Unintended Consequences

Unintended Consequences

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by Kenneth J. & Bickerton Hagan, Ian J. Bickerton
     
 

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In Unintended Consequences Ian J. Bickerton and Kenneth J. Hagan describe and analyse the unintended consequences of ten major wars fought by the United States, pointing out critical turning points in the conflicts and the remarkable similarity of dilemmas that followed the conclusion of hostilities. The effect is to demonstrate that the unintended consequences of the

Overview

In Unintended Consequences Ian J. Bickerton and Kenneth J. Hagan describe and analyse the unintended consequences of ten major wars fought by the United States, pointing out critical turning points in the conflicts and the remarkable similarity of dilemmas that followed the conclusion of hostilities. The effect is to demonstrate that the unintended consequences of the wars not only outweighed the intended consequences in shaping subsequent events, they produced sharp and significant shifts in United States foreign, military and domestic policy. Most wars embarked upon by the United States when measured against this criterion were not only catastrophic and destructive, they were avoidable, unnecessary and unpredictable in outcome.
Once they understand this reality, Americans concerned with contemporary foreign and military policy can approach Iraq, and any prospective conflict, with greater sophistication. More importantly, policy-makers thinking of undertaking wars in the future may be made more cautious and circumspect in their planning than were those who launched the war in Iraq. It will also prove to be an invaluable corrective to the traditional views of American wars to which we are routinely exposed.

Editorial Reviews

Australian Book Review

"Highly relevant. The two authors give an informative summary of the cause and course of American war since 1775, and then analyse their consequences. . . . Essential reading."--Australian Book Review

— Richard Broinowski

Australian Financial Review

"There is little to argue with in this take on history, and the fresh point of view does give certain insights. The two authors also tell their tale well and keep the reader turning pages."—Australian Financial Review

— Mark Lawson

Royal United Services Institute for Defence Studies Journal

"What the authors offer is a radical re-interpretation of American military history. This is not a triumphalist book. . . . It is a bold thesis, and one persuasively told in their account of ten different wars the United States has found itself fighting. And of course it is vitally important for the future."—Royal United Services Institute for Defence Studies Journal

— Christopher Coker

Sydney Morning Herald

"Hagan and Bickerton demonstrate that Clausewitz's nostrum is little more than glib nonsense. . . . The book persuasively demonstrates that there will always be unintended consequences flowing from war."—Sydney Morning Herald

— Bruce Elder

The Age

"What this book so succinctly points out is that America's involvement in wars—from the War of Independence through to Iraq (and the authors reject the whole idea of the War on Terror as a war)—has always produced the 'unintended consequences' of the title. Their analysis of World War II, for example, brilliantly points out the unintended result of how President Truman used the atom bomb—that it effectively started the Cold War."—Steven Carroll, The Age

— Steven Carroll

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781861895127
Publisher:
Reaktion Books, Limited
Publication date:
07/03/2012
Series:
non-series
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
File size:
359 KB

Meet the Author

Kenneth J. Hagan is professor of strategy at the United States Naval War College, and professor of history emeritus at the United States Naval Academy. He is author of The People's Navy and coauthor of American Foreign Relations: A History. Ian J. Bickerton is Visiting Research Fellow and former associate professor of history at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia, and is author or coauthor of numerous books, including A Concise History of the Arab-Israeli Conflict.

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Unintended Consequences: The United States at War 2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
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