In This Review

Perilous Options: Special Operations as an Instrument of U.S. Foreign Policy
Perilous Options: Special Operations as an Instrument of U.S. Foreign Policy
By Lucien S. Vandenbroucke
Oxford University Press, 1993, 247 pp

A commendable study of four attempts by the United States to use the coup de main as a tool of foreign policy. The four episodes examined the Bay of Pigs, the Son Tay raid, the Mayaguez rescue and the Desert One fiasco all left a bad taste in the mouths of the statesmen who ordered them. Vandenbroucke offers prescriptions for presidents who wish to use these kinds of operations and lets them know what they are getting themselves in for. Readers interested in the case studies, however, may set aside the didactic concluding chapter and content themselves with four well-researched cases.