Analogies At War: Korea, Munich, Dien Bien Phu, And The Vietnam Decisions Of 1965

In This Review

Analogies At War: Korea, Munich, Dien Bien Phu, And The Vietnam Decisions Of 1965

By Yuen Foong Khong
Princeton University Press, 1992
286 pp. $39.95
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Khong's interviews and newly declassified documents make a compelling case that American decision-makers in 1965 used historical analogies not only to justify decisions but to make them, most notably in the process of rejecting options. He commends the techniques for probing analogies suggested by Ernest May and Richard Neustadt in their path-breaking Thinking in Time (reviewed in Foreign Affairs, Summer 1986) but argues that the "focus on techniques diverts attention from the more fundamental psychological processes at work."