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How Democracies Lose Small Wars: State, Society, and the Failures of France in Algeria, Israel in Lebanon, and the United States in Vietnam epub ebook

by Gil Merom

How Democracies Lose Small Wars: State, Society, and the Failures of France in Algeria, Israel in Lebanon, and the United States in Vietnam epub ebook

Author: Gil Merom
Category: Humanities
Language: English
Publisher: Cambridge University Press (August 4, 2003)
Pages: 310 pages
ISBN: 0521804035
ISBN13: 978-0521804035
Rating: 4.6
Votes: 475
Other formats: mobi lrf mbr mobi


In this 2003 book, Gil Merom argues that modern democracies fail in insurgency wars because they are . He then discusses the elements of the process that led to the failure of France in Algeria and Israel in Lebanon

In this 2003 book, Gil Merom argues that modern democracies fail in insurgency wars because they are unable to find a winning balance between expedient an. .He then discusses the elements of the process that led to the failure of France in Algeria and Israel in Lebanon. In the conclusion, Merom considers the Vietnam War and the influence failed small wars had on Western war-making and military intervention.

In the case of the French war in Algeria, the author incorrectly asserts that domestic opposition was responsible for . It is not the Vietnam War but the French war against Algerian independence from 1954-60 that may offer the best history lesson for the .

In the case of the French war in Algeria, the author incorrectly asserts that domestic opposition was responsible for French withdrawal, even though the war was militarily 'won'. He neglects to mention the critical role the OAS played in turning public opinion by their benchmark terror tactics when manifested domestically against the Republic and it's government. Iraq war. France sought to hold onto its empire and oil and gas resources in a mostly Muslim country. The French had overwhelming military power. There were low casualties.

Small wars are lost at home when a critical minority shifts the balancing element from the battlefield to the marketplace of ideas

Small wars are lost at home when a critical minority shifts the balancing element from the battlefield to the marketplace of ideas. This minority, representing the educated middle class, abhors the brutality involved in effective counterinsurgency, but also refuses to sustain the level of casualties resulting from fighting in other ways.

State, the Army, and the War 158 The Israeli Economy and the Lebanon War 164 Conclusion 168 11 Israeli Instrumental Dependence and Its Consequences 169 iz The Development of a Normative Difference in Israel.

State, the Army, and the War 158 The Israeli Economy and the Lebanon War 164 Conclusion 168 11 Israeli Instrumental Dependence and Its Consequences 169 iz The Development of a Normative Difference in Israel, and Its Consequences 177 The Utilitarian Debate about the Human Cost of War 177 The Debate about the Morality of the Military Conduct in Lebanon 184 The Debate about. the Identity of the State 191 13 The Israeli Struggle to Contain the Growth of the Normative Gap and the Rise of the "Democratic Agenda" 194. Contents ix The Domestic Reaction of the Government and the State 197.

The book fulfills the promise of it's title quite well, it explains thoroughly why Democracies lose small wars, its case studies were quite detailed and meticulous, at least those of France and Israel, the insights on th.

The book fulfills the promise of it's title quite well, it explains thoroughly why Democracies lose small wars, its case studies were quite detailed and meticulous, at least those of France and Israel, the insights on the American war in Vietnam were allocated probably a fifth of the space either of the other cases were. The book fulfills the promise of it's title quite well, it explains thoroughly why Democracies lose small wars, its case studies were quite detailed and meticulous, at least those of France and Israel, the insights on the American war in Vietnam were allocated probably a fifth of the space either of the other cases were.

To the contrary, his findings would seem to offer substantial vindication to analysts and scholars who believe constituencies in a democratic society's domestic political system are the true drivers of such a state's international behavior

To the contrary, his findings would seem to offer substantial vindication to analysts and scholars who believe constituencies in a democratic society's domestic political system are the true drivers of such a state's international behavior.

Democracies and Small Wars.

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In this 2003 book, Gil Merom argues that modern democracies fail in insurgency wars because they are unable to find a winning balance between expedient and moral tolerance to the costs of war. Small wars, he argues, are lost at home when a critical minority mass shifts the center o. Small wars, he argues, are lost at home when a critical minority mass shifts the center of gravity from the battlefield to the market place of ideas.

State, society and mobilization in Europe during the First World Wa. Losing small wars : British military failure in Iraq and Afghanistan.

State, society and mobilization in Europe during the First World War. Books. Imperial War Museums home Connect with IWM.

Gil Merom argues that modern democracies fail in insurgency wars because they are unable to find a winning balance between expedient and moral tolerance for the costs of war. Small wars are lost at home when a critical minority shifts the balancing element from the battlefield to the marketplace of ideas. This minority, representing the educated middle class, abhors the brutality involved in effective counterinsurgency, but also refuses to sustain the level of casualties resulting from fighting in other ways.
Reviews (6)
Bolanim
Small Wars with BIG Outcomes

Gil Merom argues in his book "How Democracies Lose Small Wars: State, Society, and the Failures of France in Algeria, Israel in Lebanon, and the United States in Vietnam" that democratic institutions are less effective in waging small wars or counterinsurgencies. In particular, the moral values implicit in democratic society make it difficult to sustain the casualties and brutality inherent in small wars. The result is a "normative gap" between the values of society and those of the state, making it difficult for the state to continue its focus on the external threat.

