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Making War to Keep Peace Hardcover – April 24, 2007

4.2 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


“unflinching. . . admirers and detractors will appreciate her analysis” (Booklist)

“The U.S. would see with greater clarity if more individuals such as Kirkpatrick inhabited the inner circle.” (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

“With clear and compelling argument, Jeane Kirkpatrick teaches us to be strong but careful in the use of force.” (George P. Shultz, former secretary of state)

“Kirkpatrick applies her exceptional knowledge of history to an analysis of the new geopolitical situation in the post-Cold War world.” (Edwin Meese III, former United States attorney general)

“She has delivered us another historic work with a worldview which, as it was through her life, will be revered.” (Jack Kemp, former U. S. representative and secretary of Housing and Urban Development)

“She was unique when alive, and this book establishes that she is still alive.” (William F. Buckley Jr., founder, National Review)

“An honest and penetrating analysis.” (Richard V. Allen, former national security advisor)

“A brilliant valedictory to a brilliant life and career.” (Dr. Edwin J. Feulner, president of the Heritage Foundation)

About the Author

Jeane J. Kirkpatrick was the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations from 1981 to 1985 and a member of the National Security Council during the Reagan administration. She was a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, the founder of Empower America, and a professor of government at Georgetown University. She died in December 2006.


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Harper; 1 edition (April 24, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 006119543X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061195433
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,461,771 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Biographical information about Jeane Kirkpatrick is contained in the Editorial Review. She died of heart failure at age 80, just months before this book went to print. Ms. Kirkpatrick had a true and clear mind right to the end.

In this work I expected a "realpolitik" analysis of the power struggles, strategic alliances, competition for resources of the modern global era and how these related to the use of force in certain circumstances. These matters are kept in the background as Ms. Kirkpatrick uses her keen intellect to analyze, and in some instances "expose" that most important of modern international institutions, the United Nations.

She describes the relevance of the U.N. Charter and resolutions as they come into conflict (and occasional concert) with United States' foreign policy doctrines, NATO, and the European Union since the collapse of the Russian empire. Six modern clashes that led to violence are analyzed: The Persian Gulf War, Somalia, Haiti, The Balkan Wars, Kosovo, and in one chapter, Afghanistan and Iraq.

Kirkpatrick's exposition is too complex to condense in this review, but she presents the clearest explanation of the forces at work in the Balkan Wars I've read. The inability of the U.N. to prevent the genocidal Milosevic from slaughtering thousands of innocents in the greatest European horror since the Holocaust is scrutinized and exposed. She also makes a solid case that, during their tenures, United Nations Secretary Generals Boutros-Ghali and Kofi Annan did their utmost to centralize and increase the power of their offices beyond the scope of the original Charter's intention.

Perhaps because her time was running out, Jeane Kirkpatrick was not able to fully engage herself in the current discussion about the Middle East.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The late Jeane Kirkpatrick has achieved iconic status within the Republican party, both for her service as Ambassador to the United Nations and as an international pundit. Yet Ambassador Kirkpatrick did not inhabit the margins of the conservative political spectrum being neither a neo-con nor Pat Buchanan style isolationist. The former ambassador was a "realist" who required US foreign policy to be a servant of "vital national interests." This basic belief is utilized in its full power in "Making War to Keep Peace."

The book is meticulously researched. With slightly over 300 pages of primary content, an additional 40 pages of notes are presented. Ambassador Kirkpatrick provided overwhelming detail of the events covered. The time frame begins with President George H. W. Bush (Bush 41) through the presidency of George W. Bush (Bush 43), and covers a number of international (mis)adventures.

If there are any complaints, it would be that Ambassador Kirkpatrick did not provide her opinions on a number of events. For example, she documents fully why Bush 41 held the American forces at the borders of Iraq following the expulsion of the Iraqi armies from Kuwiat. She also notes the desire of General Norman Schwartzkoff to "finish the job" by destroying the Iraqi military and overtaking Baghdad. Yet Ambassador Kirkpatrick withholds her opinion as to which course she would have recommended.

In addition, I believed that occasions when the United States could have acted but didn't, such as the shameful refusal of the Clinton administration to intervene in Rwanda or the Bush 43 ignoring of Darfur, could have been discussed as counterpoint to the occasions, such as Sommalia, when the US did act.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Reveals the actions leading up to today's problems and what went wrong. Suggest ways to avoid repeating our mistakes and handling foreign affairs better. A real eye opener to the working of the United Nations.
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Format: Hardcover
We Americans have assumed that most of the world's peoples shared our goals and values, especially our need to be free. We've thought they had the same yearnings, concerns and ideals. September 11, however, should have taught us that what we believed were universal truths simply are not. "There are people committed to, and indeed driven by, goals and values that run violently counter to our own," writes Jean Kirkpatrick.

It is too bad for America that it isn't Ambassador Kirkpatrick running for President. She would have been a great one. Her clear thinking, moral values and ethics and her vast experience on the world political stage would have served her -- and us -- well. Fortunately we have the next best thing: Books that give us insight into her mind. "Right Versus Might," "The Reagan Phenomenon," "Political Woman," "Dismantling the Parties," "Leader and Vanguard" and now "Making War to Keep Peace," are a few of the titles that give us that insight.

In "Making War to Keep Peace" Kirkpatrick chronicles the period from the First Gulf War to the beginning of the current war in Iraq. She points out that the current war is simply an extension of the first -- finishing what we started, as it were. Therefore the war is sanctioned and legal under UN resolution 687, which contains the terms of the cease-fire, terms which Hussein violated repeatedly over a period of years.

"The legal authority to use force to address Iraq's material breaches was and remains clear, and is a matter of record," she writes. "Moreover, the United States and the United Kingdom had the strength of evidence that more attacks were impending if they did not take action.
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