From Parameters, Winter 1999-2000, pp. 126-43.
The Road To Kosovo: A Balkan Diary. By Greg Campbell. Boulder, Colo.: Westview Press, 1999. 229 pages. $25.00. Reviewed by Lieutenant Colonel Steven P. Bucci, Ph.D., former Defense Attaché in Tirana, Albania.
Greg Campbell's The Road To Kosovo: A Balkan Diary is of the genre typified by Robert Kaplan's well-known Balkan Ghosts. It is one part travel log, one part history, one part war report, and 100-percent emotion-laden personal commentary. In the long run, The Road To Kosovo may not be judged the best book that will come out of this tragic conflict, but it is a good starting place.
The title is at once deceiving and precisely accurate. The reviewer expected the book to focus on Kosovo, but Campbell takes three quarters of the book to arrive at that destination. On the other hand, it is a worthwhile trip, for as he leads the reader along the physical road to the troubled province, he simultaneously traces the roots of today's bloodshed. He does this both in the historical context and in the context of more recent events such as the breakup of Yugoslavia and the Dayton Accords. Along the way, he provides a chilling account of atrocities and man's inhumanity to man.
The book's organization is simple, following Campbell from Zagreb in Croatia, through Bosnia and Montenegro, and finally to Kosovo itself. The book opens with an unfortunately weak prologue on the author's introduction to ethnic warfare in Bosnia in 1996. It does set the stage, but the prose is sophomoric. Fortunately the writing improves greatly, both in form and content, as Campbell warms to his task. The reader should not be put off by the slow start.
The first two chapters elaborate on the Bosnian peace. His conclusions are generally negative. More than two years later, he sees little improvement in the situation except for the lack of active combat, which he acknowledges to be no mean achievement. Campbell points out the effectiveness of powerful, unambiguous force in separating combatants, but is clear in showing the frustration of peacekeepers in not being able to do more to help the cause of permanent peace. He also takes up a theme here that continues through the book, that of history as justification. Anyone familiar with the Balkans has heard that explanation before, but the depth of the religious and ethnic animosities still boggles the American mind.
The middle chapters provide historical context and raise several key issues in the process. Campbell's history is readable and easily understood, but he accepts the Serb account of the Battle of Kosovo Polje without reservation. In this view, the Serbs alone fought the Turks, a clear historical inaccuracy. (Readers may want to consult Kosovo: A Short History by Noel Malcolm for a fuller and more accurate account of one of history's most politicized events.) The quick review of 20th-century Balkan history segues smoothly into the topic of the Clinton Administration policy, which Campbell rates as poor in Bosnia, and possibly better in Kosovo. His treatment of propaganda and war criminals is excellent and well worth reading. Chapter six looks at Montenegro's history, a subject routinely overlooked because Montenegro has played second fiddle to Serbia in the Yugoslav Federation. While not essential to the story, the treatment of Montenegro provides an otherwise missing piece to the puzzle of this region.
Only in the last three chapters does the author finally turn to Kosovo. He correctly points out that the failure of the Dayton Accords to address Kosovo led directly to the crisis of 1999, and that the rise of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) was a direct response to years of continuous Serbian repression. He also shows that while the KLA may have some dubious connections at the top, it is fueled by grass roots popular support that must be taken into account. Campbell, in less than a page, lays out the doomsday spillover scenario that could eventually engulf all of Europe in war. It was the plausibility of such a scenario that motivated NATO to use coercive diplomacy in Bosnia and Serbia as a means of stabilizing the dangerous situation. He ends with a brutal look at the shallowness of the official unarmed observer missions and their lack of effectiveness.
The key virtues of this book are its elaboration of two factors that actually played out after its publication. One is that NATO's intervention was not the result of a single event but rather the culmination of a train of events years in the making. The second is that the degree of repression in Kosovo had reached an intolerable pitch long before the first NATO bomb dropped. NATO clearly did not cause the humanitarian disaster in Kosovo; the government of Serbia caused the disaster by its deliberate policy. Many may criticize NATO for its actions, but Campbell convincingly demonstrates that those actions were necessary.
It is doubtful that this book will win any literary prizes, but it can provide valuable insights to members of a defense community hip deep in Kosovo. Senior leaders and troop commanders would both do well in reading this book. It provides a feel for what is at stake in Kosovo for the various participants. Given that soldiers seldom have time to do detailed historical research in the midst of a crisis, Campbell's short, readable book may well fill the void in their knowledge as they face the daunting task of rebuilding Kosovo.
The Pity of War. By Niall Ferguson. New York: Basic Books, 1999. 563 pages. $30.00. Reviewed by Tim Travers, professor of history, University of Calgary.
This is a massive book about World War I, some 460 pages of closely printed text, plus another 20-odd pages of introduction. As might be expected, Ferguson shows a remarkable grasp of the literature of this war, listing 53 pages of even more closely printed footnotes, together with some 25 packed pages of bibliography. The reader will also find a large number of tables and statistics to back up Ferguson's arguments. In general, the book is heavily influenced by Ferguson's previous interests in economic history, and in the application of counter-factuals to history. Hence, some of the most intriguing questions raised in this work are Ferguson's application of statistics to the problem of how to gauge the efficiency of nations involved in fighting World War I, plus some "what if" musings regarding, among other things, what might have happened if the Central Powers had won the war. On the other hand, there is less emphasis on the operational aspects of the war.
Ferguson begins by posing ten questions, which he goes on to answer. Since these form the vital structure and purpose of the book, it is useful to enumerate them. Was the war inevitable? Why did Germany's leaders gamble on war in 1914? Why did Britain's leaders choose to intervene? Was the war really greeted with popular enthusiasm? Did propaganda keep the war going? Why did the economic superiority of the British Empire not have a greater impact on the defeat of Germany? Why did the military superiority of the German army not inflict defeat on the Allied armies on the Western Front? Why did men keep fighting despite the conditions at the front? Why did some men stop fighting? Who won the peace and who ended up paying for the war?
One of the most controversial aspects of the book is Ferguson's thesis that Britain did not have to enter the war. There was no strict legal necessity stemming from the 1839 treaty with Belgium, and there was no binding contractual obligation to France. Instead, Prime Minister Grey opted for war on the basis that if Britain remained neutral, Germany would gain overwhelming power on the continent and in the North Sea. The violation of all of Belgium, and fear of the Liberal government falling, were other considerations. Although Ferguson concludes the book by arguing that a world war was therefore avoidable through Britain's neutrality, it would seem that Grey's fear about future German power on the continent was a legitimate concern. Ferguson then argues against the idea that there was initial massive enthusiasm for the war on the continent and in Britain. He is probably correct in emphasizing that much of the enthusiasm in Britain was restricted to the middle and upper classes, although there is no denying that 300,000 men volunteered in the first month of the war.
