Between War and Peace by Col. Matthew Moten
How America Ends Its Wars

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Synopsis

An emperor bows abjectly before his conquerors on the deck of a battleship. As smoke yet rises from a bloody battlefield, a dejected general proffers his sword to his victorious opponent. Frock-coated ministers exchange red leather–bound treaty books in the Hall of Mirrors at Versailles. These are iconic images of war’s end, but even when they are historically accurate, they conceal more than they convey. Not all wars end decisively. Indeed, the endings of most wars are messy, complicated, inconclusive, and deeply intriguing. As the United States attempts to extricate itself from two long and costly wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, nothing could be more relevant than a look back at the ways America has ended its major conflicts in the past. It is a topic that has been curiously overlooked.

Edited and with an introduction by Col. Matthew Moten, a professor of history at West Point, Between War and Peace explores the endings of fourteen American wars, from the Revolution to the first Gulf War. Here, with incisive insight, narrative flourish, and strategic detail, some of America’s leading historians examine the progress of America’s wars: their initial aims—often quite different from their ends—their predominant strategies, their final campaigns, the painful journeys out of war, and the ramifications of the wars’ ends for the nation’s future.

This timely and important book confronts one of the most pressing issues of our time: how do we end conflict and how do we deal with the country we are leaving behind? As recent history has shown, an “exit strategy,” though it’s sometimes neglected, can be as important a piece of military strategy as any. Taken together, these essays break new historical and theoretical ground, building on our current understanding of America’s history in ways that few studies have done before.

A formidable enterprise of historical collaboration, Between War and Peace takes readers inside the climactic moments of America’s wars, offering a penetrating look at the past in hopes of illuminating future debates that will determine the nation’s course between war and peace.
 

About Col. Matthew Moten

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 Colonel Matthew Moten is professor and deputy head of the Department of History at the United States Military Academy.  A graduate of West Point, he has served in the U.S. Army for over twenty-seven years, including assignments in the Pentagon, Germany, Kuwait, and Iraq.  He specializes in the history of American political-military relations.  His recent publications include an essay entitled “A Broken Dialogue: Rumsfeld, Shinseki, and Civil-Military Tension,” in American Civil-Military Relations: The Soldier and the State in a New Era (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2009) and a short monograph entitled The Army Officer’s Professional Ethic—Past, Present and Future (Strategic Studies Institute, February 2010).  He is currently writing a history of American political-military relations.  Colonel Moten holds a doctorate in history from Rice University and is author of The Delafield Commission and the American Military Profession (Texas A&M Press, 2000).  He and his wife Margaret have two grown children, Stephanie and Marshall.
 
Published January 11, 2011 by Free Press. 384 pages
Genres: History, War. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Between War and Peace

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A set of essays devoted to the shadowy ground on which the guns have ceased their roar, but could resume it at any moment.

Dec 28 2010 | Read Full Review of Between War and Peace: How Am...

The Wall Street Journal

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Just as Mr. Iklé's book appeared while America grappled with an unsatisfactory war in Southeast Asia, so these recent books coincide with our continuing embroilment in prolonged wars in which military success has proved frustratingly elusive.

| Read Full Review of Between War and Peace: How Am...

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