[Reading] ➺ The Specter of Munich: Reconsidering the Lessons of Appeasing Hitler Author Jeffrey Record – Ivogue.co.uk

The Specter of Munich: Reconsidering the Lessons of Appeasing Hitler No Historical Event Has Exerted Influence On America S Post World War II Use Of Military Force Than The Anglo French Appeasement Of Nazi Germany In The 1930s Informed By The Supposed Grand Lesson Of Munich Namely, That Capitulating To The Demands Of Aggressive Dictatorships Invites Further Aggression And Makes Inevitable A Larger War American Presidents From Harry Truman Through George W Bush Have Relied On The Munich Analogy Not Only To Interpret Perceived Security Threats But Also To Mobilize Public Opinion For Military Action.In The Specter Of Munich, Noted Defense Analyst Jeffrey Record Takes An Unconventional Look At A Disastrous Chapter In Western Diplomatic History After Identifying The Complex Considerations Behind The Anglo French Appeasement Of Hitler And The Reasons For The Policy S Failure, Record Disputes The Stock Thesis That Unchecked Aggression Always Invites Further Aggression He Proceeds To Identify Other Lessons Of The 1930s Relevant To Meeting Today S U.S Foreign Policy And Security Challenges Among Those Lessons Are The Severe Penalties That Foreign Policy Miscalculation Can Incur, The Constraints Of Public Opinion In A Modern Democracy, And The Virtue Of Consistency In Threatening And Using Force The Specter Of Munich Concludes That Though Today S Global Political, Military, And Economic Environment Differs Considerably From That Of The 1930s, The United States Is Making Some Of The Same Strategic Mistakes In Its War On Terrorism That The British And French Made In Their Attempts To Protect Themselves Against Nazi Germany Not The Least Of These Mistakes Is The Continued Reliance On The Specter Of Adolf Hitler To Interpret Today S Foreign Security Threats.

10 thoughts on “The Specter of Munich: Reconsidering the Lessons of Appeasing Hitler

  1. says:

    This is actually two books, in my opinion, and both are worth reading The first half opens with an explanation of how every US President since Truman except for Ford and Carter has brought up the appeasement argument to urge the American electorate towards war It makes for good politics, but Dr Record goes on to show that Munich in 1938 is not a good historical parallel for anything the US has faced since Munich 1938 Chamberlain, in short, had no global military running room by the time of the Munich conference, he writes He certainly had no means of defending Czechoslovakia or any other eastern European state not readily accessible by sea The French, who were also trying to hold onto far flung colonies, had a larger army than the Brits, but theirs was composed of conscripts and their mission was to hold the Maginot Line if attacked and to wait for Paris to mobilize and send reinforcements Record thus spends the first half of the book showing that both the principal powers negotiating with Hitler were not doing it from a position of strength and that the Nazis were going to start grabbing everything to the east anyway a plan laid it out in Mein Kampf a decade before Thus anytime one hears a US politico shouting the A word to push an agenda, one should whip out the scepticism immediately see Dr Record in the second half of the book then outlines Appeasement s Lessons for the US Today , looking at the geostrategic situation the US currentl...

  2. says:

    A very good examination of the Munich crisis of 1938, why it was sui generis, and what lessons it holds for today s policy makers and strategists Well written, tremendously researched and footnoted, and admirably pithy, it nevertheless leaves too many questions not addressed Mr Record, for example, fails to fault the mass media for engaging in its own versions of historical meta narratives and opinion mobilization Thus, for every saber rattling president warning of us of another Munich, there are at least as many in the media and academia warning us of another Vietnam, or now another Iraq One might conclude then that Mr Record was interested in bashing neoconservative intellectuals, whom he blames for the Iraq misadventure, than he was in providing analysis why American politicians and the newscasters reach for faulty historical analogies Fair enough to blame neoconservative ideology and associated leadership shortcomings in the upper reaches of the second Bush administration his critique is sound and justified , but Mr Record does not consider foreign policy realism of the sort he espouses as ideological in the same way, nor does he advertise realism s very real and obvious short comings Chief among those in the identification and protection of vital national interests before it is too late and too expensive in lives and treasure Mr Record was writing in 2006 so in fairness to him, it would be interesting to consider his analysis of the 2009 2014 era and an administratio...

  3. says:

    As this book documents, politicians since WWII have been drawn to use of the analogy of appeasing Hitler at Munich to justify military action around the globe But the analogy is a far weaker one than they represent it As Dr Record ...

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