How Democracies Lose Small Wars: State, Society, and the Failures of France in Algeria, Israel in Lebanon, and the United States in Vietnam / Edition 1

How Democracies Lose Small Wars: State, Society, and the Failures of France in Algeria, Israel in Lebanon, and the United States in Vietnam / Edition 1

by Gil Merom
     
 

ISBN-10: 0521008778

ISBN-13: 9780521008778

Pub. Date: 04/28/2011

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

In How Democracies Lose Small Wars, Gil Merom argues that modern democracies fail in wars of insurgency because they are unable to find a winning balance between expedient and moral tolerance of the costs of war. Small wars, he argues, are lost at home when a critical minority shifts the center of gravity from the battlefield to the marketplace of ideas. This minority…  See more details below

Overview

In How Democracies Lose Small Wars, Gil Merom argues that modern democracies fail in wars of insurgency because they are unable to find a winning balance between expedient and moral tolerance of the costs of war. Small wars, he argues, are lost at home when a critical minority shifts the center of gravity from the battlefield to the marketplace of ideas. This minority, from among the educated middle class, abhors the brutality involved in effective counterinsurgency, but also refuses to sustain the level of casualties that successfully combatting counterinsurgency requires. Government and state institutions further contribute to failure, as they resort to despotic patterns of behavior in a bid to overcome their domestic predicament. Merom proceeds by analyzing the role of brutality in counterinsurgency, the historical foundations of moral and expedient opposition to war, and the actions states traditionally took in order to preserve foreign policy autonomy. He then discusses the elements of the process that led to the failure of France in Algeria and Israel in Lebanon. In the Conclusion, Merom considers the Vietnam War and the influence that failed small wars has had on Western war-making and military intervention.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780521008778
Publisher:
Cambridge University Press
Publication date:
04/28/2011
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
310
Product dimensions:
5.98(w) x 8.98(h) x 0.71(d)

Table of Contents

List of Figures and Tables
Acknowledgments
1Introduction3
2Military Superiority and Victory in Small Wars: Historical Observations33
3The Structural Origins of Defiance: The Middle-Class, The Marketplace of Ideas, and the Normative Gap48
4The Structural Origins of Tenacity: National Alignment and Compartmentalization65
5The French War in Algeria: A Strategic, Political, and Economic Overview83
6French Instrumental Dependence and Its Consequences99
7The Development of a Normative Difference in France, and Its Consequences108
8The French Struggle to Contain the Growth of the Normative Gap and the Rise of the "Democratic Agenda"121
9Political Relevance and Its Consequences in France139
10The Israeli War in Lebanon: A Strategic, Political, and Economic Overview155
11Israeli Instrumental Dependence and Its Consequences169
12The Development of a Normative Difference in Israel, and Its Consequences177
13The Israeli Struggle to Contain the Growth of the Normative Gap and the Rise of the "Democratic Agenda"194
14Political Relevance and Its Consequences in Israel208
15Conclusion229
Postscript251
Bibliography261
Index277

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