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Full Spectrum Disorder: The Military in the New American Century
     

Full Spectrum Disorder: The Military in the New American Century

by Stan Goff
 

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Goff’s career as an NCO in the Special Forces (Delta Force, US Rangers, Special Ops) took him from the invasions of Panama, Grenada and Haiti, to the training grounds of the Colombian Army (ostensibly in drug interdiction), to a semester as a West Point lecturer, to Mogadishu at the time of the operation immortalized in Black Hawk Down. Unlike the typical

Overview


Goff’s career as an NCO in the Special Forces (Delta Force, US Rangers, Special Ops) took him from the invasions of Panama, Grenada and Haiti, to the training grounds of the Colombian Army (ostensibly in drug interdiction), to a semester as a West Point lecturer, to Mogadishu at the time of the operation immortalized in Black Hawk Down. Unlike the typical soldier’s memoir, Goff does not in machismo or heart-searching. He draws lessons from his past, lessons about foreign policy, lessons about the police-actions designed to create stable environments for US corporations in the Western Hemisphere, lessons about how the days of the American Imperium are numbered. The books covers such subjects as: the slow collapse in Armed Forces morale due to the ongoing reductions in health and pension benefits; the continual overestimation of the ability of technology to work in hostile terrain; the moral in the story of Odoacer, the Germanic mercenary who turned against his Roman employers and sacked Rome in AD 476; new American Empire ignorance of the lessons of history; the failure of "intelligence" as a result of racist stereotyping of countries unwilling to submit to US hegemony.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Goff's impassioned and often vivid critique of U.S. foreign policy derives from the perspective of a long and distinguished military career. Until 1996 an NCO in various arms of Special Forces, he served in the invasions of Panama, Somalia, Grenada and Haiti (recounted in 2000's Hideous Dream). This book's great strength is in Goff's ability to cut through both the reader's prejudice and the bafflegab of officialdom to offer real "on the ground" insight into the military mind at both its best and worst. In taking apart, for example, both the official report on the infamous Black Hawk Down incident in Mogadishu and its Hollywood depiction, he is able to show how both participate in the same kinds of self-exculpatory distortions. Likewise his account of the replacement of real tactical experience with high-tech panaceas-driven by neo-conservative ideology rather than any practical consideration-is withering and powerful. Unfortunately, these passages of insight don't have the impact they should, due to both the book's haphazard organization and wearyingly didactic tone. Most of the 17 short chapters follow a predictable pattern, beginning in cogent recollection and analysis, but ending with political/philosophical digressions of a confused if decidedly radical hue. Goff proves himself capable of a rare sort of practical and sober analysis, but the vitriol and idle speculation he too often indulges in are already in great supply, from a variety of perspectives. (Feb.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781932360127
Publisher:
Soft Skull Press, Inc.
Publication date:
02/15/2004
Pages:
228
Product dimensions:
5.52(w) x 7.98(h) x 0.69(d)

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