Ferguson is at his best when he applies statistics to the war, and here he shows that, contrary to general opinion, Germany did better at managing the war economy than did members of the Entente. Ferguson also applies cold statistics to the war effort, and claims that Germany was more than three times as efficient at killing her enemies than the Entente was. Hence, it cost the Entente $36,485.48 to kill a serviceman fighting for the Central Powers, whereas it cost the Central Powers just $11,344.77 to kill one of their enemies. Why, then, did Germany and her allies lose the war? Ferguson answers that it was not necessarily because of better Entente tactics in 1918, but because of a decline in German morale on the Western Front in that year. This is a controversial area, and there are a number of historians now who would like to argue that it was indeed the improvement in tactics which brought the conflict to a conclusion. In any case, the question of morale then leads Ferguson to ask why men continued to fight despite the harrowing conditions of the front, and consequently, why did more men not surrender?
The last question opens up an interesting though not pleasant aspect of war. Ferguson points out what historians of the war already know, namely, that one disincentive to surrender was that all sides tended on occasion to kill prisoners. There are a number of reasons for this, but probably Ferguson exaggerates its incidence, and the fact certainly did not prevent men from surrendering. Moreover, starting in August 1918, large numbers of Germans did surrender on the Western Front, and, according to Ferguson, this was the key to the end of the war. Ferguson then looks at the financial outcome of the war, and here he considers that John Maynard Keynes was outmaneuvered by the German financiers. Ferguson concludes the book by suggesting that Germany came out of the war in reasonable economic shape, apart from inflation.
Overall, this is a compelling, brilliant, and unusual book, which manages to look at the war from many fresh perspectives. It is definitely worth reading, although one still finds it difficult to accept Ferguson's basic argument that Britain's involvement was unnecessary and turned the conflict from a continental to a world war.
The Myth of Global Chaos. By Yahya Sadowski. Washington: Brookings Institution Press, 1998. 267 pp. $28.95. Reviewed by David Tucker, visiting associate professor, Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, California.
After Marxism collapsed, a new specter came to haunt the United States and Europe, the specter of global chaos. America's experience in Somalia, Europe's in Bosnia, and Russia's in Chechnya mixed with the musings of journalists and the speculations of theorists to convince a number of important people that anarchy was increasing and thugs and warriors multiplying. For example, at one point this belief was shared by the President, the Vice President, and the Director of the Agency for International Development. At the Vice President's urging, the CIA conducted a detailed study of the problem. The specter of global chaos continues to hover menacingly over any number of Pentagon briefings and commission deliberations.
Yahya Sadowski chronicles the rise of this specter. Indeed, the best part of his book is the chapter describing how notions of impending anarchy floated into the Washington zeitgeist. According to Sadowski, these notions originated in a group of writers he calls the global chaos theorists. They argued that a number of trends were leading to ethnic or cultural wars that were more frequent, lethal, and vicious than previous wars. Sadowski counters this claim by arguing that the trends--economic and cultural globalization--do not necessarily lead to cultural conflict and that those wars that are occurring are not necessarily more frequent, lethal, or vicious than their predecessors. He supports this argument with an abundance of statistics presented in a variety of tables and figures, covering everything from the relationship between television ownership and cultural conflict to war mortality since 1945. Some of this argument and support is good, some little more than "back of the envelope" noodling, as Sadowski himself calls it.
Yet in demonstrating that globalization does not necessarily lead to conflict, Sadowski does not refute the proponents of global chaos. Sadowski's arguments are insufficient because he has apparently misunderstood the chaos theorists. He believes that the important point for these theorists was the supposed increase in conflict, and its increasingly brutal nature, following the collapse of the Soviet Union. In fact, the key point for the chaos theorists was not a recent increase in conflict but a long-term decline in order, primarily a long-term decline in the strength of the foundation of domestic and international order, the nation-state. Thus, although Sadowski shows that globalization does not necessarily increase conflict and that conflict has not become more vicious, this does not disprove the claim that we are now witnessing the early stages of a long-term decline of the nation-state and an increase in anarchy or chaos.
The problem with Sadowski's approach is evident in the fact that he begins his discussion by referring to Francis Fukuyama's claim that we have come to the end of history. Like so many before him, Sadowski interprets this claim to mean that conflict has come to an end. All those who disagree with this view, who believe for one reason or another that conflict will continue or increase, Sadowski labels "chaos theorists." Sadowski's list of such theorists includes, among others, Samuel Huntington, Martin Van Creveld, Graham Fuller, Benjamin Barber, Robin Wright, William Pfaff, and Daniel Moynihan (the readers of Parameters would add to this list Ralph Peters).
The problem here is twofold: Sadowski misinterprets Fukuyama and is wrong to claim that conflict, even an increasing rate of conflict, is the same as chaos. First, Fukuyama did not argue that conflict had come to an end or that it would soon. He argued only that conflicts were no longer being fought over how men should live. With the collapse of the Soviet Union, that question had been decided; liberal democracy had won. Brutal conflicts would continue but such conflicts were merely mopping-up operations in post-historical time. This view may be wrong but it does not amount to claiming that a new world order has emerged putting an end to conflict.
Second, near the end of his book, when Sadowski gets around to defining chaos (and he does it then only implicitly), he writes that chaos is the absence of "behavior [that] has structured underpinnings that make it rationally understandable if not exactly predictable." However, conflict, even war, can result from structured behavior that is rationally understandable. Thus conflict, even by Sadowski's definition, is not the same as chaos. Huntington is not claiming that we will be engulfed by chaos when he claims that conflict in the future will consist of clashes between civilizations. Indeed, given Sadowski's implicit definition of chaos, few on his list would qualify as a chaos theorist.
In fact, the coming anarchy has only two theorists, the popularizers Robert Kaplan and Peters. Kaplan in particular built his speculations on the selective reading of a number of analysts working in a variety of areas from the environment to the history and nature of war. If one wants to prove that the coming anarchy is a myth, one needs to attack the sources that Kaplan drew on. Sadowski does not do this. As we get some distance from the collapse of the Soviet Union, Yugoslavia, and Somalia, assuming these cases are not followed by similar spectacles, the need to do so becomes less pressing. Yet the fate of the nation-state remains a critical issue, especially for the military, with which the nation-state has been so intimately entwined. That issue can be pursued in the writings of less popular but more serious writers such as Michael Mann and Linda Weiss.
