Which event better characterises British military interventions: the trauma of Suez or the triumph of the Falklands? This book, first published in 1984, examines these engagements and those of the intervening period to provide a sober and considered response to this question. The issues raised are central to the debate concerning Britain's defence capabilities and its role in world politics. The author argues that it is only under severely restricted conditions that Britain could reasonably expect a successful outcome from long-range military intervention. The constraints are not merely those of military capacity: public opinion also has its role to play. By analysing these conditions and the way they have influenced the outcomes of past interventions the author points the way to framing a practical and reasonable defence and foreign policy in the Third World.