Review: The Tao of Democracy–Using Co-Intelligence to Create a World That Works for All

6 Star Top 10%, Civil Society, Consciousness & Social IQ, Democracy, Intelligence (Collective & Quantum), Values, Ethics, Sustainable Evolution

Amazon Page
Amazon Page

5.0 out of 5 stars Utterly Sensational–Basic Book for Humanity,

November 30, 2003
Tom Atlee
Edit of 21 Dec 07 to add links and comment.

New comment: Tom Atlee opened a door for me, and because of him I have joined the co-intelligence movement and will be publishing an edited work, COLLECTIVE INTELLIGENCE: Creating a Prosperous World at Peace, both free in PDF form at OSS.Net/CIB, and on Amazon from mid-February.

I see so many things starting to come together around the world and through books. The Internet has opened the door for a cross-fertilization of knowledge and emotion and concern across all boundaries such as the world has never seen before, and it has made possible a new form of structured collective intelligence such as H.G. Wells (World Brain (Adamantine Classics for the 21st Century)), Howard Bloom (Global Brain: The Evolution of Mass Mind from the Big Bang to the 21st Century), Pierre Levy (Collective Intelligence: Mankind's Emerging World in Cyberspace), Willis Harman (Global Mind Change: The New Age Revolution in the Way We Think), and I (The New Craft of Intelligence: Personal, Public, & Political–Citizen's Action Handbook for Fighting Terrorism, Genocide, Disease, Toxic Bombs, & Corruption), could never have imagined.

This book is better than all of ours, for the simple reason that it speaks directly to the possibilities of deliberative democracy through citizen study circles and wisdom councils.

The book is also helpful as a pointer to a number of web sites, all of them very immature at this point, but also emergent in a most constructive way–web sites focused on public issues, public agendas, new forms of democratic organization, and so on.

Still lacking–and I plan to encourage special organizations such as the Center for American Progress to implement something like this–is a central hub where a citizen can go, type in their zip code, and immediately be in touch with the following (as illustrated on page 133 of New Craft):

1) a weekly report on the state of any issue (disease, water, security, whatever);

2) distance learning on that issue;

3) an expert forum on that issue;

4) a virtual library on that issue including links to the deep web substance on that issue, not just to home pages of sponsoring organizations;

5) a global calendar of all events scheduled on that issue, including legislation and conferences or hearings;

6) a rolodex or who's who at every level for that issue;

7) a virtual budget showing what is being spent on that issue at every level; and

8) an active map showing the status of that issue in time and space terms, with links to people, documents, etcetera.

I cannot say enough good things about this book. If the authors cited above have been coming at the same challenge from a “top down” perspective, then Tom Atlee, the author of this book, gets credit for defining a “bottom up” approach that is sensible and implementable. This book focuses on what comes next, after everyone gets tired of just “meeting up” or “just blogging.” This book is about collective intelligence for the common good, and it is a very fine book.

Five other books (all I am allowed to link):
Leadership and the New Science: Discovering Order in a Chaotic World
Society's Breakthrough!: Releasing Essential Wisdom and Virtue in All the People
One from Many: VISA and the Rise of Chaordic Organization
The World Cafe: Shaping Our Futures Through Conversations That Matter
The Cultural Creatives: How 50 Million People Are Changing the World

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Review: The Health of Nations–Society and Law beyond the State

6 Star Top 10%, Consciousness & Social IQ, Crime (Government), Diplomacy, Empire, Sorrows, Hubris, Blowback, History, Intelligence (Public), Peace, Poverty, & Middle Class, Philosophy, Public Administration, Secession & Nullification, Strategy, Survival & Sustainment, Truth & Reconciliation, Values, Ethics, Sustainable Evolution, Voices Lost (Indigenous, Gender, Poor, Marginalized)

Amazon Page
Amazon Page

5.0 out of 5 stars One of a Handful of Revolutionary Books,

October 28, 2003
Philip Allott
Edit of21 Dec 07 to add links and reassert importance of this work.

