Author(s): Kenneth J. Hagan
Most people think that wars end when hostilities cease and armistices and treaties are signed, but this is not the case. Wars the United States has fought may have ended formally, but in reality us military, political, and economic involvement in the 'defeated' country continued long afterwards, producing profound and unexpected consequences for both parties. Despite this repeated historical phenomenon, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld claimed at the beginning of the current Iraq War, 'The United States does not do nation building'. The authors of this book claim that, on the contrary, after most of the wars it has fought, occupation and nation building are precisely what the United States has done. In "Unintended Consequences: The United States at War", Ian J. Bickerton and Kenneth J. Hagan describe and analyse the unintended consequences of ten major wars fought by the United States, pointing out critical turning points in the conflicts and the remarkable similarity of dilemmas following the conclusion of hostilities.