Book Reviews


From Parameters, Summer 2004, pp. 149-70.


The New Chinese Empire: And What it Means for the United States. By Ross Terrill. New York: Basic Books, 2003. 432 pages. $30.00. Reviewed by Richard Halloran, formerly with The New York Times as a foreign correspondent in Asia and military correspondent in Washington, who writes about US and Asia relations from Honolulu.

This is an altogether splendid book, lucid in writing, erudite without condescension, courageous in spirit. The author boldly predicts the end of the Communist Party’s rule of China at a date uncertain but to be followed by a time of turbulence. The book should be read by military officers, political leaders, diplomats, business executives, and anyone else who plans to deal seriously with China over the next decade or longer.

Terrill’s fundamental theme is that the Communist Party is in many ways a lineal descendant of the Chinese dynasties of yore, notably the Manchu or Qing (Ch’ing) that ruled from 1644 to 1912. “The PRC,” he writes, referring to the People’s Republic of China, “is an empire in that it appropriates an imperial idea of China, reinventing a 2,500 year old autocracy to control its population and hector non-Chinese neighboring peoples.”

The author, who is at the Center for East Asian Research at Harvard, sees today’s Chinese regime as a party-state in contrast to the nation-states of the West. In a nation-state, sovereignty resides in the people and power percolates from the bottom up. In Terrill’s party-state, sovereignty is held by the party, which controls the government as power trickles down.

That party-state, to borrow a Marxist phrase, contains the seeds of its own destruction. “The Beijing regime is overstretched on its western and southeastern flanks, deeply corrupt, politically unstable, yet extremely ambitious,” Terrill says. It has become vulnerable because “Communism has outlived its world historical role. Economic growth and crude nationalism are insufficient supports for long-term continuance of a regime. No cultural tissue connects government and people. A hovering army of unemployed grows.”

Terrill, who has written six other books about China, asserts that China cannot evolve but will crash, as have the dynasties before it. “I believe the Chinese populace and the rest of the world really will notice when the CCP [Chinese Communist Party] loses its monopoly of political power,” he contends. “No regime in Chinese history has ever given up power without bloodshed. I do not believe the CCP party-state will be the first.”

In the long run, Terrill holds out a gleam of hope for the Chinese and everyone who believes that democracy is the last best hope of the human race. He says a democratic China “will ultimately come into existence, ending the dream of a Chinese empire. China as a democratic federation could be a leading force in the world

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and our fruitful partner in Asia for decades.” Such a nation, he maintains, “infused with the actual wishes, wisdom, and heterogeneous strands of thought of the populace, will be worthy of Chinese civilization.”

This will not happen easily or soon. “Simple prudence,” Terrill concludes, “requires the United States and the rest of the world to prepare for drastic political discontinuity within China.” The coming changes, he says, “will affect every American and also every East Asian and Central Asian who lives on China’s borders.”

Terrill evinces his long study of China by adopting a distinctly Chinese way of organizing his thoughts. He likes to number things, which makes it easier to follow his arguments. There are what might be called the Three Traits, the Four World-Arranging Tasks, the Three Fictions, the Dualism of Defensiveness and Superiority, the Eight Factors in the Fall of Dynasties, the Eight Challenges, and finally the Seven Scenarios on what comes next.

The author acknowledges, “I do not know how and when Communist rule will end in China,” but he gives seven possible scenarios for what will happen to “the Red Dynasty” over the next two decades.

One: “China lives with the contradiction between politics and economics,” the CCP remaining authoritarian as it tells the Chinese people to “get rich” by adopting a form of capitalism.

Two: “China reaches the brink of regional fragmentation, as the prosperous south, together with restive Tibet and Xinjiang, seek more freedom.”

Three: The CCP will be “subtly transformed, somewhat like South Korea and Taiwan in the 1980s, into a looser authoritarianism seemingly headed for rough-and-ready democracy.”

Four: “Economic growth continues, but at a lower level. The erosion of faith in communism, long in process, becomes total. . . . Quick crumbling of Communist rule occurs, similar to that in Moscow in 1991. . . . In a puff of smoke, the Red Dynasty has gone.”

Five: A violent quarrel breaks out between the hard left and the reformers within the CCP. “The dispute is protracted and the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) steps in to settle it.”

Six: The PLA intervenes and “hustles the leaders of both sides off the stage, declares military rule, and fascism arrives.” This suggests, once again, that the political spectrum is circular, with the hard left and the hard right not far apart.

Seven: The PLA intervenes but permits “an evolution toward a new political system. . . . A crunch occurs; there is a watershed beyond which the Leninist system does not exist. . . . A reasonable chance exists that after some time China will establish a democratic federation.”

Terrill’s book is probably controversial among China hands, who are a quarrelsome lot to begin with. In Asia and in the West are three main categories of China watchers: On the right are “demonizers” who can find nothing right about China and advocate a stiff containment. On the left are “panda huggers” who are willing to give the Chinese every benefit of the doubt and to overlook Chinese excesses. In the middle are “realists” of varying degree who point out China’s shortcomings but also see hope that China, as a great civilization, will eventually emerge from its present parlous state.

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Terrill comes down squarely in the middle of the realists, which is not likely to endear him to the demonizers or panda huggers on either side.

As an author adept at drawing historical parallels, Terrill writes, “Certain admirable strains of public life have been evident in the British polity in its evolution from monarchy through aristocracy to democracy, and the same could be true of a post-Communist China that stopped being ideological about its past.” Americans who are the sons and daughters of the American Revolution that helped to start Britain on the path to democracy can only wish that to come true.


The Franco-Prussian War: The German Conquest of France in 1870-1871. By Geoffrey Wawro. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2003. 327 pages. $35.00. Reviewed by Dr. Eugenia C. Kiesling, Professor of History, US Military Academy.

For 40 years, no historian has dared to risk comparison with Michael Howard’s Franco-Prussian War: The German Invasion of France, 1870-1871 by publishing an English-language history of the Franco-Prussian War. Professor Geoffrey Wawro is not only brave but has succeeded in producing, if not a replacement for Howard, a worthy companion volume.

Even more than Howard’s book, this is straightforward military history, a study of armies and battles with little discussion of national policy, and with no concern for the economic or other domestic aspects of the war. As such, it is a useful work. The Franco-Prussian War was a military proving ground in an age full of uncertainties. French long-service professionals fought against Prussian conscripts, Chassepot rifles and Mitrailleuse machine guns against the Dreyse needle gun, Krupp’s new steel breech-loading six-pounder gun against the French army’s four-pounder bronze muzzle-loaders, an efficient general staff against a poor one. No one knew how these various contests would turn out, and Wawro offers an enthralling narrative of how battles were won and lost. As such, it ought to be of great interest to the professional soldier as well as the military historian.

In introducing the two armies, Wawro touches only briefly on the fairly well-understood subject of contemporary technological developments and their impact on military tactics. That decision reflects a reasonable economy of force, especially as the necessary points are clearly illustrated in the battle narratives. More problematic is the absence of discussion of the technology’s effects at the operational and strategic levels of war. For example, because Wawro says little about railroads, readers unfamiliar with the subject may fail to recognize the technological background to General Helmut von Moltke’s prediction for battles of encirclement.

