It’s not everyday that one of our books gets noticed by the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff notices one of our book. However, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Martin E. Dempsey, recently strongly recommended Richard Betts’s American Force: Dangers, Delusions, and Dilemmas in National Security in the feature The Chairman’s Nightstand on the Department of Defense web site.
In describing why American Force matters, Dempsey writes:
Dr. Betts makes the argument that the U.S. does not do a good enough job of reconciling what we want to achieve with the resources available. He contends that when we do make the choice to intervene, we too often minimize our resource commitments and put our goals at risk. He sees this leading to indecisive undertakings. He cautions about the unpredictable character of conflict: “A decision on force is a gamble, but there are no acceptable rules for judging the odds of success.” His thought-provoking arguments are worthy of our consideration.”