"Can anyone remember a public official with the courage to confess error and explain where he and his country went wrong? This is what Robert McNamara does in this brave, honest, honorable, and altogether compelling book."—Arthur Schlesinger, Jr.
Written twenty years after the end of the Vietnam War, former Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara's controversial memoir answers the lingering questions that surround this disastrous episode in American history.
With unprecedented candor and drawing on a wealth of newly declassified documents, McNamara reveals the fatal misassumptions behind our involvement in Vietnam. Keenly observed and dramatically written, In Retrospect possesses the urgency and poignancy that mark the very best histories—and the unsparing candor that is the trademark of the greatest personal memoirs.
Includes a preface written by McNamara for the paperback edition.
Within hours of 9/11, America’s war on terrorism fell to those like the twenty-three Marines of the First Recon Battalion, the first generation dispatched into open-ended combat since Vietnam. They were a new pop-culture breed of American warrior unrecognizable to their forebears—soldiers raised on hip hop, video games and The Real World. Cocky, brave, headstrong, wary and mostly unprepared for the physical, emotional and moral horrors ahead, the “First Suicide Battalion” would spearhead the blitzkrieg on Iraq, and fight against the hardest resistance Saddam had to offer.
Hailed as “one of the best books to come out of the Iraq war”(Financial Times), Generation Kill is the funny, frightening, and profane firsthand account of these remarkable men, of the personal toll of victory, and of the randomness, brutality and camaraderie of a new American War.
Hit by near-daily mortars, gunfire, and roadside bomb attacks, suffering from a particularly heavy death toll, and enduring a chronic breakdown in leadership, members of one Black Heart platoon—1st Platoon, Bravo Company, 1st Battalion—descended, over their year-long tour of duty, into a tailspin of poor discipline, substance abuse, and brutality.
Four 1st Platoon soldiers would perpetrate one of the most heinous war crimes U.S. forces have committed during the Iraq War—the rape of a fourteen-year-old Iraqi girl and the cold-blooded execution of her and her family. Three other 1st Platoon soldiers would be overrun at a remote outpost—one killed immediately and two taken from the scene, their mutilated corpses found days later booby-trapped with explosives.
Black Hearts is an unflinching account of the epic, tragic deployment of 1st Platoon. Drawing on hundreds of hours of in-depth interviews with Black Heart soldiers and first-hand reporting from the Triangle of Death, Black Hearts is a timeless story about men in combat and the fragility of character in the savage crucible of warfare. But it is also a timely warning of new dangers emerging in the way American soldiers are led on the battlefields of the twenty-first century.
From the Hardcover edition.
In Chosen Soldier, Dick Couch—a former Navy SEAL widely admired for his books about SEAL training and operations—offers an unprecedented view of the training of the Army Special Forces warrior. Each year, several thousand enlisted men and several hundred officers volunteer for Special Forces training; less than a quarter of those who apply will complete the course. Chosen Soldier spells out in fascinating detail the arduous regimen these men undergo—the demanding selection process and grueling field exercises, the high-level technical training and intensive language courses, and the simulated battle problems that test everything from how well they gather operational intelligence to their skills at negotiating with volatile, often hostile, local leaders.
Green Berets are expected to be deadly in combat, yes, but their responsibilities go far beyond those of other Special Operations fighters; they’re taught to operate in foreign cultures, often behind enemy lines; to recruit, train, and lead local forces; to gather intelligence in hostile territory; to forge bonds across languages and cultures. They must not only be experts in such fields as explosives, communications, engineering, and field medicine, but also be able to teach those skills to others. Each and every Green Beret must function as tactical combat leader, negotiator, teacher, drill sergeant, and diplomat.
These tasks require more than just physical prowess; they require a unique mix of character, intelligence, language skills, and—most of all—adaptability. It’s no wonder that the Green Berets’ training regimen is known as the hardest in the world. Drawing on his unprecedented access to the closed world of Army Special Forces training, Dick Couch paints a vivid, intimate portrait of these extraordinary men and the process that forges America’s smartest, most versatile, and most valuable fighting force.
From the Hardcover edition.
The documentary will air on PBS's American Experience on January 10th.
A myth-shattering exposé of America’s nuclear weapons
Famed investigative journalist Eric Schlosser digs deep to uncover secrets about the management of America’s nuclear arsenal. A groundbreaking account of accidents, near misses, extraordinary heroism, and technological breakthroughs, Command and Control explores the dilemma that has existed since the dawn of the nuclear age: How do you deploy weapons of mass destruction without being destroyed by them? That question has never been resolved—and Schlosser reveals how the combination of human fallibility and technological complexity still poses a grave risk to mankind. While the harms of global warming increasingly dominate the news, the equally dangerous yet more immediate threat of nuclear weapons has been largely forgotten.
