In This Review

The Dangerous Doctrine: National Security And U.S. Foreign Policy
The Dangerous Doctrine: National Security And U.S. Foreign Policy
By Saul Landau
Westview Press, 1988, 201 pp.

If Gray's is a strategy from the right, Landau's is a critique from the left. His short chapters chronicle the emergence of the United States as a "national security state" in which policymakers, unwilling or unable to offer the public an honest choice between "imperialism and republicanism," used anticommunism to remove themselves "from the civilized precepts and limits imposed by both divine and natural law." The result was covert operations from Iran in 1953 to Oliver North; congressional investigations into these abuses ultimately sustained the credibility of the system, thus inadvertently laying the basis for the next abuse. Landau asserts rather than argues that the Soviet military threat is "fictitious." He would focus instead on the real threats at home-crime, drugs and poverty.