One advantage of being the second person to write on a given war is there is no historiography to bother about. Wawro’s book is all the more readable for the absence of arguments with other historians. On the other hand, a historiographical discussion would have had the salutary effect of forcing Wawro to take more rigorous positions on certain points of controversy. In particular, Wawro does not situate himself vis--vis the triumphalist school of German military history, which sees the Prussian army of 1870 as a model of inexorable efficiency, the precursor of the

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Wehrmacht of the early years of World War II. If one believes this theory, Germans rolled over France in 1870 and 1940 (and almost in 1914) because their army was overwhelmingly superior in quality of soldiers, leadership, doctrine, organization, and use of technology. This school emphasizes the German General Staff system and an aggressive approach to war characterized by doctrines like auftragstaktik and operational art.

In the early pages, Wawro appears to belong in the triumphalist camp. His chapter on “The Armies in 1870” compares the “sins of the French army” with a Prussian war-planning marked by “theoretical and technical innovations.” He invidiously compares French methods, orderly but slow and rigid, with auftragstaktik, purposeful energy behind the appearance of disorder. But the operation narrative refers to auftragstaktik and operational art too rarely to demonstrate the importance of these concepts to the German victory. For example, the claim that operational art “dictated” a particular action begs the question of defining operational art and explaining how a doctrine enforces its will on armies.

The gripping narrative tells a more plausible story. Once the war begins, we hear little of a perfectly organized general staff or the flexibility of auftragstaktik. Instead, Wawro describes how German units blundered into battles to be shredded by the efficient Chassepot. Thus, “aggressive subordinates, determined to be first in on the action, had piled up necessary casualties in every clash with the French thus far.” When the Prussians won, it was because well organized and handled artillery pulverized French units from beyond the effective range of French counter-battery fire. How a battle described by a near-contemporary as “an artillery battle par excellence” constituted a demonstration of operational art demands discussion.

If the narrative does not reinforce Wawro’s opening assertions about auftragstaktik and operational art, nor does it adequately prepare the reader for belated hints that Prussia’s victory over France was neither predictable with certainty nor inevitable. Only on page 187 do we realize that knowledgeable people expected a French victory in 1870. Thus, European surprise after Sedan, described on page 228, is itself a surprise to the reader, as is Wawro’s later observation that “Prussia’s swift victory in 1870-71 came as something of a shock to Bismarck.” Wawro’s important conclusion that the war might have ended differently had France exploited the Chassepot’s defensive effectiveness with immediate counterattacks against shaken German formations ought to have been introduced at the beginning of the book. For what makes the Franco-Prussian War so interesting is that its outcome was anything but predictable. Rather than being a preordained victory for a Prussian steamroller, the war was a fascinating and uncertain contest between two rival military systems.

But is it difficult for the historian to resist the temptation to emphasize the flaws of the French army of 1870. The narrative naturally takes on a sardonic tone, thanks to the wealth of anecdotes like General Bourbaki’s complaint about his commander: “I spent the entire day in complete ignorance of Marshal Bazaine’s intentions, or of any ultimate objective.” If French soldiers describe their officers as “farcical, ridiculous,” so too might the modern historian. But Wawro does not wallow in French incompetence to the complete exclusion of problems on the other side, which included unfit reservists, headstrong and incompetent commanders,

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failures of communication, and, unsurprisingly in view of Bourbaki’s own ignorance, uncertainty about French plans.

This reviewer disagrees with several analytical claims. Machine guns are close support weapons, and it is commonplace to criticize the placement of the Mitrailleuse back with the artillery. It is not clear, then, why Wawro regrets that the gun’s 1,200m range kept it too close to the enemy for the safety of its crew. The battle of Beaune-le-Rolande did not so much reveal “the strength of Germany’s professionals and the weaknesses of France’s unseasoned reserves” as it demonstrated that Germany’s conscripts and reservists were now seasoned veterans while France lacked a reserve system to replace her vanished professional soldiers.

Thanks to Professor Wawro, there are now two delightfully readable, detailed, and clear accounts of the Franco-Prussian War. It is too bad that The Franco-Prussian War neither proves nor challenges conventional claims about the role of doctrine in the German victory, but it does provide a useful foundation for those eager to pursue this critical historical question.


Gettysburg. By Stephen W. Sears. Houghton Mifflin, 2003. 544 pages. $30.00. Reviewed by Colonel Len Fullenkamp, USA Ret., Professor of Military History and Strategy, US Army War College.

When the subject of Gettysburg is discussed, the question often arises, why did Lee lose? The more interesting questions is, why did Meade win? On this subject, as with so many others in this book, Stephen Sears is direct and to the point, “The fact of the matter is that George G. Meade, unexpectedly and against all odds, thoroughly outgeneraled Robert E. Lee at Gettysburg.” It is this willingness to cut through the fog of war and state his views clearly that will endear Sears to many readers, and infuriate just as many others.

Battles are complicated affairs. Too often the complexity of the story tends to mask simple truths and plain facts. Sears’ contribution to the extensive body of literature on the Civil War in general, and Gettysburg in particular, is the skill with which he narrates a story. His writing is crisp yet crammed with essential detail, as one would expect of a former editor of American Heritage and the author of six award-winning books on the Civil War. Any mention of Sears’ name brings to mind Landscape Turned Red, his excellent book on the Antietam campaign, but as an introduction to Gettysburg let me recommend readers seek out his most recent book, Chancellorsville. Key to understanding Lee’s decisions on the Pennsylvania battlefield in July 1863 are the events of his stunning victory over Joseph Hooker and the Army of the Potomac two months earlier in what most scholars readily identify as Lee’s greatest victory.

Sears’ book follows a predictable yet reliable format. He begins by setting the strategic and operational context for the campaign. Why did Lee argue for an invasion of Pennsylvania in the summer of 1863? He did so to recapture “the strategic initiative he had surrendered at Sharpsburg [Antietam] . . . to take the war right into the Yankee heartland. . . . [A] success in Pennsylvania would offset any failure at Vicksburg,” and “ a great victory on enemy soil might put peace within Richmond’s reach.” Having established the strategic premise for Lee’s campaign, Sears marches

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the reader through the details of the reorganization of the Army of Northern Virginia in the days and weeks following Chancellorsville (1-3 May, 1863), a reorganization in part driven by the loss of his key subordinate, the great Stonewall Jackson, who succumbed to wounds received at Chancellorsville. In an equally informative and fact-filled chapter, Sears chronicles the tribulations of Lincoln as commander in chief, his decision to sack Hooker as commander of the Army of the Potomac (the fourth general to suffer that fate—McClellan being counted twice), and the elevation of George Gordon Meade to army command.