Of the 1000+ books I have reviewed on Amazon, this is one of a handful that can be considered truly revolutionary. Three others that come instantly to mind are those by Jonathan Schell, The Unconquerable World: Power, Nonviolence, and the Will of the People, William Greider, The Soul of Capitalism: Opening Paths to a Moral Economy, and E.O. Wilson, The Future of Life.

This book is not an easy read. The author, a Professor of Law in the University of Cambridge, wrote an earlier work, Eunomia: New Order for a New World, that has remained similar obscure, and that is a pity, for what I see here is a truly brilliant mind able to suggest that the Congress of Vienna, the current law of nations, and the de-humanization of state to state relations, isolating the internal affairs and inhumanities of state from global public morality and indignation, are the greatest travesty in human history.

The author joins William Greider in suggesting that the state as a corporate personality is as immoral (and irrational in terms of natural law) as is the corporate personality that allows corporations to treat humans as “goods.” In this book the author sets out to do nothing less than logically overturn centuries of absolutist amoral power institutionalized by elites in the form of state governments with sovereign rights divorced from and with eminent domain over their subjects (vice citizens), and to propose a new form of globalized human society that restores the human aspect to relations among peoples and among nations of peoples.

This is a book that requires patience. It must be slowly and methodically absorbed. The footnotes are quite extraordinary, as is the summative and explicatory survey of many different literatures over many different historical periods.

The author is critical of universities for failing to develop the public mind, and offers a lovely exposition of how sanity, insanity, and public consciousness are all subject to the mythology of capitalism and the manipulation of the elites–in this he would find fellow travelers (smile) in Chomsky and Vidal. He concludes that diplomacy (and statecraft) as an articulation of the public mind and public interest have *failed*, and looks instead to some sort of social re-ordering from the bottom up.

This book, apart from offering an enlightened vision of the law as a living thing able to encapsulate changes morality and changing interests among parties, does nothing less than reconceptualize international relations. This author is to the law of nations what Vaclav Havel was to communism.

He touches on a point Henry Kissinger makes in the last of his books I reviewed (Does America Need a Foreign Policy? : Toward a Diplomacy for the 21st Century), and specifically that “The risk now facing humanity is the globalizing of the all-powerful, all-consuming social systems, without the moral, legal, political and cultural aspirations and constraints, such as they are, which moderate social action at the national level.” The world, in essence, has become much too complex and much too volatile and much too dangerous for archaic state-level forms of mandarin governance.

In the middle of the book, the author's review of how Germany previously collapsed into a patchwork of insignificant nations sounds all too much like the United States of America, where citizenship is losing its value, tyrannical minorities are in isolation from one another (and from reality), and the sense of national identity is too easily captured by a handful of neo-conservatives (modern Nazis). Interestingly, as with Havel, he notes the importance of art and culture as a means of synthesizing national identity, and would probably agree with E.O. Wilson (“Consilience”) as to the humanities being vital to the context and conduct of the sciences. His list of national “diseases” is both disturbing and timely.

He joins Jefferson and the founding fathers in focusing on the health and happiness of the people as the ultimate organizing principle (some would translate “happiness” as “fulfillment”, a more accomplished and less frivolous objective).

On page 137 he is quite clear in suggesting that capitalism as it is practiced today, is nothing less than a form of totalitarianism, and he goes on to say on page 139 that social evil is the greatest challenge facing humanity today. Instead of socializing individuals into the reduced status of “goods” we should be socializing the state into a representative and general democracy by rehumanizing humanity and rehumanizing the organizations that are supposed to provide collective voice to the people.

In following pages the author provides a brilliant catalog of the ills of democracy, reconceptualizes democracy as being based on the rule of law (for all) rather than on who rules (for the benefit of the few), and he explicitly condemns the largely unaccountable forms of concentrated power (by which we take to mean the World Trade Organization, the International Monetary Fund, and other devices for perpetuating immoral capitalism irrespective of local needs).

The full force of the author's thinking comes into full stride in the concluding portions of the book as he integrates new concepts of international law, history, social relations, and new forms of intergovernmental relations truly representative of the species as a whole and the people as a moral force. He laments the manner in which an extraordinarily global elite has been able to “separate” people from morality and from one another, leading to a common acceptance of five intolerable things: 1) unequal social development; 2) war and armaments; 3) governmental oppression; 4) physical degradation; and 5) spiritual degradation.

