Review: Iraq and the Evolution of American Strategy

5 Star, Iraq, Strategy

Iraq MetzSerious Strategy–Serious Whole of Government Strategy, May 29, 2009

Steven Metz

I am disappointed to find so few reader reviews of this work. I read it in galley, and provided the following as it appears on the back jacket:

“Steven Mets is considered by many to be one of America’s greatest strategists. It is no wonder, therefore, that this elegant book provided a balanced overview of the numerous ways in which America fails to devise strategy that can effectively guide inter-agency planning, capabilities development, and operations.”

I’ve known the author for over fifteen years now, and consider him along with Colin Gray (UK) to be among a tiny handful of strategists that have displaced the Cold War self-proclaimed strategists who totally hosed the planet in a 50-year spree of unilateral militarism–all brawn and no brains.

This book is as a graceful, elegant, diplomatic–all the stuff I don’t do–a “reading” on where our flag officers failed to question illegal orders, down-right idiotic orders, all of which have led to an elective war that we won only because the Iraqi Army under Sadaam Hussein was totally incompetent, and we used up every air weapon in the inventory, a great many of which did not hit the target as advertised, and a disconcerting number of which did not explode at all.

Metz is the tip of the iceberg that lies quietly at Carlisle, Pennsylvania. The Strategic Studies Institute is a jewel waiting to be noticed by the new National Security Advisor, who would do well to ask them to connect him with all those now being shut out by the “closed circle” that has captured President Obama and is feeding him pap–dangeously uninformed unintegrated pap.

See also, among the many books that I include in the annotated bibliography for the first book listed:
Election 2008: Lipstick on the Pig (Substance of Governance; Legitimate Grievances; Candidates on the Issues; Balanced Budget 101; Call to Arms: Fund We Not Them; Annotated Bibliography)
Modern Strategy
The Fifty-Year Wound: How America’s Cold War Victory Has Shaped Our World
The Unconquerable World: Power, Nonviolence and the Will of the People
War is a Racket: The Antiwar Classic by America’s Most Decorated Soldier
Why We Fight
The Battle for Peace: A Frontline Vision of America’s Power and Purpose
Fiasco: The American Military Adventure in Iraq
Vice: Dick Cheney and the Hijacking of the American Presidency