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Your Government Failed You: Breaking the Cycle of National Security Disasters Hardcover – Bargain Price, May 27, 2008
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About the Author
Richard A. Clarke began his career in the Office of the Secretary of Defense in 1973. He was a Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Intelligence in the Reagan Administration. The Senate confirmed him as Assistant Secretary of State for Politico-Military Affairs in the George H.W. Bush Administration. He served in the White House for both presidents Bush and for President Clinton, who appointed him as National Coordinator for Security and Counter-Terrorism. He now teaches a Harvards Kennedy School, consults for ABC News, and is Chairman of Good Harbor Consulting.
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Top Customer Reviews
The Iraq War is the first topic reviewed. Clarke believes that the war was a major mistake, is not likely to achieve its purpose, and represents a failure in leadership. Examples of the latter include having insufficient troops, a lack of direction after taking Baghdad, poorly equipped and protected forces, loose control of prisoners, and poor treatment of our wounded after arriving back in the U.S. Clarke believes U.S. generals failed to stand up to poor decision-making by civilians, though also contends that top generals were chose for their compliability and admits that speaking out was a career-limiting move.
The end of the Cold War came as a surprise to American leadership, and is widely viewed as a devastating indictment of U.S. intelligence. Other failures include the CIA telling Truman in 1950 that China would not invade Korea to fight U.S. forces (that assessment was made after advance Chinese units had already entered North Korea), the CIA asserting that Iraq would not invade Kuwait (did so within hours of that forecast), concluding that Iraq did not have significant nuclear weapons development prior to Gulf War I, stating that Russia had not violated the Biological Weapons Convention (later was proved, and they admitted otherwise), mislocating the location of Russian nuclear warheads in East Germany, concluding that Iraq had WMD prior to Gulf War II and was also training al Qaeda, downplaying the likelihood of North Korea invading the South, India's developing nuclear weapons, failing to detect both the Tet Offensive and the fall of the Shah, etc.Read more ›
There is little doubt that Clarke has indeed identified some of the weak spots within the National Security system. His solutions are rather more controversial, but are certainly worth considering. Some of his observations are quite good. For example he makes the point that failure always has a human face. By which he means systems don't fail, the people who design and manage them fail. Which observation is quite true. Unfortunately he proceeds to name names in specific examples of system failures which add an unnecessary element of controversy to an already controversial subject.
All in all, this book offers a subjective, but well founded critique or the U.S. National Security System by someone who has served that system in a variety of positions over a thirty year career. No he is not absolutely accurate and objective, but he presents what appears to be a mostly fair and balanced account of what is wrong with national security and how it can be fixed.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A little too wordy. Compared to his first book it comes across as too much advice; however, still fascinating.Published 6 months ago by Stan
The author provides authoritative insight into the operation of the White House under several presidents with each one failing to perceive or take the correct action to prevent... Read morePublished 9 months ago by George Banas
Rarely do I rate a book this high, but the information Clarke provides should be required reading in high school civics courses and in collegiate management courses. Read morePublished 10 months ago by James Miklasevich
Liked certain chapters more than others, the first one was slow and hot headed, but the following were full of facts and insight to the Hill and its influence in the real battles... Read morePublished 14 months ago by Jessica Hafey
Very informative and well written. The more I read, the more disgusted I become with Republicans.Published 17 months ago by Phyllis McKee
If you think of history as a road map that helps you see where you're going by showing you how you got where you're at this is a book you must read. Read morePublished on January 11, 2014 by Climber3000
A highly credible account of the events leading up to and following 9-11 by the "at-the- time," National Security Advisor. Read morePublished on July 26, 2013 by Gary K. Woods