“This book should be read by all practitioners and serious students of national security as the guide for avoiding failures and miscalculations in using American military power.” –Gen. Colin L. Powell, USA (Ret.), Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (1989-1993) and 65th Secretary of State
Anatomy of Failure is part Von Clausewitz, part Tom Clancy, with personal insights by Harlan K. Ullman that brilliantly translate why the United States, the most powerful nation on earth, has so often fallen short of its objectives. –Michael Lord Dobbs, creator of the series House of Cards
Why, since the end of World War II, has the United States either lost every war it started or failed in every military intervention it prosecuted?
Harlan Ullman’s new book answers this most disturbing question, a question Americans would never think of even asking because this record of failure has been largely hidden in plain sight or forgotten with the passage of time.
The most straightforward answer is that presidents and administrations have consistently failed to use sound strategic thinking and lacked sufficient knowledge or understanding of the circumstances prior to deciding whether or not to employ force.
Making this case is an in-depth analysis of the records of presidents from John F. Kennedy to Barack Obama and Donald Trump in using force or starting wars. His recommended solutions begin with a “brains-based” approach to sound strategic thinking to address onne of the major causes of failure —-the inexperience of too many of the nation’s commanders-in-chief. Ullman reinforces his argument through the use of autobiographical vignettes that provide a human dimension and insight into the reasons for failure, in some cases making public previously unknown history.
The clarion call of Anatomy of Failure is that both a sound strategic framework and sufficient knowledge and understanding of the circumstance that may lead to using force are vital. Without them, failure is virtually guaranteed.”