Written with the vibrancy of a first-rate thriller, Command and Control interweaves the minute-by-minute story of an accident at a nuclear missile silo in rural Arkansas with a historical narrative that spans more than fifty years. It depicts the urgent effort by American scientists, policy makers, and military officers to ensure that nuclear weapons can’t be stolen, sabotaged, used without permission, or detonated inadvertently. Schlosser also looks at the Cold War from a new perspective, offering history from the ground up, telling the stories of bomber pilots, missile commanders, maintenance crews, and other ordinary servicemen who risked their lives to avert a nuclear holocaust. At the heart of the book lies the struggle, amid the rolling hills and small farms of Damascus, Arkansas, to prevent the explosion of a ballistic missile carrying the most powerful nuclear warhead ever built by the United States.
Drawing on recently declassified documents and interviews with people who designed and routinely handled nuclear weapons, Command and Control takes readers into a terrifying but fascinating world that, until now, has been largely hidden from view. Through the details of a single accident, Schlosser illustrates how an unlikely event can become unavoidable, how small risks can have terrible consequences, and how the most brilliant minds in the nation can only provide us with an illusion of control. Audacious, gripping, and unforgettable, Command and Control is a tour de force of investigative journalism, an eye-opening look at the dangers of America’s nuclear age.
Written with bracing wit and intelligence, Rachel Maddow's Drift argues that we've drifted away from America's original ideals and become a nation weirdly at peace with perpetual war. To understand how we've arrived at such a dangerous place, Maddow takes us from the Vietnam War to today's war in Afghanistan, along the way exploring Reagan's radical presidency, the disturbing rise of executive authority, the gradual outsourcing of our war-making capabilities to private companies, the plummeting percentage of American families whose children fight our constant wars for us, and even the changing fortunes of G.I. Joe. Ultimately, she shows us just how much we stand to lose by allowing the scope of American military power to overpower our political discourse.
Sensible yet provocative, dead serious yet seriously funny, Drift will reinvigorate a "loud and jangly" political debate about our vast and confounding national security state.
training in the world.
What does it take to become a Navy SEAL? What makes talented, intelligent young men volunteer for physical punishment, cold water, and days without sleep? In The Warrior Elite, former Navy SEAL Dick Couch documents the process that transforms young men into warriors. SEAL training is the distillation of the human spirit, a tradition-bound ordeal that seeks to find men with character, courage, and the burning desire to win at all costs, men who would rather die than quit.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
We are on the cusp of a massive shift in military technology that threatens to make real the stuff of I, Robot and The Terminator. Blending historical evidence with interviews of an amazing cast of characters, Singer shows how technology is changing not just how wars are fought, but also the politics, economics, laws, and the ethics that surround war itself. Travelling from the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan to modern-day "skunk works" in the midst of suburbia, Wired for War will tantalise a wide readership, from military buffs to policy wonks to gearheads.
Pulitzer Prize winner C.J. Chivers’ unvarnished account of modern combat, told through the eyes of the fighters who have waged America’s longest wars.
More than 2.7 million Americans have served in Afghanistan or Iraq since September 11, 2001. C.J. Chivers reported from both wars from their beginnings. The Fighters vividly conveys the physical and emotional experience of war as lived by six combatants: a fighter pilot, a corpsman, a scout helicopter pilot, a grunt, an infantry officer, and a Special Forces sergeant.
Chivers captures their courage, commitment, sense of purpose, and ultimately their suffering, frustration, and moral confusion as new enemies arise and invasions give way to counterinsurgency duties for which American forces were often not prepared.
The Fighters is a tour de force, a portrait of modern warfare that parts from slogans to do for American troops what Stephen Ambrose did for the G.I.s of World War II and Michael Herr for the grunts in Vietnam. Told with the empathy and understanding of an author who is himself an infantry veteran, The Fighters presents the long arc of two wars.
Corporal Dunham was on patrol near the Syrian border, on April 14, 2004, when a black-clad Iraqi leaped out of a car and grabbed him around his neck. Fighting hand-to-hand in the dirt, Dunham saw his attacker drop a grenade and made the instantaneous decision to place his own helmet over the explosive in the hope of containing the blast and protecting his men. When the smoke cleared, Dunham’s helmet was in shreds, and the corporal lay face down in his own blood. The Marines beside him were seriously wounded. Dunham was subsequently nominated for the Congressional Medal of Honor, the nation’ s highest award for military valor.
Phillips’s minute-by-minute chronicle of the chaotic fighting that raged throughout the area and culminated in Dunham’s injury provides a grunt’s-eye view of war as it’s being fought today—fear, confusion, bravery, and suffering set against a brotherhood forged in combat. His account of Dunham’s eight-day journey home and of his parents’ heartrending reunion with their son powerfully illustrates the cold brutality of war and the fragile humanity of those who fight it. Dunham leaves an indelible mark upon all who know his story, from the doctors and nurses who treat him, to the readers of the original Wall Street Journal article that told of his singular act of valor.