Buff Facings and Gilt Buttons: Staff and Headquarters Operations in the Army of Northern Virginia, 1861-1865. By J. Boone Bartholomees, Jr. Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 1998. 352 pages. $29.95. Reviewed by Brigadier General Harold Nelson, USA Ret., former commander of the US Army Center of Military History, and coeditor with Jay Luvaas of several US Army War College guides to Civil War battlefields.
Professor Bartholomees has written a book that fills a significant gap. Most students of the War of the Rebellion focus on battles and leaders without giving much thought to staff operations. Most students of modern headquarters and staff operations find little of interest in the centuries of military affairs preceding the functionally aligned "general staff" that emerged in the decades following that war. Since Boone Bartholomees focuses all of his attention on the Civil War and sees it occurring on a "cusp of military history"--having elements of both ancient and modern approaches--he has written a book that will advance the knowledge of both groups.
His book reflects his origins and broader purposes. Having been a highly successful Army officer in a long career of command and staff assignments, he has a deep appreciation of his subject. Knowing how armies are able to rise to wartime challenges is important to the military professional, and assessing the performance of staffs is an essential element of modern analysis. But Bartholomees is also a professional historian with well-developed research skills that allow him to conduct an informed assessment of staffs in an army that placed no special emphasis on staff operations in the field.
This book breaks new ground. Such a statement can seldom be made about a new Civil War title, and I find it remarkable that it can be made about a book on this subject. When the veterans of the Civil War carried the Army school system to new levels in the latter decades of the 19th century, they emphasized applied methods and combined arms warfare. When the War College was added to the system, it emphasized staff work at the national level. The Civil War was included in the curricula of the relevant schools--as were staff operations--but no one ever seems to have asked and answered the questions Professor Bartholomees addresses here: Who were these staff officers? What were they doing, or think they were doing? What should they have been doing? How did they operate? What did they contribute?
The approach Professor Bartholomees has taken to answer these questions will appeal to students of military affairs as well as to Civil War buffs. He provides several general sections such as staff selection and training, headquarters personnel, and staff procedures. These are well-researched, clearly written, and informative. The bulk of the book is built around discussion of specific staff functions, e.g., adjutant general, inspector general, quartermaster, medical director. This allows an individual with an interest in a specific function to read about that interest and then set the new information into context by reading the general sections.
Throughout the volume Professor Bartholomees draws intelligently on a range of sources that demonstrate the breadth of the holdings at the US Army's Military History Institute. He was wise to publish his volume on the basis of this specialized research, for it puts useful information in our hands quickly while leaving opportunity for the more definitive archival research that may eventually expand upon the points he makes. I doubt that any of his generalizations will require modification in the aftermath of such research, and I know that future historians will be hard-pressed to match the balance, scope, and appeal of this volume.
Blue Helmets: The Strategy of UN Military Operations. By John Hillen. Dulles, Va.: Brassey's, 1998. 320 pages. $26.95. Reviewed by Colonel Len Fullenkamp, USA Ret., coeditor of Guide to the Vicksburg Campaign and Guide to the Battle of Shiloh in the US Army War College guides to Civil War battlefields series.
When this book first crossed my desk for review the subject held little interest. Peacekeeping was no longer the high-profile mission it had once been in the first years after the end of the Cold War. Whereas the successful US-led effort that expelled Saddam Hussein from Kuwait appeared to suggest the dawn of a new era of UN peace operations, that optimism was short-lived and the general euphoria was dampened by the disastrous experience in Somalia. That debacle not only discouraged US interest in these kinds of missions but also so traumatized the UN that it altered its approach to peacekeeping operations. After Somalia, rather than seeking to exercise direct control of peacekeeping operations out of the UN headquarters in New York, the UN in effect admitted its limitations and increasingly turned to the use of regional organizations, such as NATO, to do the heavy lifting. Franchising peacekeeping operations, the wags called it. Why the UN is structurally and ideologically incapable of organizing and directing large-scale, multinational peacekeeping operations is the subject of John Hillen's excellent book. With the evolving peace operations in Kosovo, this book's keen insights assume a new and timely relevance. More on this point later.
The book begins with a brief history of the founding of the UN, the drafting of its Charter, and the lofty expectations of the founders for the UN's role in securing world stability. In subsequent chapters Hillen examines the history of UN peace operations, including several of the more spectacular UN peacekeeping failures over the years, seeking to explain why the UN is ill-suited to the task of organizing and supervising large, complex military operations. His critique centers on what he sees as fundamental structural principles incorporated into the UN Charter, specifically, "its lack of sovereign legitimacy and authority." As critics of the world body have observed, the UN is not "an embryonic world government but an international corporation . . . with nation-states as shareholders." In short, the UN does only those things on which it can muster member agreement. Direction by committee works well in some instances but less well in others.
The authors of the UN Charter saw preventing war as one of the organization's more important tasks. But prevention of war and peacekeeping are not necessarily two sides of the same coin. Chapters VI and VII of the UN Charter address the resolution of disputes between member states. Chapter VI calls for the peaceful settlement of disputes, while Chapter VII calls for coercion should peaceful measures not succeed. The word peacekeeping is not found in either chapter. With the outbreak of the Suez Crisis in 1956, the UN found itself with a situation not covered by either chapter. In effect, the UN sought to interpose its forces between the belligerents until a peace agreement could be reached. As a way of conveying the idea that the nature of the mission was somewhere between monitoring a peace (Chapter VI) and enforcing a peace (Chapter VII), then-Secretary General of the United Nations, Dag Hammarskjold, coined the expression "chapter six-and-a-half" to describe the peacekeeping mission. The Cold War and superpower politics frustrated peacekeeping efforts in many ways, not the least of which by precluding implementation of Chapter VII, Article 43, of the UN Charter, which would have created a UN on-call armed force that could have carried out peacekeeping operations. Absent creation of this force, for each crisis where peacekeeping forces were called for, the UN was forced to rely on forces contributed by member states. Such a system worked well enough for simple missions such as the observer mission in Cyprus but foundered when confronted by the challenges of large-scale military operations. Hillen concludes, "In the absence of functioning political-military mechanisms and procedures such as the Military Staff Committee and Article 43 forces, the United Nations was doomed to be marginalized in the management of large-scale enforcement actions." In the last section Hillen offers recommendations designed to improve UN supervision of peace operations. This material has immediate relevance since the United States now finds itself entering into a long-term UN-chartered peacekeeping operation in Kosovo. For the present, NATO is firmly in charge of things, with the UN providing legitimacy derived from Security Council resolutions. Russia, however, is proving difficult to deal with, and other members of the council, especially China, want the UN to play a more central role. The insights in Hillen's book suggest caution on that score.
