Our combat readiness to fight a conventional war is in freefall. This is the alarm sounded with clarity, authority, and conviction in Victory at Risk, a veteran Army officer and policymaker's deeply disturbing critique of today's U. S. military establishment. Major General Michael W. Davidson, a decorated combat veteran and one of our most distinguished Army commanders, describes an America in grave danger; a nation whose ability to bring peace and stability to trouble spots around the world has become seriously compromised as we have strayed from the bedrock sources of our past victories.
As General Davidson shows, the force that triumphed in Desert Storm was the muscular remnant of the Cold War military. But today's leaner military does not have the capacity to withstand misuse. A passionate and informed spokesman for the military, the general describes a Pentagon that does not work, a White House that has politicized decision-making, and a Congress that has abdicated its responsibility for declaring war on behalf of the American people. Drawing on the core lessons of the history of the United States, Davidson identifies the strengths that have brought victory and traces the path that has led us astray. He argues in plain and commanding terms that our readiness to win futures wars--against China, Pakistan, Iran, or any other threat around the world--requires a reconsideration not only of weapons and strategy, but also of the national interests and obligations that compel us to arms.