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tv   Book TV After Words  CSPAN  June 29, 2013 10:00pm-11:01pm EDT

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send us an upnext after words with guest host kimberly. the founder for the institute of the study of war. victor davis hanson and the "the savior generals: how five commanders saved wars that were lost -- from ancient greece to iraq." profiles five generals that he says single handedly turned around wars that they were losing. the program is about an hour.
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>> host: congratulations. >> guest: thank you. i'm glad i wrote it. a little dpimpt than past books. i'm excited it's finally done. >> host: tell me, how to you define a savior general? >> guest: ambiguous. they not only save things to save something has to be lost to begin with. savior would be -- means that it should be saved. whether it's great generals, we're not sure they should saved they should have done. i was trying to do two things. generals nut a position where they didn't go too good. and the cause was worth saving. >> host: tell me a little bit about what inspired you to write a book about savior generals at
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this moment in time and history. >> guest: we had these -- 19th century genre. great captain and generals. we read about napoleon and wellington, and supposed to dispel lessons from the why wasn't napoleon about to do it. we have the antithesis, the very popular 20th century who were the worst generals, we don't really look at situations in which generals prevailed, but whether we look at strategy or tact tactics they were put in unenviable positions. especially in societies where the public opinion and the bureaucracy or the elected was given up on the war so to speak. i wanted to find people throughout history who should not have won and were not responsible for the bleak
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situation they inherited. they sal vaffed it. they saved it. >> host: i would love go back and talk more about those great captains and genre of history. i would like that hear a little bit more about those you choose to write about. >> guest: it was hard to do. everybody asked me that question curtis saved the b29 campaign. george patent saved the american army after north africa. we can go on and on. i was looking particularly at situations that had chronological sweep. athens, all the way to david petraeus and the surge. i was looking for things that were pessimistic. i think we could have won without patent. i don't think, you take away domestically and burned out greece to occupy the greeks would have fought or without
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they would not have recovered much of the western part roman empire. i don't think there was a union general alive who could have taken atlanta at the cost we took it very small cost compared to what was going on in virginia and i don't know anybody who could have done what matthew ridgeway. i wish i could say there were american generals. two or one, that it what david petraeus did. i was trying to look at unique individual chronologically that try to remind us even the here toic, era of high-tech, the human qualities remain across time and space. >> host: few historians would dispute that some of the people you select were indeed saviors of the country. i think you have used a great example, undoubtly the greek
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city-states. but they might argue with some of the other choices such as ridgeway. because the original strategic outcome in korea were not actually achieved. so how do you respond? >> guest: i think that criticism would be vailed for all five of them. they're not winners, they say the situation for lose or win. and for example, domestically save the greek cause he didn't win the war. he was almost immediately forgotten and up to the spartans the next year. and at the hype of the powers, he was relieved, put on trial. died a blind beggar, in a traditional sense. as you point out with ridgeway, hef there 100 days and made strategic choice not to go across the 38th parallel. he defended it, in a very strange way. he said the american people were
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with arthur. drk macarthur. as soon as the chinese crossed it we had a great bugout that first time that word got currency and turned on him. now they are vying me. if i go back up to the north with the same logistical strategic tactical situation that macarthur faced, they will turn on me because they are not willing to sustain this type of war this long. in retrospect you look at the threat of north korea today, we can question ridgeway's judgment, but he felt at the time the nation was not in a political frame of mind to support what would be needed to crush the north koreas and the chinese north of the 38th parallel. the same thing is true with iraq. david pee petraeus, i think saved the american cause in iraq. he left it to others whether they were going to take that legacy, that inheritance, and
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leave residual force and make sure it became a consensual society like in the '40s and 50 u. i don't think necessarily tarnishes his achievement. . >> host: i would love to go back to your discussion about ridgeway making a judgment and a calculation. >> guest: yes. >> host: that is in fact strategic perhaps strategic. its importance not in just operational decisions to the north. but something so moment titus as this. one of the important components of the united and the way it's democratic system is organized is a degree of civilian control over the military, and a perception indeed a responsibility for civilian leaders to make such decisions. how do you evaluate ridgeway's decision making about something as sensitive as popular
