Once, war was a temporary state of affairs - a violent but brief interlude between times of peace. Today America's wars are everywhere and forever: Our enemies change constantly and rarely wear uniforms, and virtually anything can become a weapon. As war expands, so does the role of the US military. Today military personnel don't just "kill people and break stuff". Instead they analyze computer code, train Afghan judges, build Ebola isolation wards, eavesdrop on electronic communications, develop soap operas, and patrol for pirates.
As a senior Army officer and graduate of the U.S. Army War College (the motto of which is "To preserve peace, not to promote war") I found this book very educational and, moreover, extremely relevant to the professional development of military leaders. It's a must-read book for those who are willing to view the current strategic and operational environments through a different lens; which is, in my view, the only way our Nation and the collective Global community will ever have any hope of breaking free of the current pervasive state of armed conflict. Masterfully conceived and written!
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In 1991, the United States was the only global superpower. It seemed that the 21st century, like the 20th, would belong to America. Then came the stock market bubble, the costly foreign unilateralism of the younger Bush presidency, and the financial catastrophe of 2008. Meanwhile, China was rising and the Middle East was awakening politically. Today it is clear that America is vulnerable - to domestic and international decline and unregulated greed.
I am a relatively recent graduate of the United States Army War College; and this book truly should be added to the curriculum for that course. I felt like I was reading and listening to a detailed synopsis of the two-year course that focuses on National Strategy formulation and, in many ways, was a course in political science. This book offers a rare glimpse behind the curtain of foreign policy, from both an historical perspective and a first-person point of view. It's a must read for any member of the U.S. Government- particularly any member of the U.S. Congress, since they appear to be in most need of the lessons and insight Mr. Brzezinski offers throughout the book. I very highly recommend it to anyone interested in truly contributing to the effort to make the world a better and safer place for everyone -- particularly for future generations.
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