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— Lawrence D. Freedman
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.
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.
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.
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