Monday, July 20, 2009

How The Mighty Have Fallen

I'm most of the way through Piers Mackesy's The War For America - 1775-1783, the seminal account of the British (mis)conduct of the Revolutionary War. (I know, I need to get a life.) The big takeaway is that egocentric cabinet ministers and military leaders botched an already complex effort despite having the best navy in the world and a not bad army, both of which were in tatters by war's end. Mackesy's book popped up in the course of reading The Gamble, Thomas Ricks' gripping account of how the Surge in Iraq succeeded militarily despite egocentric government officials and military leaders who had botched an already complex effort . . . okay, you get the idea.

Ricks notes that The War For America has been required reading for many a Marine officer when they get their orders for the Mess in Mesopotamia, and takes things further still at his blog, The Best Defense, in two posts about the parlous state of the U.K.'s armed forces. If the Brits are the Yanks' greatest ally, then this state of affairs is great cause for concern.
Photograph by Wilkins Lee/Flickr

No comments: