Military Review English Edition September-October 2014 - Page 121

BOOK REVIEWS In reference to the above paragraph (and to play on the book’s title), I believe “the lieutenant [clearly] don’t know.” Clement has crafted a memoir which may not be glamorous as some, but is highly readable and informative. His angst that his volume may not appeal to readers is clearly unfounded. Without question, this is a volume which will be read and valued by many. In the following years, this will be a book sought out by those seeking an understanding the critical role of logistics in the war in Afghanistan and how the combat loggie adapted and met the incredible challenges the war presented. Rick Baillergeon, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas GREAT POWERS, SMALL WARS: Asymmetric Conflict Since 1945 Larisa Deriglazova, Woodrow Wilson Center Press/ Johns Hopkins University Press, Washington, D.C., 2014, 408 pages, $60.00 reat Powers, Small Wars is a well-researched, quantitative book that attempts to identify basic characteristics and variables between great powers and adversaries of lesser power to determine why the stronger power is defeated in war. The book utilizes various databases to determine the characteristics and variables used in the conflicts. The author provides two case studies: the dissolution of the British Empire after World War II and the U.S. War in Iraq, 2003-2011, to support her findings. The case study on Iraq will conjure up many thoughts among U.S. military professionals. Deriglazova is an associate professor of history and the chair of world politics at Tomsk State University in Siberia as well as a member of the International Relations Department and a former scholar in the Kennan-Fulbright Scholarship program at the Wilson Center in 2009. Deriglazova’s expertise lies in the field of Russian and Eurasian studies. The book focuses on systematically studying asymmetric conflicts using quantitative methods to explore reoccurring elements found in such conflicts. The underlying theme of the book is a critical analysis on how great powers lose their power by having to come to agreements with lesser powers on terms contrary to MILITARY REVIEW  September-October 2014 their interests at the start of conflicts. The findings are not new, but the statistics associated with the findings are relevant. For example, between 1800-2003, the stronger nation won these types of conflicts 71.5 percent of the time, between 1900-1949 the stronger nation won 65.1 percent of the time, and from 19501999 the stronger nation won 48.8 percent of the time. Statistics for the post-World War II period indicate that the great powers were willing to engage in asymmetric conflicts—the United Kingdom engaged in 14 conflicts, China in 11, the Soviet Union in eight, and the United States in 33—but the data also illustrate the inability of the great powers to achieve their stated goals and interest in over half the conflicts. Deriglazova identifies seven factors for the difficulty great powers had in achieving victory: loss of will by the great power, fatigue or unwillingness to expend more resources to achieve victory, inability to counter asymmetric tactics, public opinion turns against the greater power, political elections in the great power elect representatives who are unwilling to pursue the conflict, interference from outside or external nations or forces, and international condemnation of the conflict. The case studies are interesting and clearly articulate reasons why great powers have such great difficulty in achieving their desired end states. Money or cost of the war versus the benefit plays a significant role, as do domestic politics, and international attention on the war. The data provided by the author and the variables studied are relevant to the book and the methodology is sound. The problem for great powers will continue to be ways to achieve success in limited wars against unequal opponents to achieve their national interest. This book goes a long way toward identifying the problems associated with winning asymmetric conflicts, but it will be up to military planners to discover doctrine and practices to win these asymmetric conflicts in the future. Ken Miller, Platte City, Missouri 119