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Oceans Ventured - Winning the Cold War at Sea

John Lehman

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£22.00
 
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This book does have some flaws – for example in some places I’d have liked to have seen more details and explanations of the policies put in place, but Lehman has over sixty years of Cold War to narrate and those of us who lived through it will remember. Review by PB
To many young people it seems so long ago, but for those of us who lived through it The Cold War was a daily reminder of how hostile our relations were with the East. At sea there were deadly encounters both above and below the waves as East and West probed each other’s defences to see where soft targets could be found. The Cold War was won not by diplomacy but through spending - a lot of spending by the West. If you want to truly understand and comprehend the enormity of the undertaking to beat Russia then it is probably important to listen to the words spoken by some of the architects of the policy that made it possible. As Navy Secretary under President Ronald Reagan, John Lehman was at the forefront of a new approach to facing off the ‘Beast from the East’. This excellent book tells the story how, upon entering office in 1980, Reagan transformed the thinking of the American Administration which had for so long been content with keeping the status quo with the Russians. Reagan adopted a more gung-ho approach that many traditionalists in the US Senate and US Congress feared. Ultimately, as this book explains, Reagan’s policy of rebuilding the US military after dreadful cuts throughout the Carter Administration saw the country simply outspend their Russian counterparts whose economy simply could not compete with America’s. This book does have some flaws – for example in some places I’d have liked to have seen more details and explanations of the policies put in place, but Lehman has over sixty years of Cold War to narrate and those of us who lived through it will remember it was an extremely complex and interesting time to be alive. Highly recommended. (Posted on 07/03/2019)

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