In short, successful peacekeeping operations begin with clearly defined and attainable political objectives, something on which the UN, essentially an organization of equals, finds it difficult to achieve consensus. More challenging still is effective command and control of peacekeeping forces. Early peacekeeping efforts in this decade highlighted the UN's incapacity to direct military operations. Seeking to remedy this situation the UN attempted to create a directorate staffed with military officers who could perform this function. Staffing, given the severe resourcing problems at the UN, was finessed by having the wealthier nations such as the United States donate military manpower to carry out the daily oversight of ongoing operations. This program worked effectively for a time until other member nations demanded an end to the practice, arguing that the richer nations were indirectly shaping UN efforts in ways that were not always acceptable to the general membership. Absent a staff agency empowered to translate policy guidance from the UN into timely guidance for those charged with carrying out missions in the field, successful peacekeeping operations are not possible.
NATO has succeeded in driving the Serbs out of Kosovo, and peacekeeping forces are well into their stabilization missions. NATO will supervise things with the expectation that at some point traditional UN peacekeeping forces will replace NATO forces and remain in Kosovo for the long term. To this end, UN diplomats and US politicians and soldiers would do well to read this book and think hard about what John Hillen has to say about past failures in peacekeeping operations. History, as Hillen interprets it, does not hold out much promise unless remedies to the structural and ideological deficiencies of the UN Charter are found. Those who would seek to avoid the mistakes of the past should at least make an effort to learn what they were. John Hillen's book fills the bill perfectly.
The Soldiers' Tale: Bearing Witness to Modern War. By Samuel Hynes. New York: Penguin Press, 1997. 318 pages. $24.95. Reviewed by Dr. Henry G. Gole (Colonel, USA Ret.), a veteran of the Korean and Vietnam wars.
In the first sentence of this book, Hynes cites the words Tolstoy put in the mouth of a character who wanted to know "in what way and under the influence of what feeling one soldier kills another." Answering that question, and more, is the task Hynes sets for himself. Because he is convinced that "we must turn away from history and its numbers, and seek the reality in the personal witness of the men who were there," his focus is the personal narrative.
If The Soldiers' Tale were merely an extended bibliographic essay highlighting the personal narratives of combat soldiers in this century, it would still be worth the price of admission. It is artfully written, wise in selection of sources, and profound in the insights the author gleans from the quintessential human dimension of combat. That is enough to make the book useful for most readers. But Hynes, after ruminating about these soldiers' tales, makes an original contribution by giving us a taxonomy further illuminating the generic "personal narrative."
He does this by postulating, convincingly, that there are two needs satisfied in the records left in personal narratives of combat: the need to report and the need to remember. Reporting takes the form of journals and diaries (both prohibited in some armies in some wars but nevertheless written) plus letters, all written during the course of the war itself--with its boredom and terror recorded on a day-to-day basis. Reporting tends to be an artless attempt to record what is going on around the writer. Remembering, however, takes the form of memoirs written after, often long after, the experience, suggesting that intimations of mortality impel the old soldier to get it down while he still can, and, significantly, to ask what it all meant to him in later life. This remembering can be complex: reflective, selective, self-conscious, an old self looking back across half a century at the young self while attempting to articulate what happened to him then and what it did to him later. Hynes draws on both kinds of narrative; the distinction he makes is important, and how he uses his material is enlightened.
Hynes excludes narratives written with the help of a professional writer who wasn't there, and he avoids the memoirs of senior officers, who usually aren't "where the bullets are." He concentrates on American and English writings, focusing on the junior officers and enlisted men who did the fighting. A few of the narratives were written by men who later became professional writers, men like Graves, Sassoon, and Tim O'Brien, but most of them came from men who told their story as best they could but had non-literary careers. His intent is "to give names and faces and feelings to the anonymous armies and to discover what it was really like to be there, where the actual killing was done."
He fixed his attention on World War I, World War II, and the war in Vietnam, these being "the myth-making conflicts that have given war the meaning it has for us," but not on the war in Korea, "a war that came and went without glory, and left no mark on American imagination." Fair enough, but the author's decision to include his last chapter, "Agents and Sufferers," by which he means the soldiers and the civilian victims of war, strikes your reviewer as a stretch. His rationale is that in the 20th century "for the first time narratives of suffering have been written by the sufferers," adding to the usual story of army against army the story "of armies against humanity." Certainly increased literacy gave voices to sufferers, but one is compelled to point to the Battle of Massada and to Old Testament accounts of the Exodus in which the sufferers tell the story of armies against humanity. Yes, the "literature of atrocity" (the author's formulation) deserves and indeed has received entire books exploring the meaning of the Holocaust, terror bombing including the dropping of atomic bombs, the Japanese rape of Shanghai, the abuse of "comfort women," inhumane experimentation using human beings, the treatment of prisoners of war, and more. But it does not deserve a chapter in this book.
How does the author sum up the many bits and pieces of the personal narratives analyzed, and what conclusions does he offer at the end of this rich and sophisticated book? He relies on a collage of retrospective remarks by rememberers: "Fighting in man is as irradicable an instinct as love . . . the chief common quality being romanticism." "Sometimes . . . I longed poignantly to be back with my old comrades." "The crowd-emotion of our company . . . brings moments of intense happiness." "The Old Lie--temporarily discredited by the Vietnam debacle--is once more gaining credence; a whisper which soon may become another strident shout urging us to mayhem." "You can't grieve forever. You can't bottle it up either." "The war has remained the defining experience of my life."
Hynes, a Marine Corps pilot during the periods 1943-1946 and 1952-1953, professor of English, accomplished scholar, and author of seven books, draws his conclusions from the evidence he has presented. It is not possible to wrap up neatly an entirely coherent story of men at war from contradictory witnesses, but our imagination of combat comes closer to the truth of the experience if nourished by careful and sympathetic reading of personal narratives. The soldiers' tale cannot teach, but it can tell. The decisive step is up to the reader. Absent personal experience of war, to engage "vicariously in other persons' wars" is the closest one can ever get to answering the questions--What is it like in war? What is it like to kill?
