In Mission Failure, Michael Mandelbaum, one of America's leading foreign policy thinkers, provides an original, provocative, and definitive account of the ambitious but deeply flawed post-Cold War efforts to promote American values and American institutions throughout the world.
In the decades before the Cold War ended, the United States used its military power to defend against threats to important American international interests or to the American homeland itself. When the Cold War concluded, however, it embarked on military interventions in places where American interests were not at stake. Somalia, Haiti, Bosnia, and Kosovo had no strategic or economic importance for the United States, yet the US intervened in all of them for purely humanitarian reasons. Each such intervention led to efforts to transform the local political and economic systems. The invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq turned into similar missions of transformation. None of them achieved its aims.
Mission Failure describes and explains how such missions came to be central to America's post-Cold War foreign policy, even in relations with China and Russia in the early 1990s and in American diplomacy in the Middle East, and how they all failed. Mandelbaum shows how American efforts to bring peace, national unity, democracy, and free-market economies to poor, disorderly countries ran afoul of ethnic and sectarian loyalties and hatreds as well as foundered on the absence of the historical experiences and political habits, skills, and values that Western institutions require.
The history of American foreign policy in the years after the fall of the Berlin Wall is, he writes, "the story of good, sometimes noble, and thoroughly American intentions coming up against the deeply embedded, often harsh, and profoundly un-American realities of places far from the United States. In this encounter the realities prevailed."
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- Julie H.
outstanding all around book
this book was a great analysis of how we, the USA, with the best intentions have found ourselves stuck in the middle of so many world problems. the author does a great job of staying out of politica, while explaining how each president, with the best intentions, all contributed slightly in some way to our workd problems of the day. great book.
3 people found this helpful
- Amazon Customer
Propaganda . Has nothing to offer.
Very opinionated . It is a sermon with no facts and no connecting analysis. I did not learn anything. Keep your money.
1 person found this helpful