While America Sleeps P Paperback – November 10, 2001
"Devoted" by Dean Koontz
For the first time in paperback, from Dean Koontz, the master of suspense, comes an epic thriller about a terrifying killer and the singular compassion it will take to defeat him. | Learn more
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“A riveting piece of diplomatic history with lessons for the present.” ―Jacob Heilbrunn, The Wall Street Journal
“In Donald Kagan's superb works on ancient and later history we find that rare combination--brilliant scholarship and sturdy common sense--qualities that, with Frederick Kagan, he here deploys in a thorough analysis of the failures and misunderstandings that nearly ruined Britain before World War II and, even more strikingly, of the ay in which they are being dangerously replicated in American policy today.” ―Robert Conquest, author of Reflections on a Ravaged Century
“This book should be read carefully by policy makers in the new administration and Congress.” ―Gary Anderson, The Washington Times
“Theirs is a polemic that manages, through meticulous detail, careful qualification, and absence of exaggeration, to avoid twisting the historical record.” ―Lawrence F. Kaplan, The Weekly Standard
“A frightening story . . . Readers will be impressed by the force of their argument and the power of their reasoning.” ―Publishers Weekly
“The challenge to some of the basic assumptions about our role in the post-cold-war world deserves serious consideration.” ―Booklist
“A convincing case for the concerns over the real costs of a downsizing military.” ―Kirkus Reviews
About the Author
Donald Kagan is one of America's most eminent historians. He is the Hillhouse Professor of History and Classics at Yale University and the author or coauthor of many books including The Western Heritage, On the Origins of War and the Preservation of Peace, and a four-volume history of the Peloponnesian War.
Frederick W. Kagan is an assistant professor of military history at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and the author of The Military Reforms of Nicholas I.
- Paperback : 483 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0312283741
- ISBN-13 : 978-0312283742
- Item Weight : 1.36 pounds
- Publisher : SMP Paperback (November 10, 2001)
- Product Dimensions : 6 x 1.25 x 9.25 inches
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: #4,153,440 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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A second problem is that the authors make no attempt whatsoever to examine the capabilities of nations to provide the military resources required to follow through on the successful threat of a deterrent in either terms of ability of those nations to come up with the adequate force structures needed or even to the relative demands of nation's force levels relative to other needs. For example, in the discussion on the allies' occupation of the Dardanelle straights in Turkey after the First World War, the authors criticize Britain's military weakness. However, there is no discussion of how the adequate forces needed could be raised considering Britain's economic situation at that time (near broke, with a very severe recession at home) and the fact that conscription would not be feasible. Even worse, the authors do not address the fact that Britain had many other military obligations over and above this that also required considerable military assets. Combining these facts with the fact that the occupation of the straights was of the utmost importance to Turkey and relatively low to Britain's, it is hard to imagine, within any reason, how Britain would have had the ability to raise a military force adequate to the job. The authors make an argument that large military forces were needed but do not examine in any way, shape, size or form whether or not Britain had the capability to raise the needed forces or how or why it should place these in the straights as opposed to, for example, the Far East, where their mere presence could have strengthened Britain's bargaining position in the post-war talks vis-à-vis Japan.
Yet another major problem is that non-military alternatives (i.e., sticks as opposed to carrots) are also not examined. For example, Libya's dropping of its nuclear weapons program was, to a very large degree if not primarily, due to the economic incentives that it was offered as opposed to any real threat of direct credible military force (i.e., invasion). If the Kagan's advice would have been followed Libya would today probably still be on the road to developing the bomb.
Another important weakness of the book is the fact that the authors provide a need for the presence of major military forces in various arenas but provide no analysis as to how exactly they are to be used or even how large of a military force is needed. How large of a force is needed to deter North Korea from working further on the bomb for example? In their discussion on this topic, as well as nearly all others in the book, the Kagan's provide no recommendation whatsoever. Nor do they recommend any specific courses of potential military action that can alleviate the problem. Surgical strikes? Limited ground assault? Full scale invasion with the goal of regime change? The inability of the Kagan's answer these questions leaves the book's recommendations to policy makers as being of very limited value.
Although I do agree that both had large commitments and that their military although big by world standards was too small for their needs. I cannot agree in almost all of the examples quoted where a stronger force would have changed much. As the writers point out the British forces were stronger enough to handle the Turks in 1920 if they really wanted too. The results of this conflict from the British point of view were quite satisfactory. A pro Western and neutral Turkey controlling this important region developed out of this conflict. A larger Greece would still have fallen under Nazi control and by controlling more of the region would have been worse for the Allies then what did happen. I would agree that this conflict certainly was a lot bloodier particularly to Greeks. then it should have been. Later on with other crisis's such as the Corfu, monitoring Versailles, Ethiopia, the Rhineland and Munich in all these occasions the British suffered from lack of will not lack of military force. If the will had been their, then the military was strong enough.
These arguments would also be true of many of the examples quoted of the US too for example in 1990s both in Yugoslavia and Iraq.
A stronger military at best could be said to give more confidence to the decision makers.
The real lesson in the book is that victorious powers often after the war must have the willingness to enforce the peace they fought for. Overall it is certainly a worth while read.