War In A Time of Peace Bush, Clinton, and the Generals
David Halberstam who is considered to be one of Pulitzer’s Prize winning journalists wrote the sequel of “The Best and the Brightest” entitled “War In A Time of Peace, Bush, Clinton, and the Generals.” In this great book he tries to evoke the internal conflicts, power struggles and unchecked egos within the White House, the military and the state department. He also shows here how the decisions of men who served in Vietnam War and even those who did not have shaped America’s role in global events. He provides the influential and fascinating power of Clinton, Bush, Reagan, Kissinger, Baker, Cheney, Albright and others to reveal a stunning view of modern politics in American policy.
Beginning with the Persian Gulf War, the author tries to discuss political shifts by emphasizing foreign and domestic issues which ushered Clinton’s administration. Despite the fact that Clinton, along with much of the country preferred to focus on the home front, America nonetheless found itself in conflict in Haiti, Somalia and the Balkans, these events reflected American discomfort with the use of military forces abroad and at the same time acknowledging that majority of the world is dependent on the United States for guidance and support.
Halberstam also notes the irony of the Gulf war since it was the time where lesser-known players who contributed to the picture were not overlooked. And the wrong branch of the service and the wrong military leaders were celebrated at its conclusion. He points out that President Bush got little electoral bounce from that first high tech, low casualty victory and that this was a lesson that Clinton never forgot. Then the author shifts to the conflict in Bosnia which is a different kind. That war, he says, tested the United States’ commitment to moral goals in its foreign policy rather than to simply consider national security. Halberstam dds that Bosnia created a new political constituency in America that is “driven by a memory that connected these events to the atrocities of the Nazis and therefore demanded that other nations ask themselves what their larger purpose was.”
Reviewing the last pages of the book, the author gives his point of view in taking a glimpse of the future and the September 11, 2001 World Trade Center tragedy. The author tries to speculate and give a notion of wrong idea at the wrong time he notes that intelligence analysts believe “the threats to an open society like America comes form terrorist, rather than the military power of rogue states” which themselves present an exceptional target.
Events and personalities clashed in this extraordinary book. The author masters the presentation of well-rounded portraits and in telling the anecdotes of the personalities that created United states policies over the past decades. It was really a historical book full of niche from the author that he himself had carved it is a luxurious product of about four to five years of research wherein any journalists or other people from all walks of life can be indulged and enjoy reading it. It gives a clear portrait of the emerging united States in its full and vivid human detail.
War in a Time of Peace is really an interesting case for Americans. If they want to learn from the past decade, they should. If they want to think about the future they must. This is a guiding book for them to read so as to avoid conflicting ideas about politics and policy, leaders ad laws. And how it feels good to live in a strong and influential country like America.
Halberstam, David. War In A Time of Peace Bush, Clinton, and the Generals. New York:, Scribner, 2002.