I would recommend the first half of the book. As long as the topic is history and war from past centuries, the professor is very insightful. This is also the case when he talks about modern wars that did not involve the U.S. When it comes to wars the U.S. fought, the storyline is overly biased towards official U.S. political and military opinon and does not critically question motives and conduct.
The history of greek wars and up to and including the french revolution is great. The lessons are insightful and highlight well the development of warfare and it strategic and tactical conduct.
As soon as he comes to the role of the U.S., the class gets incredibly weak. His lesson on the Second Iraq war from a perspective of a "Just war" is a definite low point due to any missing criticality and an overly biased view in favor of official U.S. policy. Just a view examples.
1) He talks at length about the justification in light of the "Just War" theory that president Bush gave (several minutes), yet then fails to mention how questionable this all was in practice, especially with respect to the claimed W.M.D. He reiterates Bush's view that Iraq under Saddam Hussein was a threat to the U.S., yet makes no effort at all to look into this rather controversial claim.
2) He highlights how well U.S. soldiers treated the Iraqi population, which I believe is certainly true (especially as it has to be viewed in the light of a war situation), yet he fails to mention to torture scandal in Iraq.
3) In the rebuilding phase of Iraq, he says it is easy to criticize it, but does not elaborate further very much, certainly not on specific points that would be negative to the U.S.. Yet at the same time, he highlights that the U.S. did not ask for reparations from Iraq as a positive point (which is at least questionable given the justification of the war as intended to free the Iraqi people from tyranny and that in comparison to the U.S., they are very poor).
Conspicously absent is an in depth treatment of the Vietnam war. Vietnam is certainly treated in a lecture when it comes to the interplay of the political side and the military. But the ultimate reasons for the loss of the Iraq war and the lessons to be learned from it are only mentioned briefly.
Yes, but skip the more modern part.
Depth for the characters; less naivete - the whole starting point of all officers in the fleet looking hopeful to a guy who was in deep-freeze for decades is just not believable.The reactions of Geary after he wakes up are also one-dimensional. And why the admiral put him in charge I have no idea - the given reason that he has "seniority" after being in deep-freeze for a hundred years is just laughable.The natural choice would have been the captain of the lead ship. But she doesn't really give the impression of a warrior with hundreds of soliders under her command.I can't say more - I stopped listening after an hour because it was just too painful.
Something from a different author.
Wish I hadn't bought it ...
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