- Summer Savings Sale Here's how (restrictions apply)
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Winning the Long War: Lessons from the Cold War for Defeating Terrorism and Preserving Freedom Hardcover – April 25, 2005
See the Best Books of 2018 So Far
Looking for something great to read? Browse our editors' picks for the best books of the year so far in fiction, nonfiction, mysteries, children's books, and much more.
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
The book relies heavily on the "Long Telegram" written by George Kennan to tie the Cold War and War on Terror together as the subtitle for the book states: "Lessons from the cold war for defeating terrorism and preserving freedom."
Early on the book argues that there are four pillars that the Cold War victory depended on: Provide Security, Build a Strong Economy, Protect Civil Liberties, Win the Struggle of Ideas. These are the very concepts that "Winning the Long War" argues is the path to victory in the war on terrorism. Many quarrel with the idea of looking back to the Cold War for knowledge on how to fight modern wars, for example one of the biggest arguments heard is ridding the arsenal of Cold War Era weapons and development.
The main point in this book is noted in chapter one : "The Cold War's real lessons are not how to fight the last war, but any long war. And no one should mistake the global war on terrorism as anything but a real, life-and-death struggle. It is a war by any name." This book does not depict how to battle any one specific enemy with micro-tactics, it instead shows the overall strategic or macro-tactics that are needed to fight a sustained conflict "hot" or "cold."
One decisive facet of the Cold War is just as important and relevant in today's world, the economy. In many ways it won the Cold War along with diplomacy and military strength. As the authors point out:
"Understanding the role of the economy in the long war begins with understanding the federal government's relationship with the domestic economy ... The Soviet Union's economic collapse stemmed from more than just its government's insatiable appetite for military spending. It followed at least as much from the Kremlin's determination to control economic activity in the civilian sector while ignoring the enormous costs of imposing controls. The Soviet treatment of the economy is an object lesson in how not to fight the long war."
With the many changes being made by the United States Government directly to or indirectly affecting the economy, this is a very important life lesson for fighting this millenniums long war. While the economy implications of the Cold War were known, this book does a great job of describing exactly how much impact exists and how it could either be a piece of the winning strategy or the reason we lose this new conflict against terrorism.
Concluding, Winning the Long War is book that ties two wars together. While decades apart and very different they require a similar battle plan. We must be careful not to allow McCarthyism of a new breed to so distort the dangers and threats so they are not taken seriously by Americans and countries of all stripes. However, there is every reason to have the hard conversations that enemies exist... we must properly understand how our enemy fights in order to defeat him.
Winning the Long War is a terrific blueprint for such conversations. It is not filled with military jargon, nor is it a 1,000 page dry Government study. It is a study done in a manner to use history to teach in plain English what we all should look for and encourage in order to protect our liberty and defeat terrorism.
Eisenhower's approach to the Cold War provides lessons that will not have to be re-learned, provided they are remembered: provide security, build a strong economy, protect civil liberties, and win the struggle of ideas. What Carafano and Rosenweig offer are the nuts and bolts of how these concepts become counter-terrorist policy. We already have the fundamentals in place, but we will have to adapt to a new enemy. Their suggestions include replacing the Unified Command Plan with a U. S. Engagement Plan, crafted by and reporting to the National Security Council rather than the Pentagon. And since redundancy must be built into any plan, they offer their concept of "layered security" to prevent attacks on our homeland. And as might be expected, the authors offer several ways to improve the Department of Homeland Security. The present incarnation results from a "scattershot, partisan" approach by Congress, making the DHS little more than an "intelligence end-user," or worse, just another entitlement program. The alternative: performance and threat-based funding.
Winning the Long War also examines the weakness of a legal system which is incapable of dealing with actionable intelligence. We need a new preventive detention protocol for potential terrorists, one with more stringent standards. The measures now being used are vitally important, yet they are extralegal. We also get a thoughtful and well-documented pitch for trade versus aid as the more powerful tool of foreign policy. And some of the old Cold War tools, such as USIS, should be re-constituted and re-deployed against Islamic terror.
The authors' methodical and academic approach is a refreshing change from the bombast this topic typically engenders. This book deserves to be read and it deserves to influence American policy. I'm going to send copies of this book to my senators, Dodd and Lieberman. Why don't you send copies to yours, too?