Sears skillfully narrates the operational movements that carried both armies into Pennsylvania for their rendezvous at Gettysburg, with a particularly interesting summary of Brandy Station, the largest cavalry action of the war along the way. How and why Lee’s cavalry commander, James Ewell Brown Stuart, comes to be out of communications with his army commander during seven crucial days of the Gettysburg campaign is examined, with blame apportioned equally among Lee, Stuart, and James Longstreet, the senior corps commander in the Army of Northern Virginia. In this portion of the book, Sears gives equal time to the generals of the Army of the Potomac. Meade’s subordinates are graded and measured: corps commanders John Reynolds and Winfield Scott Hancock are the most talented and capable; John Sedgwick and George Sykes, reliable; Oliver Howard and William Slocum, men of modest talent; and Daniel Sickles, the New York Tammany Hall politician, found a scoundrel of the first order. Those with an interest in the subject of leadership will find much worthy of their time in Sears’ discussions of Meade and his handling of subordinates, a task for which he earns uniformly high marks. Lee, on the other hand, comes in for harsh and sustained criticism of his generalship throughout the battle. Newly appointed Confederate corps commanders Ambrose P. Hill and Richard S. Ewell consistently fail to perform to standards, while Longstreet struggles respectfully with Lee for control of the battle from day one.

Although it may be generals who plan and direct battles, it is soldiers who must fight them. Brilliant generalship combined with courageous soldiers generally wins battles, but—no matter how courageous or determined the soldiers—if the general fails in his duty, victory is nigh impossible. Sears makes this abundantly clear as he mixes the heroic details of the grim work of combat with the broad outlines of Lee’s and Meade’s plans and orders. Three major events are examined in detail, as each figured prominently in the narrative of the battle. Ewell’s fateful decision not to attack Cemetery Hill at the end of day one, thereby denying Lee a clear victory after a day of hard fighting, gets an evenhanded critique. Blame ultimately falls on Lee’s shoulders (muddled orders and inadequate supervision of subordinates) but with due credit given to Hancock, who rallies the rattled Union soldiers and organizes a strong defensive position south of Gettysburg. Equally fascinating is the tension between Lee and Longstreet on the plan for day two. Longstreet wanted to maneuver to avoid a frontal attack into a position farther south toward Washington, where the Federals would have to carry the burden of attacking an entrenched Confederate army. Lee insisted on attacking at Gettysburg, with bloody results—in large measure due to the effective generalship of Meade, who seems to be everywhere at once on 2 July, the second day of the battle. Time and again, the reader finds Meade riding to a critical point, or sending one of his subordi-

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nates, Gouverneur K. Warren, in his stead, to the decisive point, and there giving orders that win the day. The climactic events of the third day, Longstreet’s corps-sized attack, commonly referred to as Pickett’s Charge in honor of George Pickett, the Virginian who led one of the three divisions, are vividly described and fairly critiqued.

By way of summary, Sears notes that Gettysburg was as much Meade’s battle to win as Lee’s battle to lose. He gives Meade a full and fair hearing, pronouncing him competent if not overly skillful. Lee’s army was simply outfought, in part due to failures in command by Lee and key subordinates, but notably not the result of intrigues or malfeasance by the usual scapegoat, James Longstreet. Sears gives Longstreet high marks as a corps commander, a view not likely to sit well with Civil War buffs. “Indeed, at Gettysburg James Longstreet was the only one of Lee’s corps commanders who lived up to expectations.” In the final analysis, Sears places the blame squarely on Lee: “It was Robert E. Lee’s inability to manage his generals that went to the heart of the failed campaign.”

Sears covers briefly Meade’s failure to press Lee’s army, an effort those in Washington perceived of as incompetence. With Lee’s army trapped with its back to the flooded Potomac, Meade, in Lincoln’s words, had the enemy within his grasp and all he need do was to close his fist, but alas this was not done and Lee’s army escaped to fight another day. Of Lincoln’s dissatisfaction with Meade’s failure to destroy Lee’s army north of the Potomac, Sears comments, “To be sure, it had all looked easier from the perspective of the telegraph office or when tracing movements on the map.” The same could be said about almost every military venture in the history of the profession of arms.

This book has something for everyone, whether a first-time reader on the battle of Gettysburg or someone steeped in the details of the Civil War. Sears’ Gettysburg strikes a fair balance between the big picture and minute details. For years many have considered Edwin B. Coddington’s The Gettysburg Campaign: A Study in Command the best book on the battle and campaign. Serious students will continue looking to the Coddington book for its extensive endnotes and bibliography, but those who want an accurate and lively telling of the story with abundant detail and insightful analysis will find in Sears’ Gettsyburg much to their liking.

Stephen Sears has for some time now been working his way through the Civil War’s major battles and campaigns in the Eastern Theater of War. The next logical book in this effort must be on the campaign of 1864, Grant’s Overland Campaign. One looks forward with anticipation to having Sears, with his practiced eye and measured gaze, examine the generalship of Ulysses S. Grant.


First Great Triumph: How Five Americans Made Their Country a World Power. By Warren Zimmermann. New York: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 2002. 562 pages. $30.00. Reviewed by Lance Betros, Department of History, US Military Academy.

Anyone familiar with the historiography of US diplomacy knows there are many explanations for the outbreak of the Spanish-American War and the expansionist foreign policy that followed. Warren Zimmermann’s First Great Triumph:

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How Five Americans Made Their Country a World Power does an admirable job of synthesizing the literature, particularly for nonspecialists in US diplomatic history.

The book addresses the emergence of imperialism as the leitmotif of US foreign policy in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Most responsible for shaping that policy were five men—Theodore Roosevelt, Elihu Root, Henry Cabot Lodge, John Hay, and Alfred Thayer Mahan. Zimmermann calls them the “fathers of modern American imperialism.” This talented group worked in concert to mobilize public opinion, formulate policy, and upgrade the military to defend America’s global interests. Mahan supplied the intellectual foundation, primarily through the ideas in his seminal book, The Influence of Sea Power upon History, 1660-1798. Lodge mobilized congressional support as a member (later chairman) of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and as the Senate majority leader. Root and Hay advanced imperial policy within the War and State Departments. Roosevelt, the hands-down hero of the book, cohered the entire effort through his boundless energy and enthusiasm; his presidency “marked the consolidation of the United States as a world power.”

One might question how Zimmermann’s focus on five like-minded men could produce a balanced account of American foreign policy. He succeeds by combining biography with a rich synthesis of political, social, diplomatic, and military history. Part One of the book, “The Music Makers,” consists primarily of chapter-length biographies of the five “fathers” who set the tune for American imperialism. Zimmerman relies exclusively on published sources for the biographical sketches, but the sources are well selected and his treatment evenhanded. He skillfully identifies the most relevant aspects of the background and character of each of his subjects, and he presents them in engaging, energetic prose. Part Two, “Imperial America,” takes the reader chronologically through the formative period of US imperialism—that is, from the Spanish-American War (the “first great triumph”) to the end of Roosevelt’s second administration. Not surprisingly, the five fathers figure prominently in these pages, but so, too, do the other “Jingoes” who supported an imperial role for the United States, as well as the “Goo-goos” who opposed it.

It is impossible to understand US foreign policy without acknowledging the influence of racism. On this score, Zimmermann’s analysis is particularly strong. Imperial policy, he notes, was “inherently racist,” and the result was shoddy treatment of the peoples in the acquired territories. Making the situation worse were the quasi-scientific theories of social Darwinism, which helped justify Congress’s refusal to grant full citizenship to the territorial inhabitants. Most educated Americans—imperialists and anti-imperialists alike—subscribed to racial stereotypes. Roosevelt was no exception, but “his basic goodwill” tempered the worst excesses of racial politics.

