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American Confusion from Vietnam to Kosovo: Coping with Chaos in High Places

Overview

Taylor applies his theory of the "dynamics of confusion" to the 1965 US expansion of the Vietnam War, and forecasts events in real time during the NATO air war against Serbia in 1999.

Dr. Taylor presents an original theory of the dynamics of confusion in governments and in the lives of ordinary citizens. His model postulates a vicious cycle in which the causes of confusion evoke coping tactics that often worsen those causes. One of the most destructive coping tactics, ...

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Overview

Taylor applies his theory of the "dynamics of confusion" to the 1965 US expansion of the Vietnam War, and forecasts events in real time during the NATO air war against Serbia in 1999.

Dr. Taylor presents an original theory of the dynamics of confusion in governments and in the lives of ordinary citizens. His model postulates a vicious cycle in which the causes of confusion evoke coping tactics that often worsen those causes. One of the most destructive coping tactics, "Find-an-Enemy-and-Lose-Your-Confusion" spawns conflict and increases the lies and other information pathology already circulating. "Exports" from this vicious cycle include environmental depredation, political oppression, war and death.

Using his model, he illuminates the binds entrapping Robert McNamara and Lyndon Johnson as they expanded the Vietnam War in 1965. He then extends the theory using fuzzy cognitive maps (FCMs), and submits the model to the ultimate test: forecasting in "real time" certain events in the 1999 NATO-Serbia War and its aftermath. He published these predictions on his web site during and after that war.

This project represents the first use of FCMs to forecast political-military events in real time.

The concluding chapters test whether a knowledge of confusion dynamics will increase empathy between opponents, and whether the model is useful for planning humanitarian efforts by betterment organizations.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780595148097
  • Publisher: iUniverse, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 2/28/2001
  • Pages: 516
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 9.02 (h) x 1.15 (d)

Table of Contents

Diagrams ix
Tables xi
Acknowledgements xiii
Abbreviations xv
Introduction xvii
Chapter 1 Amplifying The Definition of Confusion 3
Chapter 2 Spotlighting The Sources 14
Chapter 3 Complexity: Overload's Fashionable Twin 22
Chapter 4 The Complete Array of Confusion Sources 36
Chapter 5 Coping with Confusing Situations 56
Chapter 6 Connections Among Coping Methods 79
Chapter 7 Oversimplified Initial Version of The 1965 Vietnam War Expansion Decision 93
Chapter 8 Confusion Dynamics in The 1965 Decision to Escalate 108
Chapter 9 Conflicting Agendas Binding McNamara and Westmoreland 131
Chapter 10 More Elements in The Dilemma 143
Chapter 11 Failure of Peace Initiatives 158
Chapter 12 Robert McNamara's Recommendations Based on The Vietnam Experience 170
Chapter 13 Forecasting With Fuzzy Cognitive Maps During and After The Kosovo War 177
Chapter 14 Kosovo Section of The Web Site 183
Chapter 15 The War Goes On 213
Chapter 16 Interrupting The Web Site Transcript to Examine My Own Confusion 225
Chapter 17 Returning to The Web Site Excerpts 232
Chapter 18 Combining The US/NATO and Serbian Matrices 242
Chapter 19 The Approach of "Peace" 258
Chapter 20 More Complexities in Peace 273
Chapter 21 Trying to Incorporate The Serb Perspective, and A Possible Role For The CIA 278
Chapter 22 Continued Disarray 292
Chapter 23 Russia, China, India Form Alliance to Counter Us Dominance 300
Chapter 24 Seeking Tools for Clarification 1: Individual Efforts 329
Chapter 25 Seeking Tools For Clarification 2: Group and Organizational Efforts Toward More Effective Reforms 357
Afterword 375
About the Author 383
Appendix A 385
Appendix B 391
Appendix C 395
Appendix D 399
Glossary 415
References 421
Index 423
Endnotes 455
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