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The Sovereignty Solution: A Common Sense Approach to Global Security Hardcover – December 15, 2011


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Naval Institute Press (December 15, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1612510507
  • ISBN-13: 978-1612510507
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.1 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #215,057 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"…thought-provoking…The authors, a Naval Postgraduate School professor and a pair of Special Forces officers know very well what they have written about. The ideas they propound are good. They are well worth taking on board."

--AUSMarine

"This book is recommended, particularly for those who are respon­sible for making policy decisions at the highest levels of govern­ment, and especially those decisions governing the use of force. Given current global focus on events in Syria and Iran, and with calls for military intervention coming from some quarters, one wonders if this book will become, or already is, required reading within what Americans call, 'The Administration.'" -- Starshell

"The Sovereignty Solution is an excellent pick for community and library reference collections discussing important international issues." -- The Midwest Book Review

A Select Title on the AIR FORCE CHIEF OF STAFF READING LIST 2013

"I highly recommend this book as an invaluable resource for service members, who, more than perhaps any other group of people, are directly affected by foreign policy decisions." -- Air Force Chief of Staff Reading List review

"The book thoughtfully articulates an alternate future US foreign policy supporting a new US grand strategy. This book is suitable for higher Defence College consideration, as it tests and stretches important international norms, while proposing policy choices impacting not only the US but also most nations of the world. In addition, it includes more than 65 pages of comprehensive notes from research, which add significant value and are usefully read alongside each of the book's nine chapters." -- Australian Defence Force Journal

"...the book challenges U.S. citizens and policymakers to formulate a clear strategy before demanding sacrifices from a fraction of the population. In this, it is a worthwhile contribution to what should be a pressing matter of public debate, especially in an election year." -- H-Net

"It is without reservations that I state that The Sovereignty Solution was the most important book of 2011 that most of you never read." -- Rethinking Security

"The book is highly recommended, because it describes a perfectly sound alternative to the current US military conduct." -- Naval Forces

"Counterinsurgency by nation building is concurrently official U.S. doctrine, an evident case of military malpractice, and the imperialism of fools…This book is a valuable contribution because it describes a perfectly sound alternative to the current U.S. military conduct." -- EDWARD N. LUTTWAK, military strategist and historian; author of Strategy: The Logic of War and Peace

"The argument is distinct and explicit, the writing lucid and cogent, the authors passionate and experienced. This is a book that will start many much-needed discussions." -- Jakub Grygiel, George H. W. Bush Senior Associate Professor of International Relations, Johns Hopkins University's School of Advanced International Studies

"Years ahead of the Washington policy cognoscenti, Simons, McGraw, and Lauchengco blaze a new intellectual path between the frustrations of nation building and the temptations of drone counterterrorism." -- Robert Andrews, former deputy under-secretary of defense and special assistant to the Secretary of the Army; author of The Village War

"While one can disagree with them, the authors make a strong case for a U.S. strategy that leaves other countries alone to live as they wish unless they attack our sovereignty. The beauty of the strategy is its stark simplicity. As important, the three authors work daily with U.S. military officers, and they cannot mask their frustration and anguish over national leadership that sends young Americans into combat without even having the guts to seek formal declarations of war, and without operationally clear criteria for success. The authors care, and so should we all." -- The Honorable James G. Roche, 20th Secretary of the U.S. Air Force

"Like an unexpected wet mop in the face of tired complacency, The Sovereignty Solution works on the receptive mind as a pry bar works on a tightly sealed box. Written with courage and passion, this is a book whose often counterintuitive clarity shakes entombed assumptions like an earthquake. Whether you end up convinced or not, you will never think about American national security the same way ever again." -- Adam Garfinkle, editor of The American Interest

About the Author

Anna Simons is a Professor of Defense Analysis at the Naval Postgraduate School. She previously taught anthropology at UCLA. She graduated from Harvard College, and earned her PhD in social anthropology from Harvard University. She is the author of Networks of Dissolution: Somalia Undone and The Company They Keep: Life Inside the U.S. Army Special Forces.