In contrast to his emphasis on racism, Zimmermann is unimpressed by the arguments of revisionist historians in explaining US imperial policy. He is particularly dismissive of the economic determinists who attribute American actions primarily to the power of big business and the lure of overseas markets. Business leaders were divided in their support of the impending war with Spain (fear of instability versus promise of economic exploitation); they became more supportive of US policy only after a favorable postwar outcome had been reached. Even then, American economic programs in Cuba and elsewhere favored the territorial populations as well as American

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business. Hence, “the evidence does not support charges . . . that the McKinley administration provided the cover for massive American economic penetration.”

The title of the book suggests a triumphal approach to the history of US foreign policy. In fact the book is meticulously balanced, giving credit where due but also shining light on the shameful episodes of American history. On the one hand, for example, Zimmermann praises the creation of “an authentic American imperialism that was confident in its objectives but modest in its application.” On the other, he excoriates US imperialists—Roosevelt and Root in particular—for denying colonial populations constitutional rights and a clear roadmap to independence. Such policies reflected the racist attitudes of the day and were counterproductive in the long term. In Cuba, the Philippines, and Panama, for example, US policies inspired lingering animosities by alienating “revolutionary groups that had urged American intervention and pleaded common cause with American values.”

Despite such criticism, Zimmermann defends the right of great nations to assume prominent roles on the world stage. The only condition is that they act in principled ways. Accordingly, he notes without criticism the policy of intervention that Roosevelt articulated in response to the 1904 revolutionary crisis in the Dominican Republic. Known as the Roosevelt Corollary to the Monroe Doctrine, the policy was a necessary step taken carefully and reluctantly by the President. While disavowing any desire for territorial aggrandizement, Roosevelt preempted foreign intervention and brought greater stability in the Caribbean—a region of high strategic importance to the United States. Great nations need not wring their hands about advancing their interests, provided they combine, as Roosevelt put it, “power with high purpose.” Zimmermann credits the United States with generally adhering to this rule in dealing with its territories. The founding imperialists certainly made some errors, such as war with the Filipinos and obsessive concern with Cuban domestic affairs. Still, there were many benefits for the subject populations, and no other imperial power would have been as benevolent.

This assertion of US benevolence reflects Zimmermann’s generally positive view of the American imperial age, which lasted for about a century following the Spanish-American War. In the book’s conclusion, however, he strikes a more somber note. With the end of the Cold War, the “power and self-confidence that sustained this century-long international influence have been eroding.” One reason is the decline in presidential influence in foreign policy. Congress and special interests have become too powerful and have discouraged courageous presidential leadership in diplomacy. A second reason is the “decline in usable American power,” especially in crises involving non-vital national interests or uncertain outcomes. Rather than relying on “soft power” to achieve political objectives, the United States must be willing to act boldly—and with “high purpose”—when its strategic interests are threatened.

Only time will tell if Zimmermann’s concerns are valid. Since September 2001, an activist President has established a significantly new foreign policy, assumed vigorous control of diplomacy, and strenuously committed military forces in many places around the world. His critics claim he is too arrogant in the use of American power, too unilateralist in his approach. If Roosevelt’s age of imperialism is dying, no one has told President George W. Bush.

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U.S. War Plans: 1938-1945. Edited by Steven T. Ross. Boulder, Colo.: Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2002. 370 pages. $89.95. Reviewed by Dr. James Jay Carafano (LTC, USA Ret.), a senior fellow at the Shelby and Cullom Davis Institute for International Studies, the Heritage Foundation. His most recent book is Waltzing into the Cold War: The Struggle for Occupied Austria.

At the strategic level, thought should always precede action. In this respect, the US war plans of World War II are particularly worthy of study. By the time the United States entered the conflict, the planners had already successfully argued for a “defeat Germany first” policy that set the Allied direction for the war. There were diversions and missteps and lessons to be learned along the way, but this seminal strategic choice marked the beginning of what remains to this day possibly the zenith of American planning. Students and strategists alike will benefit from studying the planners’ efforts.

Steven Ross, the Admiral William V. Pratt Chair of Military History at the US Naval War College, has provided a collection of important papers in U.S. War Plans: 1938-1945. Ross has performed yeoman’s service in editing and analyzing a series of books on American war plans during the 20th century. This work represents one of the best of such compilations, a rich and comprehensive assemblage of the central documents that guided US actions during the Second World War.

U.S. War Plans: 1938-1945 contains American and Anglo-American strategic directives, including the results of staff talks with the Canadians and the British. The collection also covers the operational level of war, with plans for the invasions of North Africa, Sicily, Italy, France, and Germany, as well as plans for operations in the South, Southwest, and Central Pacific, including the scheme for the invasion of Japan, preempted by the dropping of the atomic bombs. In total, Professor Ross’s work represents a one-of-a-kind survey and a valuable reference tool.

Ross offers a brief, workmanlike introduction that describes the inter-Allied planning process. For a more detailed explanation of Anglo-American planning, readers will want to consult Mark A. Stoler’s recent Allies and Adversaries: The Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Grand Alliance, and U.S. Strategy in World War II. Stoler details the interservice friction, mistrust among Allies, and Washington machinations that are merely hinted at in Ross’s introduction. Behind every strategic document authored by the American Chiefs of Staff lurked a concern not only for defeating the Axis powers but for ensuring the United States would be prepared to face its Allies as potential postwar enemies.

In general, a lack of context is a disappointment throughout the collection, though Ross does introduce each plan with a useful and concise description of its purpose and scope. What is missing is the remarkable story behind all of these efforts to chart the war’s course. The Victory Program of 1941 is a case in point. America, which had traditionally spent less than two percent of its GDP on defense, simply lacked an adequate national mobilization plan. Six months before Pearl Harbor, President Roosevelt ordered the military services to estimate the needs for fighting a global war. One of the principal authors of the plan was a virtually un-

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known Army major recently assigned to the War Department’s War Plans Division in Washington, Albert C. Wedemeyer. His task, detailed well in Charles Kilpatrick’s An Unknown Future and a Doubtful Present: Writing the Victory Plan of 1941, was daunting. Wedemeyer concluded the nation could put almost eight million men in uniform, an estimate that proved unusually prescient. In other respects, his plan came up woefully short, particularly in not anticipating the Allies’ insatiable demands for lend-lease aid.

The Victory Program and the other planning efforts of the War Department staff demonstrated that while the interwar Army lacked for many things, it did a credible job of educating strategic planners like Wedemeyer. What Stoler and Kilpatrick demonstrate—and reading between the lines in Ross’s volume also makes it clear—is that planners were far less practiced at linking policy and strategy. Reciting Clausewitz’s famous dictum that war is an extension of politics was one thing, turning that principle into action was far more difficult. Early in the conflict Allied staffs frequently outmaneuvered US planners, though by the end of the war the Americans had learned their lessons well.

It would have been even more apparent how the importance of military planners as policy-strategists grew during the course of the war if Professor Ross had included plans for the post-conflict period—for example, “Rankin,” the Combined Chiefs of Staff plan in the event of the unexpected collapse of German resistance; or JCS 1067, the first US postwar policy directive for managing occupied Germany. Given the current turmoil in Iraq, it is useful to remember that planning for the post-conflict period is as essential as mapping out any campaign, and that in the case of planning for either peace or war, good policy and sound strategy go hand in hand.


