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BOOK REVIEWS 225 Wynia does provide insight into the incompetence and divisiveness ofthe military planners as well as their lack of preparedness for what is ostensibly their reason for existence, namely, protecting the national interest. Military officers, of all people, should know that if military adventurism is to be used to gain domestic support, the escapades must be successful. Junta leader General Leopoldo Galtieri and his associates used poor judgment in virtually every aspect of the invasion, from the actual decision to invade to the execution of the attack. The author then looks at the interaction among oligarchic factions and later, between the oligarchs, labor, and the military. Wynia observes a cyclical trend in Argentine politics, which was also noted by Rock. In essence, economic conditions determine who has the strongest voice in policy at a given time. The elites may tolerate a few years of populist policies that sought to redistribute wealth, but once inflation rises and investment drops, elites push for military intervention and subsequently introduce policies that are more growth-oriented. In the final chapter Wynia follows the rise of current President Raúl Alfonsm and his stunning victory in the election of 1983. He then analyzes — and praises strongly— Alfonsfn's management of the economic and political disaster he inherited from the military. Although the long-term results of his economic policies are as yet unknown, the political shrewdness he demonstrated in achieving their adoption as well as his tactful conduct of the trials of military leaders accused of human rights abuses show leadership abilities absent in Argentine leaders for many years. Alfonsfn's administrative ability and genuinely nonpartisan concern for Argentina make Wynia optimistic about the immediate prospects for democracy. This optimism is merited, but the resilience of democracy in Argentina will be severely tested when Alfonsm leaves office in 1989. At this time no promising successor to Alfonsm has emerged. The major illusion in Argentine politics is that a return to democracy is a panacea for all that ails the country; this is just not so. Wynia does not characterize the Argentine people as inherently antidemocratic (as some do) but rather as "maximizers" who are constantly trying to hedge their risks against the political and economic instability inherent in their system. It is largely their lack of confidence in compromise and democracy that causes Argentina's perennial instability. Shootdown: Flight 007 and the American Connection. By R.W. Johnson. New York: Viking Press, 1986. 335 pp. $18.95/cloth. The Target Is Destroyed. By Seymour Hersh. New York: Random House, 1986. 282 pp. $17.95/cloth. Reviewed by Michael Friend, M.A. candidate, SAIS. The controversy over the Soviet Union's destruction of Korean Air Lines flight 007 on 1 September 1983 is now well on its way to achieving equal status with "Who shot John F. Kennedy?" as the ultimate subject for flights of speculative ingenuity. R.W. Johnson's Shootdown and Seymour Hersh's The Target is Destroyed are, by one count, the fifth and sixth books in the 007 series, 226 SAIS REVIEW respectively, and if Hersh's book is not the equivalent of the single bullet theory, Johnson's work will tantalize anyone with a taste for conspiracy. In Shootdown, Johnson argues that the U.S. government, together with Korean Air Lines and (presumably) the Korean Central Intelligence Agency, arranged for flight 007 to penetrate Soviet airspace to act as a passive probe; this forced the Soviets to turn on their air defense systems, allowing U.S. listening stations and electronic intelligence aircraft to reap the benefits. Why send a civilian airliner? Because, says Johnson, the administration wished to avoid a U-2 incident and they did not think the Soviets would shoot at a civilian plane. The author is not deterred by the case of the 1978 shootdown of KAL flight 902, en route from Paris to Seoul, which apparently drifted off course near a major Soviet military base near Murmansk and was shot at and hit. More fortunate than flight 007, 902 managed a crash landing on a frozen lake in Karelia. Rather than ascribing the two incidents to mismanagement or poor pilot training, Johnson finds them highly...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1945-4724
Print ISSN
1945-4716
Pages
pp. 225-228
Launched on MUSE
2012-07-11
Open Access
No
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