Highly Original, Well-Documented, Provocative,
1) why subjective factors including culture sometimes allow the defeat of forces whose numbers, lethality, and wealth would normally be expected to be invincible;
2) how “absorbtion” through training and leadership are at least as important if not more important than the actual provision of arms;
3) how seapower and airpower play out differently in the Third World than in conventional battlegrounds;
4) what lessons might be drawn from the Third World regarding the design and acquisition of weapons technology, both in the offense and in the defense;
5) the critical importance of economic, social, and cultural factors in determining the outcomes of otherwise high-tech wars;
6) the relative absence of decisive victories, making military power relatively meaningless unless it is accompanied by “peace in force” and the follow-on civil affairs, law enforcement, agricultural and other infrastructure, investments; and
7) “pain thresholds” as a critical factor.
While well foot-noted, the book lacks a bibliography and the index is average to below average–not only lacking substance but being hard to read with 8 point font size. These are shortcomings that should be corrected in the next edition. The book is recommended, and should be standard reading in all conflict courses.