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Your Government Failed You: Breaking the Cycle of National Security Disasters Paperback – Bargain Price, June 30, 2009

4.3 out of 5 stars 56 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Richard A. Clarke has served in the White House for President Reagan, for both presidents Bush, and for President Clinton, who appointed him as National Coordinator for Security, Infrastructure Protection, and Counterterrorism. He teaches at Harvard Kennedy School, consults for ABC News, and is chairman of Good Harbor Consulting.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Perennial; Reprint edition (June 30, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061474630
  • ASIN: B003JTHSR2
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 1 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (56 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,909,801 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Loyd Eskildson HALL OF FAME on May 27, 2008
Format: Hardcover
America's government spends $1 trillion/year on national security, yet fails to provide security for its citizens. Clarke's latest book reviews several key areas and identifies both problems and potential improvements.

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.
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Format: Hardcover
New president Obama needs to read this book. After 31 years in government i finally found someone who tells it like it is. That person is Richard Clarke. He has insights that i have known for years but never been able to confirm about some political appointees and their cronies. He also knows the career civil servant well. Washington is a place full of deceit and executive criminal behavior. Reading this book is excellent perparation for that duty. If you want to know what works in national security policy and what does not then read this book. Mr Clarke's blind spot is that he was never in the military. Other than that i find him on target in every aspect of his comments.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Clarke has a reputation for telling things that, while not secret, are things the Bush crowd would rather you didn't know. His 30+ years in government, at a fairly high level, give him credence. Among many other things, he tells you how the Administration bullied Tommy Franks into reducing the long-standing Iraq invasion requirement from 480K to 130K, and how there was no post-invasion plan, previously a requirement of any military operation. He points out that if a Democratic Administration had sent troops into Iraq with canvas doors on their Hummers, there would have been riots in the streets. He points out the shabby treatment that Gov Ridge got and why he finally quit. And of course there is passing comments on Karl Rove, the spin-master from Hell. It made me want to deport him back there on the spot. It short, it's a good read if you want the story told from the inside....
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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. Richard Clark is a career "insider", with 30 years at various agencies within the Federal government- from Nixon to Bush 2 he charts the decisions made within the military and intelligence communities from Viet Nam through 9/11.

The title of the book comes from an admission Mr. Clark made before a Congressional committee on the events leading up to 9/11. Clark clearly loves the military personnel he worked with, but is just as clearly not enamored of the brass that made self-serving, political or even cowardly decisions that jeopardized the people under them. The author is equally critical of the politicians he worked with; pointing out various political decisions that did not protect, or serve, the people.

At 450+ pages it won't take you long to get cover to cover- time well spent. This book will make you angry, and you should be.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Richard Clarke is well worth listening to. He fills in the gaps of a multifaceted event. The title grabs the attention but is not accurate.The phrase "your country" puts the blame outside of ourselves which is not where it belongs.
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Great book from the only person who came off as competent and honest in the post 9/11 investigation in W's administration. Gov't is not the problem. It is the politicians who act for their own benefit.
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A highly credible account of the events leading up to and following 9-11 by the "at-the- time," National Security Advisor. This book includes information that "blows the lid" off the misinformation, misdirection, outright lies and the abuse of power by the Bush administration.
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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 acts of terrorism on a timely basis to save lives.
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