MICHAEL
C. DESCH
Research Interests and
Selected Publications
All Publications Public Affairs Commentary Curriculum Biography
Recent and
Unpublished Work
Conferences, Seminars
and Public Talks
Teaching Photos and Videos Contact

All Publications


Books


Purchase
Power and Military Effectiveness: The Fallacy of Democratic Triumphalism. (Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2008).



Purchase
Civilian Control of the Military: The Changing Security Environment. (Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1999) [Paperback edition, 2001].



Purchase
When the Third World Matters: Latin America and U.S. Grand Strategy. (Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1993).


Co-Authored Books


Purchase
Privileged and Confidential: The Secret History of the President’s Intelligence Advisory Board (Lexington, KY: University Press of Kentucky, 2012).




Edited Books

Soldiers in Cities: Military Operations on Urban Terrain (Carlisle, PA: U.S. Army War College, 2001) [editor and chapter author].

From Pirates to Drug Lords: The Post-Cold War Caribbean Security Environment (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1998) [edited with Jorge Domínguez and Andres Serbín]



Articles

“What Do Policymakers Want From Us? Results of a Survey of Current and Former Senior National Security Decision-makers,” International Studies Quarterly, Vol. 58, No. 4 (December 2014): [forthcoming].

“Democracy and Victory: Very Selective Effects," H-Diplo | ISSF Roundtable, Volume II, No. 12 (2011): 36-63. [PDF ]

“The More Things Change, the More They Stay the Same: The Liberal Tradition and Obama’s Counter-terrorism Policy,” PS: Political Science and Politics Vol. 43, No. 3 (July 2010): 425-29. [HTML ]

“America’s Liberal Illiberalism: The Ideological Origins of Overreaction in U.S. Foreign Policy,” International Security Vol. 32, No. 3 (Winter 2007/08): 7-43. [Portions reprinted as “The Liberal Roots of the American Empire” in Jocelyen Cesari, ed., Muslims in Europe and the United States After 9/11 (New York: Routledge, 2009), 88-115]. [PDF ]

“Bush and the Generals,” Foreign Affairs Vol. 86, No. 3 (May/June 2007): 97-108. [reprinted in Gideon Rose, et al Among Nations: Readings in International Relations (Boston: Pearson Custom Publishing, 2008) and Robert L. Taylor, William E. Rosenbach, and Erich Rosenbach, eds., Military Leadership: In Pursuit of Excellence [6th ed.](Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 2008). ][HTML ]

“The Myth of Abandonment: The Use and Abuse of the Holocaust Analogy,” Security Studies Vol. 15, No. 2 (January-March 2006): 106-45. [PDF ]

“Democracy and Victory: Why Regime Type Hardly Matters,” International Security Vol. 27, No. 2 (Fall 2002): 5-47. [Reprinted in Paul Diehl, ed. War (Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE, 2005)]. [HTML ]

“It Is Kind to Be Cruel: The Humanity of American Realism,” Review of International Studies Vol. 29, No. 4 (Summer 2003): 415-26. [PDF ]

“The Wartime Impact of Peacetime War Planning,” Joint Forces Quarterly Spring 2002, 94-104.

“Liberals, Neocons, and Realcons: The Politics of Humanitarian Intervention,” Orbis Vol. 46, No. 4 (Fall 2001): 519-33.

"Culture Clash: Assessing the Importance of Ideas in Security Studies," International Security Vol. 23, no. 1 (Summer 1998): 141-70. [PDF ]

"Soldiers, States, and Structures: The End of the Cold War and the Weakening of U.S. Civilian Control," Armed Forces and Society Vol. 24, no. 3 (Spring 1998): 385-406.