The author concludes by proposing a new view of the human world, and his remarks must be read in the original. He ends, as do Will and Ariel Durant in their summative “The Lessons of History,” by noting that the necessary revolution is that which must take place in our minds, not on the streets.”

This is an utterly brilliant book that has been badly marketed and is grossly under-appreciated, even by the so-called intelligencia. I recommend it to anyone who wishes to cast off their slave clothes, stop being a drone, and live free.

More recent books that fully validate this superb work, with reviews:
Failed States: The Abuse of Power and the Assault on Democracy
The Battle for the Soul of Capitalism: How the Financial System Underminded Social Ideals, Damaged Trust in the Markets, Robbed Investors of Trillions – and What to Do About It
Running on Empty: How the Democratic and Republican Parties Are Bankrupting Our Future and What Americans Can Do About It
Global Assemblages: Technology, Politics, and Ethics as Anthropological Problems
A Power Governments Cannot Suppress

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Review: Defense Facts of Life–The Plans/Reality Mismatch

6 Star Top 10%, Congress (Failure, Reform), Corruption, Crime (Corporate), Crime (Government), Economics, Empire, Sorrows, Hubris, Blowback, Executive (Partisan Failure, Reform), Force Structure (Military), Impeachment & Treason, Intelligence (Public), Military & Pentagon Power, Power (Pathologies & Utilization), Strategy, Survival & Sustainment, Values, Ethics, Sustainable Evolution

Amazon Page
Amazon Page

5.0 out of 5 stars Core Ideas Relevant to Imminent Defense Reform,

August 31, 2003
Franklin Spinney
Edit of 21 Dec 07 to add comment and link.

Comment: This book should be updated and reprinted in time for November 2008.

Chuck Spinney, who made the cover of TIME in the 1980's as a whistle-blower on defense waste and mismanagement, has in this book presented a readable, well-documented and well-illustrated account of how virtually every single weapons and mobility system now in the Pentagon system is over-priced, over-weight, over-budget, and not able to perform as advertised. Although out-of-print, there are hundreds of copies of this book that can be obtained via Amazon's used book channels, and the author is writing a sequel that will be easier to understand if this book is digested first.

In addressing the plans reality mismatch, the author is very effectively demonstrating that doctrine, technology and the budget are completely divorced from both real world threats, and real world logistics.

With superb assistance from the editor, James Clay Thompson, who has converted the author's Pentagon-speak to plain English, the author documents the insanity and the irresponsibility of how we continue to spend the taxpayer dollar on so-called defense. I say so-called because the Emperor has no clothes. We can invade a country, but we cannot stop terrorism or keep our electrical system going reliably.

Just one little vignette illustrates how jam-packed this book is with facts. Discussing the F-15 and the move toward replaceable units as a means of reducing forward-deployed repair specialists and spare parts, the author blows the lid off the whole system. It all comes down to the three computers each squadron of 24 F-15's needs to diagnose its 1080 line-replaceable units. 1) It turns out the three computers work 80% of the time. 2) It takes up to 30 minutes to connect the computer to an interface test adapter. 3) It takes an average of three hours and as many as eight hours for the computer to carry out a diagnostic reading of a single line-replaceable unit. 4) Very often the computer fails to replicate the problem, with lack of resolution fluctuating at between 25 and 41 percent of the time. 5) At the time Spinney wrote the book, and probably still today, not a single Air Force avionics technician was re-enlisting, because they could get three times the money, and a much better quality of life, by taking their taxpayer-funded training into the private sector.

Spinney ends his book by saying, “In a nutshell, Pentagon economics discount the present and inflate the future. Put another way, the future consequences of today's decisions are economically unrealistic plans that reduce current ability to meet the threat in order to make room (hopefully) for future money to meet a hypothetical threat. … The across-the-board thrust toward ever-increasing technological complexity is simply not working.”

