All warfare is based on deception.
The two events that first got me interested in the subject area of this book were the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941, and the Gulf of Tonkin Incident in 1964. It struck me that while it appeared that in both cases the U.S. was not the aggressor, things might not actually have been the way they seemed. I suspected that the United States might have worked assiduously to set things up in such a way that the Japanese (in the former case) and the North Vietnamese (in the latter) looked like the "bad guys" so that the U.S. could adopt the role of "innocent victim." Looking at other wars in which the U.S. has become involved, I found incidents where similar maneuverings may have occurred, and it was about such wars that I have written.
Most countries, at least those that are a part of the civilized world, are likely to engage in similar behaviors. Among other things, it is a way to garner support from one's own populace and, indeed, from the rest of the world, if one is perceived as the victim rather than the aggressor. With respect to this dynamic, I have written only about the United States, not about the other countries, and I have written only about those wars in which such maneuverings appeared to have occurred, not about those wars (of which there are many) in which they haven't.† Relative to the wars that I have, in fact, written about, I present a very brief overview or synopsis, without a lot of detail, so that the reader at least can comprehend the context and become reasonably well-informed.††
I would like to take this opportunity to extend my gratitude to Cornelia Keener for her superb editing work and her ongoing support. Believe it or not, she actually knows how to make an editing session fun!
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