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support? and figuring that to his operational calculations? >> guest: ridgeway would answer that say i got back to the 38th parallel at the time when i arrived 100 days earlier people wanted to evacuate. and seoul was lost again. people have given up on the war. the public support was less than it was for say iraq in 2006. his way of thinking, he allowed the possible to happen. he got back to the 38th -- he got a little bit north of the 38th parallel. he gave his appraise l and waited for the civilian response. it was the collective decision of harry truman and the joint chief. later the general said we should have. ringway with a demotion and a relief of macarthur he became theater commander in tokyo. we had the war for two more years, and the stalemate. anybody at that time, dwight
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horizon hour saidlet break it and go across the 38. they didn't. ridgeway later as he reflected back on this career he said it's not fair political capital me -- i should have crossed it and gone to china when i saved it. i saved it for you guys. you were the civilian overseers. then the next 24 months you decided not to go something that was against my advice. you took my advice. years later you are criticizing me what i say you should i should have done. so it was -- even the honor of the civilian relationship. he made it clear in a number of essays that while he liked douglas macarthur personally and respected his military acumen, he was in heir because he jeopardized it. >> host: i would love to hear a little bit more about that tension, and that support
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between the leaders of the state that you discuss, and the commanders that you discuss. is that kind of -- is it the support from the leadership of a country necessary to have the savior general? >> guest: it is. it's very controversial. these are generals who come in at the 11th hour when the policy of the state and usually the commander in chief, president or emperor, whoever the political system has in charge. it's a referendum something is wrong. if david petraeus takes control of the surge people say why did he go there in the first place. if ridgeway is in we're going to lose seoul for the third time. people say what is truman doing. why go we have to take atlanta and take ridgeman and end the war. they are a. referendum on failed civilian policy. that makes them suspect because
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they do very well slierman after he takes atlanta september 2nd. he's almost a god. everybody hates grant. and no need to say mention david petraeus. as soon as he comes back out of iraq in late 2008, people are suggesting the "the wall street journal" he should get five stars he's a presidential candidate of in the presidential primary he's being mentioned. he's not interested. he has higher ratings they in other candidate. it they are definition political
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generals. they have 1/2 navigate toward being independent. and people resent me for being successful if i increase to the point people are talking about me in savior. it's tricky and don't usually end up well. it's hard to navigate the attention. >> host: talk about the tension in the slightly different political system of the later roman everyone pyre -- empire. >> guest: it was a nominal one. there were courts and it wasn't quite a head their -- even after his end that was it. the em prior was picked by noble aristocrat and some limitation on the power. he's the most authoritarian.
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his relationship was bizarre. they each had married a controversial high powered women. though door in and tonya. their relationship, they were both latin and native speakers. they women that were very powerful. as long as those things that dynamism was there, he could get away with being a guy who safed the eastern front, the guy that got rid of the vandal in a matter of weeks. the man who retook sizely. -- sicily. the man on the way to the northern italian border. once the formula started to break down, he pulled away the the door died. there was a tension and suddenly became a threat to the em prior and recalled at the hype of the power. he was put in exile for ten years, he was brought out to save the capital a rogue
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attack. but he was always suspect because he was more popular and a magnanimous political figure in a age people were not. he was highly popular among them so to speak. >> host: do you think this is naturally the case that the savior general will always perhapses be more popular than the elected appointed leaders? >> guest: yes, absolutely. more popular for a moment. there was a key moment somewhere maybe in early 2008 where petraeus i think the most popular man in the united. surely more popular than his predecessors. much more popular than george bush. but that glory is fading because there is an untenable situation where the success in the immediate, as i said, unfavorable referendum everybody
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before them, and yet they have certain personality qualities an ambitions, visions that make them suspect by the peers. there is sort of, you know, a 19th century western figure we see in 20th century film whether it's "high noon ." ethan edwards magnificent seven. we bring the people in and they are kind of suspect figures. we all them to do something to get rid of the cattlemen and save them. after it's over it's better than ethan edwards walks out the door. it's better that high noon -- will cain takes the badge and throw it is down. whether we like it or not, they didn't end well. domestically the suicide twenty years later in service of the enemy that tried to destroy greece. the popular tradition went as a beggar on the street. humiliated bit emperor.