One of the Washington Post Book World's 10 Best Books of the Year
One of Time's 10 Best Books of the Year
USA Today's Nonfiction Book of the Year
A New York Times Notable Book
The definitive account of the American military's tragic experience in Iraq
Fiasco is a masterful reckoning with the planning and execution of the American military invasion and occupation of Iraq through mid-2006, now with a postscript on recent developments. Ricks draws on the exclusive cooperation of an extraordinary number of American personnel, including more than one hundred senior officers, and access to more than 30,000 pages of official documents, many of them never before made public. Tragically, it is an undeniable account—explosive, shocking, and authoritative—of unsurpassed tactical success combined with unsurpassed strategic failure that indicts some of America's most powerful and honored civilian and military leaders.
A stunning work of investigative journalism, Cobra II describes in riveting detail how the American rush to Baghdad provided the opportunity for the virulent insurgency that followed. As Gordon and Trainor show, the brutal aftermath was not inevitable and was a surprise to the generals on both sides. Based on access to unseen documents and exclusive interviews with the men and women at the heart of the war, Cobra II provides firsthand accounts of the fighting on the ground and the high-level planning behind the scenes. Now with a new afterword that addresses what transpired after the fateful events of the summer of 2003, this is a peerless re-creation and analysis of the central event of our times.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
Christian G. Appy's monumental oral history of the Vietnam War is the first work to probe the war's path through both the United States and Vietnam. These vivid testimonies of 135 men and women span the entire history of the Vietnam conflict, from its murky origins in the 1940s to the chaotic fall of Saigon in 1975. Sometimes detached and reflective, often raw and emotional, they allow us to see and feel what this war meant to people literally on all sides: Americans and Vietnamese, generals and grunts, policymakers and protesters, guerrillas and CIA operatives, pilots and doctors, artists and journalists, and a variety of ordinary citizens whose lives were swept up in a cataclysm that killed three million people. By turns harrowing, inspiring, and revelatory, Patriots is not a chronicle of facts and figures but a vivid human history of the war.
"A gem of a book, as informative and compulsively readable as it is timely." -The Washington Post Book World
In Belgium, an Air Force colonel investigates a series of widespread sightings of unidentified triangular objects, and he sends F-16s to attempt a closer look. Many hundreds of eyewitnesses, including on-duty police officers, file reports, and a spectacular photograph of an unidentifiable craft is retrieved and analyzed.
Here at home, a retired chief of the FAA’s Accidents and Investigations Division reveals the agency’s response to a thirty-minute encounter between an aircraft and a gigantic UFO over Alaska, which occurred during his watch and is documented on radar.
Now all three of these distinguished men have written breathtaking, firsthand accounts about these extraordinary incidents. They are joined by Air Force generals and a host of high-level sources—including Fife Symington III, former governor of Arizona, and Nick Pope, former head of the British Defence Ministry’s UFO Investigative Unit—who have agreed to write their own detailed, personal stories about UFO encounters and investigations for the first time.
They are coming forward now because of Leslie Kean, an investigative reporter who has spent the last ten years studying the still unexplained UFO phenomenon. Kean reviewed hundreds of government documents, aviation reports, radar data, and case studies with corroborating physical evidence. She carefully examined scientifically analyzed photographs and interviewed dozens of high-level officials and aviation witnesses from around the world. With the support of former White House chief of staff John Podesta, Kean draws on her research to separate fact from fiction and to lift the veil on decades of U.S. government misinformation. Throughout, she presents irrefutable evidence that unknown flying objects—metallic, luminous, and seemingly able to maneuver in ways that defy the laws of physics—actually exist.
No one yet knows what these objects are, even though they affect aviation safety and possibly national security. The phenomenon has been officially acknowledged by numerous foreign governments. For these reasons and many others, Kean concludes that the UFO problem must be more widely recognized and ultimately solved through an unbiased scientific investigation. The material presented throughout this landmark book is sobering, unflinching, and undeniably awe-inspiring, and moves us toward a goal of properly addressing this worldwide mystery.
From the Hardcover edition.
This is the adventurous, insightful, and often chilling story of a road trip through a shadow nation of state secrets, clandestine military bases, black sites, hidden laboratories, and top-secret agencies that make up what insiders call the "black world."
Here, geographer and provocateur Trevor Paglen knocks on the doors of CIA prisons, stakes out a covert air base in Nevada from a mountaintop 30 miles away, dissects the Defense Department's multibillion dollar "black" budget, and interviews those who live on the edges of these blank spots.
