How Everything Became War And The Military Became Everything
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“A dynamic work of reportage” (The New York Times) written “with clarity and...wit” (The New York Times Book Review) about what happens when the ancient boundary between war and peace is erased. Once, war was a temporary state of affairs. Today, America’s wars are everywhere and forever: our enemies change constantly and rarely wear uniforms, and virtually anything can become a weapon. As war expands, so does the role of the US military. Military personnel now analyze computer code, train Afghan judges, build Ebola isolation wards, eavesdrop on electronic communications, develop soap operas, and patrol for pirates. You name it, the military does it. In this “ambitious and astute” (The Washington Post) work, Rosa Brooks “provides a masterful analysis” (San Francisco Chronicle) of this seismic shift in how America wages war from an unconventional perspective—that of a former top Pentagon official who is the daughter of two anti-war protesters and married to an Army Green Beret. By turns a memoir, a work of journalism, a scholarly exploration of history, anthropology, and law, How Everything Became War and the Military Became Everything is an “illuminating” (The New York Times), “eloquent” (The Boston Globe), “courageous” (US News & World Report), and “essential” (The Dallas Morning News) examination of the role of the military today. Above all, it is a rallying cry, for Brooks issues an urgent warning: When the boundaries around war disappear, we undermine both America’s founding values and the international rules and organizations that keep our world from sliding towards chaos.
Inside secure command centers, military officials make life and death decisions-- but the Pentagon also offers food courts, banks, drugstores, florists, and chocolate shops. It is rather symbolic of the way that the U.S. military has become our one-stop-shopping solution to global problems. Brooks traces this seismic shift in how America wages war, and provides a rallying cry for action as we undermine the values and rules that keep our world from sliding toward chaos.
A NEW YORK TIMES 100 NOTABLE BOOKS OF 2019 SELECTION From “one of the most emotionally exacting, mercilessly candid, deeply funny, and intellectually rigorous writers of our time” (Cheryl Strayed, author of Wild) comes a seminal new book that reaches surprising truths about feminism, the Trump era, and the Resistance movement. You won’t be able to stop thinking about it and talking about it. In the fall of 2016, acclaimed author Meghan Daum began working on a book about the excesses of contemporary feminism. With Hillary Clinton soon to be elected, she figured even the most fiercely liberal of her friends and readers could take the criticisms in stride. But after the election, she knew she needed to do more, and her nearly completed manuscript went in the trash. What came out in its place is the most sharply-observed, all-encompassing, and unputdownable book of her career. In this gripping new work, Meghan examines our country’s most intractable problems with clear-eyed honesty instead of exaggerated outrage. With passion, humor, and most importantly nuance, she tries to make sense of the current landscape—from Donald Trump’s presidency to the #MeToo movement and beyond. In the process, she wades into the waters of identity politics and intersectionality, thinks deeply about the gender wage gap, and tests a theory about the divide between Gen Xers and millennials. This signature work may well be the first book to capture the essence of this era in all its nuances and contradictions. No matter where you stand on its issues, this book will strike a chord.
A young soldier with the Canadian forces questions the meaning of heroism, of truth, and of good and evil as he describes life in the trenches during World War I.
A distinguished political theorist sounds the alarm about the counterinsurgency strategies used to govern Americans Militarized police officers with tanks and drones. Pervasive government surveillance and profiling. Social media that distract and track us. All of these, contends Bernard E. Harcourt, are facets of a new and radical governing paradigm in the United States--one rooted in the modes of warfare originally developed to suppress anticolonial revolutions and, more recently, to prosecute the war on terror. The Counterrevolution is a penetrating and disturbing account of the rise of counterinsurgency, first as a military strategy but increasingly as a way of ruling ordinary Americans. Harcourt shows how counterinsurgency's principles--bulk intelligence collection, ruthless targeting of minorities, pacifying propaganda--have taken hold domestically despite the absence of any radical uprising. This counterrevolution against phantom enemies, he argues, is the tyranny of our age. Seeing it clearly is the first step to resisting it effectively.