It is not the book's purpose to propose an alternative national security strategy and a commensurate change in how America devises its concepts, doctrine, and capabilities for making war and enforcing peace, but if one reads the book by Robert Coram, “BOYD: The Fighter Pilot Who Changed the Art of War” and also the book edited by Dr. Col. Max Manwaring et al, “Search for Security: A U.S. Grand Strategy for the 21st Century,” a picture will emerge. People first, ideas second, hardware last. The ideas in this book, although ignored in the 20 years since they were first articulated, are certain to play a large role in the redesign and redirection of the U.S. national security community over the next ten years.

More recent books:
Fiasco: The American Military Adventure in Iraq
9/11 Synthetic Terror: Made in USA, Fourth Edition
The Unconquerable World: Power, Nonviolence, and the Will of the People
Vice: Dick Cheney and the Hijacking of the American Presidency
Rumsfeld: His Rise, Fall, and Catastrophic Legacy

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Review: Manufacturing Consent–The Political Economy of the Mass Media

6 Star Top 10%, America (Founders, Current Situation), Capitalism (Good & Bad), Censorship & Denial of Access, Communications, Culture, Research, Democracy, Economics, Information Society, Misinformation & Propaganda

Amazon Page
Amazon Page

5.0 out of 5 stars 25 Years Ahead of the Crowd–Vital Reading Today,

August 22, 2003
Edward S. Herman
Edit of 22 Dec 07 to add links.

It is quite significant, in my view, that today as I write this Al Franken, Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them: A Fair and Balanced Look at the Right is #2 at Amazon, and Sheldon Rapton and John Stauber, Weapons of Mass Deception: The Uses of Propaganda in Bush's War on Iraqis #114 at Amazon. Not only are the people awakening to the truth, which is that they have been had through a combination of inattention and manipulation, but these two books and several others in this genre are validating what Chomsky was telling us all in the past 25 years.

The ability to set the agenda and determine what is talked about and how it is talked about is at the root of hidden power in the pseudo-democratic society. Chomsky was decades ahead of his time in studying both the power of language and the power of controlling the media message. Today, as we recall that so-called mainstream news media *refused* fully-funded anti-war advertisements that challenged the White House lies (62 of which have been documented with full sourcing in various blogs, notably Stephen Perry's Bush at War blog), we must come to grips with the fact that America is at risk.

Thomas Jefferson said “A Nation's best defense is an educated citizenry” and Supreme Court Justice Branstein said “The greatest threat to liberty is an inert public.” Today we lack the first and have the second, but as Amazon rankings show, the people, they are awakening. It is through reading, and following the links, and informed discussion, that the people can come together, using new tools for peer-to-peer information sharing and MeetUp's, and take back the power.

Chomsky had it right. It took 25 years for all of us to realize he had it right. I rise in praise of this great man.

Other links that validate his ethics and intellect:
Vice: Dick Cheney and the Hijacking of the American Presidency
Running on Empty: How the Democratic and Republican Parties Are Bankrupting Our Future and What Americans Can Do About It
The Battle for the Soul of Capitalism: How the Financial System Underminded Social Ideals, Damaged Trust in the Markets, Robbed Investors of Trillions – and What to Do About It
Independents Day: Awakening the American Spirit
Day of Reckoning: How Hubris, Ideology, and Greed Are Tearing America Apart
Al On America

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Review: High Noo–20 Global Problems, 20 Years to Solve Them

6 Star Top 10%, Best Practices in Management, Capitalism (Good & Bad), Complexity & Catastrophe, Complexity & Resilience, Environment (Problems), Environment (Solutions), Future, Games, Models, & Simulations, Peace, Poverty, & Middle Class, Priorities, Public Administration, Survival & Sustainment, United Nations & NGOs, Values, Ethics, Sustainable Evolution, Voices Lost (Indigenous, Gender, Poor, Marginalized), Water, Energy, Oil, Scarcity

Amazon Page
Amazon Page

5.0 out of 5 stars Straight-Forward, Understandable, URGENT, “Strong Buy”,

August 29, 2003
Jean-francois Rischard
Edit of 21 Dec 07 to aadd comment and links.

Comment: This is still the best strategic overview and a book I would recommend all. See the others below.

