Anatomy of Failure is part Von Clausewitz, part Tom Clancy, with personal insights by Harlan K. Ullman that brilliantly translate why the United States, the most powerful nation on earth, has so often fallen short of its objectives. --Michael Lord Dobbs, creator of the series House of Cards
Why, since the end of World War II, has the United States either lost every war it started or failed in every military intervention it prosecuted?
Harlan Ullman's new book answers this most disturbing question, a question Americans would never think of even asking because this record of failure has been largely hidden in plain sight or forgotten with the passage of time.
The most straightforward answer is that presidents and administrations have consistently failed to use sound strategic thinking and lacked sufficient knowledge or understanding of the circumstances prior to deciding whether or not to employ force.
Making this case is an in-depth analysis of the records of presidents from John F. Kennedy to Barack Obama and Donald Trump in using force or starting wars. His recommended solutions begin with a "brains-based" approach to sound strategic thinking to address onne of the major causes of failure ----the inexperience of too many of the nation's commanders-in-chief. Ullman reinforces his argument through the use of autobiographical vignettes that provide a human dimension and insight into the reasons for failure, in some cases making public previously unknown history.
The clarion call of Anatomy of Failure is that both a sound strategic framework and sufficient knowledge and understanding of the circumstance that may lead to using force are vital. Without them, failure is virtually guaranteed.
Introduction: A Simple Truth Shaped by Moments of War 1
Chapter 1 An Analytical View of Why We Fail 23
Chapter 2 John Fitzgerald Kennedy, the USSR, and the Path to Vietnam 33
Chapter 3 Lyndon Baines Johnson and the Vietnam Catastrophe, Richard Milhous Nixon, and James Earl Carter 47
Chapter 4 Ronald Wilson Reagan: Evil Empires and Star Wars 67
Chapter 5 George Herbert Walker Bush: Panama, Desert Storm, the End of the Soviet Union, Europe Whole and Free, and the Unintended Consequences of "the New World Order" 93
Chapter 6 William Jefferson Clinton, the Bottom-Up Force, Black Hawk Down, NATO Expansion, Yugoslavia, and the Rise of al Qaeda 115
Chapter 7 George Walker Bush and the Global War on Terror, Afghanistan, Iraq, and Russia 145
Chapter 8 Barack Hussein Obama: Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Libya, Iran, Syria, and the Pivot East, and the First Days of Donald John Trump as President 169
Chapter 9 How to Win: History Counts 211
Chapter 10 The Way Forward: A Brains-Based Approach to Sound Strategic Thinking 227
Selected Bibliography 243