Cover

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Frontmatter

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Contents

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Acknowledgments

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p. ix

I wish to thank the following people who helped me write this book: Donald Anderson, Joe Bageant, Celeste Burnum, Larry Goldstein, Belinda Gordon, Nancy Grayson, Mark Heberle, Richard Hyatt, Tim O'Brien, Andrea Porter, Steve Russell, Richard Summers, and the...

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Pax Americana

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pp. 1-9

As in my previous book, Late Thoughts on an Old War, American Wars, American Peace comprises a set of linked essays combining personal memory and cultural reflection. The starting point in...

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Top Gun and the Tank Driver

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pp. 10-22

Consider this essay a species of history. Actually, I insist—even as the dying from the catastrophic U.S. war in Iraq has gone on for so long that what I attempt to record here will never amount to anything...

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Sons and Fathers, Bad Wars and Good Wars

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pp. 23-32

My friend John, the wise and learned physician, never lived a day without knowing how completely he had been part of the generation of 1945. When asked throughout his life for a biographical...

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An Old GI Looks at Generation Kill

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pp. 33-55

"No lie, GI" as we used to say in the 199th Light Infantry Brigade near Xuan Loc back in the late 1960s. "There it is." If those sentences do not seem to say much now, neither did they speak to anyone outside the world of combat back then. Then or now, the only...

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Squad Leaders in the Sky

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pp. 56-77

This imaginary exchange will surely bring back memories for veterans of the Vietnam War who tried to function as small-unit commanders on the ground. Amid the daily work of...

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Home of the Infantry

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pp. 78-96

If an election were held to choose the Holy City of the United States Army, my guess is that Columbus,Georgia, would be the top vote-getter. Columbus is the home of Fort Benning. Fort Benning is the home of the...

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Hajis

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pp. 97-119

Hajis. This is the name our young military people use for the current enemy. Technically, a Haji is one who makes the Hajj: the pilgrimage, the journey to Mecca that Islam says every Muslim should make...

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What I Learned in the Green Machine

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pp. 120-127

Some months back, as an English faculty member at my university for three decades and an armored cavalry platoon leader thirty-five years ago in Vietnam, I accepted an invitation from the...

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Swindled by Saint Jack

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pp. 128-144

"The country made a terrible mistake last night." Thus I recall myself intoning, in some callow attempt at portentousness, to a jubilant high school classmate I still remember as the only person of my acquaintance...

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The Best and the Brightest, Only Dumber

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pp. 145-156

When the time comes to write some large, historically contextualized study of the people in positions of authority in America who gave us the Iraq War, I nominate my present title, imaging David...

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Hopeless in Honolulu

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pp. 157-166

Honolulu, late November 2005: keeping a steady but comfortable pace— that of an average, reasonably healthy, late-middle-aged person—I find I can walk fromWaikiki Beach to the top of Diamond...

A Note on Sources

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pp. 167-170