Publisher description for How democracies lose small wars : state, society, and the failures of France in Algeria, Israel in Lebanon, and the United States in Vietnam / Gil Merom.


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Counter Gil Merom argues that modern democracies fail in insurgency wars because they are unable to find a winning balance between expedient and moral tolerance to the costs of war. Small wars, he argues, are lost at home when a critical minority mass shifts the center of gravity from the battlefield to the market place of ideas. Merom analyzes the role of brutality in counterinsurgency, the historical foundations of moral and expedient opposition to war, and the actions states traditionally took in order to preserve foreign policy autonomy. He then discusses the elements of the process that led to the failure of France in Algeria and Israel in Lebanon. In the conclusion, Merom considers the Vietnam War and the influence failed small wars had on Western war-making and military intervention.

Library of Congress subject headings for this publication: Low intensity conflicts (Military science) FranceLow intensity conflicts (Military science) United States, Low intensity conflicts (Military science) Israel, Military doctrine France, Military doctrine United States, Military doctrine Israel, Counterinsurgency