Every soldier knows there are only two kinds of plans: plans that might work and plans that won't work. The art of war is to take a plan that might work and then drive it to success. This, General Tommy Franks and his team did very well indeed. Everyone who has ever served also knows that battles are won at the bottomóby the men and women looking through the sights, pulling the triggers, loading the cannon, and fixing the planes. The generals can lose battles, and they can set the conditions for successóbut they can't win. That's done by the troops alone.
As for the diplomacy, the best that can be said is that strong convictions often carry a high price. Despite the virtually tireless energy of their Foreign Offices, Britain and the U.S. have probably never been so isolated in recent times. Diplomacy got us into this campaign but didn't pull together the kind of unity of purpose that marked the first Gulf War. Is this victory? Relationships, institutions, and issues have all been mortgaged to changing the regime in Baghdad. Now the bills must be paid, amid the hostile image created in many areas by the allied action.
The battles were fought with stunning effectiveness but we can't afford to demobilize yet: the war isn't over.
Pub date: 09/22/04
Price: $15.00/20.95 Canada
5 1/2 x 8 1/4
Carton Quantity: 40
Middle East Studies, Military History
Selling Territory: W