Right From the Start: Taking Charge in a New Leadership Role. By Dan Ciampa and Michael Watkins. Boston, Mass.: Harvard Business School Press, 1999. $24.95. Reviewed by Dr. John H. Woodyard (Lieutenant Colonel, USA Ret.), a consulting psychologist to corporate management on personnel for 18 years and author of a book tentatively titled The Insightful Manager.
At first glance this appeared to be another ho-hum book on management, restating the obvious and supersaturated with endless vignettes to add bulk. Also at first glance it appeared to lack direct relevance to the military reader, since it dealt with a vastly different environment.
At second glance, however, this book proves to contain vital information for those military persons with hopes of landing a responsible position in the civilian world upon retirement. Retirement is not in the forefront of your minds right now, but you will retire. And retirement has a way of sneaking up rapidly. Although senior military officers are for the most part intelligent, well-educated, experienced, stable, flexible, dominant, tough-minded, and well-focused, they are nevertheless generally ignorant of the professional civilian world. This ignorance is primarily the lack of a deep-seated, experientially-derived understanding of the need to produce a certain profit, to satisfy customers and shareholders, to have productive relationships with suppliers, and to be responsive to a board of directors. Awareness of these gaps in one's background is the first step on the long road to truly absorbing the concepts and acquiring the experience and instincts to produce in the civilian world.
Ciampa and Watkins outline the process for an outsider to take responsibility for an organization. Much of this process is applicable to anyone assuming direction of a large organization--military or civilian. The authors stress that any newcomer faces immense problems due to corporate differences in culture, product, and structure, and to the lack of a base of loyal supporters. Their recommended approach is outlined in the following steps: (1) securing an early success; (2) laying a foundation--that is, building a loyal following; (3) establishing credibility; (4) getting oriented; (5) learning; (6) establishing a vision; (7) building a coalition for managing the various factions in the organization; (8) becoming aware of your management style; and (9) getting proper advice and counsel. Each of these steps is thoroughly explained with a minimum of case-study examples and name-dropping. The authors provide a timetable as well as well as a priority list. The last action, getting proper advice and counsel, is particularly critical for the ex-military manager. Getting sound advice can provide the expertise to fill in your technological gaps, and it can provide perspective.
Although many of the authors' recommended actions might seem self-evident, military readers should pay close attention to the seventh action, building a coalition. The authors identify two groups of people who must receive the new boss's attention. Both need to be identified early in the transition. One group consists of those resistant to change. The other group consists of those who have been chafing under the old regime--the mavericks who will be delighted with change. With the correct approach, both can be supportive. This is not playing politics. There is no hint of flattery, favoritism, or any exchange of personal favors. All actions are above board.
One aspect not covered by the authors is the frequent corporate misperception of the military. Many civilians have succumbed to the Hollywood image of a drill sergeant leadership style, narrowness of vision, inflexibility, and a get-the-job-done-regardless-of-the-cost mentality. A military person entering the corporate world must be prepared to neutralize those perceptions immediately.
This book is quite readable, lacking the usual pedantic trappings of many business school offerings. It is not overloaded with detail, and the reader does not need to wade through a lot of long, boring quotations by experts to get to the heart of the matter. Read it slowly and thoughtfully. Put it aside, and read it again in a year or so.
Through the Valley: Vietnam, 1967-1968. By James F. Humphries. Boulder, Colo.: Lynne Rienner, 1999. 334 pages. $49.95. Reviewed by Dr. Paul F. Braim (Colonel, US Army, Ret.), who served four tours in the Vietnam War.
This book is an interesting story about conventional fighting in the northern valleys of the Republic of Vietnam during the period immediately before and after Tet '68. Centered on the author's service as a rifle company commander in the 196th Light Infantry Brigade, it describes vividly the experiences of nearly continuous, heavy ground combat against well-trained regular forces of Viet Cong (VC) and the North Vietnamese Army (NVA). Focusing on low-level, individual encounters, the story weaves together infantry soldiers' remembrances with comments by those supporting the infantry, as well as some reports by enemy units and leaders. It is a sad story of heavily burdened soldiers, struggling through flooded rice paddies and bamboo tangles, stumbling over the hills and ridges, probing with their bodies for enemy defenses, attacking back and forth across a contested region with little prospect of victory. It is also a fine story of outstanding combat leadership and of courage and aggressiveness under heavy fire.
From these chronicles of daily firefights, one gains an appreciation of the high state of discipline of the American units, the quiet dedication of the soldiers to their comrades and to the accomplishment of difficult missions, and the heroism displayed as routine responses to enemy actions. The soldiers complained and criticized orders, but they fought on, tired, dirty, wet, and alternately sweaty and cold; they evacuated their wounded under fire; they attacked to recover their dead. In a period when many of their contemporaries back home were protesting the war and enjoying themselves in the process, these heroes fought a dead-end war out of a sense of duty.
One perhaps surprising inference from this book is the impressive state of combat effectiveness of the regular enemy units that the 196th faced in the north. The VC and NVA were able to sustain a high rate of automatic weapon and mortar fire, despite having to rely on a long and primitive system of resupply. Although the US units had absolute control of the air and were able to gain superiority of fire on any contested point, the VC/NVA units were usually able to hold their positions on the low hills and rice paddy walls for long periods. The enemy's option to withdraw to uncontested sanctuaries in the western jungles of Vietnam and Laos helped to sustain these units in combat.
Monsoon weather, bringing low clouds and rain, limited US air support and resupply, adding to the discomfort of the troops slogging through the mud of the lowlands. However, heavy aircraft strikes, carried out in marginal weather, often turned the tide of battles. The tactics of American units in attempting to locate and fix enemy positions by committing company-sized patrols to reconnaissance tasks comes across as uninspiring. Gaining physical control of the region seemed to be the only mission. Throughout this story, the enemy had the initiative, as indeed did the VC and NVA throughout the countryside in this war.
