Naval War College Review


David Burbach


The notion that “democracies don’t fight one another” is well known, but recently some scholars have made a stronger claim—that when democracies do fight wars, their battlefield effective- ness is far greater than that of nonde- mocracies with comparable technology and training. Michael Desch challenges the supposed military prowess of democracies in his book Power and Military Effectiveness: The Fallacy of Democratic Triumphal- ism. Desch, a political scientist, holds the Robert M. Gates Chair in Intelli- gence and National Security Decision- Making at Texas A&M University and is an authority on civil-military relations.