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Alliance Curse: How America Lost the Third World Hardcover – June 30, 2008
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From Publishers Weekly
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"Roots prescriptions for American foreign policy--less focus on military security, more on economic development--are well-grounded and compelling." Publishers Weekly
"His prescriptions for American foreign policy--less focus on military security, more on economic development--are well-grounded and compelling." Publishers Weekly
"engaging and provocative...highly recommended." CHOICE
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Top Customer Reviews
In this masterly and thoroughly-researched book, Hilton Root takes on an in-depth tour of the misapprehensions and wishful thinking that have repeatedly led us into alliances that have hurt both us and the people of the countries we were supposedly trying to help.
Why do our military alliances not increase our security? Why are our foreign aid efforts often destructive instead of productive? What were we thinking with Chiang Kai-shek, Marcos, Musharraf or the Shah of Iran? Historical questions, but herein lie the answers to the questions posed by today's headlines. As I write, those questions include for example, why is Egypt in turmoil, and Turkey, and Syria, and so on. This book becomes even more relevant with each passing month.
Root does not appear to have a particular ideoology and this does not come across as a "political" book. The tone is clear-eyed and dispassionate, the arguments are primarily based on economic analysis.But I did not find it "dry", this is economics applied to political and historical analysis in a most clever and engaging way,
This book should be required reading for our policy makers. It is a brilliant book, and an important one.
The main thesis for this book is:
The highly politicized U.S. foreign policy with negligence on the ever changing international environment, relying on military solutions, and directing foreign aid improperly to protect America's interests will pose greater threats to America's security in the long run; and, will create greater regional instability putting America in an "alliance trap" with autocratic regimes. The failure of such policies was evidenced by in depth case studies on China, the Philippines, South Vietnam, Iran and several other developing countries. The U.S. should reconsider its foreign policy in terms of providing aid to countries with autocratic, crony leaders who use the aid to maintain their political patronage.