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Smart Power: Between Diplomacy and War Hardcover – September 1, 2013
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“A failure of the past decade is that our leaders have been lately unwilling to describe our terrorist adversaries and their ideology. As a result, we have too often ceded the battle of ideas to the enemy. Christian Whiton saw the shortcomings of this firsthand at the State Department. Drawing on his experience, the lessons from Arab Spring, and vivid history from the Cold War, Whiton offers new solutions to this missing part of national defense in his compelling new book.”
—Donald Rumsfeld, former secretary of defense, George W. Bush and Gerald Ford administrations
“Since the end of the Cold War our foreign policy seems to have developed a bipolar disorder. Occasionally we fight, but otherwise we talk . . . just talk. And we seem to talk toughest to our friends. Christian Whiton shows us how to take a much better path, one on which we help our friends and undermine our adversaries and enemies. His counsel is creative and in equal measure Jeffersonian and Machiavellian. Bravo.”
—R. James Woolsey, former director of central intelligence, Bill Clinton administration
“Christian Whiton takes us on a long march through Washington’s national security institutions. At every turn, he offers clear, commonsense fixes for the organizational dysfunction that stands in the way of the whole-of-government action needed to cope with post-9/11 challenges. Readers will start Smart Power by nodding in agreement. They will finish by wanting to shout, ‘YES!’”—Robert Andrews, former deputy undersecretary of defense for counterintelligence and security
“The foreign policy prescriptions Christian Whiton offers in Smart Power are advanced with passion and erudition—and without fear or favor for either political party or any entrenched school of thought. Readers will also receive an extraordinary education in what really goes on inside the State Department, and the ways in which American diplomats must often contend with obstructionist, dilatory, and irrational actors in their own government before venturing forth to engage them in the ministries of our allies and enemies abroad.”—James Rosen, Fox News chief Washington correspondent
"This book should be read by every unselfconscious, unapologetic patriot, whether conservative or liberal. . . . And it should be on the reading list of every potential candidate who aspires to replace the incumbent president."—Lewis E. Lehrman, American Spectator
"A fascinating, well argued book."—James P. Farwell, Huffington Post
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By Robert C. O'Brien /
Published October 04, 2013 /
The national security debate in Washington is a muddled affair. Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu warned us Tuesday at the U.N. that conciliatory gestures from an Iranian regime bent on nuclear domination of the Middle East are a ruse. But in Washington, no one seems to be listening--or preparing for the dangerous new world Netanyahu outlined.
President Obama continues to "lead from behind" first following the French and now the Russians in ad hoc decision making on a crisis-by-crisis basis.
Republican Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham's reflexive solution to any situation is apparently to call for the imposition of a "no fly zone."
There may be more interest in Beijing in his smart power theories and strategies today than there is in Washington.
But the no fly zone option is becoming a more complicated proposition for our Armed Forces as "Tea Party" Republicans join "San Francisco" Democrats in embracing sequestration, which is literally decimating the American military and could sideline four carrier battle groups.
Dennis Kucinich-led progressives are allied with Ron Paul-led libertarians in advocating a new era of American isolationism, hoping that by withdrawing from the world, the world's problems will stop at our shores.
Missing in the debate are vocal advocates of the formerly bipartisan post-war consensus that a militarily strong and morally confident America, actively engaged with its allies in the world, is a force for peace and good.
Ronald Reagan called the approach "peace through strength.Read more ›
Whiton is on his game as he discusses these topics, and relates them to today's crises. His thesis is savvy: there is a middle ground between launching a mindless war and kow-towing to enemies. It's called "smart power." This book smartly dissects what that means, and why we need more of it today. If you're interested in current affairs, with vibrant writing from an author who feels passionately about his subject, SMART POWER is the book.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Should be required reading for President Obama and Secretary John Kerry...and every elected member of our Congress. Christian is a keen observer and objective in his opinions. Read morePublished 13 months ago by courtenay
An insightful analysis from a perspective most of us do not have. I would recommend this book strongly.Published 18 months ago by srochman
This should be required reading for anyone who wants to have a serious understanding of how power works, and how we can use it more effectively. Great work, Mr. WhitonPublished 21 months ago by Barak Lurie