India in the World Order: Searching for Major-Power Status. By Baldev Raj Nayar and T. V. Paul. New York: Cambridge Univ. Press, 2003. 291 pages. $60.00 ($22.00 paper). Reviewed by Dr. Amer Latif, Deputy Director, Operations, Joint Warfare Analysis Center (JWAC) and adjunct professor with Mary Washington College, Fredericksburg, Va.

Over the past two decades, India has been touted as the next major rising power that cannot be ignored by the international community. We are told by scholars and Indian policymakers that India is knocking on the door of the exclusive club of states that comprise the major powers (US, PRC, Russia, UK, France). Despite a number of indicators that seem to indicate India’s impending status as a major power, however, there are reasons why India has not achieved this status. This new book by Baldev Nayar and T. V. Paul, two prominent South Asia scholars at McGill University, explains why India has fallen short of its aspiration to join this collection of states.

The authors begin their discussion with an examination of how India stacks up among the major powers—the United States, China, Russia, the United Kingdom, and France. In this respect, India presents a mixed picture. Although India lags in economic and military power, India does have a substantial population growth rate vis--vis the other major powers, except China.

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Nayar and Paul assert that in terms of the various measures of “hard power”—military strength, economy, technology, and demographics—India has promising potential for the future. India’s military is trying to improve its power-projection capabilities through the development of several variants of the Agni missile that will increase its reach to various parts of Asia. Additionally, India has been improving its conventional capabilities in the areas of air and sea power, albeit haltingly. However, the authors are on shaky ground with their assessment when they appear to equate the accumulation of arms with the effective exercise of military capability. India has traditionally had difficulties in conducting joint military operations and projecting power beyond its region with conventional forces. One could question whether India’s military is on a trajectory to become a military worthy of a major power anytime soon.

The authors believe that India appears to be on its way to becoming one of the leading economies by the middle of the 21st century. However, slow internal privatization reforms, sustaining a healthy rate of growth, and an inability to capture a larger share of global trade will harm India’s ability to become a significant economic power. India’s staggering poverty and its dismal performance on UN development indicators are also issues that Indian policymakers must address.

Technologically, India has made substantial gains in some areas, while in others it lags behind. India has developed high-end technology for space and nuclear capabilities, but has neglected low-end technology for addressing some of its most pressing social problems. The authors also believe that the nation’s growing population, combined with the projected population decline of many industrialized states, will increase the demand for Indian labor abroad. Curiously, Nayar and Paul neglect to discuss the AIDS problem in India and its effect on Indian aspirations for major-power status. A recent National Intelligence Council study identified India (along with Russia and China) as one of the states where the next AIDS epidemic could occur. Such an epidemic could undermine the elements of hard power discussed above.

As far as soft power is concerned, India has an uneven record in exercising resources such as international institutional power, state capacity, strategic vision, and national leadership. Although India does project a robust worldwide cultural influence in a number of areas, the other elements of soft power will have to mature rapidly in order to keep pace with the development of India’s hard-power resources.

India also has encountered a number of other obstacles in its bid to become a major power. At the systemic level, for example, the authors believe that major powers such as the United States and China do not wish to see the emergence of growing powers such as India for fear that it may upset the established system of power. India’s domestic constraints also have hindered its ability to obtain a key leadership role in the world. Indian economic growth has been hindered by many factors such as autarkic economic policies, lack of emphasis on education, and neglect of infrastructure. Despite a drive toward privatization in the late 1980s, reforms have been slow and have not produced the expected growth. Social factors also hinder India’s progress, with high rates of illiteracy and a lack of basic social services in many areas. Cultural factors also are obstacles for India as it struggles

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with issues of caste, communal relations, and the treatment of women in its society. Unfortunately the authors have forgotten the paradigm that what usually makes a state powerful is by being strong at home before being strong abroad.

The authors are less than convincing in making the case that major powers such as the United States and China have been the main obstacles to India achieving its rightful place in the world. The book provides the reader with a good historical account of India’s foreign policy odyssey over five decades. Although India does have significant potential to achieve major-power status, it must first overcome the obstacles at home before tackling the obstacles abroad.


The War Within the Union High Command: Politics and Generalship During the Civil War. By Thomas J. Goss. Lawrence: University of Kansas Press, 2003. 281 pages. $34.95. Reviewed by Dr. J. Boone Bartholomees, Jr., Professor of Military History, US Army War College.

With his first book, Thomas Goss makes a significant contribution to Civil War scholarship. He does so in the often arcane realm of politics, generalship, and civil-military relations. Goss’s stated goal is “a revision of the historical approach to the examination of generalship.” He suggests such a revision, but if that was all he did, the book would have little value. Goss’s value is that he goes beyond his stated purpose to wind together several themes—generalship, professionalism, politics, strategy, civil-military relations—to make a point about the political nature of war.

We shall deal first with the stated objective, a revision of the traditional method of judging generals. Goss believes Lincoln hired two distinctly different types of generals to do two distinctly different missions. The first were professionals, which translated at the time as West Point graduates regardless of length of service or experience. The second class comprised politicians or politically influential people. Lincoln expected the professionals to win battles and the politicians to recruit troops and advance or support the administration’s policy agenda. Goss believes these different expectations explain why battlefield performance determined the fate of professional generals, while political generals seem to have survived overall poor combat records. The political generals contributed to the war effort in the manner for which they were best qualified, and Lincoln could, therefore, overlook deficiencies in other fields based on support in the political arena. This was particularly true in the first year of the war, when Lincoln most desperately needed political support. Goss makes several supporting arguments, but the base of his argument is that the Civil War was a political war and political contributions were as necessary as military ones.

I see problems with this hypothesis—not that it is wrong, just that it oversimplifies a very complex process. There are too many exceptions. First, one did not have to be a general to contribute effective political support for the war. The records of the great war governors, both Republican and Democrat, are prima fascie evidence of that proposition. Similarly, some individuals made their political contribution before donning a uniform. For example, Francis Blair declined appointment as

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a brigadier until August 1862 to avoid political complications, but was instrumental in saving Missouri for the Union. The counter, of course, is that political generals were useful specifically because they were in uniform. Goss argues this was especially true once the Union began occupying and administering large swaths of Confederate territory.

Generals also could contribute political support without holding field command. After losing his leg at Gettysburg, Daniel Sickles toured the occupied Southern territories for Lincoln to assess the effects of amnesty and the progress of reconstruction. Cassius M. Clay provided critical support in Kentucky without seeing combat. James Cooper helped secure Maryland for the Union, and Lincoln used Democrat James Craig’s Missouri connections to help secure his home state, but assigned him to fairly innocuous duty protecting the overland mail route and as commander of the District of Nebraska. Lincoln got sound political service from these and other generals in jobs that did not involve field duty.

