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Military Misfortunes: The Anatomy of Failure in War

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Overview

Why do competent armies fail?

• Why did the American-led coalition in Iraq fail to wage a classic counter-insurgency campaign for so long after the fall of Baghdad?
• Why was the sophisticated Israeli intelligence service so thoroughly surprised by the onslaught of combined Arab armies during the Yom Kippur War of 1973?
• How did a dozen German U-boats manage to humiliate the U.S. Navy for nine months in 1942 ...

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Military Misfortunes: The Anatomy of Failure in War

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Overview

Why do competent armies fail?

• Why did the American-led coalition in Iraq fail to wage a classic counter-insurgency campaign for so long after the fall of Baghdad?
• Why was the sophisticated Israeli intelligence service so thoroughly surprised by the onslaught of combined Arab armies during the Yom Kippur War of 1973?
• How did a dozen German U-boats manage to humiliate the U.S. Navy for nine months in 1942 — sinking an average of 650,000 tons of shipping monthly?
• What made the 1915 British-led invasion of Gallipoli one of the bloodiest catastrophes of the First World War?
Since it was first published in 1990, Military Misfortunes has become the classic analysis of the unexpected catastrophes that befall competent militaries. Now with a new Afterword discussing America's missteps in Iraq, Somalia, and the War on Terror, Eliot A. Cohen and John Gooch's gripping battlefield narratives and groundbreaking explanations of the hidden factors that undermine armies are brought thoroughly up to date. As recent events prove, Military Misfortunes will be required reading for as long as armies go to war.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"The general reader will find this a fascinating and informative book; those responsible for their nations' security will find in it lessons they will ignore at their own peril."

— Major General (Res.) Aharon Yariv, former director, Israeli Military Intelligence

"Cohen and Gooch have done their job well. They have mastered their sources, used considerable imagination...the book is well-written and sound in judgment."

— Caspar Weinberger, The Wall Street Journal

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780743280822
  • Publisher: Free Press
  • Publication date: 12/27/2005
  • Edition description: Reissue
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 463,884
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.44 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Eliot A. Cohen is Robert E. Osgood Professor of Strategic Studies at the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) of the Johns Hopkins University and founding director of the Philip Merrill Center for Strategic Studies. From 2007 to 2009 he was Counselor of the Department of State, serving as Secretary Condoleezza Rice's senior advisor on strategic issues.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 2 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 25, 2011

    Must have for those who want to know "Why".

    Outstanding. Very comprehensive without ever being boring. A wide selection of wars and battle types is evaluated impartially. This cuts through the hype, and "Hollywood-styled war" to show why things can go really badly in war. This really gets to the deep issues that cause well supplied/equipped/trained armies to fail utterly. I've read it several times and refer to it as needed. The lessons learned and types of failures observed can be applied to any war or army for comparison. Go for it!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 18, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    An Explanation of Failure in War

    I borrowed a copy of this book from the thrift shop where I volunteer.The authors have done a commendable job of explaining how men and armies collapse in battle. They use well-known examples from the 20th century to illustrate their theories. After reading the book I returned to the shop. Although it has great merit, I am not sure you need to re-read it. Instead of buying it, consider borrowing it from your local library.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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