The Case Against Military Intervention: Why We Do It and Why It Fails, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

The Case Against Military Intervention

Why We Do It and Why It Fails, 1st Edition

By Donald M. Snow


192 pages | 1 B/W Illus.

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Since World War II, military intervention in developing world internal conflicts (DWIC) has become the primary form of U.S. military activity, and these interventions have proven unsuccessful in places like Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan. This book argues such failure was entirely predictable, even inevitable, due both to the nature and dynamics of foreign military intrusion in the affairs of other countries and especially the DWICs that provide the major contemporary form of potential U.S. military in the foreseeable future. Basing its analysis in both human nature (the adverse reaction to prolonged outsider intrusion) and historical analogy, the book argues strongly why military intervention should be avoided as a national security option and the implications of such a policy decision for national security strategy and policy.


"In opposition to the Washington consensus on national security, Snow argues convincingly that the U.S. is wedged into a counterproductive world-wide military presence driven by a proclivity for military intervention. This book will have unique resonance with a generation for whom resistance to the Vietnam War was the only humanitarian position--and who have since the 1990s witnessed military intervention become a cornerstone of foreign policy."

– Kenneth Keulman, Loyola University

"For more than a century, the world has been shaped by American military interventions. They have set off some of today's most intractable crises. This book is a welcome call to consider whether these interventions really serve US interests."

– Stephen Kinzer, Brown University

Table of Contents

SELECTED CONTENTS: Introduction 1. Setting the Table: The Phenomenon of Intervention 2. The Transition: What Happened to our World of Violence? 3. The Interventionist Age 4. Modern Mayhem: The American Experience in Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan 5. Sticking your Guns in Other People’s Business 6. Defying Einstein: Repetition and Results 7. The Way Ahead

About the Author

Donald M. Snow is professor emeritus of political science at the University of Alabama, where he specialized in international relations, national security, and foreign policy. He has also served as visiting professor at the U.S. Air, Army, and Naval War Colleges and the U.S. Air Command and Staff College. He is the author or co-author of over 50 books and monographs on IR, national security, and foreign policy topics.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
POLITICAL SCIENCE / International Relations / General