Whether Paglen reports from a hotel room in Vegas, a secret prison in Kabul, or a trailer in Shoshone Indian territory, he is impassioned, rigorous, relentless-and delivers eye-opening details.
From the corruption of law enforcement agents and the tribal nature of the local power structure to the economics of the drug trade and the frequent blunders of foreign troops, this is the no-holds-barred story from a leading expert on the insurgency.
• Should America have annexed Mexico—all of it—and Cuba too?
• Did 1776 justify Southern secession in the nineteenth century?
• Should Patton have been promoted over Eisenhower?
• Did the U.S. military win—and Congress lose—the Vietnam War?
• Was it right to depose Saddam Hussein—and is it wrong to worry about a possible Iraqi civil war?
The answer to these questions is a resounding yes, says author H. W. Crocker III in this stirring and contrarian new book.
In Don’t Tread on Me, Crocker unfolds four hundred years of American military history, revealing how Americans were born Indian fighters whose military prowess carved out first a continental and then a global empire—a Pax Americana that has been a benefit to the world.
From the seventeenth century on, he argues, Americans have shown a jealous regard for their freedom—and have backed it up with an unheralded skill in small-unit combat operations, a tradition that includes Rogers’ Rangers, Merrill’s Marauders, and today’s Special Forces.
He shows that Americans were born to the foam too, with a mastery of naval gunnery and tactics that allowed America’s Navy, even in its infancy, to defeat French and British warships and expand American commerce on the seas.
Most of all, Crocker highlights the courage of the dogface infantry, the fighting leathernecks, and the daring sailors and airmen who have turned the tide of battle again and again.
In Don’t Tread on Me, still forests are suddenly pierced by the Rebel Yell and a surge of grey. Teddy Roosevelt’s spectacles flash in the sunlight as he leads his Rough Riders charging up San Juan Hill. American doughboys rip into close-quarters combat against the Germans. Marines drive the Japanese out of their island fortresses using flamethrowers, grenades, and guts. GIs slug their way into Hitler’s Germany. The long twilight struggle against communism is fought in the snows of Korea and the steaming jungles of Vietnam. And today, U.S. Navy SEALs and U.S. Army Rangers battle Islamist terrorists in the bleak mountains of Afghanistan, just as their forebears fought Barbary pirates two hundred years ago.
Fast-paced and riveting, Don’t Tread on Me is a bold look at the history of America at war.
Also available as an eBook
From the Hardcover edition.
A relentlesly surprising and perceptive account of the front lines of the war on terror, Standard Operating Procedure is a war story that takes its place among the classics. Acclaimed author Philip Gourevitch presents the story behind a defining moment in the war, and a defining moment in our understanding of ourselves- the infamous Abu Ghraib photographs of prisoner abuse. Drawing on Academy Award-winning filmmaker Errol Morris's astonishing interviews with the Americans who took and appeared in the pictures, Standard Operating Procedure is an utterly original book that stands to endure as essential reading long after the current war in Iraq passes from the headlines.
Collectively, their lives tell the story of the Army over the last four decades and illuminate the path it must travel to protect the nation over the next century. Theirs is a story of successes and failures, of ambitions achieved and thwarted, of the responsibilities and perils of command. The careers of this elite quartet show how the most powerful military force in the world entered a major war unprepared, and how the Army, drawing on a reservoir of talent that few thought it possessed, saved itself from crushing defeat against a ruthless, low-tech foe. In The Fourth Star, you'll follow:
•Gen. John Abizaid, one of the Army's most brilliant minds. Fluent in Arabic, he forged an unconventional path in the military to make himself an expert on the Middle East, but this unique background made him skeptical of the war he found himself leading.
•Gen. George Casey Jr., the son of the highest-ranking general to be killed in the Vietnam War. Casey had grown up in the Army and won praise for his common touch and skill as a soldier. He was determined not to repeat the mistakes of Vietnam but would take much of the blame as Iraq collapsed around him.
•Gen. Peter Chiarelli, an emotional, take-charge leader who, more than any other senior officer, felt the sting of the Army's failures in Iraq. He drove his soldiers, the chain of command, and the U.S. government to rethink the occupation plans–yet rarely achieved the results he sought.
•Gen. David Petraeus, a driven soldier-scholar. Determined to reach the Army's summit almost since the day he entered West Point, he sometimes alienated peers with his ambition and competitiveness. When he finally got his chance in Iraq, he–more than anyone–changed the Army's conception of what was possible.
Masterfully written and richly reported, The Fourth Star ranges far beyond today's battlefields, evoking the Army's tumultuous history since Vietnam through these four captivating lives and ultimately revealing a fascinating irony: In an institution that prizes obedience, the most effective warriors are often those who dare to question the prevailing orthodoxy and in doing so redefine the American way of war.
