Kagan has been a vigorous critic of the Bush Administration in both wars. In essays published elsewhere, he has shown that Rumsfeld’s approach to “transformation” makes military strategy more of a targeting drill than an attempt to impose a leader’s political will on an adversary. Further, the Administration’s approach to Iraq was to topple the regime of Saddam Hussein without giving serious consideration to the political fallout that would occur after the regime’s defeat.
Despite his criticisms, Kagan has been credited with influencing the Bush Administration on the idea of the Iraq “surge,” a strategy now showing promise as a solution to some of the problems brought about by the ideas of transformation. Whether one agrees with him on every detail, this work is a must-read for those interested in grappling with the whole transformation debate, and understanding how grand ideas on defense can have large implications in policy, especially as they play out in the War on Terror.