WAR WITHOUT END: American Planning for the Next Vietnams by Michael T. Klare

WAR WITHOUT END: American Planning for the Next Vietnams

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Klare shares with Mae and Robert McNamara the belief that the titanic struggles of our age are to be fought in the jungles and marshlands of the Third World: the village against the city and the avaricious ""corporate elites"" against ""the poor people of the world."" Having reduced world politics and economics to these pat polarizations, the book goes on to examine the military panoply of imperialism with laborious descriptions of Pentagon agencies and their semi-secret affiliates who research the mechanics of guerrilla warfare and insurrection, and develop counterinsurgency measures. The weaponry itself -- olfactronic devices to literally sniff out the enemy and mechanical, magnetic and electronic devices to destroy him -- is also catalogued at length. Klare accepts the American image of counterinsurgency as if it were always a rational technique rather than a ludicrous folly or an expensive boondoggle; at times he superimposes a conspiratorial interpretation of history, so that ""to protect the credibility of our counterinsurgency capability, President Johnson sent. . . more than 500,000 American troops to Vietnam."" Political counterinsurgent tactics are completely omitted -- e.g. the pseudo-revolutionary manipulation of nationalism, ""radical"" community control schemes, and the ""democratic socialism"" preached by agents go unmentioned -- though from Guyana to Indonesia to Peru the U.S. has used such strategems with far more success than its Green Beret hardware. As a consequence of his one-sided approach, Klare's imperialism remains a military and moral construct, not a political and economic force, so that its technocratic appendages are left hanging in midair.

Pub Date: May 31st, 1972
Publisher: Knopf