'An indispensible inquiry into our moral health and humanity.' LSE Review of Books The war on terror has politicised foreign aid as never before. Aid workers are being killed at an alarming rate and civilians in war-torn countries abandoned to their fate. From the ravaged streets of Mogadishu to the unending struggle in Helmand, Peter Gill travels to some of the most conflict-stricken places on earth to reveal the true relationship between the aid business and Western security. While some agencies have clung to their neutrality against ever stiffer odds, others have compromised their impartiality to secure the flow of official funds. In a world where the advance of Islamic State constitutes the gravest affront to humanitarian practice and principle the aid community has faced in decades, Gill poses the crucial question – can Western nations fight in a country and aid it at the same time?
A book for anyone interested to know more about how the world really works by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Ronan Farrow. 'This is one of the most important books of our time.' Walter Isaacson 'A masterpiece' Dan Simpson, Post-Gazette THE NEW YORK TIMES #3 BESTSELLER 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 democratic interests 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. Increasingly, America is 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 first-hand 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 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, short-sightedness, and outright malice - but it may just offer a way out of a world at war.
"A lively account of Israel's evolving military prowess...if The Weapon Wizards were a novel, it would be one written by Horatio Alger; if it were a biblical allegory, it would be the story of David and Goliath." —The New York Times Book Review From drones to satellites, missile defense systems to cyber warfare, Israel is leading the world when it comes to new technology being deployed on the modern battlefield. The Weapon Wizards shows how this tiny nation of 8 million learned to adapt to the changes in warfare and in the defense industry and become the new prototype of a 21st century superpower, not in size, but rather in innovation and efficiency—and as a result of its long war experience. Sitting on the front lines of how wars are fought in the 21st century, Israel has developed in its arms trade new weapons and retrofitted old ones so they remain effective, relevant, and deadly on a constantly-changing battlefield. While other countries begin to prepare for these challenges, they are looking to Israel—and specifically its weapons—for guidance. Israel is, in effect, a laboratory for the rest of the world. How did Israel do it? And what are the military and geopolitical implications of these developments? These are some of the key questions Yaakov Katz and Amir Bohbot address. Drawing on a vast amount of research, and unparalleled access to the Israeli defense establishment, this book is a report directly from the front lines.
Conventional wisdom holds that the American military is overwhelmingly conservative and Republican, and extremely political. Our Army paints a more complex picture, demonstrating that while army officers are likely to be more conservative, rank-and-file soldiers hold political views that mirror those of the American public as a whole, and army personnel are less partisan and politically engaged than most civilians. Assumptions about political attitudes in the U.S. Army are based largely on studies focusing on the senior ranks, yet these senior officers comprise only about 6 percent of America's fighting force. Jason Dempsey provides the first random-sample survey that also covers the social and political attitudes held by enlisted men and women in the army. Uniting these findings with those from another unique survey he conducted among cadets at the United States Military Academy on the eve of the 2004 presidential election, Dempsey offers the most detailed look yet at how service members of all ranks approach politics. He shows that many West Point cadets view political conservatism as part of being an officer, raising important questions about how the army indoctrinates officers politically. But Dempsey reveals that the rank-and-file army is not nearly as homogeneous as we think--or as politically active--and that political attitudes across the ranks are undergoing a substantial shift. Our Army adds needed nuance to our understanding of a profession that seems increasingly distant from the average American.
Prize-winning historian Michael S. Sherry shows how war has defined modern America and argues that militarization has reshaped every facet of American life--its politics, economics, culture, social relations, and place in the world. 17 illustrations.
This is a thoroughly revised second edition of a book that we published in 2010. Exporting Security is about the US military's role in military-to-military partnerships, such as helping to support and train foreign militaries, and about the US military's role in missions other than war, ranging from diplomacy, to development, to humanitarian assistance after disasters or during epidemics. Reveron is a proponent of these non-warfighting missions because he views them as an economical way to promote human security and regional security in trouble spots, which he says is in the US national interest. He also sees these efforts as making it less likely that the US will feel compelled to intervene directly in hot spots around the globe if our partners can maintain their own security or if humanitarian disasters can be averted. This second edition will take into account the Obama administration's foreign policy, the poor legacy of training the Iraqi army, the implications of more assertive foreign policies by Russia and China, and the US military's role in recent humanitarian crises such as the Ebola epidemic in West Africa.
