Edit of 2 Feb 08: Added several images above to make this review more easily understandable in context of what Diplomacy should be and is not.
Based on the superb first review rating this book at two stars, I am going to save my time and money, but thought to add a list of ten books each of which is assuredly better than this one and more relevant to creating a prosperous planet at peace. Just reading my reviews of the ten books below will be helpful, whether you buy the Albright book or not.
By way of setting the stage, I respectfully point out that any Secretary of State who takes a back seat to the Pentagon and the spies, and who accepts a budget of $30B a year instead of $200B to wage peace, is a twit and of no consequence. We spent $950 billion this year waging war, and $60 billion on spies and secrecy. Anyone with sufficient stature to be asked to be Secretary of State (yes, I include Talbott) should also be deeply enough read and have a sufficiency of courage to make acceptance conditional on the President’s promising to realign funds away from war and toward peace–anything less is craven servitude solely focused on prestige rather than substance.
There are two key points any future Secretary of State much make to the President:
1) For one third of what we spend on war, we could eradicate all ten high level threats to mankind and assure a good life for all with clean water, nourishing food, and free public education and health. See the image I have loaded. Medard Gabel, E. O. Wilson, and Lester Brown have made independent documented calculations, and they all bear this out. Right now State is a tribe of penniless messenger boys and girls with no substantive influence on what should be its most important product: peaceful commerce with all nations, and an end to our support for 42 of 44 dictators each brutalizing their rewspective populations and looking their commonwealth.
2) For what we spent to put up the spy satellite that is falling out of the sky (with a dangerous nuclear power pack that will scatter when it hits the ground), I could have provided free public intelligence for at least a year to every Congressional Committee, every Cabinet Secretary and all of their Assistant Secretaries, to the United Nations and Non-Governmental Organizations, and to the 250 Foundations that together spend $500 billion a year willy nilly without a Range of Gifts Table for eradicating the ten high level threats to Humanity.
A More Secure World: Our Shared Responsibility–Report of the Secretary-General’s High-level Panel on Threats, Challenges and Change
[above also available free online as a PDF] Modern Strategy
The Unconquerable World: Power, Nonviolence, and the Will of the People
The Search for Security: A U.S. Grand Strategy for the Twenty-First Century
Breaking the Real Axis of Evil: How to Oust the World’s Last Dictators by 2025
Preparing America’s Foreign Policy for the 21st Century
Security Studies for the 21st Century
Wilson’s Ghost: Reducing the Risk of Conflict, Killing, and Catastrophe in the 21st Century
House of War: The Pentagon and the Disastrous Rise of American Power
Legacy of Ashes: The History of the CIA
Lester Brown, Plan 3.0
E.O. Wilson, The Future of Life
Medard Gabel, Seven Billion Billionaires (forthcoming, see the article on four billion billionaires, the pie chart image is his and used with permission. He is also the owner/inventor of the EarthGame.
See also, sorry I cannot link (we are allowed only ten links):
I do not link to books I have written, edited, or published, but want to mention five should anyone wish to read them free online at OSS.Net, or via Amazon:
The New Craft of Intelligence: Personal, Public, & Political–Citizen’s Action Handbook for Fighting Terrorism, Genocide, Disease, Toxic Bombs, & Corruption (author)
Peacekeeping Intelligence: Emerging Concepts for the Future (edited)
The Smart Nation Act: Public Intelligence in the Public Interest (with Congressman Rob Simmons)
Collective Intelligence: Creating a Prosperous World at Peace (forthcoming 1 March 2008, free online now at Earth Intelligence Network)
Peace Intelligence: Assuring a Good Life for All (edited, 1 May)
War & Peace: The Seventh Generation (my offering to the public–the Chinese took Dick Cheney’s plane down over Singapore, read about this in my memo by searching for <Chinese Irregular Warfare Memorandum Steele>. If we do not begin waging peace immediately, and pursuing the strategy devised by the non-profit Earth Intelligence Network, this planet will be toast within 25 years. Albright is part of the problem, We the People are the only power that can force informed democracy and open government back to the forefront.
I am sick and tired of the two political parties treating our taxes as their personal piggy bank, and of the near moronic “experts” that know almost nothing about reality, and everything about sucking up to the people who empower them without a clue as to their shallowness. The only expert still standing that I respect is LtGen Dr. Brent Scowcroft. He may be the last honest adult left in Washington, D.C.