"War and Strong States, Peace and Weak States?" International Organization, Vol. 50, no. 2 (Spring 1996): 237-68. [PDF ]

"Why Realists Disagree About the Third World (and Why They Shouldn't)," Security Studies Vol 5, no. 3 (Spring 1996): 358-84. [Reprinted in Benjamin Frankel, ed. Realism: Restatements and Renewal (London: Frank Cass, 1995)]. [PDF ]

"Why the Soviet Military Supported Gorbachev But Why the Russian Military Might Only Support Yeltsin for a Price," Journal of Strategic Studies, Vol. 16, no. 4 (December 1993): 455-89. [PDF ]

"Bases for the Future: U.S. Post-Cold War Military Base Requirements in the Third World," Security Studies Vol. , no. 2 (Winter 1992/93): 201-24.

"'That Deep Mud in Cuba:' The Strategic Threat and U.S. Planning for a Conventional Response During the Missile Crisis," Security Studies, Vol. 1, no. 2 (Winter 1991): 317-51. [PDF ]

"The Keys that Lock Up the World: Identifying American Interests in the Periphery," International Security, Vol. 14, no. 1 (Summer 1989): 86-121. [PDF ]

"Turning the Caribbean Flank: SLOC Vulnerability During a European War," Survival, Vol. 29, no. 6 (November/December 1987): 528-551.



Chapters

“The President’s Intelligence Advisory Board” in Loch K. Johnson, ed., The Oxford Handbook of National Security Intelligence (New York: Oxford University Press, 2009), 172-88. [with Kenneth M. Absher and Roman Popadiuk]

“Liberalism and the New Definition of Existential Threat” in Oren Barak and Gabriel Sheffer, eds, Existential Threats and Civil-Security Relations (Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2009), 37-60.

“Hartz, Huntington, and the Liberal Tradition in America: The Clash With Military Realism” in Suzanne C. Nielsen and Don M. Snider, eds. American Civil-Military Relations: The Soldier and the State in the New Era (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2009), 91-111.

“Why MOUT Now?” in Michael C. Desch, ed., Soldiers in Cities: Military Operations on Urban Terrain (Carlisle, PA: Strategic Studies Institute, U.S. Army War College, 2001), 1-16.

“Explaining the Gap: Vietnam, the Republicanization of the South, and the End of the Mass Army” in Peter D. Feaver and Richard Kohn, eds, Soldiers and Civilians (Cambridge: MIT Press, 2001), 289-324.

“The Changing International Security Environment and Civil-Military Relations in Post-Cold War Southern Latin America” in Felipe Agüero and Jeffrey Stark, eds., Fault Lines of Democracy in Post-Transition Latin America (Miami: University Of Miami Press, 1998), 323-44.

"Why Latin America May Soon Miss the Cold War" in Jorge Domínguez, ed., Security, Peace and Democracy in Latin America and the Caribbean: Challenges for the Post-Cold War Era. (Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press,1998), 245-65. [Published in translation as “Por Que America Latina Puede Extañar La Guerra Fria: Estados Unidos y El Futuro de las Relaciones Interamericas de Sguridad” en Jorge Domínguez, ed., Seguridad Internacional, Paz y Democracia en el Cono Sur (Santiago: FLACSO - Chile, 1998), 189-221.

"Mission Matters" in Marc Plattner and Larry Diamond, eds., Civil-Military Relations and the Consolidation of Democracy. (Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1996), 12-29.

"U.S. Civil-Military Relations in a Changing International Order" in Don Snider and Miranda Carlton-Carew, eds., U.S. Civil-Military Relations: In Crisis or Transition? (Washington, DC: Center for Strategic and International Studies, 1995), 166-84.