From the Hardcover edition.
Thomas Barnett has the answers. A senior military analyst with the U.S. Naval War College, he has given a constant stream of briefings over the past few years, and particularly since 9/11, to the highest of high-level civilian and military policymakers-and now he gives it to you. The Pentagon's New Map is a cutting-edge approach to globalization that combines security, economic, political, and cultural factors to do no less than predict and explain the nature of war and peace in the twenty-first century.
Building on the works of Friedman, Huntington, and Fukuyama, and then taking a leap beyond, Barnett crystallizes recent American military history and strategy, sets the parameters for where our forces will likely be headed in the future, outlines the unique role that America can and will play in establishing international stability-and provides much-needed hope at a crucial yet uncertain time in world history.
For anyone seeking to understand the Iraqs, Afghanistans, and Liberias of the present and future, the intimate new links between foreign policy and national security, and the operational realities of the world as it exists today, The Pentagon's New Map is a template, a Rosetta stone. Agree with it, disagree with it, argue with it-there is no book more essential for 2004 and beyond.
For the last half century, as administrations have come and gone, the fundamental assumptions about America's military policy have remained unchanged: American security requires the United States (and us alone) to maintain a permanent armed presence around the globe, to prepare our forces for military operations in far-flung regions, and to be ready to intervene anywhere at any time. In the Obama era, just as in the Bush years, these beliefs remain unquestioned gospel.
In Washington Rules, a vivid, incisive analysis, Andrew J. Bacevich succinctly presents the origins of this consensus, forged at a moment when American power was at its height. He exposes the preconceptions, biases, and habits that underlie our pervasive faith in military might, especially the notion that overwhelming superiority will oblige others to accommodate America's needs and desires—whether for cheap oil, cheap credit, or cheap consumer goods. And he challenges the usefulness of our militarism as it has become both unaffordable and increasingly dangerous.
Though our politicians deny it, American global might is faltering. This is the moment, Bacevich argues, to reconsider the principles which shape American policy in the world—to acknowledge that fixing Afghanistan should not take precedence over fixing Detroit. Replacing this Washington consensus is crucial to America's future, and may yet offer the key to the country's salvation.
Since then, war has become a staple of American history. Counting the War for Independence, the United States has fought the armed forces of other nations at least twelve times, averaging a major conflict every twenty years. In so doing, the objectives have been simple: advance the cause of freedom, protect U.S. interests, and impose America’s will upon a troubled world. More often than not, the results have been successful as America’s military has accounted itself well. Yet the cost has been high, in both blood and treasure. Americans have fought and died around the globe—on land, at sea, and in the air. Without doubt, their actions have shaped the world in which we live.
In this comprehensive collection, Terence T. Finn provides a set of narratives—each concise and readable—on the twelve major wars America has fought. He explains what happened, and why such places as Saratoga and Antietam, Manila Bay and Midway are important to an understanding of America’s past. Readers will easily be able to brush up on their history and acquaint themselves with those individuals and events that have helped define the United States of America.
War Plan Orange is the recipient of numerous book awards, including the prestigious Theodore and Franklin Roosevelt Naval History Prize.
Future war is almost here: battles fought in cyberspace; biologically enhanced soldiers; autonomous systems that can process information and strike violently before a human being can blink.
A leading expert on the place of technology in war and intelligence, Robert H. Latiff, now teaching at the University of Notre Dame, has spent a career in the military researching and developing new combat technologies, observing the cost of our unquestioning embrace of innovation. At its best, advanced technology acts faster than ever to save the lives of soldiers; at its worst, the deployment of insufficiently considered new technology can have devastating unintended or long-term consequences. The question of whether we can is followed, all too infrequently, by the question of whether we should.
In Future War, Latiff maps out the changing ways of war and the weapons technologies we will use to fight them, seeking to describe the ramifications of those changes and what it will mean in the future to be a soldier. He also recognizes that the fortunes of a nation are inextricably linked with its national defense, and how its citizens understand the importance of when, how, and according to what rules we fight. What will war mean to the average American? Are our leaders sufficiently sensitized to the implications of the new ways of fighting? How are the attitudes of individuals and civilian institutions shaped by the wars we fight and the means we use to fight them? And, of key importance: How will soldiers themselves think about war and their roles within it?
The evolving, complex world of conflict and technology demands that we pay more attention to the issues that will confront us, before it is too late to control them. Decrying what he describes as a "broken" relationship between the military and the public it serves, Latiff issues a bold wake-up call to military planners and weapons technologists, decision makers, and the nation as a whole as we prepare for a very different future.
Looking at interwar France, Britain, and Germany, Posen challenges each theory to explain the German Blitzkrieg, the British air defense system, and the French Army's defensive doctrine often associated with the Maginot Line. This rigorous comparative study, in which the balance of power theory emerges as the more useful, not only allows us to discover important implications for the study of national strategy today, but also serves to sharpen our understanding of the origins of World War II.
Based on his experiences as an award-winning Washington-based reporter covering national security, James McCartney presents a compelling history, from the Cold War to present day that shows that the problem is far worse and far more wide-reaching than anything Eisenhower could have imagined. Big Military has become "too big to fail" and has grown to envelope the nation's political, cultural and intellectual institutions. These centers of power and influence, including the now-complicit White House and Congress, have a vested interest in preparing and waging unnecessary wars. The authors persuasively argue that not one foreign intervention in the past 50 years has made us or the world safer.
With additions by Molly Sinclair McCartney, a fellow journalist with 30 years of experience, America's War Machine provides the context for today's national security state and explains what can be done about it.
Beatrice Heuser's study is the first book, not only on how to read Clausewitz, but also on how others have read him - from the Prussian and German masters of warfare of the late nineteenth century through to the military commanders of the First World War, through Lenin and Mao Zedong to strategists in the nuclear age and of guerrilla warfare. The result is an accessible and comprehensive introduction to the work and influence of the greatest classic on the art of war.
The challenge of governance operations did not start with the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The US Army’s involvement in the political and economic reconstruction of states has been central to all its armed conflicts from large-scale conventional wars to so-called irregular or counterinsurgency wars. Yet, US policymakers and military leaders have failed to institutionalize lessons on how to consolidate combat gains into desired political outcomes. War and the Art of Governance examines fifteen historical cases of US Army military interventions, from the Mexican War through the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Improving future outcomes will require US policymakers and military leaders to accept that plans, timelines, and resources must be shaped to reflect this reality before they intervene in a conflict, not after things go wrong.
Schadlow provides clear lessons for students and scholars of security studies and military history, as well as for policymakers and the military personnel who will be involved in the next foreign intervention.
This is a compendium of the weapons of war that may accompany our soldiers in the near and far future, as well as an insightful look at the soldier, sailor, and airman of today and tomorrow. All manner of military hardware is covered, as well as information about cutting-edge technology that will become standard in weapons to come, the possibility of robotic soldiers, vehicles, protective armor, and the prospects of fighting a war in both space and cyberspace.
In his insightful and prescient account of this risky and radical technology, Del Monte predicts that nanoweapons will dominate the battlefield of the future and will help determine the superpowers of the twenty-first century. He traces the emergence of nanotechnology, discusses the current development of nanoweapons--such as the "mini-nuke," which weighs five pounds and carries the power of one hundred tons of TNT--and offers concrete recommendations, founded in historical precedent, for controlling their proliferation and avoiding human annihilation. Most critically, Nanoweapons addresses the question: Will it be possible to develop, deploy, and use nanoweapons in warfare without rendering humanity extinct?
The definitive analysis of the events, ideas, personalities, and conflicts that have defined Obama’s foreign policy
When Barack Obama took office, he brought with him a new group of foreign policy advisers intent on carving out a new global role for America in the wake of the Bush administration’s war in Iraq. Now the acclaimed author of Rise of the Vulcans offers a definitive, even-handed account of the messier realities they’ve faced in implementing their policies.
In The Obamians, acclaimed author James Mann tells the compelling story of the administration’s struggle to enact a coherent and effective set of policies in a time of global turmoil. At the heart of this struggle are the generational conflicts between the Democratic establishment—including Robert Gates, Hillary Clinton, and Joseph Biden—and Obama and his inner circle of largely unknown, remarkably youthful advisers, who came of age after the Cold War had ended.
Written by a proven master at elucidating political underpinnings even to the politicians themselves, The Obamians is a pivotal reckoning of this historic president and his inner circle, and of how their policies may or may not continue to shape America and the world.
The RAND Corporation was born in the wake of World War II as a think tank to generate research and analysis for the United States military. It was a magnet for the best and the brightest—and also the most dangerous.
RAND quickly became the creator of America’s anti-Soviet nuclear strategy, attracting such Cold War luminaries as Albert Wohlstetter, Bernard Brodie, and Herman Kahn, who arguably saved us from nuclear annihilation—and unquestionably created the military-industrial complex Eisenhower warned against.
In the Kennedy era, RAND analysts and their theories of rational warfare steered our conduct in Vietnam. Those same theories drove our invasion of Iraq forty-five years later, championed by RAND affiliated actors such as Paul Wolfowitz, Donald Rumsfeld, and Zalmay Khalilzad.
But RAND’s greatest contribution might be its least known: rational choice theory, a model explaining all human behavior through self-interest. Through it RAND sparked the Reagan-led transformation of our social and economic system, but also unleashed a resurgence of precisely the forces whose existence it denied: religion, patriotism, tribalism.
With Soldiers of Reason, Alex Abella shares a “well-researched” history of America’s last half century that casts a new light on our problematic present (San Francisco Chronicle).
The American war in Vietnam was concluded in 1973 after eight years of fighting, bloodshed, and loss. Yet the terms of the truce that ended the war were effectively identical to what had been offered to the Nixon administration four years earlier. Those four years cost America and Vietnam thousands of lives and billions of dollars, and they were the direct result of the supposed master plan of the most important voice in American foreign policy: Henry Kissinger.
Using newly available archival material from the Nixon Presidential Library, Kissinger's personal papers, and material from the archives in Vietnam, Robert K. Brigham punctures the myth of Kissinger as an infallible mastermind. Instead, he constructs a portrait of a rash, opportunistic, and suggestible politician. It was personal political rivalries, the domestic political climate, and strategic confusion that drove Kissinger's actions. There was no great master plan or Bismarckian theory that supported how the US continued the war or conducted peace negotiations. Its length was doubled for nothing but the ego and poor judgment of a single figure.
This distant tragedy, perpetuated by Kissinger's actions, forever changed both countries. Now, perhaps for the first time, we can see the full scale of that tragedy and the machinations that fed it.
Focusing on the forces that have propelled the arms race and the reasons behind the repeated failures to check the proliferation of nuclear weapons, Powaski discusses such topics as the Manhattan Project, the decision to drop the bomb on Hiroshima, the debate over whether to share atomic information, the effect of nuclear weapons on U.S. military and foreign policy, and the role of these weapons in arms control negotiations in the last five presidential administrations.
The Rise of the American Security State: The National Security Act of 1947 and the Militarization of U.S. Foreign Policy argues that the National Security Act of 1947 and the early Cold War created a bipartisan consensus among U.S. policymakers that spanned several administrations. The result of this consensus and the National Security Act was the creation of permanent institutions: the permanent Defense Department with a secretary of defense; the intelligence community, which has grown to 17 agencies; and significantly, the National Security Council inside the presidency. Collectively, these three developments have led to the militarization of U.S. foreign policy. Readers will grasp how concepts and strategies that were in their infancy during the Cold War era have persisted and continued to affect today's U.S. foreign policy.
Modern warfare is a war of narratives, where bullets are fired both physically and virtually. Whether you are a president or a terrorist, if you don't understand how to deploy the power of social media effectively you may win the odd battle but you will lose a twenty-first century war. Here, journalist David Patrikarakos draws on unprecedented access to key players to provide a new narrative for modern warfare. He travels thousands of miles across continents to meet a de-radicalized female member of ISIS recruited via Skype, a liberal Russian in Siberia who takes a job manufacturing "Ukrainian" news, and many others to explore the way social media has transformed the way we fight, win, and consume wars-and what this means for the world going forward.
Weaving together intense first-hand accounts of combat with the hard science of tactical psychology, Murray offers a compelling insight into how war affects the human mind. War Games is both a powerful glimpse through the eyes of our soldiers and an urgent reminder that the future of modern warfare lies in understanding how the enemy thinks.
Fascinating and often chilling, this is the story of how psychology wins wars.
The author of the acclaimed bestseller and National Book Award finalist, Imperial Life in the Emerald City, tells the startling, behind-the-scenes story of the US’s political and military misadventure in Afghanistan. In this meticulously reported and illuminating book, Rajiv Chandrasekaran focuses on southern Afghanistan in the year of President Obama’s surge, and reveals the epic tug of war that occurred between the president and a military that increasingly went its own way. The profound ramifications this political battle had on the region and the world are laid bare through a cast of fascinating characters—disillusioned and inept diplomats, frustrated soldiers, headstrong officers—who played a part in the process of pumping American money and soldiers into Afghan nation-building. What emerges in Little America is a detailed picture of unsavory compromise—warlords who were to be marginalized suddenly embraced, the Karzai family transformed from foe to friend, fighting corruption no longer a top priority—and a venture that became politically, financially, and strategically unsustainable.
A Washington Post Notable Book
A St. Louis Post-Dispatch Best Book of the Year
More than 155,000 female troops have been deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan since 2002. And more than seventy of those women have died. While that’s a small fraction of all American casualties, those deaths exceed the number of military women who died in Korea, Vietnam, and the Gulf War combined.
Clearly, women in combat isn’t a theoretical issue anymore. Women now fly combat aircraft and serve on warships. Even the remaining all-male corners of the military are blurring the lines in Iraq. And for many advocates, this trend is considered progress—toward a better, “gender neutral” military.
