Academic journal article Military Review

Another Century of War?

Academic journal article Military Review

Another Century of War?

Article excerpt

Gabriel Kolko, The New Press, New York, 2002, 176 pages, $15.95.

Another Century of War? If so, says Gabriel Kolko, it is almost assured that it will be another century of dashed hopes and unanticipated negative consequences, a century that is either the same as, or worse than, the 20th century. As Kolko notes in his earlier book, Century of War: Politics, Conflict, and Society Since 1914 (New Press, New York, 1994), the United States won the Cold War but in so doing fell victim to unintended consequences. The century of war was a time of mutually assured destruction and a balance of terror. But despite its extreme violence, the 20th century was a time of balanced powers. Now the United States stands alone. In the absence of countervailing forces, wrongheaded U.S. policies are destabilizing a world already rife with unsettled regions and easily obtained fire-power.

Kolko's basic premise is that for 50 years the United States has fumbled around, being consistent only in its policies of being anticommunist and pro-oil. He feels that the United States holds a consistent over-optimism about the efficacy of its technology and firepower, and that it consistently fails to recognize that the world is a subtle, complex place that requires finesse, flexibility, and receptivity to the needs and wants of others. …

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