The Illusion of Control: Force and Foreign Policy in the 21st Century

The Illusion of Control: Force and Foreign Policy in the 21st Century

by Seyom Brown

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Overview

This provocative book assesses the implications of a disturbing trend in U.S. security policy: an increased willingness to use military force as an instrument of diplomacy. In The Illusion of Control, Seyom Brown shows how U.S. officials are relying on force to counter a wide range of threats to America's global interests—eclipsing previous strategies that restricted the use of military force to situations in which the country's vital interests were at stake. Brown points out that a disposition to employ military power broadly as an instrument of diplomacy was on the rise well before September 11, 2001— and it shows every sign of persisting into the future. While resorting to force may seem to be a reliable way to establish control over a disorderly world, Brown cautions that expecting to gain and maintain control through military prowess could turn out to be a dangerous illusion. In fact, employing new military technologies in an effort to control international terrorist activities, wars, and civil conflicts is likely to pull the United States into excessive commitments and imprudent action. Brown analyzes the growing willingness of U.S. government officials to use force, then critically assesses the strategic, political, and moral implications for the United States. Adapting traditional "just war" concepts to contemporary strategic, political, and technological realities, he offers a set of guidelines to help ensure that use-of-force decisions are approached with the judicious care and gravity they warrant.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780815702870
Publisher: Brookings Institution Press
Publication date: 05/26/2004
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 196
File size: 313 KB

About the Author

Seyom Brown is Lawrence A. Wien Professor of International Cooperation in the Department of Politics at Brandeis Univesity. He has held senior research and policy analysis positions at the RAND Corporation, the Brookings Institution, and the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Recent books include Human Rights in World Politics (Longman, 2000), New Forces, Old Forces, and the Future of World Politics (HarperCollins, 1995), The Faces of Power: Constancy and Change in United States Foreign Policy from Truman to Clinton (Columbia, 1994), and The Causes and Prevention of War (St. Martins, 1994).

Table of Contents

Forewordix
Acknowledgmentsxi
1Introduction: Force and Foreign Policy Revisited1
2The Disposition to Use Force: Crisis Reaction or General Trend?16
3The Changing Structure of World Politics49
4The Changing Shape of War78
5The Just War Tradition Revisited105
6The Control of Illusions: Using Military Power Judiciously142
Appendixes
AExcerpts from A National Security Strategy for a New Century179
BExcerpts from On Military "Transformation"181
CExcerpts from The National Security Strategy of the United States185
Index189

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