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Smart Power: Between Diplomacy and War Hardcover – September 1, 2013

5 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Woven into Whiton's analysis are examples of mistakes by both the Bush and Obama administrations. His policy critiques are worthwhile, but what really shines is his version of Gulliver's Travels through the national security bureaucracy."--John Bolton, Claremont Review


“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

About the Author

Christian Whiton is a former diplomat and presidential campaign advisor. He is a prolific commentator on national security issues. From 2003 to 2009, he was a senior advisor and deputy special envoy in the State Department. He is currently a principal at DC International Advisory, a political risk consulting firm. Whiton holds an MBA from the UCLA Anderson School of Management. He frequently appears on the Fox News Channel, CNBC, and other networks. He has published articles in the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Time, Daily Caller, Huffington Post, and numerous other publications around the world. Whiton lives with his partner, Marco McClees, in Los Angeles.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Potomac Books (September 1, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1612346197
  • ISBN-13: 978-1612346199
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.4 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #888,335 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Christian Whiton is a former diplomat and presidential campaign adviser. He is a prolific commentator on national security issues. From 2003 to 2009, he was a senior advisor and deputy special envoy in the State Department. He is currently a principal at DC International Advisory, a political risk consulting firm. Whiton holds an MBA from the UCLA Anderson School of Management. He frequently appears on the Fox News Channel, CNBC, and other networks. He has published articles in the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Time, Daily Caller, Huffington Post, and numerous other publications around the world. Whiton lives with his partner in Los Angeles.

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Format: Hardcover
We need a militarily strong, morally confident America -- it's time for smart power

By Robert C. O'Brien /
Published October 04, 2013 /
FoxNews.com

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.
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Format: Hardcover
Christian Whiton is a very smart fellow who served in the State Department, where he got to witness a lot of what he writes about first-hand. In punchy, entertaining prose, he eviscerates the State Department for weak knees in dealing with U.S. enemies like North Korea. Although written before the tragic attack in Nairobi by Al Shabaab, he correctly argued that Al Qaeda is not the only terrorist group that threatens our lives. He understands that the Chinese are picking our pockets and stealing our secrets, and his outrage at the failure of officials to confront this challenge to our national security is splendidly laid out. He wonders whether we are betraying the trust that allies like Israel have placed in the U.S., especially in the name of coddling up to people who really don't like America. And, with verve and gusto, he makes a point that I've long made (it's in my book as well, PERSUASION & POWER), that Eisenhower was a tough, no-nonsense President who despite his contrived grandfatherly public image, operated behind the scenes like the Commander that he was. Ike had no interest in co-existence with the Soviets. He wanted to defeat them. He took the reins of power himself and cracked the whip, supporting a strong campaign of psychological warfare to discredit Communism and promote our values of freedom and an open society.

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.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As I watched the Arab Spring, Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran's nuclear ambitions I often thought,"but what can the US do?" Smart Power amazed me with it's clear overview of the situation in the Middle East and Far East, how we got to where we are now, and thoughts for how to go forward. I am far from a foreign policy expert and this book makes the possible strategies clear even to a neophyte like me. I highly recommend Smart Power.
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Very easy to read and explains what the impact of the USA current lapses in our foreign policy strategy does to our ability to be the number one player in the world today.
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