Joe McGraw: An active duty Special Forces Officer with over 16 years in the US Army. He is married to LTC Leigh McGraw and father of three small children. He has served in combat with his Special Forces A-Team and his Special Forces Company, and has spent over 10 years with US Army Special Forces.

Duane Lauchengco: The busy life of a Special Forces Officer in today's Army parallels the equally busy life of a father with a bristling brood of four children and a very understanding wife. At home in a Cub Scout meeting, watching kids' soccer, or treading water, Duane contentedly enjoys North Carolina living

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By William Podmore on May 11, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Anna Simons is a Professor of Defense Analysis at the Naval Postgraduate School, Joe McGraw is an active duty Special Forces officer with over 17 years in the US Army, and Duane Lauchengo is also a Special Forces officer with many years' experience.

Their subject is the need for the USA to adopt a new policy, of "respect our sovereignty and we will respect yours." This entails, "don't expect us to embrace your values in this country and we won't expect you to embrace our values in your country: or to be even more blunt about it: we'll be us. You be you. `You be you' means there would be no more government-sponsored proselytization of the American Way abroad. There would be no more inveigling by the U.S. government to get others to change. This buttresses the respect that sovereignty is supposed to accord, whereas self-respect requires a much more concerted focus by us on our domestic problems."

As the authors write, "populations should be able to live under whatever system of governance they choose, to use their natural resources in whatever manner they see fit, and to run their economies according to the principles that most suit them ..."

The authors cite Richard Haass who wrote of the threats to sovereignty, "States are being challenged from above, by regional and global organizations; from below, by militias; and from the side, by a variety of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and corporations."

They point out that aid has failed, citing Kishore Mahbubani: "the story of Western aid to the developing world is essentially a myth.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Erik on December 3, 2011
Format: Hardcover
In a world just waking up to the constraints of resources, The Sovereignty Solution breaks with the unfettered idealism of the politcal spectrum's both sides. Instead it grounds itself in the reality of limited means, and seeks to align our country's abilities against attainable and defined ends. The authors' plan is to change the way we engage not only other countries, but our own. While at first glance it may seem a war-hawks cry, the trio instead lay out a framework to make the world less violent, less volatile, and less deadly. Their argument is steeped in the idea that our foreign policy should be built on who we are as Americans and should play to our strengths, not to those of violent sub-state actors. Refreshingly readable this book isn't written by belt-way insiders or academic navel gazers, but instead by authors will real experience in both counter-terrorism and counter insurgency. With shelves lined with hyper-partisan books dogmatically demonizing one another, Simmons, McGraw and Lauchengco have written a book that not only encourages discussion, but also demands it. A must read regardless of your political color.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Geoff M on August 21, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I've read this book three times. I wonder if our current state of affairs would be different if the policies prescribed in this work were employed prior to 2001. Simply put, it's what I call "playground theory". You want something from me, then be nice and offer me something in return. I'll stay out of your business and you stay out of mine. Threaten me or my close friends and the gloves come off. The authors are right...the US tries too hard to sell it's form of democracy abroad to people who don't want it. Leading by example and let others follow if they chose to would be a better approach. In short, we should practice what we preach and our policies reflect the same, be direct and follow through.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Karl on January 2, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The Sovereignty Solution: A Commonsense Approach to Global Security is the most thought-provoking book on US foreign policy that I have read. The authors propose that US foreign policy should be governed by a quid pro quo that says, "respect our sovereignty and we will respect yours." No more anti-American violence, which the authors argue can be achieved by adopting a "live and let live" philosophy with a powerful kicker: "don't violate US sovereignty, or else."

This book should be required reading for everyone interested in US foreign policy. I don't agree with every detail, but the thrust of the authors'arguments provide a sound basis for redefining US foreign policy. For those who wish to dig deeper, the annotated bibliography provides a great place to start.
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