THE GEORGE W. BUSH DEFENSE PROGRAM: Policy, Strategy & War

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THE GEORGE W. BUSH DEFENSE PROGRAM: Policy, Strategy & War, edited by Stephen J. Cimbala, Potomac Books, Dulles, VA, 2010, 317 pages, $24.95.

This collection of essays by an impressive stable of contributors provides the reader with an objective and contextual analysis of George W. Bush's defense program. The book analyzes military transformation, the exit strategy in Iraq, the status of civil-military relations, coalition war fighting in Afghanistan, and the status of nuclear policy. Unfortunately, the collection does not address many of the topics completely and does not address others that should have been included.

Stephen J. Cimbala and C. Dale Walton's essays on nuclear policy are comprehensive, well-written primers for anyone concerned with the development of nuclear policy, particularly in light of the recently ratifi ed New START treaty. Peter Kent Forster's essay on coalition war fi ghting looks at the problems confronting NATO in Afghanistan and during the post-Cold War period. An entertaining read, Colin S. Gray's opening essay is a spirited and lighthearted look at the pitfalls inherent in defense planning.

The book has a number of major shortcomings. There is no comprehensive analysis of the decision to invade Iraq and simultaneously limit the resources available for Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan. …