The author, James Humphries, lost an eye during this fighting, served a second tour in Vietnam, and later retired as a colonel; he considered this company command his most important and defining duty. His observations within the chronology of movements and fights are astute and incisive. Here are several examples: "There are two types of soldiers, the quick and the dead . . . battle produces a third kind of soldier, the unnerved." "There's no such thing as a routine patrol." "Composite units thrown together at the last minute are inherently weak." "At times, our vast superiority in mobility [led to] ignoring basic infantry procedures, and quick moves often scrambled unit structure." "The bond that develops between radio operators and commanders often transcends a superior-subordinate relationship." "The helicopter . . . all but destroyed decentralized execution." "An infantry assault on a fortified hill is a cluttered affair, marked by a collection of confusing events that occur simultaneously."
The book is well-written, but the reader must trudge through the pages with the soldiers who carry the story; occasionally the going gets tedious. The thread of related events is sometimes lost, and the maps, although liberally distributed throughout the text, suffer from use of non-standard symbols, small printing, and uncertain orientation. Also, at $49.95, the book comes at a hefty price.
The story ends on a somewhat anticlimactic note, but then so did the war. This reviewer, who fought for a time in the same region, believes this story is well worth the reading for those interested in how the conventional war was fought in Vietnam.
Security Cooperation in the Western Hemisphere: Resolving the Ecuador-Peru Conflict. Edited by Gabriel Marcella and Richard Downes. Coral Gables, Fla.: North-South Center Press, University of Miami, 1999. 256 pp. $45.00. Distributed by Lynne Rienner Publishers, Boulder, Colo. Reviewed by Russell W. Ramsey, Ph.D., professor of Latin American security studies, US Army School of the Americas.
Professors Gabriel Marcella of the US Army War College and Richard Downes at the University of Miami North-South Center combine efforts here as editors and partial authors of a classic in the literature of conflict resolution. The preface by Ambassador Luigi R. Einaudi, US Special Envoy for the Ecuador-Peru Conflict, 1995-1998, certifies the precision of the diplomatic issues and traces the excellent military diplomacy described in the book. The introduction, by Marcella and Downes, is arguably the most complete and objective short summary yet written on the Ecuador-Peru border dispute.
David Scott Palmer, professor of international relations at Boston University, surveys the search for conflict resolution in Chapter 1. Under the Rio Protocol of 1942, following Peru's 1941 armed foray into the disputed zone, the United States, Argentina, Brazil, and Chile sponsored the overall peace process, but Ecuador and Peru were named guarantors of the eventual boundary determination process. Palmer concludes that the Organization of American States (OAS) was willing to broker a peace, but that Ecuador and Peru felt that the four overall guarantors named in 1942 could move faster to resolve the crisis. He further opines that without the military diplomacy achieved under the Military Observer Mission to Ecuador and Peru (MOMEP), the January-February 1995 crisis might never have been resolved.
Colonel Glenn R. Weidner, US Army, was US Contingent Commander of MOMEP, working under General Barry McCaffrey, Commander-in-Chief, US Southern Command. In Chapter 2, Weidner describes the incredibly complex command structure, with a Brazilian general as overall coordinator. The four-point work plan created and carried out seems simple and logical: preparatory work, supervision of cease-fire, separation of forces, and demilitarization/demobilization. But as Weidner lays out the competing forces and actors, the reader comes to see that bringing this plan to fruition was a miracle in military diplomacy. One example of this was US Southern Command's insistence on the immediate creation of a demilitarized zone as a precondition for operations, possibly driven by the Clinton Administration's Somalian disaster just weeks before. The Brazilian coordinator, Lieutenant General Candido Vargas de Freire, and MOMEP both thought that a demilitarized zone should be the sought-for end state, with MOMEP in the meanwhile moving directly to separate forces in the conflict zone.
In Chapter 3, Adrian Bonilla, Deputy Director, Latin American Faculty of Social Studies, Ecuador, evaluates the conflict resolution process from the Ecuadorian viewpoint. His overall conclusion is optimistic. In Chapter 4, Enrique Obando, a Peruvian professor of national security studies, evaluates the conflict resolution process from the Peruvian side. He details the huge military cost to Peru of the conflict, just under $100 million (US), and blames Ecuador for the January 1995 attack.
Patrice Franko teaches economics and international studies at Colby College in Waterville, Maine. Her Chapter 5 presents a strategic survey of military downsizing on the South American continent. She reaches the conclusion that the downward trend in the regional arms race is better served by citizen appeal to each country's legislative body, rather than by arbitrary denials of US security assistance. Eliezer Rizzo de Oliveira is professor of political science at the University of Campinas in Sao Paulo, Brazil. His Chapter 6 surveys Brazilian diplomatic leadership in the 1995 Ecuador-Peru crisis, concluding that it led Brazil and the OAS into stronger roles in conflict prevention.
Edgardo Mercado Jarrin, former Prime Minister, Foreign Minister, War Minister, and army commander in Peru, argues in Chapter 7 that Ecuador was responsible for the "War in the Cenepa." While he considers the post-1995 era the most hopeful for conflict solution negotiations, he warns that Peru can resume an armed posture or even invade Ecuadorian military bases if negotiations fail. David Mares, who teaches political science at the University of California in San Diego, presents in Chapter 8 the results of public opinion polls taken after the 1995 conflict. He concludes that Ecuador must concede more than Peru if the long-standing border conflict is to be solved. Bertha Garcia Gallegos, Director of Interamerican Studies at the Catholic Pontifical University in Quito, Ecuador, repeats in Chapter 9 an old Ecuadorian theme that the 1942 Protocol was unjust to Ecuador and "inexecutable," but she holds out future regional social and economic development as the way to end the "culture of conflict" between both countries.
Finally, Marcella and Downes conclude with an insightful analysis of Latin American military diplomacy in the context of the 1995 MOMEP effort. They bravely venture a long-term solution for the Ecuador-Peru border conflict.
Four conclusions emerge here. First, the total MOMEP process was a diplomatic event of universal importance that would have been, were the major US news media more attuned to strategic analysis and genuine mechanisms for peace, a "top ten" event of 1995. The MOMEP process, with coordinated civilian and military diplomacy, is a paradigm for successful peace operations. Building hemispheric military-to-military contacts pays off in conflict resolution. Second, this book joins an elite body of diplomatic literature with such works as Manley O. Hudson's Verdict of the League (Boston: World Peace Foundation, 1932), an account of the League of Nations peace process in 1932 for the Leticia border conflict between Peru and Colombia. Third, the valiant shuttle diplomacy of Luigi R. Einaudi in this matter places him in a league with Joel R. Poinsett, US Minister to Mexico, in the tumultuous years before the US-Mexican War, and with William Walker, US Ambassador to El Salvador in the early 1990s when the civil war was winding down. Fourth, the military diplomacy both performed and then witnessed in this book by Colonel Glenn R. Weidner places him in an elite group with the stalwart life-saving action of (then) Lieutenant Colonel Douglas MacArthur at Veracruz, Mexico, in 1914; US Navy Captain Edward L. Beach, Sr., at Port-au-Prince, Haiti, in 1915; and General Matthew B. Ridgway at Bogota, Colombia, in April 1948.
