In This Review
Operations Against Enemy Leaders

Operations Against Enemy Leaders

By Stephen Hosmer

Rand, 2001, 151 pp.

Hosmer is one of Rand's best analysts, a sober student of contemporary military affairs. This volume breaks little new ground, but it does document concisely and clearly the difficulty the United States has had in overthrowing or killing enemy leaders. Hosmer considers direct attacks, coups, rebellions, and invasion and comes to a gloomy conclusion: leadership attacks are difficult to pull off. And yet it is remarkable how many times the United States has done just that -- from Japanese Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto in 1943 to Panama's Manuel Noriega in 1989. Judging from the newspapers, it would appear that Hosmer will soon have more cases to consider.