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This is the pre-cursor book to The Accidental Admiral: A Sailor Takes Command at NATO which I have reviewed most favorably and strongly recommend. This book -- while free online as are all NDU Press books, is a very high quality production with some complex graphics and color photographs. It is fairly priced and absolutely recommended in print if you favor books you can hold in your hands.
There have been other books by military commanders but to the best of my knowledge only General Tony Zinni, USMC (then commanding the US Central Command with two wars and 12 task forces) and General Wesley Clark, USA (then commanding NATO during the Kosovo mess) have risen to what this book strives to be, a gold standard for whole of government multinational engagement.
In 15th century, the Americas were one vast thinly populated undeveloped land, with resources distributed relatively evenly across both parts. Half a millennium later, the 400 million people at the Northern hemisphere live at standard which their Southern neighbors can only dream of. Admiral Stavridis, person in charge of the U.S. Southern Command changed the way of thinking from traditional military model to the model of partnership.
We are all in this together, is the name of the first chapter, and its mission is nothing smaller than to change mindset of Americans to start thinking about Latin America more like about a shared home rather than America's backyard. According to the 2008 census, approximately 15%, that is 46 million people are of Hispanic descent. It has to be reminded that just about 50% of crude oil imports come from direct neighborhood, and another 34% from Latin America; compared to some 22% imported from the Middle East. Another strategic interest of the USA is the Panama Canal, which literally serves as a heartbeat of the region. Latin American countries also contributed to the war in Iraq by sending troops. Even though state-on-state violence is not a concern, there are still significant challenges, such as narcoterrorism and crime related to drug trafficking. Natural disasters have to be reckoned with, too. According to 2007 UN ECLAC report, roughly 40% (180 million) people in Latin America live in poverty. Anguish and resentment against the conquistadors are deeply embedded in Latin American culture. The biggest security concern coming from South America is production of cocaine. Every year, 6 to 10 thousand U.S. citizens die of cocaine abuse and associated criminality.Read more ›
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I have to admit that I haven't read it yet, but I plan to read it.
The book is available for FREE download from NDU and the GPO in mobi, pdf, and epub formats. Google the author's name and the book title. If you don't mind reading on a computer or a Kindle, I think free is a better option. :)
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