American Force: Dangers, Delusions, and Dilemmas in National Security
By: Richard K. Betts
Why I read it: This book is a timely read on the choices and consequences surrounding the use of military force. Dr. Betts lends insight to the issues surrounding the question of military intervention. He does so in a way that helps put choices—past and present—into a constructive strategic context.
Why it matters: Dr. Betts makes the argument that the U.S. does not do a good enough job of reconciling what we want to achieve with the resources available. He contends that when we do make the choice to intervene, we too often minimize our resource commitments and put our goals at risk. He sees this leading to indecisive undertakings. He cautions about the unpredictable character of conflict: “A decision on force is a gamble, but there are no acceptable rules for judging the odds of success.” His thought-provoking arguments are worthy of our consideration.”
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