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Beating Goliath: Why Insurgencies Win
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Beating Goliath: Why Insurgencies Win

3.27  ·  Rating Details  ·  37 Ratings  ·  6 Reviews
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 ...more
Hardcover, 192 pages
Published May 1st 2007 by Potomac Books
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A nice dollop of common sense analysis supported by interesting facts, including a look at the American Revolution, Chinese Civil War, Vietnam, and Iraq, among others. Does a good job identifying the tensions in the American approach to Iraq in the mid-2000s. You can sense his take on the decision to go to war, but he does a good job not letting it over-impact the analysis. My only quibble: he's critical of the Powell doctrine, yet seems to endorse its fundamental premises and restraints.
Aug 03, 2013 Terence rated it it was ok
Shelves: history-read
Can't recommend. This book was written in 2007 and the title seemed interesting so I started reading it. The early part of the book shared some interesting characteristics of why some insurgencies win, and others don't.

Unfortunately the last few chapters left the topic and spoke specifically to what is wrong with America's military strategies. Also the book is dated and there are simply better books on this topic.
Feb 02, 2012 Christopher rated it it was ok
Not a long book. A nice overview of U.S. military history in "small wars." It shows the uselessness of trying to "win" a war in Iraq. Our foreign policy is deeply flawed. While this book does not deal with the fact that our current foreign policy is unconstitutional, it does argue against our current foreign policy based on the simple fact that it is failing.
Michael Ware
Jan 13, 2010 Michael Ware rated it liked it
I am waiting for the academics to be a little more entertaining. The book isn't bad, straight forward and makes a point. A little condemning of US policy and the Army. But if you're going to read a book on the subject, it isn't bad or too long.
Jan 19, 2009 ERNEST MORE marked it as to-read
Recommended to ERNEST by: CSAF Professional Reading Program
On the 2009 Chief of Staff reading list; I want to order and read while in Afghanistan.
May 12, 2009 Tamara rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: Military and other professionals in Government
first 2 chapters were difficult, but there are some good nuggets in this book.
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