Private: Bradley Manning, WikiLeaks, and the Biggest Exposure of Official Secrets in American History
Arguing that we badly need a new, post-Internet way to debate the moral consequences of digital technologies, To Save Everything, Click Here warns against a world of seamless efficiency, where everyone is forced to wear Silicon Valley’s digital straitjacket.
This book offers a deeply informed perspective on how Afghanistan’s history as a “shatter zone” for foreign invaders and its tribal society have shaped the modern Afghan narrative. It brings to life the appallingly misinformed secret operations by foreign intelligence agencies, including the Soviet NKVD and KGB, the Pakistani ISI, and the CIA.
American policy makers, Tomsen argues, still do not understand Afghanistan; nor do they appreciate how the CIA’s covert operations and the Pentagon’s military strategy have strengthened extremism in the country. At this critical time, he shows how the U.S. and the coalition it leads can assist the region back to peace and stability.
Green, who served in Uruzgan from 2005 to 2006 as a U.S. Department of State political adviser to a Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT), reveals how unrealistic expectations, a superficial understanding of the Afghans, and a lack of resources contributed to the Taliban’s resurgence in the area. He discusses the PRT’s good-governance efforts, its reconstruction and development projects, the violence of the insurgency, and the PRT’s attempts to manage its complex relationship with the local warlord cum governor of the province.
Upon returning to Afghanistan in 2009 with the U.S. military and while working at the U.S. Embassy in Kabul until 2010, Green discovered that although many improvements had been made since he had last served in the country, the problems he had experienced in Uruzgan continued despite the transition from the Bush administration to the Obama administration.
For nearly two years, Fernando Gentilini lived in war-torn Afghanistan as a civilian envoy. From July 2008 to February 2010, Gentilini, a diplomat with twenty years of experience in crisis management and multilateral and European affairs, was the civilian representative of NATO, running a counterinsurgency campaign in the troubled nation. Afghan Lessons presents the fascinating story of Gentilini's mission, taking readers on an eye-opening journey of Afghanistan: its people, its society, and its politics.
Gentilini's firsthand account looks at the nation through a kaleidoscope. He explores Afghan history, literature, and tradition, while also reflecting on the international mission in Afghanistan from both a diplomatic and military standpoint. Gentilini examines Afghan culture in an effort to understand some of the most basic questions of Western involvement: Why are we there? What does an international presence mean, and how can it help?
Copublished with the Italian National School of Public Administration (SSPA).
The foreign policy of the United States is built on the three Ds: development, diplomacy and defense (3Ds). The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) is the lead development agency; the Department of State (DOS) leads on diplomacy; and the Department of Defense (DOD) leads on defense issues. The 3D approach provides to the United States Government an opportunity to use a collective set of responses to tackle global security challenges.
Complicating the 3D approach is that over the last decade, DOD’s budget and authorities to conduct international development programs have grown significantly. These multiple funding accounts and authorities of DOD to provide development assistance have overshadowed both symbolically and substantively USAID’s development role overseas, which is counter to the 3D approach. To address complex security challenges in a constrained budget environment, DOD and USAID need to ensure that their development programs are closely coordinated, mutually reinforcing, and not working in isolation of one another. While the USG missions in Iraq and Afghanistan demonstrate that the nature of threats to the USG are becoming progressively more complex, USAID and DOD need to learn from lessons and experience to date, and institutionalize best practices if their relationship within the 3Ds is to be effective.
In this shattering new assessment, historian Lloyd C. Gardner argues that, despite cosmetic changes, Obama has simply built on the expanding power base of presidential power that reaches back across decades and through multiple administrations.
The new president ended the “enhanced interrogation” policy of the Bush administration but did not abandon the concept of preemption. Obama withdrew from Iraq but has institutionalized drone warfare—including the White House’s central role in selecting targets. What has come into view, Gardner argues, is the new face of American presidential power: high–tech, secretive, global, and lethal.
Killing Machine skillfully narrates the drawdown in Iraq, the counterinsurgency warfare in Afghanistan, the rise of the use of drones, and targeted assassinations from al-Awlaki to Bin Laden—drawing from the words of key players in these actions as well as their major public critics. With unparalleled historical perspective, Gardner’s book is the new touchstone for understanding not only the Obama administration but the American presidency itself.
"Michael O'Hanlon and Hassina Sherjan have written a superb analysis of the current strategy in Afghanistan. It is an insightful work by two authors with exceptional knowledge and experience. It is a must-read for those who want a clear understanding of the situation, the strategy, and the path ahead in this crucial conflict."
--General Anthony C. Zinni, USMC (Retired)
In this unique collaboration between an American scholar and an Afghan American entrepreneur, "Toughing It Out in Afghanistan" provides a succinct look at the current situation in Afghanistan with policy prescriptions for the future.
Drawing partly on personal experiences, O'Hanlon and Sherjan outline the tactics being used to protect the Afghan population and defeat the insurgents. They discuss ongoing efforts to reform the Afghan police, to run a better prison system for detainees, to enlist the help of more of Afghanistan's tribes, and to attack corruption. They also discuss the Afghan resistance, including an explanation of how the Taliban mounted a comeback and what it will take to defeat them.
The authors also seek to demolish common myths about Afghanistan, such as the notion that somehow its people hate foreigners. And they explain how to use metrics, such as those in the Brookings Afghanistan Index, to determine if the new strategy is succeeding in the course of 2010 and 2011. Included are policy suggestions to further increase the size and capabilities of the Afghan army and police, to facilitate Afghan businesses' involvement in economic recovery, to expand the role of other Muslim nations in the effort, and to create a strong international aid coordinator as a civilian counterpart to NATO's military leader.
A firsthand account of how the Bush administration mismanaged its Afghan campaign, "A Vulcan's Tale" shines new and important light on the events and people behind the headlines in the immediate years following the September 11 attacks.
The "Vulcans," so named by Condoleezza Rice, were eight foreign policy experts who advised George W. Bush during his 2000 presidential campaign. After Bush assumed the presidency, the Vulcans helped shape the administration's foreign policy following 9/11, including the military operations in Afghanistan and Iraq. All were veterans of past administrations, having served under either Ronald Reagan or George H. W. Bush, and they included among their ranks Dov Zakheim. Made comptroller and chief financial officer for the Department of Defense in 2001, Zakheim was also named the DoD's coordinator for Afghan civilian reconstruction in 2002.
In "A Vulcan's Tale," Zakheim draws on his own participation and intimate knowledge to analyze how the United States missed critical opportunities while it struggled to manage two wars, particularly the seemingly endless endeavor in Afghanistan. In his view, the Bush administration's disappointing results in Afghanistan were partly attributable to the enormity of the challenges, certainly. But flawed leadership and deficiencies of management, understanding, and forethought all played their parts as well.
The power of the purse proved to be especially damaging. The Office of Management and Budget was slow to fund Defense's efforts at the outset of the Afghan conflict and then inadequately funded the State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development, casting the die for several additional years of conflict. The invasion of Iraq siphoned off critical resources for Afghanistan, thereby further complicating that country's reconstruction.
Even with public policy of the highest order, the devil still lurked in the details, as the DoD's "money man" was soon to discover while he struggled to fund and manage the reconstruction of civilian Afghanistan. A Vulcan's Tale is an authoritative, candid but fair account of how a wise and admirable goal can be waylaid by insufficient funding and ineffective coordination, with the result of faulty --or, at best, incomplete --implementation.