The bottom line, however, is that Lincoln judged his generals on battlefield performance. That some of the high-ranking political generals like Butler, Banks, Sigel, McClernand, and Freemont hung around or reemerged after proving less than successful militarily showed not that Lincoln appreciated their political contribution but the strength of their political support—Lincoln could not afford to fire them. Even so, those with significant political strength could not survive indefinitely on that asset alone. All of the five mentioned except McClernand were eventually removed, and McClernand was assigned to the backwater of western Louisiana and Texas. Additionally, the political protection phenomenon operated only for War Democrats and German-Americans, when it operated at all. Successful generals were successful on the battlefield.

So, if the book’s thesis is disputable, why is it still a major contribution to the scholarship of the Civil War? There are several reasons, the foremost of which is that Goss’s theoretical approach to the subject is both correct and compelling, even if the case may be overstated. He deals with a multitude of issues in getting at his thesis. For example, he identifies as an underlying issue that there was no general agreement at the time, much less between the professional and political officers, on the nature of war. Politicians, political generals, and those professionals with political convictions tended to see war as a political act; traditionally trained soldiers of the day saw things differently. To the typical professional officer, war was not a continuation of politics but the failure of politics. Soldiers were required to resolve the problem using the principles of military science before returning the situation to political control. Inextricably intertwined with the issue of the proper conduct of the war—what modern scholars call the question of reconciliation or hard war—those different interpretations of the basic nature of war explain many of the military and civil-military issues that arose.

Similarly, Goss makes the point that the Civil War occurred in the early stages of the professionalization of the US Army when lateral entry at the general officer level was still possible and even expected—trained professionals were not presumed to have a monopoly on expertise, and, in fact, for a multitude of reasons did not. Goss does not, however, conclude that we should evaluate generals based on

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their backgrounds. Instead he emphasizes the political utility and even necessity of recruiting and bolstering morale and support for the cause. That point is absolutely incontrovertible.

Finally, Goss’s ultimate recommendation is intriguing. He concludes that generals should be evaluated not on battlefield prowess but on how well they contributed to achieving the political aims of the war. The distinction is subtle, since success in battle has always been presumed to relate to political success, and it reflects a growing willingness of Army officers (Goss is an active duty major and former instructor in the History Department at West Point) to assume responsibility for political tasks. Eliot Cohen and others who worry about inappropriate military involvement in the political aspects of war damaging civilian control may gasp in horror, but that is a proposition that flows naturally from a Clausewitzian interpretation of war. The value of combat success always has been that it should advance the political cause, but overt recognition of that connection and its obvious implications by American soldiers is fairly recent.

Probed deeply, many modern officers, despite reflexively mouthing Clausewitzian platitudes, still think like their Civil War predecessors—give me the mission and the resources and get out of my way. Goss convincingly demonstrates (and recent Iraqi experience validates) that winning wars requires more than winning battles. War is, after all, a political act. Perhaps we should measure generals with the politically more comprehensive yardstick of how well they contribute to achieving the overall political objective.

So how does one determine the relative weight of political effectiveness and military competency? Goss does not address the applicability of his study beyond the Civil War. Should all generals be evaluated based on their contribution to overall political success (or does professionalization imply sequestration in the military arena)? And, what might the effect of such a changed standard be on future generalship? The field suddenly gets very murky—but also very interesting.

These are the kinds of issues Thomas Goss, perhaps unconsciously, raises. His book is researched, organized, and written well. I do not agree with the details of many of Goss’s arguments; however, the thought necessary to reach that conclusion was useful. Others may reach different conclusions. In any case, the larger issues Goss raises require consideration. Read the book and see for yourself.


Patriots: The Vietnam War Remembered from All Sides. By Christian G. Appy. New York: Viking Press, 2003. 574 pages. $34.95. Reviewed by Major Robert Bateman, Department of the Army Staff, G3, Washington, D.C.

There is no doubt that Christian Appy achieved his stated objective of writing a book that records and brings forward accounts from all sides of the Vietnam War— doubly so when one notes that among the book jacket blurbs are raving comments from both left-of-Trotsky historian Howard Zinn and Studs Terkel. In Patriots, Appy succeeds in raising the bar for oral histories about the Vietnam War, or any war for that matter, several notches higher. His book is, to appropriate a popular phrase, “fair and

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balanced.” It contains personal reminiscences from 135 individuals whose experiences span the entire period of the Second and Third Indochinese Wars, starting in 1945 and ending in the present day. The book is divided both chronologically and topically, with some accounts grouped into the period during which an individual participated in the war and others presented together with similar subjects. With each subsection Appy gives a few pages of historical background to set the stage for the individual accounts.

Appy is a historian who has been an adjunct faculty member in the history departments of Harvard and MIT. This book demonstrates that he is also a master at presenting individuals with a petard and allowing them to light the thing themselves. This is especially obvious in his introduction to the section on morale and entertainers, where the author makes some adroit connections and then allows the participants to speak in their own words. In one instance he hands the explosive to Westmoreland himself. Although General Westmoreland gave only a short interview for Patriots, one that revealed nothing dramatic, Appy appropriately quoted a passage from Westmoreland’s own book, A Soldier Reports, to illustrate the disconnect between personnel policy and strategy. In discussing policies designed to maintain troop morale, Westmoreland wrote in his book about post exchanges, the clubs, and rest and recreation sabbaticals, as well as other recreational facilities:

These creature comforts, plus other factors such as keeping your men busy and informed, having them participate in civic action projects, and keeping the complaint channels open, helped during the period 1964-69 to generate the highest morale I have seen among US soldiers in three wars. It was only after 1969 that the psychological stresses and strains of an apparently endless war began to show.

Appy, who is not a classically trained military historian, accurately notes that in this passage Westmoreland sounds “like the personnel manager of a very large corporation offering advice on how to keep short-term employees compliant and productive.” As disconcerting as that may be, the author also has the insight to comment on what Westmoreland does not say, noting, “Nowhere does he suggest that it has any connection to a goal larger than surviving a one-year tour.” If the principal role of a historian is to provide context for an assembled body of facts, this is doubly important for a historian working with oral history. Appy succeeds in this role throughout the book. This is no mean feat when a single chapter might bring together the memories of participants ranging from “Bobbie the Weathergirl” to James Brown, to Country Joe McDonald.

Yet the true beauty of this book is in the fact that it genuinely does provide accounts of the war “from all sides,” just as promised. Not only from the left and right of the domestic American scene (although both are presented) but from the North Vietnamese and South Vietnamese perspectives as well. Perhaps nowhere is this better illustrated than in the just-mentioned section on entertainers. In contrast to the American morale programs of Donut Dollies, Playmate visits, and USO concerts, the North Vietnamese sent “entertainers” such as artist Vu Hy Thieu south to support their war effort. In taking the time to actually find a North Vietnamese entertainer, Appy shows his keen appreciation for the different philosophies guiding the two war efforts. Yet he allows the participants’ words to come through clear to make that point. Some of Thieu’s account bears repeating:

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After graduating from the School of Fine Arts in Hanoi, I was offered a chance to study in the Soviet Union, but I turned down the opportunity so I could go south. In times like that everybody wanted to do their best for the country. I had to apply repeatedly because only one artist was being selected from each province. The two main criteria were talent and political orthodoxy. . . .

In my group there were about ten artists and one hundred doctors and nurses. Our training was basically the same that the regular soldiers underwent. We trained for three months in the Luong Son Mountains. Every day I had to climb a mountain carrying a pack filled with thirty-five kilograms of stones and sand. I weighed about fifty-two kilograms then.

