American Force: Dangers, Delusions, and Dilemmas in National Security [NOOK Book]

Overview


While American national security policy grew more interventionist after the Cold War, Washington hoped to shape the world on the cheap. Misled by the stunning success against Iraq in 1991, administrations of both parties pursued ambitious aims with limited force, committing the military frequently but often hesitantly, with inconsistent justification. These ventures produced strategic confusion, unplanned entanglements, and indecisive results. This collection of essays by Richard K. Betts, a leading scholar of ...
See more details below
American Force: Dangers, Delusions, and Dilemmas in National Security

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • NOOK HD/HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK Study
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$15.99
BN.com price
(Save 44%)$28.99 List Price

Overview


While American national security policy grew more interventionist after the Cold War, Washington hoped to shape the world on the cheap. Misled by the stunning success against Iraq in 1991, administrations of both parties pursued ambitious aims with limited force, committing the military frequently but often hesitantly, with inconsistent justification. These ventures produced strategic confusion, unplanned entanglements, and indecisive results. This collection of essays by Richard K. Betts, a leading scholar of international politics, investigates the American use of force since the Cold War, suggesting guidelines for making it more selective and more successful.

Betts brings his extensive knowledge of twentieth-century American diplomatic and military history to bear on the full range of theory and practice in national security, surveying Cold War roots of recent initiatives and arguing U.S. policy was always more unilateral than liberal theorists believe. He exposes mistakes in humanitarian interventions and peace operations; reviews the issues raised by terrorism and modern nuclear, biological, and cyber weapons; evaluates the case for preventive war, which almost always proves wrong; weighs the lessons of Iraq, Afghanistan, and Vietnam; assesses the rise of China and the resurgence of Russia; quells concerns about civil-military relations; reveals the anomalies of recent defense budgets; and confronts the practical barriers to effective strategy. Betts argues for more caution and restraint, yet encourages more decisive action when force is required and a calmer assessment of national security interests, even in the face of of global instability and unfamiliar threats.
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

H-Diplo Roundtable - Scott A. Silverstone
American Force deserves to be widely read and debated.
Political Science Quarterly - Michael O'Hanlon
Richard Betts has written an extremely important book that is probably the best critique of the prevalent bipartisan thinking on post-Cold War foreign policy produced to date.... [Betts] has already written four or five classics in the field, and this book adds another to that remarkable list.
International Affairs - David Ryan
Betts provides a sobering and bluntly honest critique of US force. He does so through clear writing and argument.
H-War - Thomas Meagher
American Force is a well-reasoned and thoughtful critique of the current U.S. national security environment, one that policymakers should not ignore.
Choice
This volume is instructive for policy makers and would be engaging and provocative in the classroom.... Recommeded.
American Conservative
a lucid and insightful guide to the use of armed force as an instrument of U.S. power.
Foreign Affairs
Betts combines serious thought, common sense, and deep historical knowledge, rather than simply applying abstract theories, and his conclusions are expressed in plain English

— Lawrence D. Freedman

Choice

This volume is instructive for policy makers and would be engaging and provocative in the classroom.... Recommeded.

Lawrence J. Korb

In twelve detailed, well-written, and insightful chapters, American Force does a masterful job analyzing all of the important issues that have arisen during the conduct of post--World War II United States national security policy. This book is a must-read for policymakers and analysts trying to comprehend the current threats to U.S. security and develop effective and efficient responses to them.

Philip Zelikow

In this distillation of a career spent on careful study of America's use of military power, Richard K. Betts provides a good, strong dose of skepticism. A practical man, remarkably free of ideological cant, Betts has mixed a fine antidote to strategic conceits, a healthy and humbling aid to good judgment.

Stephen Walt

Richard K. Betts has long been one of America's smartest, sanest, and most knowledgeable scholars on national security affairs. American Force distills his considerable wisdom and offers incisive and clear-eyed analyses of the main security issues that United States leaders now face. If those who aspire to be commander-in-chief (and those who hope to advise him or her) could be required to read one book, this should be it.

Foreign Affairs - Lawrence D. Freedman
Betts combines serious thought, common sense, and deep historical knowledge, rather than simply applying abstract theories, and his conclusions are expressed in plain English
Kirkus Reviews
Betts (Enemies of Intelligence: Knowledge and Power in American National Security, 2009, etc.), the director of the Saltzman Institute of War and Peace Studies at Columbia University, surveys the landscape of American national security with a dispassionate and analytical eye. Placing current issues in their historical context, the author begins with the evolution of NATO from a mutual defense pact into a new political club and a means of extending American power into the "New Europe." The end of the Cold War freed America to use force "on behalf of the so-called international community," but too often its poorly conceived interventions prolonged suffering instead of relieving it. Betts criticizes a "profoundly confused" policy that "abetted slow-motion savagery" in Bosnia, for example, and recommends a set of standards by which to determine when military intervention for humanitarian purposes is likely to be a worthwhile option. The author also explores the nature of the changing threat from WMD, appropriate responses to terrorism and insurgency, serious concerns about the possibility of military conflict with China, appropriate levels of defense funding and whether the entire concept of strategy in military affairs has any meaning. "The expansive concept of national security carried over from the Cold War, when it was necessary, to the unipolar world, when it was tempting," writes Betts, who advocates for "less ambitious uses of force for world ordering in the near term, present concentration on forceful counterterrorism and nonforcible counterproliferation." While he recognizes the ongoing need for military force as a foreign-policy option, he cautions that America should avoid bluffs and either go all in or stay out. Betts does not shill for any particular ideology; he presents closely, sometimes densely reasoned arguments for his conclusions. Highly recommended for aficionados of foreign-policy and national-security issues.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

Meet the Author

Richard K. Betts is director of the Saltzman Institute of War and Peace Studies at Columbia University, adjunct senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, and author of numerous books on military strategy, intelligence, and foreign policy, including Enemies of Intelligence: Knowledge and Power in American National Security and Soldiers, Statesmen, and Cold War Crises. He has taught at Harvard University and Johns Hopkins University, is a former analyst at the Brookings Institution, and has served on the National Commission on Terrorism, the staffs of the Senate Intelligence Committee and the National Security Council, and the advisory panels for the director of Central Intelligence and State and Defense departments.

Columbia University Press

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

PrefacePart I. The Post—Cold War Hiatus1. Introduction: From Cold War to Hot Peace2. Policy Milestones: Cold War Roots of Consensus3. Confused Interventions: Puttering with Primacy4. New Threats of Mass Destruction: Capabilities Down, Intentions UpPart II. History Strikes Back5. Terrorism: The Soft Underbelly of Primacy6. Striking First: Well-Lost Opportunities7. Big Small Wars: Iraq, Afghanistan, and Vietnam8. The Main Events: The Rise of China and Resurgence of RussiaPart III. Decision and Implementation9. Civil-Military Relations: A Special Problem? 10. Plans and Results: Is Strategy an Illusion? 11. A Disciplined Defense: Regaining Strategic Solvency12. Conclusion: Selecting SecurityNotesIndex

Columbia University Press

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)