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Beating Goliath: Why Insurgencies Win di [Record, Jeffrey]
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Beating Goliath: Why Insurgencies Win Formato Kindle

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Lunghezza: 192 pagine Word Wise: Abilitato Miglioramenti tipografici: Abilitato
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Descrizione prodotto


Beating Goliath examines the phenomenon of victories by the weak over the strong—more specifically, insurgencies that succeeded against great powers. Jeffrey Record reviews eleven insurgent wars from 1775 to the present and determines why the seemingly weaker side won. He concludes that external assistance correlates more consistently with insurgent success than any other explanation. He does not disparage the critical importance of will, strategy, and strong-side regime type or suggest that external assistance guarantees success. Indeed, in all cases, some combination of these factors is usually present. But Record finds few if any cases of unassisted insurgent victories except against the most decrepit regimes.

Having identified the ingredients of insurgent success, Record examines the present insurgency in Iraq and whether the United States can win. In so doing, Record employs a comparative analysis of the Vietnam War and the Iraq War. He also identifies and assesses the influence of distinctive features of the American way of war on the U.S. forces’ performance against the Iraqi insurgency.

Make no mistake: insurgent victories are the exception, not the rule. But when David does beat Goliath, the consequences can be earth shattering and change the course of history. Jeffrey Record’s persuasive logic and clear writing make this timely book a must read for scholars, policymakers, military strategists, and anyone interested in the Iraq War’s outcome.

