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Publishers Weekly, 2003-05-26 The title references the 1898 U.S. bombardment and invasion of Cuba (which gained the U.S. Guantanamo Bay), summed up by then Secretary of State-to-be John Hay as a "splendid little war." From the perspective of achieving military objectives, recent "small" U.S. actions have been a decidedly mixed bag, with Desert Shield, Desert Storm and the Vietnam-era Mayaguez incident in the "win" column, and the Iranian hostage rescue, peacekeeping in Beirut and the humanitarian intervention in Somalia in the "loss." In the latter cases, Huchthausen (October Fury) shows, inter-service rivalries, inadequate forces or failure to understand the local political situation and the motives of opponents played decisive roles. In between lay cases such as Grenada, where the intervention was successful but costly as a result of every service trying to get a piece of the pie, and Kosovo, where U.S. air attacks were met with civilians used as shields. For Huchthausen, a retired naval officer who writes with great respect for the American fighting man and woman but somewhat less so for those who give them their objectives and limitations, the most unequivocal and least publicized success of the last 30 years was the relative protection U.S. air power offered the Kurds in the wake of the Gulf War. With a solid bibliography, this popular account will serve for a quick brushup of on-the-ground events, if not for political analysis of their causes and repercussions. (July 24) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
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