Peace, many would agree, is a goal that democratic nations should strive to achieve. But is democracy, in fact, dependent on war to survive? Having spent their celebrated careers exploring this provocative question, John Ferejohn and Frances McCall Rosenbluth trace the surprising ways in which governments have mobilized armies since antiquity, discovering that our modern form of democracy not only evolved in a brutally competitive environment but also quickly disintegrated when the powerful elite no longer needed their citizenry to defend against existential threats. Bringing to vivid life the major battles that shaped our current political landscape, the authors begin with the fierce warrior states of Athens and the Roman Republic. While these experiments in “mixed government” would serve as a basis for the bargain between politics and protection at the heart of modern democracy, Ferejohn and Rosenbluth brilliantly chronicle the generations of bloodshed that it would take for the world’s dominant states to hand over power to the people. In fact, for over a thousand years, even as medieval empires gave way to feudal Europe, the king still ruled. Not even the advancements of gunpowder—which decisively tipped the balance away from the cavalry-dominated militaries and in favor of mass armies—could threaten the reign of monarchs and “landed elites” of yore. The incredibly wealthy, however, were not well equipped to handle the massive labor classes produced by industrialization. As we learn, the Napoleonic Wars stoked genuine, bottom-up nationalism and pulled splintered societies back together as “commoners” stepped up to fight for their freedom. Soon after, Hitler and Stalin perfectly illustrated the military limitations of dictatorships, a style of governance that might be effective for mobilizing an army but not for winning a world war. This was a lesson quickly heeded by the American military, who would begin to reinforce their ranks with minorities in exchange for greater civil liberties at home. Like Francis Fukuyama and Jared Diamond’s most acclaimed works, Forged Through Fire concludes in the modern world, where the “tug of war” between the powerful and the powerless continues to play out in profound ways. Indeed, in the covert battlefields of today, drones have begun to erode the need for manpower, giving politicians even less incentive than before to listen to the demands of their constituency. With American democracy’s flanks now exposed, this urgent examination explores the conditions under which war has promoted one of the most cherished human inventions: a government of the people, by the people, for the people. The result promises to become one of the most important history books to emerge in our time.
From the New York Times–bestselling author Stephen M. Walt, The Hell of Good Intentions dissects the faults and foibles of recent American foreign policy—explaining why it has been plagued by disasters like the “forever wars” in Iraq and Afghanistan and outlining what can be done to fix it. In 1992, the United States stood at the pinnacle of world power and Americans were confident that a new era of peace and prosperity was at hand. Twenty-five years later, those hopes have been dashed. Relations with Russia and China have soured, the European Union is wobbling, nationalism and populism are on the rise, and the United States is stuck in costly and pointless wars that have squandered trillions of dollars and undermined its influence around the world. The root of this dismal record, Walt argues, is the American foreign policy establishment’s stubborn commitment to a strategy of “liberal hegemony.” Since the end of the Cold War, Republicans and Democrats alike have tried to use U.S. power to spread democracy, open markets, and other liberal values into every nook and cranny of the planet. This strategy was doomed to fail, but its proponents in the foreign policy elite were never held accountable and kept repeating the same mistakes. Donald Trump won the presidency promising to end the misguided policies of the foreign policy “Blob” and to pursue a wiser approach. But his erratic and impulsive style of governing, combined with a deeply flawed understanding of world politics, are making a bad situation worse. The best alternative, Walt argues, is a return to the realist strategy of “offshore balancing,” which eschews regime change, nation-building, and other forms of global social engineering. The American people would surely welcome a more restrained foreign policy, one that allowed greater attention to problems here at home. This long-overdue shift will require abandoning the futile quest for liberal hegemony and building a foreign policy establishment with a more realistic view of American power. Clear-eyed, candid, and elegantly written, Stephen M. Walt’s The Hell of Good Intentions offers both a compelling diagnosis of America’s recent foreign policy follies and a proven formula for renewed success.
