the war in Iraq by ourselves, Clark feels that the burdern of rebuilding Iraq is going to weigh on America for years to come.
The next couple chapters discuss Clark's thoughts on the direction of America's foreign policy. He thinks we need to concentrate more on building alliances with countries, who will help in the war on terror. According to Clark, the Bush Administrations war on terror will fail because they are targeting "nation states". This will fail because the terrorists will just keep moving and spreading around. We need to develop and implement ways to end the recruitment of new terrorists while finding and capturing the current ones.
The last chapter covers the current direction of America's domestic condition. Clark feels that the large Bush tax cuts were the wrong thing to do during a time of war and recession. He also is disappointed with the current political climate in which Republicans attack anyone who dissents or disagrees with the "war on terror" (quotes are mine). Clark's presidential campaign is calling for a "New American Patriotism" in which love of country and dissent are both welcomed.
Highly Recommended!
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Could be three and a half stars, March 30, 2004
By 
Richard J. August "rickaugust" (N. Kingstown, RI United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
A friend of mine just returned from a year long depoyment to Kuwait gave me Wes Clark's most recent literary effort. I had read his earlier work that described his efforts as SACEUR and head of NATO's military. Gen. Clark, of course, was in charge of the successful "war" in Kosovo and was subsequently fired ignominiously by SecDef Bill Cohen at the behest of Bill Clinton. This book, "Winning Modern Wars", was obviously written as a prelude to Clark's bid for the Democrat nomination for president in '04. Having said that, I felt that General Clark presents a fairly balanced account of Bush 43's invasion of Iraq and the nuances of the decisions that led up to it. I got the impression that one of the author's sources in the White House was another Clarke(with an "e") whose book on terrorism has achieved more notoriety than this one. The first three chapters of this short (200 pages) tome are devoted to a recapitulation of Gulf War 2 from Gen. Clark's vantage point as a CNN consultant. As a student of military history this represents a concise summary of the combat and "post-combat" phase. Chapter 4 is an exploration of terrorism and how "success" should be defined in the nebulous war thereon. The fifth chapter "Flawed Arguments, Flawed Strategy" is probably the most valuable part of this book. Clark closes with a final chapter on his vision for "A New America" clearly the platform for this Rhodes' Scholar's presidential bid. The last sentences of the book sum it up: "Our actions matter.And we cannot lead by example unless we are sustained by good leadership. Nothing is more important." Overall, a good quick read that summarizes what led up to the war in Iraq that is still being fought (despite the Bush administration claims to the contrary) and the consequences of our actions.Just as we have had American troops on the line in Korea for over 50 years, we had better get used to the idea that we will have "boots on the ground" for at least as long in Iraq.
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25 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ideal Primer for General Public, Satisfying on Key Points, January 17, 2004
Much of this book is a blow-by-blow account of the recent US invasion of Iraq, with generally complementary comments about the performance of the US military.
National security professionals will have every reason to skim most of the book, but they would be very unwise if they failed to read it. On balance, the author comes out as the only Presidential candidate who actually has deep experience in modern war, in managing very large complex coalition operations, and in handling the nuances (Bush has said he does not do nuances) of complex European relationships such as characterized his tenure as commander-in-chief of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, during which time NATO dramatically expanded to embrace the Eastern European (Partnership for Peace) nations and the Mediterranean Dialog nations.
A few key points on the author's perspectives that satisfied me:
1) He understands that reconstruction cannot be successful unless internal security, stability, and legitimacy are established first.
2) He emphasizes the urgency of operating with other nations in strong alliances, not only to be successful in unilateral operations, but in avoiding competing crises elsewhere.
3) He is very critical of the manner in which the Bush Administration represses participatory democratic discussion of the threat and the new strategy. America was "shut out" from both the facts and the discussion in the path to war on Iraq.
4) He is sensitive to the enormous damage that America's arrogance (as reflected in the actions being done "in our name") is doing to our interests abroad. He notes, interestingly, that there is a huge difference between the messages carried by the US versus the international media (and implicitly, in our public's unawareness of that difference).
5) He is accurate and insightful in expressing concern about two simultaneous failures of the Bush Administration: first, failing to prosecute the war on terror instead of the sideshow in Iraq, and second, failing to actually make America any safer here at home.
6) He helps explain how the Bush Administration got off track by reminding us that missile defense, energy, and the Chinese incident with the US naval reconnaissance airplane all consumed the early months of the new Administration.
7) He provides useful perspective on the *considerable* challenges of terrorism that faced Germany (Baader-Meinhof), Italy (Red Brigades), Spain (ETA), England (IRA), Greece (November 17th group), Turkey (PKK), and other nations including Israel. He notes that these were defeated by constructive law enforcement campaigns, not unilateral military invasions. I found this section of the book to be extraordinarily mature, worldly, and sensible.
8) His account of the early planning process for the war against Iraq (never mind the policy process that misled America) slams Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld for being disruptive and unprofessional, resulting in "an irregularly timed patchwork process that interspersed early-deploying units with those needed later, delayed mobilization, hampered training, and slowed overall deployments considerably." One example: 4th Infantry Division spent 45 days at sea *after* they arrived.
9) He provides incisive commentary on the failure of both Turkey and Saudi Arabia to provide much needed ports and airheads for the war. [Although General Clark refrains from making this point, the best minds at the Army War College's Strategic Studies Institute have publicly noted that we won more as a result of Iraqi incompetence than US effectiveness.]
10) There are many small signs throughout the book that General Clark is a strategist. As one who feels that John Boyd is a hero whose work must be honored in our future deliberations, I was glad to see the author emphasize the value of leadership and training over technology.
11) The author corrects existing doctrine and advances the thinking by pointing out that the air supremacists were correct but not in the way they expected. Air versus C4I was not the decisive factor in the Iraq war, but rather air in support of ground forces, something the Air Force hates to do but the Marine Corps has always understood.
12) On page 79 he discusses how a B-1 bomber was dispatched to attack a reported place where Saddam Hussein might be, unleashing two 2,000 lb. bombs. This is so sadly a repeat of the Afghan story, where a B-2 bomber was called in against 18 men in a cave, that we want to highlight it. We have a heavy metal military unsuited for manhunts or gang warfare.
13) If there is one weakness in this book, it is that it glosses over the many information and intelligence deficiencies that characterized the planning process, the operational campaign, and the post-war peace and reconstruction endeavor.
The author does not fail to give the current Administration and its operational arms (including intelligence) credit for successes against terrorism in 2002 (incidents fell by half, key people killed and captured). This is appropriate, and provides a good lead-in to his very detailed critique of how we are failing in the war on terrorism, the second half of his book. This can be generally summed up, in his words, with "We needed new thinking, and we needed to retarget our intelligence and adjust our means..." What I find most fascinating about the second half of the book is that the author is clearly charting a sensible course that is equi-distant from the incompetent neglect of the Clinton Administration, and the lunatic militarism of the Bush Administration. He makes specific reference to the now-public plans of Rumsfeld and his aids to follow up the attack on Iraq with attacks on Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Iran, Somalia, and Sudan. This is what we have to look forward to if there is a second Bush Administration.
The author provides enough in the way of specifics (buying in, for example, with an explicit reference) to Joe Nye's views on the importance of using soft power in the context of multinational strategies for peace) to be very reassuring that his national security strategy, once fully developed, would be summed up with one word: balanced.
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Winning Modern Wars: Iraq, Terrorism, and the American Empire
Winning Modern Wars: Iraq, Terrorism, and the American Empire by Wesley K. Clark (Hardcover - September 30, 2003)
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