The Virtual American Empire

Overview

This is Edward Luttwak's third and arguably fi nest collection of essays. In a challenge to the intellectual backbone of those who write about peace as something one wishes into existence through mediation and good will, Luttwak's view of warfare is bracing: "An unpleasant truth, often overlooked, is that although war is a great evil, it does have a great virtue: it can resolve political confl icts and lead to peace." Luttwak articulates positions shared by military fi gures and political heroes who have their ...

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Overview

This is Edward Luttwak's third and arguably fi nest collection of essays. In a challenge to the intellectual backbone of those who write about peace as something one wishes into existence through mediation and good will, Luttwak's view of warfare is bracing: "An unpleasant truth, often overlooked, is that although war is a great evil, it does have a great virtue: it can resolve political confl icts and lead to peace." Luttwak articulates positions shared by military fi gures and political heroes who have their feet on the ground rather than in the sand. He shares his thoughts in essays covering America at war and the new Bolshevism in Russia, ranging in place from the Middle East to Latin America and stops along the way to Byzantium. Luttwak examines military reform, great powers grown small, and drugs, crime and corruption as part of the common culture of the West. Th ough his message is sometimes delivered in a light tone, he is never foolish and never trivial.

Luttwak develops the bracing thesis that cease fi res and armistices in states of war, while sometimes inconclusive, are lesser evils than prospects for a nuclear meltdown. Even in arenas of geopolitical antagonism, neither Americans nor Russians have been inclined to intervene competitively in wars of lesser powers. As a consequence, intermittent war persists; and greater dangers to the world are averted. It is no exaggeration to compare Luttwak to Clausewitz in the nineteenth century and Herman Kahn in the twentieth century. Th is volume deserves to be read and digested by all who would understand contemporary geopolitics.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“That Ed Luttwak is a wholly original and provocative scholar is reason enough to pick up this collection of essays… [The book] is liberally sprinkled with concise reflections on military history that leave no doubt about the breadth and depth of Luttwak’s scholarship…Any reader with an ounce of curiosity will be happy to follow Edward Luttwak wherever he leads.” Ralph Hiitchens, The Journal of Military History
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781412810401
  • Publisher: Transaction Publishers
  • Publication date: 9/1/2009
  • Pages: 240
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.51 (d)

Meet the Author

Edward N. Luttwak is senior associate (non-resident) at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. He has served as a consultant to numerous government offices, including the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the National Security Council, the US Department of State, the US Army, Navy, and Air Force. He is the author of numerous books and articles, including Strategy and Politics, The Endangered American Dream, and Turbo-Capitalism: Winners and Losers in the Global Economy.

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Table of Contents

Pt. 1 The Paradoxical Logic of Strategy

1 Give War a Chance 3

2 Why We Need an Incoherent Foreign Policy 11

3 Free Will and Predestination in U.S.-China Strategic Relations 21

4 Reagan the Astute 25

Pt. 2 Post-Cold War Hot Wars

5 To Intervene or Not to Intervene 35

6 NATO Started Bombing to Help Milosevic 47

7 Pablo Escobar and the War on Drugs 51

8 The Global Rise of Separatism: It's Not Just Nationalism 59

9 Bandenkrieg 63

Pt. 3 America at War

10 The Warning 69

11 Terrorism by Subcontractor 75

12 Iraq: How to Regain the Initiative 79

13 Iraq: The Logic of Disengagement 83

14 Who is the Enemy? 91

15 Snobs Make Better Spooks 99

Pt. 4 Post-Heroic War

16 When Military Reform Fails 105

17 Where are the Great Powers Now? 109

18 Toward Post-Heroic Warfare 115

19 Post-Heroic Military Policy 125

20 The True Military Revolution at Last 135

Pt. 5 Byzantium: Faith and Power

21 The Grand Strategy of the Byzantine Empire 147

22 Byzantine Art 157

23 Byzantine Court Culture 169

Pt. 6 Amazon Misadventures

24 Drugs, Crime, and Corruption 181

25 Trinidad 187

26 The Sane Cow Syndrome 193

27 The Good in Barbed Wire 199

Pt. 7 Economics

28 The Russian Mafia: Does It Deserve the Nobel Prize in Economics? 207

29 The Secret the Soviets Should have Stolen 213

30 The Gospel According to Greenspan 217

31 The New Bolshevism 221

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