From the author the classic The Wizards of Armageddon and Pulitzer Prize finalist comes the definitive history of American policy on nuclear war—and Presidents’ actions in nuclear crises—from Truman to Trump. Fred Kaplan, hailed by The New York Times as “a rare combination of defense intellectual and pugnacious reporter,” takes us into the White House Situation Room, the Joint Chiefs of Staff’s “Tank” in the Pentagon, and the vast chambers of Strategic Command to bring us the untold stories—based on exclusive interviews and previously classified documents—of how America’s presidents and generals have thought about, threatened, broached, and just barely avoided nuclear war from the dawn of the atomic age until today. Kaplan’s historical research and deep reporting will stand as the permanent record of politics. Discussing theories that have dominated nightmare scenarios from Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Kaplan presents the unthinkable in terms of mass destruction and demonstrates how the nuclear war reality will not go away, regardless of the dire consequences.
Looking at how armies supportive of democracy are built, this title argues that the military is the important institution that states maintain, for without military elites who support democratic governance, democracy cannot be consolidated. It demonstrates that building democratic armies is the quintessential task of democratizing regimes.
A former FBI undercover agent and whistleblower gives us a riveting and troubling account of the contemporary FBI—essential reading for our times Impressively researched and eloquently argued, former special agent Mike German’s Disrupt, Discredit, and Divide tells the story of the transformation of the FBI after the 9/11 attacks from a law enforcement agency, made famous by prosecuting organized crime and corruption in business and government, into arguably the most secretive domestic intelligence agency America has ever seen. German shows how FBI leaders exploited the fear of terrorism in the aftermath of 9/11 to shed the legal constraints imposed on them in the 1970s in the wake of Hoover-era civil rights abuses. Empowered by the Patriot Act and new investigative guidelines, the bureau resurrected a discredited theory of terrorist “radicalization” and adopted a “disruption strategy” that targeted Muslims, foreigners, and communities of color, and tarred dissidents inside and outside the bureau as security threats, dividing American communities against one another. By prioritizing its national security missions over its law enforcement mission, the FBI undermined public confidence in justice and the rule of law. Its failure to include racist, anti-Semitic, Islamophobic, and xenophobic violence committed by white nationalists within its counterterrorism mandate only increased the perception that the FBI was protecting the powerful at the expense of the powerless. Disrupt, Discredit, and Divide is an engaging and unsettling contemporary history of the FBI and a bold call for reform, told by a longtime counterterrorism undercover agent who has become a widely admired whistleblower and a critic for civil liberties and accountable government.
How do civilians control the military? In the wake of September 11, the renewed presence of national security in everyday life has made this question all the more pressing. In this book, Peter Feaver proposes an ambitious new theory that treats civil-military relations as a principal-agent relationship, with the civilian executive monitoring the actions of military agents, the "armed servants" of the nation-state. Military obedience is not automatic but depends on strategic calculations of whether civilians will catch and punish misbehavior. This model challenges Samuel Huntington's professionalism-based model of civil-military relations, and provides an innovative way of making sense of the U.S. Cold War and post-Cold War experience--especially the distinctively stormy civil-military relations of the Clinton era. In the decade after the Cold War ended, civilians and the military had a variety of run-ins over whether and how to use military force. These episodes, as interpreted by agency theory, contradict the conventional wisdom that civil-military relations matter only if there is risk of a coup. On the contrary, military professionalism does not by itself ensure unchallenged civilian authority. As Feaver argues, agency theory offers the best foundation for thinking about relations between military and civilian leaders, now and in the future.
America's debate over whether and how to invade Iraq clustered into civilian versus military camps. Top military officials appeared reluctant to use force, the most hawkish voices in government were civilians who had not served in uniform, and everyone was worried that the American public would not tolerate casualties in war. This book shows that this civilian-military argument--which has characterized earlier debates over Bosnia, Somalia, and Kosovo--is typical, not exceptional. Indeed, the underlying pattern has shaped U.S. foreign policy at least since 1816. The new afterword by Peter Feaver and Christopher Gelpi traces these themes through the first two years of the current Iraq war, showing how civil-military debates and concerns about sensitivity to casualties continue to shape American foreign policy in profound ways.
President Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal is widely understood as a turning point in American history. Roosevelt's decisions of 1933 reset the balance of power away from Congress and the states toward a strong executive branch. They shifted the federal government away from the Founders' vision of deliberation and moderation toward war and action. Modern-day presidents have declared war on everything from poverty and drugs to crime and terror. Exploring the consequences of these ill-defined (and never-ending) wars, this book calls for a re-examination of this destructive approach to governance.