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sherman was called crazy. he was trying to defend what he did. an effective way. he was not popular like grant. poor matthew ridgeway was not made chairman of the joint chief. eisenhower wrote a memoir where he said ridgeway didn't take seoul, south korea that van fleet did. how e visive can you be? he live to be 97. he got involved people read it and finished right after the election and said david petraeus ended up happy and everything went well. he had some problems. and there seems to be a profile the people are controversial, and after their signature achievement, it's hard to sustain that or that the society is ambiguous attendant.
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>> the signature achievement is obviously extremely interesting and challenging. perhaps you could tell us a little bit more about how it is or indeed what traits some of these had that made them able to go in to a situation that needed seething and actually have courage and imagination to do so. >> guest: i think u of all of the ingredients that the personality traits, the education, criteria, all of that, one signature personality trait, it seems to me, they were imknown public opinion. they were almost suspect. when everybody says athens is lost and join the spartans and give up greece is distrustful with consensus. the same thing when said eastern
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collapsed or when they tell sherman lincoln is not going to the election. whether you like it or not he's going to be president and so you better adjust. or people tell ridgeway it's time to go back and settle things down. get everybody out. they are at the 38th parallel. take them back. or with petraeus in iraq, even the iraq sunni group said it was hopeless, basically. they had the idea that i don't trust what most people say. and b. with they are very, i guess they do their homework. they are me tick louse students. their strategy of not just saving the particular war but a vision, petraeus had a vision of something called -- you know better than i do that transcended iraq. we're going to be in a time and space in the 21st century we have to have a different tactic. ridgeway was an author of the radical docket. not radical now, but believe me
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after 1946 people said we don't need a marine corps. we don't need carrier. there will be no more conventional weapons. they'll automatically induce a nuclear response. we said no. they are going to be messy and dirty. we better get a doctrine of how to confront communism. he was here say at the time. the same thing with sherman i'm going it attack the plantations and attack the infrastructure. these are the 3% that caused the war, and makes no moral sense to me to kill the 97% who don't own slaves northern virginia when i go deep in the georgia and hue hue mailuate. that was a radical docket rain. with domestically it was see power, imperialism, power in the poor of at athens from the state. they were i guess revolutionary and beyond that sense there were
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king students that were very well spoken and read sherman's written communication. we know that david pee try -- petraeus ph.d. same thing with ridgeway. they were not auto didactic. they were often formal students. they spoke and communicated we. they wrote well.
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the great savior generals and the characteristics they have. is it not the -- that they talk about. are they not the same traits that are required of or experienced in brilliant general such as alexander the great or julius caesar? i think they are a different type of general than them. i'm not suggesting they look at a particular battle at that battle and see a larger theater. at that theater they see a larger strategic situation. they have a political ambition this is a particular problem. and it's fundamental for my society to be resolved. most people have given up. most people have no deep beliefs. they simply respond to winners, the people winning their war. people are losing against it. and that clouds peoples'
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judgment. i'm going look at this and zero in on it and look at the situation empirically and use my speaking writing ability, my leadership quality to turn it around. they look at empirically and say you know what? if i'm matthew ridgeway and the chinese came 400 miles all the way down to seoul and panicking, we went 400 miles up to china. we got the trouble. they are sumpmen ridgeway is saying we went too far. and too close to the chinese border. they are in the same situation we were three months ago. we're going do to them what they did to us. they immune from these. but i don't their strategic thinkers, necessarily. if you ask ridgeway where do you want to go after korea, or does korea save berlin. this vision you in iraq with
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replicated in afghanistan or in syria? they have a droct rein people can bill on the philosophy. i don't think they are necessarily interested in a sustained military career of a type of grant or george patton or something. >> it's interest you should mention grant. one of the things i want to ask you is why sherman and not grant. >> guest: yes. i'll be controversial here. >> host: please. >> guest: after vixes berg and gettysburg everybody thought the north was going win after six months of july 1863. they defeated robert e. lee. the war drags on. they bring grant to the willard hotel in washington in march of 1864. he tells lincoln i'm going go to ridge monday and they are taking over. he's going go to atlantic.