Scholarly Correspondance and Exchanges

“Civilians, Soldiers, and the Iraq Surge Decision,” International Security Vol. 36, No. 3 (Winter 2011/12): 180-91. [HTML ]

“Benevolent Cant? Kant’s Liberal Imperialism,” The Review of Politics Vol. 73, No. 4 (Fall 2011): 649-56. [HTML ]

“Salute and Disobey? The Civil-Military Balance, Before Iraq and After,” Foreign Affairs Vol. 86, No. 5 (September/October 2007): 153-56. [HTML ]

“Abusing the Holocaust Analogy?” Security Studies Vol. 15, No. 4 (October- December 2006):713-17. [PDF ]

“Democratic Victory Reconsidered,” International Security Vol. 28, no. 1 (Summer 2003): 142-94. [HTML ]

“Isms and Schisms: Culturalism versus Realism in Security Studies,” International Security Vol. 24, no. 1 (Summer 1999): 156-80. [PDF ]

“A Historian’s Fallacies: A Reply to Bacevich,” Armed Forces and Society, Vol. 24, no. 4 (Summer 1998): 589-94. [PDF ]

"Is There a Logic of the West?" World Policy Journal, Vol. 11, No. 1 (March 1994): 120-22. [HTML ]



Scholarly Reviews and Review Essays

“Woodrow Wilson’s War,” The National Interest, No. 99 (January/February 2009): 97-96. [PDF ]

“Review of David M. Edelstein, Occupational Hazards: Success and Failure in Military Occupation,” Perspectives on Politics Vol6, No. 4 (December 2008): 864-5. [PDF ]

“Review of Harold James, The Roman Predicament: How the Rules of International Order Create the Politics of Empire,” The Independent Review, Vol. 12, No. 3 (Winter 2008): 459-62. [HTML ]

“Civil-Militarism: The Origins of the New American Militarism,” Orbis Vol. 50, No. 3 (Summer 2006): 573-82.

“Review of Lawrence Freedman, Deterrence,” Perspectives on Politics Vol. 3, No. 3 (September 2005): 685-86. [PDF ]

“A ‘Final Solution” to a Recurrent Tragedy?” Security Studies, Vol. 13, No. 3 (Spring 2004): 145-59. [PDF ]

“Campaigning in the Balkans,” Joint Forces Quarterly No. 31 (Summer 2002): 117-18. [HTML ]

"America's Wounded Warriors and the Lessons of Vietnam," Orbis Vol. 42, No. 3 (Summer 1998): 473-79. [PDF ]

"Review of Stephen Walt's Revolution and War," Mershon International Studies Review Vol. 41 (1997): 125-26.

"Isolationism Revisited: A Review of Eric Nordlinger's Isolationism Reconfigured," Centerpiece, Vol. 9, No. 3 (Autumn 1995): 2-3.

"The State and the Monopolization of International Violence -- A Review of Janice E. Thomson, Mercenaries, Pirates and Sovereigns," Mershon International Studies Review, Vol. 39, Sup. 1 (April 1995): 149-51. [PDF ]

"Guarding the Red Guardians: Thinking About Soviet and Russian Civil- Military Relations," Security Studies, Vol. 4, no. 1 (Autumn 1994): 181-89. [PDF ]

"Why Ordinary Men Commit Extraordinary Crimes: The German Military, the War on the Eastern Front, and the Final Solution," Security Studies Vol. 3, no. 2 (Winter 1993/94): 359-68. [PDF ]

"Review of Douglass Macdonald, Adventures in Chaos: American Intervention for Reform in the Third World" American Political Science Review Vol. 87, no. 3 (September 1993): 815. [PDF ]

"Review of Paul M. Kennedy, ed. Grand Strategies in War and Peace" Journal of Interdisciplinary History Vol. 23, no. 1 (Summer 1992): 213-15. [PDF ]

"Latin America and U.S. National Security: A Review Essay," Journal of Inter- American Studies and World Affairs, Vol. 31, no. 4 (Winter 1989): 209-223. [PDF ]

"Book Note [V. Ku'b'alakova and A.A. Cruickshank, Marxism and International Relations]," Ethics, Vol. 97, no. 2 (January 1987): 507-508.



