Summary Of Advice To War Presidents By Angelo M. Codevilla

Former U.S. Naval officer and Foreign Service officer, Mr. Angelo M. Codevilla’s book: Advice to War Presidents: A Remedial Course in Statecraft provides exemplary instruction in the art of war. Mr. Codevilla’s work seeks to inform future presidents on the matters of effective and purposeful warfare. He sees his work as important as he believes that currently world leaders see war as not a normal tool of statecraft but a curable disease, and that the citizens of every country deeply desire to live as Americans do.
Firstly, Mr. Codevilla believes that the commonly used terms mentioned when discussing war need to be defined. As he writes, “Calling things by their name, using words according to their ordinary meaning, anchors the mind to reality.
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Codevilla believes that it is required to highlight what the only true objective is in war. This objective is victory. As the great writer Douglas McArthur once said, “In war there is no substitute for victory”, so too does Mr. Codevilla argue. He says that thanks to classical literature war has been viewed as a bastion of glory and honor. While this might be true, it takes away from the chief purpose of war, which is to defeat one’s enemies. And why then, do we engage in the ugliness of war? Well, Mr. Codevilla proclaims, it is to establish peace. Ultimately, wars decide peace. He writes, “Peace and war are two sides of the same human coin. Failing to grasp that makes it impossible to understand the event that ends war and usher in peace, namely, victory: somebody eliminating the obstacles to his peace.” Thus war is serious and serves a distinct purpose. Mr. Codevilla laments that many leaders of 20th century America failed to recognize these truths. Instead they would often confuse war with actions like bombing, sending strike forces, killing, and occupying and building nations. He is upset that they did not understand what war truly is. “War,” Mr. Codevilla writes, “is a deadly contest for your …show more content…
Codevilla, war’s most important front is at home. If a country is defeated at home, it becomes massively harder to rebound. Thus, Mr. Codevilla sees defending the home front as the most important function of a country’s defense. “Securing the home front’s safety and cohesion…is arguably more vital than winning foreign battles.” That being said, it is considerably harder and has great chance of governmental error. Often, threatened governments will become over-zealous and infringe on the rights of their citizens indiscriminately. This can be very bad and not accomplish the needed objectives. Therefore, countries need to ensure that security is treated with the upmost importance. Indeed, internal security must be understood as a critical aspect of war. It shares similar problems and characteristics. “Just as there is no such thing as peace for all, there is no such thing as security for all.” Mr. Codevilla really drives home the concept of the importance of securing one’s country. However, he wants people to realize that securing America through police, locks, and preventive measures is near impossible. Never will all threats or possible attacks be prevented. That being said, there are suitable measures a country can take that will minimize potential catastrophic events. Often these actions will not be black and white; rather, people will have to realize that sacrifices will be needed in order to properly protect and defend one’s country. Sometimes, the line

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