Review: National Insecurity – American Leadership in an Age of Fear

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David Rothkopf

4.0 out of 5 stars SUPERB Conclusion–Has Flaws But Still a Strong Contribution, February 25, 2015

Wow. I have met the author and I gave an earlier book of his, Running the World: The Inside Story of the National Security Council and the Architects of American Power a strong review, but I was not expecting the deep common sense and pragmatic observations that conclude this book. There are many aspects of our insecurity that the author is not willing to address — notably the deep corruption of our political system and undue influence by foreign “allies” that are in fact enemies but that pales in light of his deep evaluation of how badly we are doing as a government. There are many flaws in the author’s arguments better covered by Reviewer Frank J. Wassermann, I put this down to the author trying too hard to not completely alienate all the mandarins he still meets for lunch and at evening events. I embrace most of Reviewer Wasserman’s comments but still give the book four stars instead of his two.

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Feb 25

Review (Guest): The American Deep State – Wall Street, Big Oil, and the Attack on US Democracy

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Peter Dale Scott

5 Star  Connecting the Dots

By The Peripatetic Reader on December 13, 2014

Peter Dale Scott has written many books about the Deep State at work in the U.S. government. Scott depicts American society as structurally and inherently schizophrenic. Just as there is the public government and the deep government, and ordinary events and deep events, there are two dominant forces permeating United States history: One egalitarian, believing in fairness, inclusion, and free expression, and the other militaristic and exclusionary, which is only interested in social control.

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Jan 3

Review: Before the First Shots are Fired – How America Can Win or Lose Off the Battlefield

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Tony Zinni and Tony Koltz

Foreign Politics Beyond the Beltway

By Andrew Lubin on September 6, 2014

Today’s foreign policy world seems like the bad old days of American indecision under Jimmy Carter; the Israel-Hamas war, Putin annexed the Crimea, President Obama’s red-lines in Syria are repeatedly ignored, and the Americans killed in Iraq seem to have been sacrificed for a country whose people wanted democracy far less than the “Neocon’s wanted it for them…clearly General Tony Zinni’s USMC (ret) latest book, Before the First Shot is Fired; How America can win or lose off the battlefield, is being published at a most opportune time.

Writing with an honesty rare in Washington, D.C, “Before the First Shot” is Zinni’s assessment of why America’s foreign and military policy-making is ineffective, if not harmful, to America’s national interests. In conjunction with co-author Tony Koltz, he discusses why the complex question “Are we warriors, peacekeepers, or liberators?” of Somalia, the Balkans, Afghanistan, Iraq, and beyond needs to be honestly discussed and answered when military actions are being considered.

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Dec 24

Review: The Good War – Why We Couldn’t Win the War or the Peace in Afghanistan

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Jack Fairweather

4.0 out of 5 stars
British, CIA, US Flag Level View — Scores Settled, Some Facts Wrong or Missing, November 9, 2014

This is a preliminary review. My usual summary review with detail will be posted in a day or two. I did a fast read last night and formed the following impressions:

01 This is a British perspective heavily weighted by a very narrow range of sources that favor a small number of US Department of State, CIA, and US military officers.

02 It has enough meat to demand a second detailed reading with my usual extensive notes, such as I just provided for Afghanistan: The Perfect Failure – A War Doomed by the Coalition’s Strategies, Policies and Political Correctness.

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Nov 9