This book and its protagonists should be part of any foreign relations discussion in the United States addressing where conflict is likely to occur.
United States Army Logistics, 1775-1992. Edited by Charles R. Shrader. Washington: US Army Center of Military History, 1997. 3 Volumes, 838 pages.
The Big L: American Logistics in World War II. Edited by Alan Gropman. Washington: National Defense Univ. Press, 1997. 447 pages.
Reviewed by Lieutenant Colonel Alan Cate, who is assigned to Headquarters, XVIII Airborne Corps, is currently serving in Hungary with the US National Support Element, and is a former history instructor at the US Military Academy.
The material abundance of American life is one of its most striking dimensions, particularly to foreigners. In order to convince them of our system's advantages, Franklin Roosevelt allegedly once said that if he could place but one book in the hands of every Russian man, woman, and child, it would be a Sears catalog. An essay in The Big L buttresses this sentiment by recording the words of a German soldier captured by the Americans in World War II. While being transported to the rear, past mountains of equipment and multitudes of supply dumps, he remarked, "I know how you defeated us. You piled up the supplies and let them fall on us." One can multiply such anecdotes and observations almost endlessly to illustrate that we are indeed a "people of plenty" and that the American way of war is based largely upon material superiority.
Nevertheless, this bounty is not limitless, least of all in the military sphere. Economics may be the dismal science, but it finds its martial analog in the iron laws of logistics, which have constrained and frustrated strategists and tacticians since the dawn of warfare. Among these grim, unbending rules is that military operations become the art of the logistically feasible. This is the underlying message in Charles Shrader's three-volume anthology, United States Army Logistics, 1775-1992, and a study edited by Alan Gropman, The Big L: American Logistics in World War II.
Both works start by offering up definitions of "logistics"--in Shrader's phrase, "The Word and the Thing." Gropman's introduction submits two of the broadest and most elastic interpretations--activities centered upon the creation and sustainment of armed forces, and the "bridge" between a nation's economy and its military. Both definitions imply a distinction between generating forces and supporting them in the field. As it happens, each collection largely, though not exclusively, concentrates on one of these dual aspects. As such, they nicely complement each other.
Shrader's selections are generally focused upon the operational or theater level, providing broad historical coverage of the US Army's logistical experience. He takes a chronological approach, his periodization following each of our major conflicts from the War of Independence to the Gulf War. Within this framework Shrader seeks to elaborate several persistent themes, including the evolution of logistical doctrine and force structure, along with the increased weight of logistical considerations, as military organizations and operations become more complex. Unsurprisingly, that hardy perennial--debates over proper "tooth-to-tail" ratios--forms an important subplot.
The anthology consists of some 83 selections of varying length and interest drawn from both primary and secondary sources, official histories, and professional journals. Two of the most engaging sections are Shrader's own introduction, which neatly describes various analytical approaches to the study of logistics, and his well-written bibliographical essay at the end.
Gropman's volume, composed of seven essays, is obviously much more restricted in temporal scope, concentrating rather upon what Shrader labels the "quasi-civilian logistical activities" of industrial mobilization, acquisition, governmental control of the wartime economy, and infrastructure. Two concluding essays, however, do treat theater logistics in the Pacific and Europe. Additionally, one entry assesses the effectiveness of the Lend-Lease program in providing aid to our wartime allies.
The thread that links these pieces is the effort to get past and revise what Gropman in his essay describes as the mythology and sentimentality that have grown up around the World War II production "miracle" of the "great arsenal of democracy." Thus, while acknowledging that America's "logistics grand strategy" was immense in scope and ultimately successful, each selection makes clear that it was far from miraculous, entailed hard choices, and in many cases was plagued by inefficiency. Perhaps the most fundamental reflection--one that disillusions many good soldiers--is that while war is simple, business and politics are complicated. As the World War II Secretary of War, Henry Stimson--as upright a public servant as ever was--soberly observed, "If you are going to try to go to war, or to prepare for war, in a capitalist country, you have got to let business make money out of the process or business won't work." Readers interested in further realistic appraisals of wartime economic performance and the "Big L's" effect on military and civilian sectors should peruse the relevant sections of David Kennedy's just-published Freedom From Fear: The American People in Depression and War, 1929-1945 or consult a copy of Richard Polenberg's War and Society: The United States, 1941-1945.
Shrader's and Gropman's works are both explicitly didactic, intended primarily for military professionals, particularly students and instructors--Shrader's compilation is a publication of the Center of Military History and Gropman's book is an Industrial College of the Armed Forces product. Nevertheless, each is accessible to general readers while being more than adequate to achieving the worthwhile goal of prompting mature consideration of this crucial dimension of the military art and science.
After the Trenches: The Transformation of U.S. Army Doctrine, 1918-1939. By William O. Odom. College Station: Texas A&M University Press, 1999. 282 pages. $44.95. Reviewed by Captain Robert L. Bateman, editor of Digital War: A View from the Front Lines and military history instructor, US Military Academy.
This book is important cautionary reading for the current generation of professional officers. In After the Trenches Odom discusses the interwar period of 1918-1939 when, much as in the post-Cold War years, the US Army saw Congress cutting the military budget and spending the peace dividend while simultaneously mandating a massive increase in external missions and drastically cutting the manning levels of the Army. At the same time, technology was moving forward in leaps and bounds, creating potential new combinations of weapons and systems. Strapped by budgetary and manpower shortages, the Army struggled to accomplish even minimal training with the equipment left over from the last war.
Odom focuses on the capstone doctrine of the day, the predecessors to our modern Field Manual 100-5, Operations. He contends that in the first version of the interwar doctrine, Field Service Regulation 1923, the Army created a useful encapsulation of the "American way of war" as it existed in the First World War. Incredibly, the next generation of doctrine following FSR 1923 did not appear for 16 years. Odom contends that when it did appear, Field Service Regulation 1939 (Tentative) provided an abysmal example of doctrinal stagnation. His book is largely an exploration of the varied reasons why this occurred. Although Odom varies only slightly from the conventional historiography on the subject, his is the most complete treatment of doctrinal development in the Army during this period.
