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

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.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780521008778
Publisher:
Cambridge University Press
Publication date:
04/28/2011
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
310
Sales rank:
1,001,780
Product dimensions:
5.98(w) x 8.98(h) x 0.71(d)

Table of Contents

List of Figures and Tablesx
Acknowledgmentsxi
Part I
1Introduction3
The Biased Study of War and the Neglect of Small Wars3
International Relations Theory and Small Wars5
How Do Democracies Fail in Small Wars14
The Role of Realist, Motivational, and Other Factors Reconsidered24
Research Design and Methodological Considerations26
Plan of the Book30
2Military Superiority and Victory in Small Wars: Historical Observations33
Fighting Small Wars: Insurgents and Oppressors33
Violence and Counterinsurgency: Brutality as a Means of Cost Management42
Conclusion46
3The Structural Origins of Defiance: The Middle-Class, The Marketplace of Ideas, and the Normative Gap48
Power Out of Feebleness: The Rise of the Middle-Class and the State48
Foundations of a Normative Gap56
Colonial Wars: The Domestic Dimension of Brutalization60
Conclusion63
4The Structural Origins of Tenacity: National Alignment and Compartmentalization65
Institutional Incongruity and Strategic Preferences66
The Modern Foundation of the State's Autonomy: Popular Alignment67
Institutional Responses to Threats against the Normative Alignment71
A Question of Timing75
Conclusion78
Part II
5The French War in Algeria: A Strategic, Political, and Economic Overview83
The Strategic Dimensions of the War in Algeria83
The French Political System, the State, the Army, and the War88
The French Economy and the Algerian War95
Conclusion98
6French Instrumental Dependence and Its Consequences99
7The Development of a Normative Difference in France, and Its Consequences108
The Utilitarian Debate about the Necessity of the War108
The Debate about the Morality of the Conduct of the Military in Algeria110
The Debate about the Identity of the State119
8The French Struggle to Contain the Growth of the Normative Gap and the Rise of the "Democratic Agenda"121
The Domestic Reaction of the Government and the State122
The Secondary Expansion of the Normative Gap130
9Political Relevance and Its Consequences in France136
The Intellectuals and the Press138
The Consequences of Political Relevance145
Part III
10The Israeli War in Lebanon: A Strategic, Political, and Economic Overview155
The Strategic Dimensions of the War in Lebanon156
The Israeli Political System, the State, the Army, and the War158
The Israeli Economy and the Lebanon War164
Conclusion168
11Israeli Instrumental Dependence and Its Consequences169
12The Development of a Normative Difference in Israel, and Its Consequences177
The Utilitarian Debate about the Human Cost of War177
The Debate about the Morality of the Military Conduct in Lebanon184
The Debate about the Identity of the State191
13The Israeli Struggle to Contain the Growth of the Normative Gap and the Rise of the "Democratic Agenda"194
The Domestic Reaction of the Government and the State197
The Secondary Expansion of the Normative Gap201
14Political Relevance and Its Consequences in Israel208
The Conformist Soft-Left and the Press213
The Consequences of Political Relevance220
Part IV
15Conclusion229
Domestic and International Causality Reconsidered231
The Role of Instrumental Dependence in a Comparative Perspective238
Democracy and the Use of Force243
Concluding Remarks249
Postscript251
Bibliography261
Index277

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >