Drawing insights from both international relations and comparative politics, Shaping Strategy shows that good strategic assessment depends on civil-military relations that encourage an easy exchange of information and a rigorous analysis of a state's own relative capabilities and strategic environment. Among the diverse case studies the book illuminates, Brooks explains why strategic assessment in Egypt was so poor under Gamal Abdel Nasser prior to the 1967 Arab-Israeli war and why it improved under Anwar Sadat. The book also offers a new perspective on the devastating failure of U.S. planning for the second Iraq war. Brooks argues that this failure, far from being unique, is an example of an assessment pathology to which states commonly succumb.
This brand new edition of The US Military Profession into the Twenty-First Century re-examines the challenges faced by the military profession in the aftermath of the international terrorist attack on the United States on September 11, 2001.
While many of the issues facing the military profession examined in the first edition remain, the 'new war' and international terrorism have compounded the challenges. The US military must respond to the changed domestic and strategic landscapes without diminishing its primary function—a function that now many see that goes beyond success on the battlefield. Not only has this complicated the problem of reconciling the military professional ethos and raison d’etre with civilian control in a democracy, it challenges traditional military professionalism. This book also studies the notion of a US military stretched thin and relying more heavily on the US Federal Reserves and National Guard. These developments make the US military profession increasingly linked to public attitudes and political perspectives.
In sum, the challenge faced by the US military profession can be termed a dual dilemma. It must respond effectively to the twenty-first century strategic landscape while undergoing the revolution in military affairs and transformation. At the same time, the military profession must insure that it remains compatible with civilian cultures and the US political-social system without eroding its primary function.
This is an invaluable book for all students with an interest in the US Military, and of strategic studies and military history in general.
Tribal relations underpin King Hussein’s political control in Jordan. Transjordanians have not only been the main beneficiaries of political power, but have also occupied the key positions in the armed forces.
In Syria, President Hafez al-Assad has built his regime on the Alawi minority, while the vast security apparatus limits the spread of sectarian, class or ideological grievances in the military.
President Saddam Hussein has established multiple security agencies in Iraq designed to prevent conspiracies against his regime. Regular rotations and purges ensure that few officers are in place long enough to contemplate, let alone organise, a coup, while the severe punishments meted out to suspected plotters are a further disincentive to rebellion.
In this paper, Risa Brooks argues that the need for Arab regimes to maintain political control can undermine the combat potential of their armed forces. Centralising command, creating overlapping commands, politicising selection criteria and authorising involvement in economic activities all potentially compromise military effectiveness.
The fact that regimes have successfully managed political–military relations in the past does not mean that they will automatically do so in the future. Changing social or economic conditions could upset the equilibrium in political–military relations. Regime stability cannot therefore be taken for granted
Transition to new leadership is a looming issue for the key regimes in Egypt, Syria and Jordan; political–military relations will play a crucial role in how it is resolved. New leaders must gain and maintain social support if they are to consolidate power. The fact that so many Middle Eastern regimes face uncertain transitions raises the sobering prospect of profound instability and change in this strategically vital region.
Maintaining political control is a continuous and evolving process. A breakdown in social support for the leadership, failure to detect a conspiracy within the military and economic or political change that threatens military prerogatives could all disrupt political–military relations. Current stability should not give rise to complacency.
In clear, fluent prose, Biddle provides a systematic account of force employment's role and shows how this account holds up under rigorous, multimethod testing. The results challenge a wide variety of standard views, from current expectations for a revolution in military affairs to mainstream scholarship in international relations and orthodox interpretations of modern military history.
Military Power will have a resounding impact on both scholarship in the field and on policy debates over the future of warfare, the size of the military, and the makeup of the defense budget.
US foreign policy is undergoing a dire transformation, forever changing America’s place in the world. Institutions of diplomacy and development are bleeding out after deep budget cuts; the diplomats who make America’s deals and protect its citizens around the world are walking out in droves. Offices across the State Department sit empty, while abroad the military-industrial complex has assumed the work once undertaken by peacemakers. We’re becoming a nation that shoots first and asks questions later.
In an astonishing journey from the corridors of power in Washington, DC, to some of the most remote and dangerous places on earth—Afghanistan, Somalia, and North Korea among them—acclaimed investigative journalist Ronan Farrow illuminates one of the most consequential and poorly understood changes in American history. His firsthand experience as a former State Department official affords a personal look at some of the last standard bearers of traditional statecraft, including Richard Holbrooke, who made peace in Bosnia and died while trying to do so in Afghanistan.
Drawing on newly unearthed documents, and richly informed by rare interviews with warlords, whistle-blowers, and policymakers—including every living former secretary of state from Henry Kissinger to Hillary Clinton to Rex Tillerson—War on Peace makes a powerful case for an endangered profession. Diplomacy, Farrow argues, has declined after decades of political cowardice, shortsightedness, and outright malice—but it may just offer America a way out of a world at war.