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  • Formato: Formato Kindle
  • Dimensioni file: 646 KB
  • Lunghezza stampa: 192
  • Numeri di pagina fonte ISBN: B00AK3Z0ZC
  • Editore: Potomac Books Inc.; 1 edizione (30 maggio 2007)
  • Venduto da: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Lingua: Inglese
  • ASIN: B005CWJ6ZQ
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Le recensioni clienti più utili su (beta) 4.3 su 5 stelle 12 recensioni
10 di 10 persone hanno trovato utile la seguente recensione
4.0 su 5 stelle Quick insight into the reasons why insurgencies happen. . . 21 luglio 2007
Di MojaveCabal - Pubblicato su
Formato: Copertina rigida Acquisto verificato
Several colleagues of mine recommended this book - several more people said that all I had to do is read the dust jacket and put it away. Disagree. The book will explain the difficulties for fighting insurgencies, several historical examples, and the dangers insurgencies pose to big military organization and states. There are a couple dated passages concerning Iraq, but that is understandable considering the fast pace of the war. I would recommend this book, as a starter, to all those attempting to better understand insurgencies.
7 di 8 persone hanno trovato utile la seguente recensione
5.0 su 5 stelle Outstanding contribution, excellent work 10 agosto 2007
Di Montanero - Pubblicato su
Formato: Copertina rigida
The premise of the book is to explain why some insurgencies, consisting of poorly equipped and numerically inferior forces, can defeat powerful nations with are, at least in comparison, limitless material resources. The author looks at specific factors of insurgencies and how these factors affected the outcomes of eleven insurgencies where the insurgents defeated a larger, more powerful opponent. He then looks at the role of external support in aiding insurgents, concluding that, statistically, it is the most significant single factor. The author then attempts to apply his analysis to the current insurgency in Iraq and draws some conclusions concerning the likelihood of an insurgent victory there.
The factors analyzed by Dr. Record are the will to fight, including the political will of the antagonists; strategy and the strategic interaction of the opponents; regime type (liberal democracy versus authoritarian) and external support to the insurgency in the form of money, weapons, personnel and safe areas.
External support, being the single most influential factor in determining the success of the weak versus the strong, rates its own chapter. This chapter does not get stuck in a scientific statistical analysis, Dr. Record analyzes qualitatively as well as quantitatively. His analysis is not a sterile comparison of a set number of variables, but a wide ranging analysis of many factors and indirect influences on the external support and the outcome of the insurgencies.
Taking on a hot media topic, Record compares Vietnam and Iraq. He highlights the differences, the similarities and how these factors can influence the outcome of the war in Iraq. He looks at strategies, will at all levels, political factors in the U.S. government and external support. This chapter is a great help in breaking some myths perpetuated by the popular media.
Dr. Record's analysis of the American way of war surpasses the insightfulness of the earlier chapters. He describes how the separation of politics and war violates all of the basic principles of counterinsurgency and as a strategy is doomed to failure in the long term. His assessment of this way of war is spot on, and explains much of recent American military history.
This apolitical way of war leads inevitably to the strategy of attrition, and tactically to search and destroy operations. This may have many short term successes, and may even be a critical part of an effective counterinsurgency strategy, but its exclusive use is counterproductive and leads to failure.
In the final chapter, Record enumerates several conclusions which must be recognized by American politicians, military leaders and, hopefully, by the American public if we are to reach any sort of agreeable conclusion to the Iraq war.
This book is very well researched, documented and presented. Dr. Record does fall into a trap which the book is trying to correct, thinking of the insurgency in strictly military terms and whether the U.S. military can defeat the insurgents in Iraq. There is no military solution, there can only be a political solution brought about by the Iraqi people. I believe these minor lapses are more a result of word-smithing in the final copy than any academic mistake on the part of Dr. Record. He also includes some incorrect data, which is only due to his lack of access to anything other than open source information; but these are almost too minor to mention.
I would highly recommend this book to any national level elected political officials, military personnel of all ranks, civil servants dealing with foreign policy or the Department of Defense and to any citizen who wants to know more than the popular media can give you. Excellent work.
3 di 3 persone hanno trovato utile la seguente recensione
4.0 su 5 stelle An Informative Perspective 11 dicembre 2007
Di D. Taylor - Pubblicato su
Formato: Copertina rigida
In a time when the United States is wrapped up in a seemingly endless international conflict, Jeffery Record sheds light on why insurgencies such as Iraq are hard to combat and, in some cases, are capable of winning their wars. "Beating Goliath: Why Insurgencies Win" is an insightful book that takes an in depth look at several cases throughout history where small military forces were able to win over their adversaries. It brings to light the politics of such wars against insurgents and explains how several factors eventually lead to the submission of the apparent "Goliath."
A Goliath, explains Record, is a nation with a strong superiority over its opponent. This usually refers to the side who's military, technology, size, and financial backing puts them at an obvious advantage.
This book is a crucial read for members of both the pro-war and anti-war camps. Those who completely oppose the war will come to realize that it is a lack of popular and political support of the war effort that is a main contributing factor for the victory of the insurgents. Conversely it can be learned by those who are of the pro-war side that wars against small forces in foreign, unfamiliar terrain are susceptible to high failure rates.
Goliath does not always lose either. The victory of insurgents over their personal Goliath is an abnormal phenomenon. As Record says, most of the time the more powerful force does prevail. However under certain, predictable circumstances, the insurgents do win. One of these circumstances is when the insurgents have outside help from another nation. In the case of the American Revolution, the Americans had the help of the French before it had even been agreed upon that a revolution would be their course of action. Record makes the case that insurgencies on their own cannot succeed because they do not have the money or resources to participate in a long, drawn out war against a military power far superior to their own. That is why they require assistance from a third party to fund or contribute munitions to their cause. Also, political and popular support of the military action is imperative to the victory on either side. The problem is that in Democratic nations, such as the United States, it is less likely that political support will last for a long period of time. Insurgency with no sign of an end is a great killer of popular support for stronger nation. As Record points out, the insurgent nation is fighting for a great cause, their independence, while the aggressor is only fighting for an ideological cause, such as spreading democracy.
Beyond being well respected, Dr. Record is an easy read. Record is not a long winded individual who tried to impress the reader with big words and complex sentence structures. Rather, Record writes for comprehension. His goal is to have the reader clearly understand the key points he is trying to make throughout the book. This writing technique will be greatly appreciated by the reader who cares less about the fluff and more about the substance. Fluff free and fact full, "Beating Goliath" is a great read for the individual who wishes to achieve a greater understanding of what has been going on for the past decade in the middle East.
2 di 2 persone hanno trovato utile la seguente recensione
5.0 su 5 stelle Intersting Book On Insurgent Warfare... 5 settembre 2012
Di The Gyro Captain - Pubblicato su
Formato: Copertina flessibile
I read "Beating Goliath" for a PoliSci course in grad school. I've always been interested in insurgencies and guerrilla warfare, and I like to read every book I can get my hands on. This was one of the better books, as the writer's style is both informative and well written. Record's central idea is that the side with the greater organizational will to win is the side most likely to prevail in an insurgency. An example he cites is the British Empire during the American Revolution; part of the English lack of will was knowing that they had a stable homeland to return to. Record also addresses the importance of the insurgency having outside support as a factor in victory (ie Chinese support for the NVA & Viet Cong).

All in all, "Beating Goliath" is a well written political science book, that adds to the rich literature on insurgent warfare.
2 di 2 persone hanno trovato utile la seguente recensione
5.0 su 5 stelle Well researched. Great Book. Very helpful. 17 agosto 2010
Di Eric William - Pubblicato su
Formato: Copertina flessibile Acquisto verificato
First, the author describes other authors who have studied uneven (asymmetrical) wars and reviewed their theories and conclusions. This saved me from reading two other books. I got the information from counter points of view all in one book.

Second, the author is realistic. He states that the bigger side usually wins ... BUT, when weaker side does win, he shows that some conditions must be met.

Third, it was a great read. I was studying this for social protest. That is, my question was, "how does a less powerful group protest a large corporation and win." In this sense, I was not really reading the book for actual war. However, I could not put the book down. It was really interesting.

*** Lastly, the one reviewer who put the book down due to "big words" may have been a little unfair. Yes, the author is an intellectual, however, the reading level was not that high. I do not study war, but the terms (such as asymmetrical conflict) the author uses are what people in this field use to describe sides in a conflict. So I felt that I learned a great deal of terminology that will be helpful in the future. If I ever want to search Google for more information on the subject, after reading this book, I now know the keywords.

So, all in all, this was one of the best books I have ever read. I now understand the current way and why each side is doing what it is.

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