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The Battle for Peace: A Frontline Vision of America's Power and Purpose Hardcover – March 30, 2006

4.0 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The intellectual complement to Zinni and Clancy's bestselling Battle Ready (2004), a narrative memoir salted with specific policy recommendations, this volume provides the former U.S. Central Command chief's analysis of America's current global position. Zinni begins by asserting that America's status as "the most powerful nation in the history of the planet" has created a de facto empire. The U.S. has no choice: if it fails to take the lead, nothing significant happens. At the same time, Americans must recognize that, in a global age, there can be no zero-sum games: when someone loses, no one wins in any but the shortest term, he argues. The bulk of the book critiques what Zinni describes as the current U.S. emphasis on unilateral action and calls instead for working with others toward the goals of worldwide stability and development. "[N]egotiation, mediation and facilitation" should be our favored approaches, Zinni writes. And the post–Cold War pattern of ad hoc improvisation in foreign affairs should give way to systematic, in-depth planning. While fans of Battle Ready may grow frustrated with the abstractions in this volume, Zinni's pragmatic, low-key approach merits serious consideration. (Apr. 4)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


“...A warning that deserves serious consideration.” ―New York Times

“Zinni is an interesting man, and he has a lot of interesting things to say about the dangers of pursuing our current course in foreign policy. He is a distinctly non-ideological man in an era when ideology is running rampant both home and abroad.” ―Michael Abramowitz, The Washington Post

“The intellectual complement to Zinni and Clancy's bestselling Battle Ready...This volume provides the former Cnetral Command chief's analysis of America's current global position...Zinni's pragmatic, low key approach merits serious condiseration.” ―Publishers Weekly

“Refreshingly contrarian, and perfectly commonsensical” ―Kirkus Reviews

“[Zinni and Koltz] provide a clear analysis and plan for the future of America that challenges all--policy wonks, soldiers, and citizens alike--to rethink how we use our power to influence the global community.” ―Library Journal

“Provocative, insightful, and straight-from-the-shoulder blunt” ―William S. Cohen, former U.S. Secretary of Defense, 1997-2001.

“Tony Zinni's writing is straightforward and to the point...a primer to guide us in the 21st century. Well done.” ―Richard L. Armitage, Former U.S. Deputy Secretary of State, 2001-2005

“sensible and deserve[s] wide support.” ―James Fallows, national correspondent of The Atlantic Monthly, author of National Defense.


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press (April 4, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1403971749
  • ISBN-13: 978-1403971746
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1 x 9.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,239,640 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Edwin C. Pauzer VINE VOICE on May 30, 2006
Format: Hardcover
The Battle for Peace is a short book with big print, but it's the content that counts. And General Zinni provides a compelling case for changes in our diplomacy, military, organizational structure, and decision-making, and actions.

The general tells us that most of our structures such as FBI and CIA and Homeland Security are based on a WW II model that worked well against belligerant states, but is ineffective against NGO's or non-governmental organizations. For this, Zinni says that we must restructure and share information rather than fight turf wars within our governmental agencies. He provides numerous examples of how this might succeed.

General Zinni also sees a different role for the military which is also based on a WW II model of battalions, squadrons and air wings built to fight conventional forces of nation states. He sees the military becoming more involved in attempting to understand the history, culture, geography, and "material traits" of societies who are our potential enemies--or allies. By doing this, the general contends, our military will win the battles for peace rather than have to win a battle of war.

Using his model he compares the actions of the Bush administration's policies and diplomacy. Without rancor, but lacking in subtlty, he is critical of the administration's policy, planning, lack of containment and stabilization, and doctored intelligence.

In reviewing this easy-to-understand primer of international relations and diplomacy, it was difficult not to make comparisons with other books I've read where "Americanist" authors ridiculed the third world as the "turd world," or the author who suggested that we "convert all the Muslims to Christianity," or the one who wants us delivered from evil.
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Format: Hardcover
Zinni, whose credentials are impeccable, clearly describes how not conduct foreign policy. Taking his oath of service, even though he is retired, seriously, he does not come out and openly critisize the Bush administraion, even though the implications are there. This might irk some opponens of the present Bush doctrine, but it also gives the book credence, and does not alienate Bush supporters. Zinni does not call for anything radical anyway, he just calls for moderation, consideration and proper planning. In many ways the situation the US is in today is very similar to situation the UK found itself in the nineteenth century. The British Empire was not planned - suddenly the Brits found themselves involved in all corners of the world fighting enemies, protecting allies, spreading Christianity, internal policing and taking themselves whereever business opportunities took them. Their technological superiority very soon made them end up with colonies in places they had never dreamt of! A situation very similar to the one US finds itself in today in the post-cold war era. This is one of the first US books that I know of that actually acknowledge this fact, British historians have pointed out this long ago, and urges the administration to tread carefully: too many Iraqs and to much unilateralism will not help the situation, and it can quickly spiral out of control. If there is a weakness in the book it is that he does not clearly address the complex issue of big oil, neocons, and evangelicals, and their influence on the US foreign policy.
I was impressed by Zinni on Jon Stewart, how he refused to be goaded by Stewar and kept his integrity at all times.
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I was initially inclined to give this book four stars because it does not "name names" and have footnotes or a bibliography, but as I got deeper into the book I realized that what Tony Zinni has produced is a world-saving "primer" that ANYONE can appreciate, including Bozo the Clown. This is not a dumbed down book as much as it is "straight talk" with no gobbly-gook.

I have known over fifty flag officers in my time, and only a handful have actually been world-class, including Zinni, Gray, Stackpole in the USMC, Clapper and O'Lear in the USAF, Studeman in the Navy, and of course Schoomaker in the Army. No doubt there are others, but in my experience most flag officers have simply won a beauty/etiquette contest, and they do not acquire any additional strategic vision upon being promoted from the lower ranks. Zinni is incontestably the one general we have that has done three things brilliantly:

1) been a foxhole Marine with grievous wounds and innovative leadership at the company and field grade levels (see my review of his book "Battle Ready");

2) been a general deeply experienced in Operations Other than War (OOTW--what a stupid former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff once said of "Real men don't do OOTW--which is about as stupid as the DNI still saying (we paraphrase) "we're in the business of secrets for the President, the hell with open sources and everyone else"); and

3) been a true inter-agency Commander-in-Chief (CINC) able to make full use of *all* the inter-agency capabilities, not just the military, and done so diplomatically and personally. He is the George Shultz (himself a former Marine) of the current warrior class.
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