Newspaper, Magazine, Blog Postings, Reviews, and Exchanges

“Neoconservatism Rebaptized,” The American Conservative, November/December 2013, 46-8. [HTML ]

“What comes next: Why secularism fooled me into thinking the two-state solution was likely,” Mondoweiss, November 6, 2013. [HTML ]

“What Do Policymakers Want from Academics?” The Monkey Cage/Washington Post, September 25, 2013. [HTML ]

“Rank Irrelevance: How Academia Lost Its Way,” Foreign Affairs.com, September 15, 2013. [HTML ]

“Kenneth Waltz and the Power of Pure Theory,” The National Interest.org, May15, 2013. [HTML ]

“A Foreign Policy of Humility and Restraint,” Notre Dame Magazine Winter 2012/13, 20. [HTML ]

“Haaretz undermines a foundational myth: FDR abandoned Europe’s Jews,” Mondoweiss, November 5, 2012. [HTML ]

“Bibi’s Chutzpah: The Israeli Prime Minister Crosses a Red Line,” Foreign Affairs.com, September 19, 2012. [HTML ]

“Exorcising George McGovern: How the GOP lost its foreign-policy advantage,” The American Conservative, August 2012, 89. [HTML ]

“Mr. President, Don’t Salute the Troops this 4th of July,” Foreign Policy.com, July 4, 2012. [HTML ]

“Why Hasn’t Jonathan Pollard Applied for Parole?” Mondoweiss, June 15, 2012. [HTML ]

“Inside The Ivory Tower,” Foreign Policy, Jan/Feb 2012. [HTML ]

“Why Netanyahu cuts deals with Hamas, not Fatah,” Mondoweiss, October 20, 2011. [HTML ]

“Mission Accomplished?” The American Conservative, July 2011, 10-11. [HTML ]

“Former head British spook says Israeli intelligence couldn’t be trusted,” Mondoweiss, April 1, 2011. [HTML ]

“Limited Liability Intervention,” The National Interest, March 14, 2011. [HTML ]

“The Importance of the Middle East Peace Process in U.S. Foreign Policy,” Big Think, March 8, 2011. [HTML ]

“The Liberal Complex,” The American Conservative, February 2011, 9-10. [HTML ]

“Turkey’s doing It Without the Fez On,” The National Interest, October 26, 2010. [HTML ]

“Why have the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan been so corrosive of civil-military relations?” Foreign Policy.com. October 18, 2010. [HTML ]

“A Third Lebanon War?,” al Adab, Vol. 58, Nos. 9-10, 49 (Fall 2010): [Interview in Arabic].

“It’s Not India,” Mondoweiss, July 10, 2010. [HTML ]

“The Myth of Israeli Strategic Genius,” Mondoweiss, June 4, 2010. [HTML ]

“Liberal Zionism, Oxymoron,” Mondoweiss, May 27, 2010. [HTML ]

“Response to Scott McConnell, ‘Politics is a Matter of the Heart, Which is Why the BDS Social Movement is Important,’” Mondoweiss, May 10, 2010. [HTML ]

“Desch: Bloom Misses the Historical Shift in Antisemitism,”Mondoweiss, May 9. 2010. [HTML ]

“Divestment Diversion,” The American Conservative, June 2010, 37-39. [HTML ]

“Obama and His General,” Foreign Affairs.com, October 27, 2009. [HTML ]

“A Necessary War Taken to Unnecessary Extremes,” Peace Policy, October 1, 2009. [HTML ]

“Getting on Board: How an Obscure Panel Could Fix the U.S. Intelligence Community,” (with Kenneth Michael Absher, Michael C. Desch, and Roman Popadiuk), Foreign Affairs.com, September 19, 2009. [HTML ]

“Apocalypse Not,” The American Conservative, May 18, 2009, 6-8. [HTML ]

“Professor Smith Goes to Washington,” Notre Dame Magazine, Vol. 38, No 1 (Spring 2009): 48-51. [HTML ]

“Do the Troops Love Obama or Hate Him?”Foreign Policy.com, March 25, 2009. [HTML ]