Kizshura
great book-fast shipping just as described

EROROHALO
The author's postulate is that disaffected elements of the population (an intellectually sophisticated 'elite') eventually cotton onto the nefarious machinations of their governments who are waging wars that, while capable of being won from a military standpoint, can only be accomplished at the expense of misleading the public to the nasty means required to do so. This is hardly a unique observation and, worse, was cloaked (in this book) in layers of ponderous and dense academic jargon.

A careful reading of the book indicates that the actual disaffected elements are members of the government, many of whom were part-and-parcel of the planning and implementation process for the very war they later decry (e.g., Daniel Ellsberg, Robert McNamera and others). These disillusioned former practitioners of realpolitik 'wake up' to the nasty particulars of the conflict and then incite domestic opposition amongst the 'intellectual' classes through the vehicle of newspaper articles, other media outlets and campaigning amongst their still 'imbedded' peers in government. Eventually, the domestic cost of waging the war trumps other factors and the democratic regime pulls the plug.

These observations are so obviously true as to be banal. The author creates a tautology in asserting that this phenomenon doesn't happen in existentially involving wars (such as WW-II, wherein an obvious clash between naked and unblemished evil and genuine democratic republican ideals is obvious to even the most dense observer). In the case of the French war in Algeria, the author incorrectly asserts that domestic opposition was responsible for French withdrawal, even though the war was militarily 'won'. He neglects to mention the critical role the OAS played in turning public opinion by their benchmark terror tactics when manifested domestically against the Republic and it's government. Similarly, in the US war against the Vietnamese Communists, the background of US domestic social discontent was ignored, as was the well-known and flagrant corruption of the South Vietnamese government, widely reviled at the time as a US puppet (which it was). No domestic disaffected 'elite' was responsible for that debacle: the social milieu in which the war took place produced the well-known outcome.

In summary, this book presented no new insights or perspectives; it was ponderous reading and lacked originality of presentation. It read much like a doctoral dissertation from a struggling international relations PhD student.

Aradwyn
How Democracy Loses Small Wars is perhaps one of the most-timely, but unrecognized books dealing with the so-called "quagmire" and war prisoner abuse situations the U.S. has encountered in Iraq in 2004. Gil Merom addresses how modern democracies lose small wars against weaker forces. Merom writes that small wars are lost mostly at home not on the battlefield when a highly media-visible minority of the educated upper middle class selectively views with moral revulsion the brutality and casualties necessary to win war. In response, government war leaders resort to repress the ugly realities of war by deceit, censure, and crackdowns, attracting even more media attention.

Merom offers three case studies of the outcomes of small wars: the French Algerian War, the Israeli Lebanon War, and the U.S. Vietnam War. It is not the Vietnam War but the French war against Algerian independence from 1954-60 that may offer the best history lesson for the U.S.-Iraq war. France sought to hold onto its empire and oil and gas resources in a mostly Muslim country. The French had overwhelming military power. There were low casualties. The public supported the war despite concerns about the economy. The conflict entailed mostly urban guerilla warfare where one third of the casualties were due to ambushes. And the war was portrayed as a struggle between "forces of light and those of darkness." Sound familiar? France won the battles but lost the war and had to eventually pull out. Its citizens would no longer tolerate the suppression of wartime abuses by criminalizing the press, the seizing of antiwar literature, and invoking the military draft.
So look for the Iraq war to be lost not in Fallujah or Kandahar, but in Berkeley, Paris, or more lately, in Madrid or Abu Ghraib prison. Look for the war to be lost if U.S. forces resort to war crimes, cover-ups, abuses of the Patriot Act, and succumbing to provocations of anti-war activists. Thus far, the Bush administration has court-martialed those who have committed abuses, has reluctantly admitted to no WMD's rather than attempting a cover up, and have avoided anything like the opinion galvanizing incident of the 1970 Kent State University National Guard killing of student Vietnam anti-war protesters in response to the provocation of burning down the campus ROTC building.
Merom offers good analysis of the interaction between the military and civilian battlefields. His book could have been enhanced by an analysis of how, what sociologists Alvin Gouldner and Peter Berger call the "new class" are able to socially construct the military as comprising the moral low ground. As to the quest for capturing the moral high ground in the Iraq War, perhaps the often self-indulgent anti-war activists could be reminded of the tragic moral consequences of the aftermath of abandoning Vietnam - the Killing Fields, the Boat People émigrés, and the atrocities of Pol Pot in Cambodia.

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