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twoprgs. the war will be over maybe in a month or so. then the unexpected happened. it's close to washington, atlanta is longer from tennessee. richmond has good transportation and roads. atlanta in the so-called winderness of the georgia pine woods. grant gets near richmond then we have a names that today makes shuddered. if you look at the army that leaves in may of 1864 and look in september, almost 80% is killed, wounded or missing. and the reputation of grant has changed. and people -- mary todd lincoln is calling him a butcher, a murder. you get the impression it's a more difficult past to fight bobby lee in front of richmond he's done something not politically sustainable. suddenly so you john c. fremont
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on the left, and he's said lynn -- lincoln shouldn't be nominated. except "new york times," perhaps, all of the newspapers turn on lincoln. he asks for the resignation of the cabinet. all the sudden general mckell less than comes back on the democratic side and said wanted it and got closer than grant. i lost fewer people. and i have to do it by not losing the army of the west. i can't suffer the type of
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everything is topsy turvy. he wanted to allow the south have a slavery. sherman is a man of the hour. lincoln is going to be reelected by a near landslide in a few weeks. and does an interesting thing. when people are calling grant a butcher that ruined it, sherman basically says no, this was planned all along. he was going go directly and wear down the confederate and the famous whoever said it if anybody. and i was going to go around the plank. i had one way of fighting. grant had another. they would lost the election of 1866 and we would have had a negotiated settlement. by saving the election for lynn cob, he saved the nation in a
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way that whether it was fair or not, grant had almost lost with the blood bath for that terrible . they both fought and got different lessons. sherman was surprised and looked at shy low, that blood bath, more people killed than all the battles that the americans fought up to the date and said to him, i'm not going fight something like this again. it grant said, we're going to bring people across the tennessee river. more manpower. the next day we're going to outnumber. we have better organization, are better supply. it's true. they did. his lesson, i think was the union has more manpower and you have to finds the enemy, target, and crush him. after he took that direction and -- sherman took another direction. sherman fought like grand grant and headed straight for atlanta in a series of battles and joe
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johnson offered those. we would not have a union like today. >> one of the things that some of these generals includinger isman and grant -- sherman and grant and truly general petraeus have in common is a willingness not give up in the face of the common or popular perception that things are lost. how is it that kind of tenacity is cultivated by people who have such broad education. who have such military experience encountered such awful things on the battle field. grg yes. it's hard to know whether it's part of the agree nettic
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makeup. one of the things i notice on two occasions i went to iraqi talked to general peanut try -- pee tray yous it's not sustainable. the man is sleeping three or four hours a night if that. later he had a health issues, i thought no one has that tenacity no one has that physical endurance. this was something unusual about him. getting up at 3:00 in the morning and going to bed. not all jrps can do that. what he had to don't eastern front. same thing. you get the first thing that comes across my mind physically some politicians it just pervious to a lack of lack of sleep or food. excellent physical condition. they have a sense i paid my dues. i was in the shadows i didn't get maybe what i deserved.
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i think david petraeus by any fair measure should have been extreme commander earlier than he was. the surge was necessary. it could have come a year or two earlier. if there have been justice in the world. the same thing was true of sherman. i think that he was elevated rapidly. he was not tbifn a fair chance prior to that because of his problems. i think they get a idea i have one chance and only one chance. ridgeway never thought he would be given the chance. i'm prepared. i waited my whole life. i'm in better shape. better educated. you watch what i'm going to do. time almost becomes secondary. they are in warp speed. and for a brief moment, i don't think it's sustainable they are the man of the hour. after their moment passes, and they save the situation, they let the diplomat or the joint
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chief or the general staff deal with their victory in a they is either stupid or smart. >> host: so as you take a look at that -- that kind of extraordinary save, i mean, really extraordinary change of fortunes for a political leadership as well as a military force. what do the save jour generals do to help their military force actually achieve their vision and turn the tide in the way they think can be -- >> guest: i think across time and space there's a continuity. there's a paradigm one of the first things they do, they feel that the generals are separated from their soldier in the field. ridgeway called it old iron tits if i can say that. he puts a grenade here and get
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in the front and said i want warm food, winter uniform. any general not willing to be up at the front go, leave. and he restores the morale of the soldiers. petraeus if the same thing. he was indies ting wishbled he was out all the time with the soldiers. they called sherman uncle billy. there was many ante-dote they didn't believe he was the general of the army. they thought he was a private or like grant in that sense. they were one with the soldier. they cared about the the daily needs. people almost immediately called sherman uncle billy. the name was earned in georgia. that was one thing. the second is they had to remind the people why they were there. when we say save jour general we believe lost war, unpopular wars, wars not clearly defined.
