Military Intervention in the 1990s
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Military Intervention in the 1990s

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The war in the Persian Gulf marked the greatest "projection of power" in history, dwarfing in its scale and speed even the D-day landings of 1944. It dramatically demonstrated the revolution in military affairs which has followed the end of confrontation in Europe. Yet the Gulf War and its aftermath also demonstrated the vast complexities of the projection of power, even i...more
Paperback, 216 pages
Published March 10th 1993 by Routledge (first published March 12th 1992)
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“It is the political change in international relations as well as a change in superpower fortunes which indicate that the days of successful unilateral intervention are past and that multilateral military intervention might only succeed in exceptional circumstances. Even before the changes in these relationships had occurred, both the old USSR and the USA discovered in the most dramatic way the true impotence of their power in the intra-state conflicts of Afghanistan and Vietnam respectively. Not least, the cost of unilaterally inspired intervention was horrendous. The total bill for Vietnam was $190 billion while the Soviets spent $3-4 billion for each of the years their forces were fulfilling no useful purpose in Afghanistan.

The fact is that most military interventions undertaken this century should never have been embarked upon, for they were doomed for failure. The reason for this has tended to be due to misplaced faith in national capabilities as well as misappreciation of the size of the problem. By way of illustration it is appropriate first to relate international theory to the concept of military intervention, followed by a current overview essentially of the two states most traditionally involved in military intervention, the former USSR and USA.”
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