This book is a collection of eight essays on politics and defense written over the past quarter of a century. What particularly unifies them is the distinction between the military and police (or punitive) uses of force and implication of each for preservation of moderate political practices and skill in the use of armed force. The various essays illustrate these conceptual points by examination of the Cuban missile crisis, the Vietnam War, U.S. nuclear strategy and current 'RMA' and counter-insurgency doctrines, among others. The essays collectively advance the view that even in the age of nuclear weapons and 'war amongst the people,' the punitive threat and use of armed force is incapable of maintaining control over a relatively equal force. It can only be effective where there is massive superiority of the means of armed force concentrated in one political authority. Also included is an article on Clausewitz by a senior army officer (the author's father) that supports the conceptual and practical distinction between the military and police uses of armed force.
Wendell John Coats, Jr. is Professor of Government at Connecticut College where he teaches ancient and modern political theory. He has also taught political theory and foreign/ defense policy at Kenyon College and the University of Colorado. He is the author of six previous books in political theory and politics, including A Theory of Republican Character (1994), Statesmanship (1995), Oakeshott and His Contemporaries (2001), and Political Theory and Practice (2003). In 1979 he worked as a legislative assistant in The U.S. House of Representatives and from 1969 to 1972 served as a company grade U.S. Army officer.
Chapter 1 1. Politics: Conditions and Characteristics (2007) Chapter 2 2. Armed Force and the Practice of Politics: Some Issues of the Early Twenty-First Century (2007) Chapter 3 3. Politics, the Political and Armed Force: An Alternative to Clausewitz, Weber and Schmitt (2006) Chapter 4 4. American Democracy and the Punitive Use of Force: Requiem for the McNamara Model (1988-89) Chapter 5 5. Accidental Nuclear War and Deterrence: The Two-Edged Sword (1983) Chapter 6 6. Armed Force and Republican Government (1983) Chapter 7 7. Armed Force and Political Liberty (1983) Chapter 8 8. Economic Reasoning and Military Strategy: Lessons of the Vietnam War Era (1984)