Never Again: Learning from America's Foreign Policy Failures

In This Review

Never Again: Learning from America's Foreign Policy Failures

By Earl C. Ravenal
Temple University Press, 1978
151 pp. $10.00
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A critique of four types of "lessons" being drawn from the Vietnam War: (1) the instrumental (we can launch successful interventions with better methods); (2) the proportional (costs should not be out of line with possible gains); (3) the consequential (we neglected domestic priorities); and (4) the fundamental (we were immoral or doomed by our institutions). The author's own preferred lessons are "strategic": intervention cannot succeed; we must pursue henceforth a policy of defensive disengagement. Ravenal is even less hopeful than Hoffmann.