Tracing the doctrinal core of a military institution is an admittedly narrow sub-genre within the field of military history. Although several historians have addressed the interwar period in general, the vast majority of the historiography deals with the interrelationship of doctrine and specific artifacts of military technology, notably the airplane and the tank. Those who address broader issues of doctrine almost invariably find themselves sucked into the black hole of Auftragstaktik and the development of the German blitzkrieg. ("It was all Liddell Hart's idea!" "No it wasn't!" "Yes it was!") Few studies have stepped back and focused upon one national doctrine, other than that of the Germans. Colonel Robert Doughty's The Seeds of Disaster, dealing with the development of French army doctrine during the interwar years, is one of the few, and it has become a closet classic for students at Leavenworth, used to support most any criticism of the modern Army that they feel is timely. Now After the Trenches may fill that role, and rightly so. Odom's work is arguably one that only a professional military officer who is also an academically trained historian could pull off with any measure of success.
The greatest flaw in the book is the mildly schismatic attitude that Odom takes toward the base doctrine of FSR 1923. In order for his book to stand out as a study in contrast he must champion FSR 1923 as a model of doctrinal development. In several places within the book he does so explicitly. Yet sprinkled throughout the text one finds material that suggests otherwise. As Odom points out, FSR 1923 was the product of lessons learned during the First World War. Yet he is also correct in noting that for all intents and purposes the Army was merely patting itself on the back, validating invalid lessons from that war. FSR 1923 contended, for example, that the American idea of "open warfare" (a term that had no doctrine prior to the war) was practical and doable, and was the reason that the doughboy won the war. Odom cannot get around this problem, although he tries mightily to ignore it. American doctrine was flawed going into the war and was similarly flawed coming out. "Open warfare" was an attractive buzzword lacking anything but an ethnocentric belief in the superiority of American arms to support it. FSR 1923 was, in effect, a massive tome of self-vindication. It relied upon an incomplete and flawed postwar review process, and it encapsulated lessons we wanted to hear instead of those we needed to hear. Odom could have satisfied the need for contrast by pointing out that the 1939 first cut was even worse.
In any case this book is a worthy addition to the libraries of professionals interested in the development of doctrine, then or now. Many of the self-inflicted institutional wounds noted by Odom are repeated in the present tense today, changing only the names to protect the guilty. For such parallels alone this book is worth the cost.
Coercive Military Strategy. By Stephen J. Cimbala. College Station: Texas A&M University Press, 1998. 224 pages. $39.95. Reviewed by Colonel Adolf Carlson, USA Ret., former Chairman of the Department of Distance Education, US Army War College.
Stephen Cimbala's Coercive Military Strategy is an ambitious, well-crafted book that attempts to impose discipline on the broad and ill-defined category of military activity known collectively as "military operations other than war." The work contributes significantly to the clarification of a number of strategic and operational concepts that lately are more frequently discussed than defined. In the formulation of military courses of action to achieve political objectives short of actual war, policymakers would do well to emulate Cimbala's analytical rigor.
Cimbala defines a coercive military strategy as "one that explicitly seeks to employ deliberately calibrated means in order to accomplish policy objectives, while adjusting its ends and means relationship to the evolving situation and context." The implicit judgmental demands of his definition are formidable: coercive military strategy requires a well-developed sense of "calibration" in the application of an escalating sequence of military means, a definition of "objective" specific enough to permit quantification, and a sufficiently sophisticated sense of "situation and context" to appreciate the effects of seemingly tangential factors on strategic calculations.
Cimbala then illustrates his points using a series of case studies. He begins with a general discussion of the Cold War, centering on deterrence strategy, where the threat of force sufficed to prevent the use of force. Then he takes up the Cuban missile crisis, perhaps the ultimate example of a provocation-induced military response that had to be constrained because the consequences of miscalculation were so grave. Next comes a discussion of Desert Storm, which in Cimbala's view succeeded as much as a result of restraint as of the application of decisive force. Then he turns to Vietnam as an example of the inevitable failure that derives from poorly defined objectives and no appreciation for strategic context. Finally, Cimbala treats coercive strategy and collective security, defining collective security not narrowly in the League of Nations sense, but more broadly as an internationally sanctioned, multinational response to the type of regional aggression and violation of international norms that characterize the post-Cold War world.
In a chapter titled "Operations `Not War' and Coercive Military Strategy," Cimbala offers perhaps the most useful insights for contemporary strategists. He rejects the catch-all characterization of recent military activities as "peace operations," explaining that use of the term at best reflects sloppy thinking and at worst misrepresentation. There is, he reassures us, such a thing as "peacekeeping," which is the insertion of a small confidence-building force from a neutral country between two formerly warring countries who have developed a mutual desire to refrain from further conflict. Its chief characteristic is the sincere resolve on the part of all parties concerned to avoid fighting, not the military prowess of the peacekeeping force. Where this resolve is lacking, or where a peace settlement is imposed under duress, the associated military activities should not be characterized as "peace" operations. They are more properly called coercive military operations because, in Cimbala's words, they are "much more dangerous," they require "specially trained and tasked troops," and they ignore calculable political objectives, focusing instead on the "settling of particularistic scores with clan, tribal, or other enemies," these being much less susceptible to calculation and deterrence.
This is a relatively short book (183 pages of text), but one should not pick it up with the idea that it is a quick or easy read. Cimbala expects a lot of his reader. He deploys a wealth of tables and statistical analyses that demand concentration. He also expects his readers to have done their homework. He cites examples from the broad cloth of Western political and military history without a great deal of elaboration. A reader who is unfamiliar with the Concert of Europe, the last days of Hitler in 1945, the Pershing II and Ground Launched Cruise Missile deployment in 1979, or the Bottom-Up Review will miss part of the texture and subtlety of Cimbala's arguments. A consequence of the sparse detail in the historical cases is an occasional lack of persuasiveness.
Despite these reservations, for readers up to the challenge Coercive Military Strategy is worth the effort. Professor Cimbala accomplishes what he set out to do, that is, to "develop the idea of coercive military strategy, explaining why mastery of the principles of military coercion is a necessary condition for success in war or diplomacy." His is not, nor is it intended to be, the last word on the subject. Rather, Cimbala's sturdy contribution has been to take us on an excursion into a region of analysis that has yet to be systematically explored or sufficiently mapped.