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Conflicts and Wars: Their Fallout and Prevention 2012th Edition

3.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
ISBN-13: 978-1137020949
ISBN-10: 1137020946
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Editorial Reviews

Review

'The message of Conflicts and Wars is clear: conflicts and wars are more costly than we imagine. We need a new approach to prevent conflicts. Askari provides us with a new and imaginative roadmap. This book is essential reading for everyone who labors in the pursuit of peace. That especially includes policymakers and politicians who espouse peace while supplying and supporting aggressors around the globe.'

From the foreword by George A. Akerlof, Nobel Laureate in Economics, 2001, and Koshland Professor of Economics, University of California at Berkeley

"An idea whose time has come. From the beginnings of civilization humankind has prayed for peace while plotting war. Hossein Askari compels us to look at the cost of war and challenges us to act for peace. A thought-provoking and essential read in this day and age."

Mac Maharaj, former ANC lead negotiator in talks with the National Party Government, former joint secretary of the Transitional Executive Council, and first minister of transportation in the Mandela government

'This is one of those rare books that comes along occasionally to provide an original perspective on a timeless problem. Written in an engaging, lively and accessible style, Conflicts and Wars provides a masterful insight to the factors underlying wars and seemingly endless conflict around the world. Wars have always been condemned on moral grounds. However, Askari combines sound history with economic analysis to document the fact that wars, even before the current age of austerity, have become simply too expensive to pursue. His novel solution to ending conflict will no doubt spark a serious discussion that will hopefully aid in significantly reducing conflict in our time.'

Robert Looney, distinguished professor, Naval Postgraduate School

'In Conflicts and Wars, Hossein Askari provides in understandable layman's terms a meticulous review of the literature on the costs of warfare. Offering his own blended methodology, Askari exposes the ghastly costs of human carnage, which are universally underestimated. He also provides insightful institutional recommendations to impose the costs of war directly upon aggressive leaders and nations as well as on private weapons producers. This masterful work is a must-read for national security scholars and for everyone interested in the future of mankind.'

Donald L. Losman, professor of Economics, The Eisenhower School, National Defense University

'A thought-provoking and unique analysis of the impact of aggression on the powerless. Hossein Askari's real genius, however, is his solution-based action plan asking for active global citizenship to help the political and diplomatic establishment to become more effective in preventing conflicts and improving the lives of all world citizens. I have known Hossein Askari for over 40 years, first as his student at Tufts and then as my mentor and friend and I have always witnessed his keen intellect coupled with a strong sense of ethics.'

Robert Bendetson, Tufts University Trustee and co-chair of Tufts University Institute for Global Leadership

About the Author

Hossein Askari is Iran Professor of International Business and International Affairs, George Washington University, USA.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 201 pages
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan; 2012 edition (July 17, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1137020946
  • ISBN-13: 978-1137020949
  • Product Dimensions: 5.7 x 0.7 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,752,383 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Hardcover
Askari's thesis is that governments and their leaders perceive the cost of agression to be lower than, in fact, it is, and are thus encouraged to behave agressively. (A country only goes to war if it expects to win, and winning is generally, if incorrectly, perceived to be profitable.) It is easy to agree with Askari's thesis, even without the extensive material he includes to estimate the costs of various wars in the 20th and 21st centuries.

The next step in Askari's reasoning is that the true cost of agression should be made visible. This is far more problematic, particularly because the right time to present the true cost is before the hostilities begin, whereas even in the best of circumstances, the true costs can be estimated only decades later. When the US government correctly predicted military victory in the mid-East within a matter of days or weeks, was there the slightest hint of a suggestion that upward of another decade and a trillion dollars would be required to leave the world no better off than it was before?

To his credit, Askari does atttempt to quantify off-budget costs, such as lost production, veterans' health care, refugee support, environmental damage, and the like. Large as they are, his numbers are conservative and surely understate the true economic cost. He points out that most conflicts are the re-ignition of previous conflicts, so there are also problems of attribution of costs to any particular conflict.

Askari mentions human suffering - death, disability, displacement - but his analysis is primarily economic. This also understates the cost of conflict, especially to those who are directly involved.

And this is perhaps the crux of the weakness in Askari's argument.
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