America’s Needless Wars: Cautionary Tales of US Involvement in the Philippines, Vietnam, and Iraq
Boondoggle. Quagmire. Fiasco. All of these words and more can describe several wasteful, ill-conceived, and troubling military endeavors in American history. Whether you’re referring to the Philippines, Vietnam, or Iraq, you’d have a valid case for citing each.
America’s Needless Wars covers each of these campaigns in exacting detail, exploring the motivations behind them, the mistakes made, and the disastrous consequences that followed, all of which informed the campaigns to follow, up to and including the present day. It’s a well-researched and very effective read.
And although these are harshly critical of American policies and rhetoric, they make for an incredibly worthwhile book, detailing how we can learn from these mistakes rather than repeat them. There is a pattern here, if you’re willing to see it, a pattern that can be broken and replaced with the wisdom of hindsight and the careful forethought of hard-won experience.
In today’s charged political climate, this book will no doubt raise some eyebrows, as the rah-rah jingoistic propaganda machine is running full force. But with so much insight to impart, insight that can save the lives of American soldiers in the future, everyone owes it to themselves to read this book with an open mind.
David R. Contosta