Co-ed Combat makes the opposite case, based on research in anthropology, biology, history, psychology, sociology, and law, as well as military memoirs. It asks hard questions that challenge the assumptions of feminists.For instance:Has warfare really changed so much as to reverse the almost unanimous history of all-male armed forces?Are men and women really equivalent in combat skills, even leaving aside physical strength?Do female troops respond to traditional types of motivations?Can the bonds of unit cohesion form in a co-ed military unit?Can an all-volunteer military afford to reject women?
This is a controversial book, likely to draw a passionate response from both conservatives and liberals.
In this readily accessible study, political scientist Glenn J. Antizzo identifies fifteen factors critical to the success of contemporary U.S. military intervention and evaluates the likely efficacy of direct U.S. military involvement today -- when it will work, when it will not, and how to undertake such action in a manner that will bring rapid victory at an acceptable political cost. He lays out the preconditions that portend success, among them a clear and attainable goal; a mission that is neither for "peacekeeping" nor for "humanitarian aid within a war zone"; a strong probability the American public will support or at least be indifferent to the effort; a willingness to utilize ground forces if necessary; an operation limited in geographic scope; and a theater commander permitted discretion in the course of the operation.
Antizzo then tests his abstract criteria by using real-world case studies of the most recent fully completed U.S. military interventions -- in Panama in 1989, Iraq in 1991, Somalia in 1992--94, and Kosovo in 1999 -- with Panama, Iraq, and Kosovo representing generally successful interventions and Somalia an unsuccessful one. Finally, he considers how the development of a "Somalia Syndrome" affected U.S. foreign policy and how the politics and practice of military intervention have continued to evolve since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, giving specific attention to the current war in Afghanistan and the larger War on Terror.
U.S. Military Intervention in the Post--Cold War Era exemplifies political science at its best: the positing of a hypothetical model followed by a close examination of relevant cases in an effort to provide meaningful insights for future American international policy.
Seeking expert knowledge that would enable the United States to contain communism, the Pentagon turned to social scientists. Beginning in the 1950s, political scientists, social psychologists, and anthropologists optimistically applied their expertise to military problems, convinced that their work would enhance democracy around the world. As Rohde shows, by the late 1960s, a growing number of scholars and activists condemned Pentagon-funded social scientists as handmaidens of a technocratic warfare state and sought to eliminate military-sponsored research from American intellectual life. But the Pentagon’s social research projects had remarkable institutional momentum and intellectual flexibility. Instead of severing their ties to the military, the Pentagon’s experts relocated to a burgeoning network of private consulting agencies and for-profit research offices. Now shielded from public scrutiny, they continued to influence national security affairs. They also diversified their portfolios to include the study of domestic problems, including urban violence and racial conflict. In examining the controversies over Cold War social science, Rohde reveals the persistent militarization of American political and intellectual life, a phenomenon that continues to raise grave questions about the relationship between expert knowledge and American democracy.
In The Book of War, John Keegan marshals a formidable host of war writings to chronicle the evolution of Western warfare through the voice of the most eloquent participants—from Thucydides’ classic account of ancient Greek phalanx warfare to a blow-by-blow description of ground fighting against the Iraqi troops in Kuwait during the Gulf War. Keegan gathers more than eighty selections, including Caesar’s Commentaries on the Roman invasion of Britain; the French Knight Jehan de Wavrin at the battle of Agincourt; Davy Crockett in the war against the Creek; Wellington’s dispatch on Waterloo; Hemingway after Caporetto; and Ernie Pyle at Normandy.
“The best military historian of our generation.” –Tom Clancy
“A monumental piece of literary military history.” –Chicago Tribune
A brilliantly edited and comprehensive anthology."—The New York Times Book Review.
Furnishing the tools to assist in future national security reforms, Orchestrating the Instruments of Power articulates and synthesizes the concepts of America's economic, political, and military instruments of power.
Mimura shifts our attention away from reactionary young officers to state planners—reform bureaucrats, total war officers, new zaibatsu leaders, economists, political scientists, engineers, and labor party leaders. She shows how empire building and war mobilization raised the stature and influence of these middle-class professionals by calling forth new government planning agencies, research bureaus, and think tanks to draft Five Year industrial plans, rationalize industry, mobilize the masses, streamline the bureaucracy, and manage big business. Deftly examining the political battles and compromises of Japanese technocrats in their bid for political power and Asian hegemony, Planning for Empire offers a new perspective on Japanese fascism by revealing its modern roots in the close interaction of technology and right-wing ideology.
The Brookings Essay: In the spirit of its commitment to high-quality, independent research, the Brookings Institution has commissioned works on major topics of public policy by distinguished authors, including Brookings scholars. The Brookings Essay is a multi-platform product aimed to engage readers in open dialogue and debate. The views expressed, however, are solely those of the author. Available in ebook only.