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Since 1945, as the U.S. has engaged in near-constant “wars of choice” with limited congressional oversight, the executive and armed services have shared primary responsibility for often ill-defined objectives, strategies, and benefits. Matthew Moten shows the significance of negotiations between presidents and the generals allied with them.
Since 1945, as the U.S. has engaged in near-constant “wars of choice” with limited congressional oversight, the executive and armed services have shared primary responsibility for often ill-defined objectives, strategies, and benefits. Matthew Moten shows the significance of negotiations between presidents and the generals allied with them.
How Korea, Vietnam, and Iraq Made The Commander In Chief and Foretell the Future of America This is a story of ever-expanding presidential powers in an age of unwinnable wars. Harry Truman and Korea, Lyndon Johnson and Vietnam, George W. Bush and Iraq: three presidents, three ever broader interpretations of the commander in chief clause of the Constitution, three unwinnable wars, and three presidential secrets. Award-winning presidential biographer and military historian Geoffrey Perret places these men and events in the larger context of the post-World War II world to establish their collective legacy: a presidency so powerful it undermines the checks and balances built into the Constitution, thereby creating a permanent threat to the Constitution itself. In choosing to fight in Korea, Vietnam, and Iraq, Truman, Johnson, and Bush alike took counsel of their fears, ignored the advice of the professional military and major allies, and were influenced by facts kept from public view. Convinced that an ever-more powerful commander in chief was the key to victory, they misread the moment. Since World War II wars have become tests of stamina rather than strength, and more likely than not they sow the seeds of future wars. Yet recent American presidents have chosen to place their country in the forefront of fighting them. In the course of doing so, however, they gave away the secret of American power—for all its might, the United States can be defeated by chaos and anarchy.
There was no more remarkable pair in the Civil War than Abraham Lincoln and George McClellan. At only 35 years old, McClellan commanded the Ohio troops early in the war, and won skirmishes for the Union in western Virginia. After the disastrous Union defeat at Bull Run in the summer of 1861, Lincoln sent word for McClellan to come to Washington, and soon elevated him to commander-in-chief of the Union army. But in the late summer and fall of 1861, things took a turn for the worst. Meticulous in his planning and preparations, McClellan began to delay attacking the enemy and developed a penchant for vastly overestimating the Confederate forces he faced. All of this hampered his ability to lead an aggressive force in a fast-moving battlefield environment. Finally losing his patience, Lincoln was famously quoted as saying, "If General McClellan does not want to use the army, I would like to borrow it for a time." Lincoln and McClellan takes an in-depth look at this fascinating relationship, from the early days of the Civil War to the 1864 presidential election when McClellan ran against Lincoln on an anti-war platform and lost. Here, award-winning author John C. Waugh weaves a tale of hubris, paranoia, failure, and triumph, illuminating as never before this unique and complicated alliance.
Approaches the history of World War II from President and commander-in-chief Franklin Delano Roosevelt's perspective.
An epic history of the decline of American military leadership?from the #1 bestselling author of Fiasco Thomas E. Ricks has made a close study of America's military leaders for three decades, and in The Generals, he chronicles the widening gulf between performance and accountability among the top brass of the U.S. military. While history has been kind to the American generals of World War II?Marshall, Eisenhower, Patton, and Bradley?it has been less kind to others, such as Koster, Franks, Sanchez, and Petraeus. Ricks sets out to explain why that is. We meet great leaders and suspect ones, generals who rose to the occasion and generals who failed themselves and their soldiers. In Ricks's hands, this story resounds with larger meaning: about the transmission of values, about strategic thinking, and about the difference between an organization that learns and one that fails.
A gripping insider account of the clash between America's civilian and military leadership The Pentagon's Wars is a dramatic account of the deep and divisive debates between America's civilian leaders and its military officers. Renowned military expert Mark Perry investigates these internal wars and sheds new light on the US military-the most powerful and influential lobby in Washington. He reveals explosive stories, from the secret history of Clinton's "don't ask, don't tell" policy to how the military plotted to undermine Barack Obama's strategy in Afghanistan, to show how internal strife and deep civilian-military animus shapes America's policy abroad, often to the nation's detriment. Drawing on three decades of high-profile interviews, both on and off the record, Perry yields sobering judgments on the tenures of our nation's most important military leaders. The Pentagon's Wars is essential reading for anyone seeking to understand the inner workings of the making of America's foreign policy.

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