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A thrilling story of the Cold War, told by a former navy secretary on the basis of recently declassified documents.
When Ronald Reagan took office in 1981, the United States and NATO were losing the Cold War. The USSR had superiority in conventional weapons and manpower in Europe, and had embarked on a construction programme to gain naval pre-eminence. But Reagan had a plan.
Reagan pushed Congress to build the navy back to its 1945 strength. He gathered a circle of experienced naval planners, including the author, to devise an aggressive strategy. New radars, sensors and emissions technology would make ghosts of US submarines and surface fleets. They would operate aircraft carriers in Arctic waters which no navy had attempted. The Soviets, surrounded by their forward naval strategy, bankrupted their economy trying to keep pace. It wasn’t long before the Berlin Wall fell and the USSR was disbanded.
“In the 1992 film "A Few Good Men," a furious Col. Nathan R. Jessep exclaimed to his courtroom tormentors - Navy Officers - words that are actually true regarding almost all civilians in this age of complex professional military establishments configured for myriad and rapidly evolving threats: "You have no idea how to defend a nation." Lehman's book is a rare window into that world, and a validation of the axiom that if you want peace, prepare for war. ” — George F. Will, The Washington Post
“Based upon meticulous research and newly declassified documents, Lehman’s fresh account has the grip of a well-crafted adventure novel. His perspective is uniquely authoritative: he was a key architect of American strategy, a crucial figure in its execution, and an active participant as a qualified naval aviator. A must-read.” — Senator John McCain
“Lehman's words are essential to understanding the Navy's role and performance during the Cold War and its contribution to the downfall of the Soviet Union.” — Seapower Magazine