“Remembering Samuel Huntington,” The American Conservative, January 26, 2009, 25-26. [HTML ]

“What Should Have Been Said to AIPAC,” The Chicago Tribune, June 11, 2008, 23. [HTML ]

“Israel’s Lawyers,” The American Conservative, May 5, 2008, 29-30. [HTML ]

“Declaring Forever War,” The American Conservative, January 4, 2008. [HTML ]

“Containing the Bush Doctrine,” The American Conservative, July 16, 2007, 30- 32. [PDF ]

“Listen to My Generals,” San Diego Union-Tribune, May 3, 2007. [HTML ]

“Le Défi de la Guerre Urbaine: Quelques Leçons,” Technologie & Armement (Février-Mars 2007): 34-5.

“Real Kantian,” The American Conservative, February 26, 2007, 32-34. [PDF ]

“Critics of Israel Deserve a Debate, Not Demonization,” The Australian, February 8, 2007, 24. [HTML ]

“Operation Rescue: Old Guard Returns,” The American Conservative, December 18, 2006, 8-10.

“Why Further Withdrawals by Israel Make Most Sense,” Houston Chronicle, August 25, 2006, B9. [HTML ]

“Prophets in Their Own Land,” The American Conservative, June 19, 2006, 19-23. [HTML ]

“Dershowitz v. Desch,” The American Conservative, January 16, 2006, 7-8. [PDF ]

“The Chutzpah of Alan Dershowitz,” The American Conservative, December 5, 2005, 30-33.

“George ‘Wilson’ Bush,” The American Conservative, November 21, 2005, 23-25.

“Sharansky’s Double Standard,” The American Conservative, March 28, 2005, 7- 11. [HTML ]

“Folly in Exporting Liberty,” The Australian, January 25, 2005, 24. [HTML ]

“What Would Strauss Do?” The American Conservative, January 17, 2005, 29- 31. [HTML ]

“Ending the Israel-Palestine Stalemate Will Strengthen U.S. National Security,” The Economist paid advertisement with 39 other signatories, January 1st - 7th, 2005, 8. [HTML ]

“The Peace That Failed,” The American Conservative, November 8, 2004, 27-30. [HTML ]

“Abusing the Holocaust,” The American Conservative, April 12, 2004, 21-27. [HTML ]

“Is America in Danger of Too Much Democracy?” Louisville Courier-Journal, July 27, 2003, I5.

“Ominous Precedent,” The American Conservative, May 5, 2003, 8-11. [HTML ]

“Woodward Explores the Shifting Views of ‘Bush at War,’” Louisville Courier-Journal, January 19, 2003, I5.

“Know Thy Enemy,” The American Conservative, December 16, 2002, 20-21. [HTML ]

“Is the Best Case Good Enough?” Louisville Courier-Journal, December 4, 2002.

“Bush Heading Into Costly War Unnecessary for U.S. Security,” Lexington Herald-Leader, September 30, 2002.

“Forging a Policy for a Free Russia,” Louisville Courier-Journal, ?, 2002.

“Palestinian State is No Threat,” Louisville Courier-Journal, May 31, 2002.

“Globalization is Good for State’s Economy,” Lexington Herald-Leader, January 7, 2002, A7 (with Eugene Gholz)

“Let’s Stick with the Northern Alliance,” Louisville Courier-Journal, November 16, 2001.

“We Can’t Ignore the Rest of the World,” Lexington Herald-Leader, September 26, 2001, A11.

“Liberals and Nukes,” The New Republic, Issues 4,365 and 4,366 (September 14 and 21, 1998), 8.

"Yeltsin Paid a Price to Enforce Democracy," The Christian Science Monitor, November 5, 1993, 19.

"History Warns That Fighting in Bosnia Would be Quagmire," The Christian Science Monitor, February 9, 1993, 19.

"Keep the Generals at Ease," The Christian Science Monitor, June 11, 1991, 18.