Synopses & Reviews
America's "small wars," "imperial wars," or, as the Pentagon now terms them, "low-intensity conflicts," have played an essential but little-appreciated role in its growth as a world power. Beginning with Jefferson's expedition against the Barbary Pirates, Max Boot tells the exciting stories of our sometimes minor but often bloody landings in Samoa, the Philippines, China, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, Mexico, Russia, and elsewhere. Along the way he sketches colorful portraits of little-known military heroes such as Stephen Decatur, "Fighting Fred" Funston, and Smedley Butler. From 1800 to the present day, such undeclared wars have made up the vast majority of our military engagements. Yet the military has often resisted preparing itself for small wars, preferring instead to train for big conflicts that seldom come. Boot re-examines the tragedy of Vietnam through a "small war" prism. He concludes with a devastating critique of the Powell Doctrine and a convincing argument that the armed forces must reorient themselves to better handle small-war missions, because such clashes are an inevitable result of America's far-flung imperial responsibilities.
Reviewed and debated everywhere, this book has become a key volume in the case for a new policy of interventionism. Boot tells how America's "small wars, " "imperial wars, " or, as the Pentagon now terms them, "low-intensity conflicts, " have played an essential but little-appreciated role in its growth as a world power.
Includes bibliographical references (p. 387-408) and index.
Reviewed and debated everywhere, this book has become a key volume in the case for a new policy of interventionism
A compellingly readable history of the forgotten wars that helped promote Americas rise in the last two centuries, The Savage Wars of Peace is a history of those smaller, undeclared wars and their importance in American international affairs.
While the major conflicts in American history have become all too familiar, Americas small wars” have played an essential but little-appreciated role in the countrys growth as a world power. First published in 2002, The Savage Wars of Peace
quickly became a key volume in the case for a new policy of interventionism. Max Boot shows how Americas smaller actionssuch as the recent conflicts in Bosnia, Somalia, Haiti, Kosovo, and Afghanistanhave made up the vast majority of our military engagements, and yet our armed forces do little to prepare for these low intensity conflicts.”
A compellingly readable history of the forgotten wars that helped promote Americas rise in the last two centuries, The Savage Wars of Peace is now updated with new material on the repercussions of Americas far-flung imperial actions and the impact of these ventures in American international affairs.
About the Author
Max Boot is a senior fellow in National Security Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations. His writing has appeared in many publications, and he has twice been a finalist for the Gerald Loeb Award. His previous book, Out of Order: Arrogance, Corruption, and Incompetence on the Bench, was published by Basic Books in 1998. He lives with his wife and three children in Westchester County, New York.
Table of Contents
Foreword to the Revised Edition
Preface: Another American Way of War
Part One: Commercial Power
1. To Conquer Upon the Sea”: Barbary Wars, 1801–1805, 1815
2. Butcher and Bolt”: From the Marquesas, 1813, to China, 1859
3. Empire Emerging: From Korea, 1871, to Samoa, 1899
Part Two: Great Power
4. Red Summer: Boxer Uprising, 1900
5. Attraction” and Chastisement”: The Philippine War, 1899–1902
6. Caribbean Constabulary: Cuba, Panama, Nicaragua, Mexico, 1898–1914
7. Lords of Hispaniola: Haiti, 19151934; Dominican Republic, 1916–1924
8. The Dusty Trail: The Pancho Villa Punitive Expedition, 1916–1917
9. Blood on the Snow: Russia, 1918‐1920
10. Chasing Sandino: Nicaragua, 1926–1933
11. By Bluff Alone”: China, 1901–1941
Part Three: Superpower
12. Lessons Learned: The Small Wars Manual
13. Lessons Unlearned: Vietnam, 1959–1975
14. In the Shadow of Vietnam: The Powell Doctrine and Small Wars in the 1990s
15. In the Shadow of 9/11: The Wars in Afghanistan and Iraq
16. In Defense of the Pax Americana: Small Wars in the Twenty-First Century
Afterword to the Revised Edition