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sherman said whether you like it or not, we have to go down. the people asked for the war. i'm going make it ceremony use. i'm going make georgia educate, et. people were it was the first time we had a won a war. it was a resolution. the first major engagement they authorized. they were confused that congress doesn't say it's a war. the u.n. said it's as soon as ridge way got there he said these are the talking points. he a manifesto he gave to every soldier. i'm here legally because the president of the united states as a toobility authorize the war. i'm here internationally because you approved it. i'm in a corp. legislation. i'm here morally because we gave to the south korean people.
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i'm here to stop whether we think it's silly or not. if we stop it here they won't take berlin and go to western europe. it galvanized people. when you add it together. here is a man you can see every day with us sharing the same risk. here is a man that thinks he can win. here is a man that tells us why question win. here is a man cares about us to make sure we're well fed and clothed well and gets people around. that's another thing i try to emphasize i don't know where they came from. i don't think we have seen a brilliant array of colonel. there was twenty of them. the same thing with ridgeway he brought in a group of people who thought we can win a conventional war without going nuclear. sherman had a wonderful staff. much better than grant's. i think those are the leadership qualities that we kind of forget about because of high-tech now
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or therapeutic age. they are pay makes them obsolete. i'm a little worried. you perhaps know more than i do. it seems that four of the most dynamic 19th century generals we had in the last thirty years, general petraeus, general allen, or general mccrystal are not thriving. we're not using their talent in a military confection for reason other than the battle field ethics. whatever it is, we didn't maintain the use of their talent in a time when we need them. that scares me. i think there has to be room in the military especially for contraryism and savior general
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typeset. >> host: tell me a little bit more about how that kind of independence of thought and determination was cultivated in some of these men's careers. certainly had the privilege of working general pretray yous and give a clear vision, present a clear idea of what it is that he believes needs to be established. a vision of how to do it. but also a vision of independence. and that independence of thought is something that should be tolerated within a military force. >> guest: i think all of us, at some point in our career, find we hate brick wall. we encourage it or people are out to get it. whatever true or not or imagined
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or real. it depends how we react to that. one of the most common and the majority react by let me mend fens and let me do the necessary atonement. let me get back to the bureaucracy. but all of these people -- sherman had a complete mental breakdown. his wife saved him by write letter. he was given a shot again. it was the recovery moment. ridgeway got on the wrong side of everybody. even though he was a world war ii hero, three greatest the bulge of normandy. what i'm getting at all of the people at some point was in a crurks where people didn't like them. i don't know why david petraeus -- when we needed him was brought back to kansas and worked on the coin man yule. i think you can could have made the argument we needed him there. i know, people are influential in other ways. we needed him there are were people who were suspicious of
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him there. yet reacted in a different way. it was like he bided his time. he thought if i'm going to be back in the united states and i'm going to use the time to asemiable group, formulate my thoughts. when i go back. i don't think he wouldn't go back. i think when ridgeway was sitting as vice deputy chief of staff of army and after the glorious world war ii and shunned aside. he was writing memos how to fight a war in a place like korea. finally people said, bring that guy over here. he has crazy ideas we have to fight in a nonnuclear fashion in a place like korea. bring him over. he was ready when he got there. he was at the cocktail party and said have you ever been to korea? no. i've never tbon korea and japan. they said go. he did. sherman had a idea if i have a chance. i have an idea of making total water on the infrastructure of the enemy and the class society and honor society. a society of cavalier.
