Using a recent book by Jeffrey Record as a point of departure, this essay considers the role of historical analogies in decisions by U.S. leaders to use force during the Cold War. The analogies considered by Record--those of Munich and Vietnam--may have had a bearing on some decisions, but it is often difficult to assess their relative weight compared to other critical variables. Moreover, several analogies not considered by Record--Pearl Harbor, for example--may have been far more salient during certain crises than the analogies he examines. In any case, we need a more systematic analysis of historical analogies than Record provides if we are to gauge the real influence and impact of historical analogies on the Cold War.


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pp. 64-68
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