John Lehman, a former U.S. Navy aviator, served as United States secretary of the navy from 1981 to 1987. From 2003 to 2004, he was a member of the 9/11 Commission. He lives in Bucks County, Pennsylvania.
In the 1992 film A Few Good Men, a furious Col. Nathan R. Jessep exclaimed to his courtroom tormentors-Navy Officers-words that are actually true regarding almost all civilians in this age of complex professional military establishments configured for myriad and rapidly evolving threats: You have no idea how to defend a nation. Lehman's book is a rare window into that world, and a validation of the axiom that if you want peace, prepare for war. -- George F. Will - The Washington Post Based upon meticulous research and newly declassified documents, Lehman's fresh account has the grip of a well-crafted adventure novel. His perspective is uniquely authoritative: he was a key architect of American strategy, a crucial figure in its execution, and an active participant as a qualified naval aviator. A must-read. -- Senator John McCain Lehman's words are essential to understanding the Navy's role and performance during the Cold War and its contribution to the downfall of the Soviet Union. -- Seapower Magazine