Review: American Interests in South Asia (Ho Ho Ho)

3 Star, Country/Regional, Diplomacy, Empire, Sorrows, Hubris, Blowback, Military & Pentagon Power, Misinformation & Propaganda, Politics, Power (Pathologies & Utilization), Security (Including Immigration), Voices Lost (Indigenous, Gender, Poor, Marginalized), War & Face of Battle
Amazon Page
Amazon Page

Nicholas Burns (Editor) , Jonathon Price (Editor) , Joseph S. Nye Jr. (Foreword) , Brent Scowcroft (Foreword)

3.0 out of 5 stars Parallel Universe — Divorced from Reality, September 20, 2013

I am in Afghanistan with the opportunity to think about all of the external and internal realities impacting on 2014, and this book attracted my immediately interest, along with Afghanistan: The Perfect Failure: A War Doomed By The Coalition's Strategies, Policies and Political Correctness. If I had the time I would buy and read both books, but sadly I have to focus on the here and now with just two comments:

01 All of these big names write great stuff, but I have to ask myself, who are they writing for? Who, if anyone is listening? Among all these great ideas, there is not a single one that has been implemented, funded, sustained, or effective. So why do we have smart people and think tanks? Are they a form of public entertainment, of public self-stroking, completely removed from the reality that the White House and Congress are so lacking in moral and intellectual fortitude as to be a constant danger to both the Republic and all other nations?

02 Is it really possible that even these very smart people are still incapable of putting forward a strategic analytic model (my two-minute lecture to Scowcroft can be found on YouTube), of calculating true costs, and of educating the public rather than one another? What is it going to take to restore the integrity of public discourse (the NYT and others having long ago committed moral and intellectual suicide)? See my easily found Graphic: Preconditions of Revolution, and my compilation of relevant material attendant to the badly needed Open Source Agency (OSA), found at <Open Source Agency Executive Access Point> source=phibetaiota>.

I ended up buying something historical, in part because outside of books by Rashid, e.g. Pakistan on the Brink: The Future of America, Pakistan, and Afghanistan, which I will review in a few days, no one today seems capable of writing usefully about the deep integration of political, military, social, economic, ideological, cultural, technical, demographic, natural, and geogrpahic elements, their true costs from cradle to grave, and the general insanity attendant to all that we do or do not do now. Here is the book I bought instead of this one: God's Terrorists: The Wahhabi Cult and the Hidden Roots of Modern Jihad.

Other books related to Afghanistan that I recommend:

Surrender to Kindness: One Man's Epic Journey for Love and Peace
Operation Dark Heart: Spycraft and Special Ops on the Frontlines of Afghanistan—and the Path to Victory
The Thistle and the Drone: How America's War on Terror Became a Global War on Tribal Islam
Afghanistan: A Military History from Alexander the Great to the War against the Taliban
The Durand Line: Its Geo-strategic Importance
Afghanistan Revealed

One DVD recommended by General Bob Scales, USA (Ret):


I can be reached at robert.david.steele.vivas [at] gmail [dot] com. I am particularly interested — from a strictly personal point of view — in the emerging socio-economic alliance between Iran and India and the maritime implications of that development.

Best wishes to all,
Robert David STEELE Vivas
THE NEW CRAFT OF INTELLIGENCE: Personal, Public, & Political

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