Dr. Richard Betts’s latest book, American Force: Dangers, Delusions and Dilemmas, in National Security, will be made available tomorrow from Columbia University Press. The work, a collection of essays by Dr. Betts, takes on the assumption – which Dr. Betts believes has been shared by administrations from both parties – that the United States’ military forces can be used as a cheap means of promoting American values internationally. Dr. Betts reviews post-Cold War U.S. military policy, reviewing both previous uses of American force and speculating on the rise of China and Russia. Ultimately, Dr. Betts argues, greater restraint is needed in the use of the United States’ military to solve foreign policy issues.

Some opinions on the book:

“In twelve detailed, well-written, and insightful chapters, American Force does a masterful job analyzing all of the important issues that have arisen during the conduct of post–World War II United States national security policy. This book is a must-read for policymakers and analysts trying to comprehend the current threats to U.S. security and develop effective and efficient responses to them.”
— Lawrence J. Korb, assistant secretary of defense and senior fellow, Center for American Progress

“In this distillation of a career spent on careful study of America’s use of military power, Richard K. Betts provides a good, strong dose of skepticism. A practical man, remarkably free of ideological cant, Betts has mixed a fine antidote to strategic conceits, a healthy and humbling aid to good judgment.”
— Philip Zelikow, counselor, U.S. State Department, and staff director of the 9/11 Commission

“Richard K. Betts has long been one of America’s smartest, sanest, and most knowledgeable scholars on national security affairs. American Force distills his considerable wisdom and offers incisive and clear-eyed analyses of the main security issues that United States leaders now face. If those who aspire to be commander-in-chief (and those who hope to advise him or her) could be required to read one book, this should be it.”
— Stephen Walt, Harvard Kennedy School

“Highly recommended for aficionados of foreign-policy and national-security issues.”
Kirkus Reviews

“Richard K. Betts offers fresh thinking about where America stands in the world in the early twenty-first century and how this nation can move forward most sensibly in the defense of its territory and global interests. In short, this is an outstanding effort. There is no other book quite like it.”
— Loch K. Johnson, University of Georgia

The Columbia University Press webpage on this book is here.

This book is available from Amazon.