Lyndon B. Johnson
The American way of war: It may surprise you
The American way of war: It may surprise you

"We must resist our dreams of managing history." —Reinhold Niebuhr, "The Irony of American History" (1952) When you study how the U.S. goes to war, there is a prevalent though not perfect pattern. The triggering event is often a sudden crisis that galvanizes popular opinion and becomes the immediate occasion for military intervention but subsequently is exposed as a misguided perception or outright fabrication. The Mexican War began when President Polk cited an attack on American troops in Texas — troops he had deliberately placed there to provoke Mexico. The Spanish American War began when President McKinley claimed that the battleship Maine had been blown up by Spanish saboteurs;...