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i know, how to humiliate it. i can humiliate it in a way that is -- to the cause. they have an idea that i don't know if it's narcissistic. they feel they are transcending this situation at hand. they'll get their shot. only one shot. one window of opportunity. they make the most of it. >> host: as we think about studying save jour general savior generals and reading about it. i think it is important to ask why study generals and generals in this seize ?ri >> guest: that's a good question. we have two different view of human nature i call the tragic and therapeutic. it's set that increase diet or brain chemistry drugs that can change our way of thinking.
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they are minor to the fact that we are what we were 2500 years ago. we have the same -- there's a thing as victory and defeat. there's a thing of deterrence and license. the other group of people that believe with greater education, food, sensitivity, health care, whatever we can change the nature of man. i think that latter view, whether it's the league of nations or the united nations the attempts throughout history to say we created a man, a new man, a soviet man, a italian fascist man, a national socialist man, a european union man, now he's immune from the pressures and appetite in the past. and war has to be redefined or outlawed. 200 something conflict-resolutions programs. i don't think there's any record of success so we study the past because it keeps telling us there's a small number of people
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absolutely no good. when they goat prevision of power they'll take things that are not logical. you can't explain it's not in their interest to take a piece of land. two bald head men fighting other a comb. it makes no sense. you like that tell them they are worthless. they are rocky. they are about as valuable as a piece of, you know, -- he didn't need it. he surely needed it for matter of press teeing and emotion. that's what wars are fought over. they are illogical. they continue dosh don't make sometimes. they are presented by deterrence, alliance, balance of power. convincing somebody not to do that. you'll pay a high price. and the general who see that and the methodology of defeating, humiliate and re--
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rehabilitating a military are timeless. >> host: that tells me a little bit why to study military history because it ised in the nature of human beings and of states to fight. why study general rather than other people? >> guest: well, i studied -- i have written about the average person. what it was like to fight. how culture determines the way people fight or not fight. but the fact of the matter is i get older i understand that the miefned -- mind of one person can gate lot of people killed and saved. if you are alexander the great, and you're outnumbered five to one, you have a force -- you win that battle because one
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person's mind. take alexander away and you lose. if you a persian and five to ten times more. you'll be killed that day. somebody on your side doesn't have the mind of alexander the great. there a lot of iraqis aleve today. we forget that because of david petraeus. whether he wasn't there. the personality, intelligence, take him out of the equation, and i don't think that cornels would have -- i know there are people like yourself and others that were responsible for him to be there. but take him out of the equation -- take matthew ridgeway out of the equation. i'm afraid we would lost korea. it's not true in every war. but the particular places where planets line up. one man, one rare man can gate lot of people killed or saved. >> host: the leadership becomes an important quality because human beings respond to other human human beings and
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human nature. >> guest: they make people think they can do things they otherwise don't think they can. i think that's important. >> host: when we study generals and think back to the 19th century studies and early 20s. very often can look at the authors who wrote books like that. and say they are engaged in hero worship. ..
