Academic journal article Military Review

Perpetual War for Perpetual Peace

Academic journal article Military Review

Perpetual War for Perpetual Peace

Article excerpt

PERPETUAL WAR FOR PERPETUAL PEACE, Robert A. Divine, Texas A&M University Press, College Station, 2000, 128 pages, $29.95.

In Perpetual War for Perpetual Peace, Robert A. Divine examines U.S. involvement in 20th-century wars. Although Americans like to think of themselves as peace-loving people and of the United States as a peaceful nation, war is an integral part of U.S. history. Divine explores the historical record to determine if there is a distinctive U.S. motive and style of war. His conclusion is that the United States seeks to use war as a way to create a better, more stable world, only to see its good intentions nullified by unexpected outcomes that seed new hostilities.

Divine wraps his main points up in a discussion of how U.S. leaders bring wars to an end, which he believes reveals the most about America's national character. Feeling an obvious need to address the post-Cold War decade of the 1990s, Divine tacks on an epilogue that addresses recent U.S. interventions, focusing on the conflict in Kosovo.

Divine's analysis of each 20th-- century war is methodical and succinct, as are his conclusions. Sometimes, however, this results in an oversimplification of an event in order to show a continuous pattern. …

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