Appy also managed to capture the diverse voices of the war from the American side of the conflict. In Patriots one finds not only the proud and the powerful of both the left and the right, but a great cross-section of the “foot soldiers” of the war, both in and out of uniform. Appy brings out not only the Rusks, the Ellsbergs, and the Rostows, but also the voice of the common American combatant through interviews with men such as Dennis Deal, a lieutenant and rifle platoon leader at landing zone X-Ray in November 1965.

If the book has a shortcoming, it is its length—and no, it is not too long. With it being more than 500 pages, one would think this might be the complaint, but the book is so well organized, the interviews so poignant and apropos, that the pages fly by. No, the complaint about length is that it is not long enough. Appy used fewer than half of the interviews he conducted, primarily because his editors insisted upon a conventional length for marketing. So consider the end of this review to be an appeal—to Appy and perhaps more appropriately to his editors—to please publish a second volume of this work. The Vietnam War retains its importance, and Appy has an obvious gift in both his ability to capture the poignant and the relevant, and to place all of this within a solid historical context. We still have much to learn from this war. As one of Appy’s Vietnamese hosts noted, “Do you realize we are the only nation on earth that’s defeated three out of the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council?” As we now work our way through our first real counter-guerilla war in a third of a century, we might do well to seek wisdom in the past.


On the Battlefields of the Cold War: A Soviet Ambassador’s Confession. By Viktor L. Israelyan. University Park, Pa.: Penn State Univ. Press, 2003. Foreword by Melvin A. Goodman. Translated and edited by Stephen Pearl. 412 pages. $45.00. Reviewed by Dr. Stephen J. Blank, Professor of National Security Affairs, Strategic Studies Institute, US Army War College.

This is Ambassador Israelyan’s second book of memoirs. Whereas the first book was an account of Soviet decisionmaking during the Yom Kippur War of 1973, this volume is a straightforward account of the author’s diplomatic service, primarily at the United Nations and the Special Session on Disarmament in Geneva. Viktor Israelyan was a mid-ranking Soviet ambassador, not a major policymaker.

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For that reason his memoirs provide an atypical but interesting look at Soviet foreign policy, not from the standpoint of its authors, but rather of its executors.

Israelyan fully grasps the bankruptcy of the Soviet system and that those who served it need to come to terms with their conscience and the consequences of their activities. Thus while he remains a loyal patriot, he makes clear that Soviet diplomacy and foreign policy bears some heavy responsibilities and made several crucial errors. He has no illusions about the atmosphere of terror and suspicion that pervaded even the elite and rendered all of its servitors vulnerable to unjustified and sudden persecution. Indeed, Edvard Shevarnadze terminated his career on just such an unjustified basis. Likewise, he fully acknowledges the sterility and emptiness of much of what was written at home about Soviet foreign policy and international relations in general.

Israelyan also extols diplomats who were professionals and reveals that, as we knew, one of the main failings of Soviet foreign policy was its excessively ideological formation, the attempt to convert everything into a struggle for proletarian internationalism and one-sided gains for the Soviet Union regardless of the consequences. His portrayal of the diplomats he met bears out these observations. He has great respect for professionals on all sides whom he worked with, including then-Ambassador George H. W. Bush. And he unsparingly reveals how Soviet machinations helped undermine the United Nations’ ability to function and converted it into a place where anti-Americanism and anti-Semitism as well as personal rudeness to diplomats too often prevailed. All these revelations go against the grain of his own personal convictions based upon his research as a student at the Diplomatic Academy about the possibility and desirability of cooperation among the great powers.

The author similarly has telling points to make about the competence of Soviet diplomacy regarding members of the Warsaw Pact. All too often there was no coordination and not even the appearance of collegiality, so it is hardly surprising that in the end the entire bloc disintegrated with hardly any coordination among its members or leadership from Moscow. In this context, it is hardly surprising, of course, that Israelyan has scant regard for the diplomacy of Edvard Shevarnadze and Gorbachev, and in this respect this memoir resembles those of other Soviet diplomats. But the critique offered here merits consideration, namely that while ending the Cold War and communism might have liberated the peoples of the former Warsaw Pact countries, it is clear that from a professional point of view Soviet diplomacy was poorly thought-out and proved unable to devise a satisfactory or consistent line of approach to major issues.

This book also contains some interesting insights into the different approaches common among leading Soviet diplomats—between those who believed that America was the main counterpart if not adversary of the Soviet Union and that therefore Soviet foreign relations ought to concentrate on dealing with the Americans, and those who sought to interact primarily with European governments. There is good reason to believe that this difference in perception among diplomats still is important in Russian foreign policy. So too is the author’s conclusion that the ideological straitjacket of Marxism-Leninism, what he calls a “vile mentality,” was at the root of the Soviet catastrophe and failure. This permeation of ideology in foreign relations and

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indeed in all socio-political phenomena made the collapse of the USSR a logical outcome, according to Israelyan. And to a large degree this approach has been adopted, at least rhetorically, by the current purveyors of Russian foreign policy.

While this is a work primarily for specialists and will not engender any grand revisions of our thinking about major aspects of the Cold War, such histories are useful because they show us how Soviet foreign policy was understood by those who carried it out and who, as Israelyan shows, became progressively disenchanted with the nonsense they had to espouse. Moreover, the author effectively conveys some of the atmosphere of the period and the issues that he worked on. Thus scholars who track Soviet foreign policy from 1960 to 1990 will derive considerable benefit from this memoir.


After Jihad: America and the Struggle for Islamic Democracy. By Noah Feldman. Basking Ridge, N.J.: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 2003. 272 pages. $24.00. Reviewed by Colonel Robert B. Killebrew, USA Ret., who served in Special Forces, mechanized, air assault, and airborne infantry units, and held a variety of planning and operational assignments, during his 30-year Army career.

Occasionally an important book comes along that does more than just inform; it challenges the reader to reevaluate fundamental perceptions. After Jihad is such a book, and whether the reader agrees or not, one’s perceptions of the Islamic world will be changed after reading Noah Feldman’s perceptive comments on Islam, democracy, and the Muslim world.

Feldman’s argument is that Islam and democracy are fundamentally compatible, and that in fact radical Islam is already losing ground to moderate Muslims who feel both the dictates of their religion and the pull of democracy. Islam, Feldman writes, actually has a democratic tradition that extends as far back as the first Caliphs after Muhammad, who ruled in place of the Prophet and, since their authority did not come from God as his did, were legitimized instead by the consent of those they governed. Both Islam and democracy, he writes, are “mobile ideas,” simple concepts of universal appeal and sufficient flexibility to accommodate themselves to a variety of circumstances. When mobile ideas meet, they can enter a dialectic that produces something new, but with traces of the old. Thus Islam, a fundamentally simple religion—one God, one prophet—has spread rapidly around the world, as has the simple idea of democracy—one person, one vote.

