Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.
Hard Power: The New Politics of National Security Hardcover – October 3, 2006
More About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
The authors are strongest on the politics of national security--there is nothing wrong with the substance where they address it, but I will end with my observation on how incomplete the book it.
The book can be summed up--and questioned--on the basis of its eight chapter headings--the book's focus is in capital letters, my alternative focus in lower case:
NATIONAL SECURITY AS PRIMARY ELECTORAL ISSUE--not so, electoral reform and the integrity and legitimacy of government is the primary issue
MYTH OF REPUBLICAN SUPERIORITY--quite so, but what about Peter Peterson's view in "Running on Empty," to wit, BOTH political parties are inept and two sides of the same coin--they represent corporations, not the people.
MANAGING THE MILITARY--is not enough. Must manage ways and means, must manage the inter-agency matrix (Cheney ignores the policy bureaucracy, and the only agency actually fighting in Iraq is the military--everyone else is going through the motions).
HOMELAND SECURITY--TAKING IT TO THE NEXT LEVEL--physical security is not enough, even if private sector is willing to cooperate.Read more ›
Examples of furthering the myth and not encouraging "original" thinking includes blind acceptance of L. Paul Bremer's version of events in Iraq (p116) and Tom Ridge's rosy image of port security, vaccines, etc (p125). A bare discussion of casualty sensitivity (p89), or did they really mean insensitivity, while assuming a role for it (without establishing if the "in-" belongs or not). A fanciful discussion on global projection requirements and suggesting the US Navy simply wait for UAVs instead of new fighters (p100). Ignorance of wear and tear on the Army's vehicle fleet (p102), conflicting views on counterinsurgency (p104).
Perhaps more importantly, the authors completely ignore institutional differences between DoS and DoD, which is odd considering the nature of the handbook and its efforts to instruct on the issues of national security. While arguing for Department of State Response Force / SysAdmin / Department of Peace / CRC / or whatever it is, they accept and promote 12 year old arguments that "combat units are best at [peace operations] as they inspire respect and fear in those who would challenge them" (p110).Read more ›
Diane C. Donovan
Authors: Kurt M. Campbell, Michael E. O' Hanlon
Published by Basic books 2006
National security is an essential electoral issue, and this book is supposed to provide hard-headed ideas and intellectual ammunition for both Democrats and Republicans prepared for a new approach to foreign affairs and national security. The book was written in 2006, before the election of Obama, the credit crunch, and the Arab spring; and it is worth remembering it again what was said at that time about the Iraq war, war on terrorism, rise of China, energy policy, and nuclear proliferation. Other topics are left out, but it does not matter as the scope is clearly defined.
International stability is needed for Americans to live in security and prosperity (how many people would dispute this simple truth!), and the authors argue that Democrats have quite a few achievements in the use of hard power. In fact, they were comfortable with the use of military up until the Vietnam War. In 1992 elections, 92% voters concerned about national security issues voted for Republicans. U.S. military became a highly politicized and overwhelmingly Republican institution, what many do not consider a healthy sign. The anti-war image of Democrats date back to 1960's, and Clinton did not make this relationship any better. Military votes count only some 2.5 million active service and reservist personnel, but 25 mil veterans and 4 mil DOD contractors, families, and communities around bases add to the final count. The authors concluded that the lack of interest of Democrats in national security and defense issues is self-inflicted and therefore remediable.Read more ›