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>> you have very astute appointments like education and although he was gifted something to the effect every betty you he was the best educated and the smartest and he knew they he was that created a lot of the envy. so i understood it takes a
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lot of confidence to think if you just let the coming in and clean up the mess. we shall say that the ridgway is basically saying everybody else curvet up i will give united states the second chance petraeus never said that the when he took that position that he will clean up the mess or we are through. either we get the borders secure or it will be losing story. you did not cause the problem we don't say it is down in defeat. >> host: general's are great but they can only appear so what are your
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thoughts of how to avoid to get into such a mess in the first place? >> with david petraeus or matthew ridgway? i think syria is a good example should be preempt the area will happen with japan in china or vice versa? in a constitutional society predicate it on wet 58% of the people want it is very incumbent for a leader to tell people if you sign on to go into iraq or into korea or vietnam, whoever is going to win will have ups and downs in it will not be as easy as rethink. things will happen we did not anticipate and if you prepare the public and tell
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them we don't have to be perfect ethically to be good but with the greatest growl and conviction i think it is essentials but the with the intervention we say we will do this and oil will pay for it ended three weeks we're out and the taliban is gone. of those critical moments we need leaders to say this is the beginning and not the and in real expect a lot of bad things to happen. for what churchill said or fdr, there would always prep the public to save these people could turn on us with any moment so i will prepare myself not to get too exuberant but he said he was
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a genius at a leadership because they got very excited and he knew how to call the down to say it is not over until it's over. >> host: with that kind of situation or a crisis, you focus a lot on public opinion to be the center of gravity. a raises questions while i was talking to you that is a successful failure fundamentally nothing? >> it is. not only in central society we have this conversation in june 1940 in germany we could not find a german if
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we had this in 1945 did march lead had changed? the ideology? no. but the reason was the success in the same thing is out there lincoln was the hero july 1963 and lincoln did not change. but what happens is we think people are ideological or they have deep-seated convictions but as i get older that is 20%. most people want to identify with the winner and distance themselves from the loser. i think people have to understand. one of the things i really appreciated watching this id action he was the only one
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that could depreciate and ridgway although vendors to the political situation by protect the likes of sandy she and i should not be called to have the suspension of disbelief. i should not have to put up with general petraeus these things happen in a society. has routines the battlefield? there is no more general petraeus. and also mature enough to say i have contempt for you people. probably privately but that is why petraeus was the iraq
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victory that it was also a brilliant diplomat. even though they were appointed by bush and the same thing with ridgway. they said most people will not do what i want to do in most will not take the job and most don't give a whit about korea. they just want us to win and they did not feel good so they are so humiliated and that is my job to ensure that we win and don't lose but it'll have confidence of human nature with that sense >> host: critique of the general's you have given us lots of reasons why they are extraordinary human beings and lessons how they came to be in the circumstances that they worked and the character of history that
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helped them but not only were they not perfect human beings because they were not necessarily perfect general's how good you critique these extraordinary exemplars? >> he had went up but there was certain things he was not good at one was an infantry battle to leave a large expedition on his own or even in a joint command he was very weak with alliances he was lucky devils and defended the spartans and they could defer to him but that was not a sustainable mentality. the antithesis of eisenhower that is why he disappeared
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he did not figure in all in the battle that was a real drawback. i think in some sense dallas irs was naive that when there was dissension about the emperor we want you to takeover in he is going to die you can do the wonderful things politically but he deferred because he was loyal to the emperor but he deferred in such a way it could be interpreted so he put itself into a vulnerable position he did the realize victory causes in the and jealousy said he was the even the political extents that got him exiled that he was not a viable but sherman his problem was he did not understand the role of the media or the reporters from
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new york he said things that would be reported and petraeus never would have said i would like to hang back reporter because it would only create problems but matthew ridgway was very strange if the sense that he understood the bureaucracy the pentagon work but not quite that the joint chiefs in the people that were his superiors were there for a reason that omar bradley wes sober injudicious thinker and talker this so is george marshall in dwight d. eisenhower and their research in areas to stop the 58 parallel of had to fight a conventional war he thought he could appeal to
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reason or the merits of the argument rather than the political instincts he did not care about being liked and he suffered for it he would have been valuable a few more years in the military but was alienated from the discourse because of that. but david petraeus fought he could navigate through the impossible political situation with the senate and bush at 32% and everybody umbel sides will honor him and he did that successfully i think that explains why he took the unenviable task in afghanistan willing to do trade positions with the general and came back but from a historical point of view you could tell there
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were larger forces at work like politics with the political residents of petraeus that would conspire in the way i am not sure he appreciated or wanted to but i think it's some point although they are a good survivalist they're not quite sure how fame and attention and jealousy and envy interactive that is one reason why. >> concept is extraordinarily interesting and i really enjoyed reading the book it was quite readable with a phenomenal characters and being forced to think about history in the brief moments we have left what is next?
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>> the end of golfing this war is armageddon and there are so many wars that why is there a third war when there is not of force? what gives the romans to say that is enough? we will not defeat the aztecs but obliterate them and burn down the cities in japan. i am looking at for five cases that explains how war evolves into something beyond a conflict that i think in the case of the future we looked at with a nuclear iran that it is the end of all things. >> host: did you for your contribution for your military history. >> thank you for having me
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