The fusion of the two ideas in the Muslim world, he writes, has already developed momentum sufficient to ensure the eventual irrelevance of radical Islam and the eventual triumph of Islamic democracy in many forms, though not always in forms that reflect Western-style norms. In a section entitled “Varieties of Islamic Democracy,” the reader gets a detailed and erudite country-by-country analysis of the status of Islamic democracy today, from Turkey through South and Southeast Asia, through the Middle East and across the Mediterranean littoral. Feldman’s insights into the political culture of each country, and particularly the influence of Islam, are rewarding and insightful.

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In the case of Iran, where the author claims that democracy hangs in the balance, Feldman sees a process of gradual democratization being driven by an almost inevitable public reaction against religious oppression—“The whole country is a bit like a Catholic school or yeshiva in which nuns or rabbis walk around checking hemlines or necklines”—corruption, and economic stagnation, with an aversion to another bloody 1979 revolution. Democracy is gaining a foothold in Iran, where elections, however conducted, have gradually begun to legitimize public approval or disapproval of candidates.

In his analysis of oil-rich Arab states, Feldman points out that rich states have little incentive to democratize, because abundant oil money frees the government and the citizenry from the give-and-take over public financing (taxes) that make governments and people mutually dependent. His believes that the oil monarchies will change very slowly, if at all, since as long as the oil keeps flowing, they can continue to buy off their internal enemies—and cozy up to Western protectors against regional threats.

The author’s most hopeful analysis is saved for two nations of “kings without oil”—the monarchies of Jordan and Morocco. There, without extensive oil revenue, the governments have embarked on the risky business of investing in people—in education, economic development, and state services—which in turn will lead to populations that expect more and more say in how they are governed. Neither monarch nor country has had an easy time of it. Feldman follows the political development of Jordan, in particular, as first the late King Hussein and the present King Abdullah have tacked and jibed toward gradual liberalization. He portrays Abdullah as a powerful force for eventual Islamic democratization, and one who is liable to be successful, provided that the West supports him with private investment, trade liberalization, and other concrete steps which reinforce the risks that both Abdullah of Jordan and Hassan of Morocco are taking.

The United States, Feldman writes, has powerful reasons to encourage the development of Islamic democracy around the world. Enhanced security, economic advantage, and the goodwill of emerging, stable states fall on the plus side of the ledger; increased terrorism, instability, and hatred fall on the other. His prescription: the United States should be true to its own democratic traditions and find ways to extend those benefits to Muslims who, though they may be initially clumsy at self-government, nevertheless desire the same freedoms that every American knows.

The author’s argument is convincing that the high tide of terrorism has passed and that there is, in the Islamic world today, a yearning for better and representative government, particularly when one considers the dissatisfaction and unrest so evident in the Middle East and parts of Southeast Asia today. Why should these peoples, familiar with popular media and television, and thus with the advantages and attractions of the modern world, not want some of the good life for themselves? Feldman has facts to support his arguments, and they are persuasive. Moreover, his most fundamental point—that in encouraging the spread of its democratic principles, the United States more effectively serves its interests in the Muslim world—sounds strikingly similar to arguments in favor of the Marshall Plan during another great period of American political realignment in the world.

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Most important, Feldman comes closest of any author yet to describing the winning strategy for the so-called “war on terrorism,” which can also be seen as an attack by stateless groups on the foundations and security of the nation-state system. Arrests, strikes by police or counterterrorist squads, even wars like Afghanistan and Iraq are essentially tactical operations in a conflict that can go on forever. Feldman has a believable and well-researched vision of what it will take to moderate or eventually eliminate the conditions in which terrorism flourishes. It might not be too much of a stretch to say this book could be the “Mr. X” piece of the current struggle against radical Islam. Certainly recent policy initiatives by the US government— which has its hard- and soft-liners, just as did the Truman Administration at the start of the Cold War—seem remarkably similar to recommendations in After Jihad, and may signal the rise of more pragmatic and long-term policies than simply making war. After Jihad is a striking piece of work, and it is one that should be on any serious strategist’s bookshelf.


The Techniques of Inner Leadership: Making Inner Leadership Work. By Gilbert W. Fairholm. Westport, Conn.: Praeger Publishers, 2003. 308 pages. $64.95. Reviewed by Dr. Robert M. Murphy, Professor of Management, US Army War College.

At first glance one would assume that this book is simply another in the long list of “how to” books on leadership. Although this is a fairly accurate assessment, the book has some merit. This is one in a series of books by the author involving what he refers to as “inner leadership.” Fairholm defines this as leadership involving face-to face contact with the workforce as compared to what he terms “top leadership,” leadership that is more holistic and includes a focus on the structural and strategic issues of an organization.

A major benefit of this book is its fairly good thumbnail sketch of the leadership literature, offering the leadership enthusiast a quick survey of the history of leadership research. Another interesting benefit is the author’s succinct dialogue on the concepts of management and leadership. Although many, including this reviewer, might take issue with some of the distinctions that Fairholm articulates, he does make the effort to demonstrate that leadership studies have been tainted by their association with management theories. A case in point is when he quotes Antonioni: “management deals with such issues as performance, productivity, system control, and measurement.” According to Fairholm, leaders have a different value set than managers. In other words, managers and leaders value people, programs, and policy differently. Fairholm seems to be saying that managers deal with things, while leaders are mainly focused on people and values. While this observation may resonate with some readers, there are many basic college texts on management that take exception to this distinction.

The crux of the text is the author’s presentation of his formula for gaining inner leadership. His formula involves 21 techniques that the author feels will provide the necessary foundation to enable low-level leaders to blossom into mid-level

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leaders. As is the case with many of the “how to” books on developing effective leadership techniques, many of the points are valid but not really new. In fact, although the terminology he uses may be a shade different, the basic concepts have been repeated in many of the books addressing these subjects over the last decade.

The author does touch on one interesting theme: the link to an individual’s spirituality. Although the concept of spirituality usually carries a religious overtone, Fairholm’s point is more holistic. The focus on a worker’s individuality is not a new concept, since the Hawthorne experiments by Elton Mayo in the 1920s opened the door to this venue in organizational studies. What is new, however, is Fairholm’s examination of spirituality in terms of a person’s sense of ultimate purpose that leaders may draw upon without getting bogged down in a person’s religious orientation. Although human motivation scholars like Maslow and Alderfer addressed this issue in their hierarchy-of-needs models, Fairholm takes the concept of spirituality to another level. The author views spirituality as an inspiration for today’s workforce to find personal worth through a union with humanity and by their actions within the organization.

Is this book a must read for today’s senior members of the defense community? Probably not. Does it have a message or two that senior leaders need to listen to? Definitely. Fairholm’s laundry list is neither unique nor profound. Nevertheless, while the book’s emphasis on leadership techniques is aimed at mid-level leaders, the author makes the point that senior leaders need to create an environment that will allow the  inner-leadership potential of people throughout the organization to flourish.

Lastly, Fairholm’s notation that there is a major difference between management and leadership is a critical message for senior Defense Department leaders and a military that is leadership-centric. As the author points out, management and leadership have been so interwoven through the years that most individuals are unable to separate the two concepts. His point is that each has its own domain in organizational studies, and each is needed in today’s organizational environment. Knowing the difference and properly employing the appropriate concepts is a must for any successful organization, especially those in the defense community.


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Reviewed 24 May 2004. Please send comments or corrections to usarmy.carlisle.awc.mbx.parameters@mail.mil