In Anatomy of Failure: Why America Loses Every War It Starts, Harlan Ullman provides a fascinating blend of tactical analysis, personal memoir, and strategic assessment covering the past six decades of the American experience at war. Drawing on his own experiences as a decorated Vietnam War swift boat commander as well as his lifetime of strategic study, he tries to answer a question that has plagued policy-makers across the political spectrum since the end of World War II: Why does the United States keep losing wars?
If we are to believe the current suite of Washington rumors (and the attendant journalism), the presumptive nominees of both the Democratic and Republican parties have general officers on their sides. Recent Washington Post coverage of Donald Trump’s vice presidential shortlist mentioned retired U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Mike Flynn, the former Defense Intelligence Agency director and surprise guest star on This American Life’s “Serial” podcast. Similarly, in a recent New York Times Magazine feature, readers learned of numerous retired Army generals serving in an advisory capacity to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton: names like Gen. David Petraeus, Gen. Stanley McChrystal, and Adm. James Stavridis.