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Presidential Decisions for War: Korea, Vietnam, and the Persian Gulf

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In 1950, Americans expected that the United States would wage another major war in the near future. Instead, over the course of the next half-century, they fought limited wars against minor powers: North Korea, North Vietnam, and Iraq. In Presidential Decisions for War, Gary R. Hess explores the ways in which Presidents Truman, Johnson, and Bush took America into these war In 1950, Americans expected that the United States would wage another major war in the near future. Instead, over the course of the next half-century, they fought limited wars against minor powers: North Korea, North Vietnam, and Iraq. In Presidential Decisions for War, Gary R. Hess explores the ways in which Presidents Truman, Johnson, and Bush took America into these wars. He recreates the unfolding crises in Korea, Vietnam, and the Persian Gulf, explaining why the presidents and their advisers concluded that the use of military power was ultimately necessary to uphold U.S. security. The decisions for war are then evaluated in terms of how effectively the president assessed U.S. interests, explored alternatives to war, adhered to constitutional processes, and built congressional, popular, and international support. Once at war, each president as commander in chief faced the challenge of waging a limited war, which imposes restrictions on military operations and objectives and on the extent to which popular emotions can be aroused. After tracing how Truman, Johnson, and Bush responded to unfolding military developments, Hess evaluates the wartime leadership of each president in terms of his effectiveness in coordinating political and military objectives, managing civilian-military relations, communicating objectives and sustaining popular and congressional support, gaining and sustaining international backing, and responding to diplomatic initiatives and opportunities for peace. Presidential Decisions for War concludes that the quality of presidential leadership directly affected the different outcomes of these three wars, each of which remains a topic of ongoing controversy among historians and the public.


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In 1950, Americans expected that the United States would wage another major war in the near future. Instead, over the course of the next half-century, they fought limited wars against minor powers: North Korea, North Vietnam, and Iraq. In Presidential Decisions for War, Gary R. Hess explores the ways in which Presidents Truman, Johnson, and Bush took America into these war In 1950, Americans expected that the United States would wage another major war in the near future. Instead, over the course of the next half-century, they fought limited wars against minor powers: North Korea, North Vietnam, and Iraq. In Presidential Decisions for War, Gary R. Hess explores the ways in which Presidents Truman, Johnson, and Bush took America into these wars. He recreates the unfolding crises in Korea, Vietnam, and the Persian Gulf, explaining why the presidents and their advisers concluded that the use of military power was ultimately necessary to uphold U.S. security. The decisions for war are then evaluated in terms of how effectively the president assessed U.S. interests, explored alternatives to war, adhered to constitutional processes, and built congressional, popular, and international support. Once at war, each president as commander in chief faced the challenge of waging a limited war, which imposes restrictions on military operations and objectives and on the extent to which popular emotions can be aroused. After tracing how Truman, Johnson, and Bush responded to unfolding military developments, Hess evaluates the wartime leadership of each president in terms of his effectiveness in coordinating political and military objectives, managing civilian-military relations, communicating objectives and sustaining popular and congressional support, gaining and sustaining international backing, and responding to diplomatic initiatives and opportunities for peace. Presidential Decisions for War concludes that the quality of presidential leadership directly affected the different outcomes of these three wars, each of which remains a topic of ongoing controversy among historians and the public.

30 review for Presidential Decisions for War: Korea, Vietnam, and the Persian Gulf

  1. 5 out of 5

    Kevin

    Good overview of pivotal points in modern American history and what drives presidents to push towards war.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Sean Chick

    Informative, but dry and has nothing new to say about how the Korean, Vietnam, and Gulf War were waged.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Jason Allen

  4. 5 out of 5

    Sam Catanzaro

  5. 5 out of 5

    Michael

  6. 4 out of 5

    Kate Smith

  7. 5 out of 5

    Hong Hu

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  10. 4 out of 5

    Kyla Dahlquist

  11. 4 out of 5

    Mason

  12. 4 out of 5

    Elliott

  13. 5 out of 5

    Jeremy Huffer

  14. 5 out of 5

    Suzan

  15. 5 out of 5

    Ali

  16. 4 out of 5

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  17. 5 out of 5

    Mark Durfee

  18. 5 out of 5

    Ray

  19. 5 out of 5

    Melliebear

  20. 5 out of 5

    D.A. Gray

  21. 5 out of 5

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  22. 5 out of 5

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  23. 4 out of 5

    Jen

  24. 4 out of 5

    Wyatt

  25. 4 out of 5

    russell mccarson

  26. 5 out of 5

    Thomas Neil

  27. 5 out of 5

    Boris

  28. 5 out of 5

    C. Patrick

  29. 4 out of 5

    Nripesh Pradhan

  30. 4 out of 5

    Anbird

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