FIGHTING FOR PEACE: Seven Critical Years in the Pentagon by Caspar Weinberger

FIGHTING FOR PEACE: Seven Critical Years in the Pentagon

Email this review


An insider's frequently recalcitrant, party-lining interpretation of military and geopolitical events during the so-called Reagan Revolution. Notwithstanding the winds of change now whistling through Eastern Europe and other sometime trouble spots, Weinberger remains an unreconstructed Cold Warrior. Indeed, the author (a relentless critic of Soviet intentions) is given to such bellicose pronouncements as: ""If we want peace, we must be willing and able to fight for it."" During a seven-year tour of duty as President Reagan's secretary of defense, he proved a tireless crusader for bigger Pentagon budgets designed to win friends and influence foes throughout the Global Village. Taking the righteousness of strategic might for granted, Weinberger here offers substantiating evidence via spin-controlled accounts of key incidents that occurred on his watch. He provides sunny-side-up versions, for instance, of the Grenada invasion, the Libyan raid, and the reflagging of Kuwait: oil tankers in the Persian Gulf. Also covered in upbeat fashion are US relations with mainland China and Japan. While Weinberger faces up to the Iran/contra scandal, ill-advised intervention in Lebanon, and other disasters, he stresses redemptive values, including lessons learned. On the offensive, the author laces into Gorbachev (whose objectives he mistrusts), austerity-minded lawmakers, press critics, and almost anyone not persuaded that military power is the keystone of America's national security. Whether Weinberger (who clearly has the courage of his dated convictions) is Chicken Little or a prophet must remain an open question. In the meantime, his relentlessly partisan, often tedious memoir of government service seeks to put paid to any notion of a peace dividend.

Pub Date: May 15th, 1990
Publisher: Warner