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Paying the human costs of war : American public opinion and casualties in military conflicts / Christopher Gelpi, Peter D. Feaver, Jason Reifler.

By: Gelpi, Christopher, 1966-.
Contributor(s): Feaver, Peter | Reifler, Jason Aaron, 1972-.
Material type: TextTextPublisher: Princeton : Princeton University Press, [2009]Copyright date: ©2009Description: xiv, 289 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm.Content type: text Media type: unmediated Carrier type: volumeISBN: 9780691139029 (cloth : acid-free paper); 0691139024 (cloth : acid-free paper); 9780691139081 (pbk. : acid-free paper); 0691139083 (pbk. : acid-free paper).Report number: 2008937647Subject(s): United States -- Military policy -- Public opinion | War casualties -- United States -- Public opinion | War and society -- United States | Iraq War, 2003-2011 -- Public opinion | Public opinion -- United States | Battle casualties Public opinion History 20th century | Battle casualties Public opinion History 21st century | Public opinion United States History 20th century | Public opinion United States History 21st century | United States Military policyAdditional physical formats: Online version:: Paying the human costs of war.DDC classification: 355.02 Other classification: 15.87 | 7,26 | MG 70100
Contents:
Theories of American attitudes toward warfare -- America's tolerance for casualties, 1950-2006 -- Measuring individual attitudes toward military conflict -- Experimental evidence on attitudes toward military conflict -- Individual attitudes toward the Iraq War, 2003-2004 -- Iraq the vote: war and the presidential election of 2004 -- The sources and meaning of success in Iraq -- Conclusion.
Summary: The book finds that the most important consideration for the public is the expectation of success. If the public believes that a mission will succeed, the public will support it even if the costs are high. When the public does not expect the mission to succeed, even small costs will cause the withdrawal of support. Providing a wealth of new evidence about American attitudes toward military conflict, Paying the Human Costs of War offers insights into a controversial, timely, and ongoing national discussion.
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Item type Current location Call number Status Date due Barcode
Book University of Texas At Tyler
Stacks - 3rd Floor
UA23 .G545 2009 (Browse shelf) Available 0000001970938

Includes bibliographical references (pages 265-282) and index.

Theories of American attitudes toward warfare -- America's tolerance for casualties, 1950-2006 -- Measuring individual attitudes toward military conflict -- Experimental evidence on attitudes toward military conflict -- Individual attitudes toward the Iraq War, 2003-2004 -- Iraq the vote: war and the presidential election of 2004 -- The sources and meaning of success in Iraq -- Conclusion.

The book finds that the most important consideration for the public is the expectation of success. If the public believes that a mission will succeed, the public will support it even if the costs are high. When the public does not expect the mission to succeed, even small costs will cause the withdrawal of support. Providing a wealth of new evidence about American attitudes toward military conflict, Paying the Human Costs of War offers insights into a controversial, timely, and ongoing national discussion.

Reviews provided by Syndetics

CHOICE Review

Gelpi and Feaver (both, Duke Univ.), and Reifler (Georgia State Univ.) have produced a most fascinating volume on the human costs of waging war. They set out to understand under what conditions Americans would support their leaders' decisions to use military force. Their analysis of five military operations--Korea, Vietnam, Lebanon, Somalia, and Kosovo--indicates that the most important factor was the public's expectation that the military operation would be successful. This factor trumped all others--concern over casualties, stakes, costs (both human and financial), the trustworthiness of the administration, and the degree of public consensus on the foreign policy goal in question. Relying on nearly 9,000 surveys conducted between October 2003 and November 2004, this study demolishes the work done by John Mueller in War, Presidents, and Public Opinion (1973), which concluded that as casualties mount, public support drops correspondingly. This study also sought to answer the additional question of whether or not the US public would vote to reelect a president who had led the nation into a costly war. Their conclusion was that the public would vote to reelect if the initial decision to start the war was perceived to be correct. Well researched and thoughtfully written. Summing Up: Essential. General readers, all undergraduate students, and graduate students. W. K. Hall Bradley University

Author notes provided by Syndetics

Christopher Gelpi is professor of political science at Duke University. He is the author of The Power of Legitimacy (Princeton). Peter D. Feaver is the Alexander F. Hehmeyer Professor of Political Science and Public Policy at Duke University. From 2005 to 2007, he served as a special advisor on the National Security Council. Feaver and Gelpi are the coauthors of Choosing Your Battles (Princeton). Jason Reifler is assistant professor of political science at Georgia State University.

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