Christopher Preble on the Myth of a Better War

Faulty history lures Americans into foolish interventions


Credit: Gian Gentile

Christopher Preble reviews Wrong Turn: America's Deadly Embrace of Counterinsurgency, by Colonel Gian Gentile. Gentile's object is equally clear: "to drive a stake through the heart of the notion that counterinsurgency has worked in the past and will therefore work in the future." Specifically, he challenges the widely accepted idea that America's counterinsurgency wars-in Vietnam, Iraq, and now Afghanistan-"were made better simply by enlightened generals and improved tactics."