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While America Sleeps: Self-Delusion, Military Weakness, and the Threat to Peace Today by [Donald Kagan, Frederick W. Kagan]

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While America Sleeps: Self-Delusion, Military Weakness, and the Threat to Peace Today Kindle Edition

3.5 out of 5 stars 10 ratings

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Length: 496 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled
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Editorial Reviews Review

In the aftermath of costly victory in World War I, the government of Great Britain downsized its military, avoided confrontations with powers large and small, and attended to domestic matters and quality-of-life issues. While England slept, in Winston Churchill's famous phrase, governments less concerned with sticking close to the hearth rose elsewhere and held sway. The result was World War II and, after it, the cold war.

The post-cold war United States, historians Donald and Frederick W. Kagan argue, resembles that cozy England in many ways. In the wake of Vietnam, the American government has been reluctant to commit its forces to the purpose of policing the world--though, the Kagans write, "if the United States is not to take a leading part in such a constabulary, who will?"--and has pursued a policy of brief, limited military encounters that involve little risk of incurring casualties. This policy, coupled with a long period of reductions in military spending and staffing, will, the Kagans believe, lead to disaster, as some other Hitler, or Saddam, or Kim Il Jung rises to trouble the world. Acknowledging that historical analogies are only approximations, the Kagans earnestly argue that England's and America's respective patterns of "self-deluding pseudo-engagements" have proved and will again prove to be misguided evasions, and that it will be in the world's ultimate interest for the United States to remain militarily strong and unafraid of a fight.

Though readers may not agree with their conclusions, the Kagans make a convincing case backed by thoughtful historical analysis. --Gregory McNamee --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

Father Donald (The Western Heritage) and son Frederick, professors of history at Yale and West Point respectively, have combined their talents to produce a frightening story of close parallels between Great Britain in the 1920s and 1930s and America in the 1990s. After 1918, Britain slashed its armed forces and defined its interests in the context of international organizations and agreements. The result, contend the Kagans, was a foreign policy of "pseudo-engagement"Arhetoric unaccompanied by the effective use of forceAthat steadily undermined Britain's credibility. In a series of chapters written in acid, the Kagans argue that the U.S. has set itself up for a similar fall by diminishing its military capacities in pursuit of an ephemeral "peace dividend" and by overextending its armed forces in pursuit of poorly defined responsibilitiesAIraq, the Balkans, North Korea. The Kagans suggest that the U.S. now stands about where Britain did at the end of the 1920sAsomewhere on the bubble: in a position to restore the balance between military power and international responsibility, but facing strong temptations to procrastinate and deny. (It was 1938, the Kagans point out, before the British government faced squarely the consequences of its relative disarmament.) Readers may not agree with the Kagans' analysis of the synergy between military power and national policy, but they will be impressed by the force of their argument and the power of their reasoning. (Oct.)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Product details

  • Print Length : 496 pages
  • Publisher : St. Martin's Press (September 30, 2014)
  • Publication Date : September 30, 2014
  • Language: : English
  • File Size : 1702 KB
  • Word Wise : Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting : Enabled
  • Text-to-Speech : Enabled
  • X-Ray : Not Enabled
  • Lending : Not Enabled
  • Customer Reviews:
    3.5 out of 5 stars 10 ratings