Why do we try to use military force to solve our political problems? And why, when our forces win the military battles does this still fail to solve those problems? It is because the force lacks utility. From Iraq to the Balkans, and from Afghanistan to Chechneya, over the past fifteen years there has been a steady stream of military interventions ...Read MoreWhy do we try to use military force to solve our political problems? And why, when our forces win the military battles does this still fail to solve those problems? It is because the force lacks utility. From Iraq to the Balkans, and from Afghanistan to Chechneya, over the past fifteen years there has been a steady stream of military interventions that have not delivered on their promise for peace, or even political resolution. The "Utility of Force" explains this anomaly at the heart of our current international system.Read Less
The old saw, "If your only tool is a hammer, then every problem is a nail." applies to military intervention as a means to deal with the complex problems of contemporary world order, and disorder. With the perspective of a professional soldier of long and varied experience, Rupert Smith explains the difference between war, insurrection and terrorism and the appropriate solution to complex threats to world order. The book is outstanding and a must read for anyone concerned with the role of the military today.
Sep 25, 2008
This should be Required Reading.
General Smith has produced a remarkable study that should be required reading for anyone who aspires to Political Office. With careful attention to historical precedent and evolution of conflict forms, General Smith carefully constructs a logical and rational framework for the application of military power. This work shows us the limitations of military power, and why intervention must be integrated into a larger political context which clearly defines a desired outcome for rational resolution of the condition. We find ourselves increasingly in circumstances where events demand that we "Do Something", and lacking a simple solution, we send in troops with an instruction to "fix things". The consequences of such instances are carefully examined, with attention to historical events. I recommend this book to anyone who wishes to better understand the role of the modern military. I thank General Smith for having made this effort to assist us.
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