Having read perhaps 20 of the best books on global issues and environmental sustainability, water scarcity, ocean problems, etc, over the past few years (most reviewed here on Amazon) I was prepared for a superficial summary, political posturing, and unrealistic claims. Not this book–this book is one of the finest, most intelligent, most easily understood programs for action I have ever seen. The book as a whole, and the 20 problem statements specifically, are concise, illustrated, and sensible.

The author breaks the 20 issues into 3 groups. Group one (sharing our planet) includes global warming; biodiversity and ecosystem losses, fisheries depletion, deforestation, water deficits, and maritime safety and pollution. Group two (sharing our humanity) includes massive step-up in the fight against poverty, peacekeeping-conflict prevention-combatting terrorism, education for all, global infectuous diseases, digital divide, and natural disaster prevention and mitigation. Group three (sharing our rule book) includes reinventing taxation for the 21st century, biotechnology rules, global financial architecture, illegal drugs, trade-investment-competition rules, intellectual property rights, e-commerce rules, and international labor and migration rules.

The author's core concept for dealing with these complex issues intelligently, while recognizing that “world government” is not an option, lies with his appreciation of the Internet and how global issues networks could be created that would be a vertical complement to the existing horizontal elements of each national government.

The footnotes and index are professional, but vastly more important, the author's vision is combined with practicality. This is a “doable-do” and this book is therefore my number one reading recommendation for any citizen buying just one book of the 360+ that I have recommended within Amazon. Superb.

See also, with reviews:
The Future of Life
Blessed Unrest: How the Largest Movement in the World Came into Being and Why No One Saw It Coming
Society's Breakthrough!: Releasing Essential Wisdom and Virtue in All the People
Green Chemistry and the Ten Commandments of Sustainability, 2nd ed
Ecological Economics: Principles And Applications
Natural Capitalism: Creating the Next Industrial Revolution

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Review: War is a Racket–The Antiwar Classic by America’s Most Decorated Soldier

6 Star Top 10%, Banks, Fed, Money, & Concentrated Wealth, Congress (Failure, Reform), Corruption, Economics, Empire, Sorrows, Hubris, Blowback, Executive (Partisan Failure, Reform), History, Insurgency & Revolution, Military & Pentagon Power, Misinformation & Propaganda, Peace, Poverty, & Middle Class, War & Face of Battle

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5.0 out of 5 stars Decorated Marine General Cannot Be Ignored,

August 17, 2003
Smedley D. Butler
EDITED from 17 Aug 03 to add book links.

This book is a real gem, a classic, that should be in any library desiring to focus on national security. It is a very readable collection of short essays, ending with a concise collection of photographs that show the horror of war–on one page in particular, a pile of artillery shells labeled “Cause” and below is a photo of a massive pile of bodies, labeled “Effect.”

Of particular interest to anyone concerned about the current national security situation, both its expensive mis-adventures abroad and its intrusive violation of many Constitutional rights at home, is the author's history, not only as a the most decorated Marine at the time, with campaign experience all over the world, but as a spokesperson, in retirement, for placing constitutional American principles over imperialist American practice.

The following quotations from the book are intended to summarize it:

“I helped make Mexico, especially Tampico, safe for American oil intersts in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefits of Wall Street. The record of racketeering is long. I helped purify Nicaragua for the international banking house of Brown Brothers in 1909-1912. I brought light to the Dominican Republic for American sugar interests in 1916. In China I helped to see to it that Standard Oil went its way unmolested.” [p. 10]

“War is a racket. …It is the only one in which the profits are reckoned in dollars and the losses in lives.” [p. 23]

“The general public shoulders the bill [for war]. This bill renders a horrible accounting. Newly placed gravestones. Mangled bodies. Shattered minds. Broken hearts and homes. Economic instability. Depression and all its attendant miseries. Back-breaking taxation for generations and generations.” [p. 24]

General Butler is especially trenchant when he looks at post-war casualties. He writes with great emotion about the thousands of tramautized soldiers, many of who lose their minds and are penned like animals until they die, and he notes that in his time, returning veterans are three times more likely to die prematurely than those who stayed home.

This decorated Marine, who understands and documents in detail the exorbitant profits that a select few insiders (hence the term “racket”) make from war, proposes three specific anti-war measures:

1) Take the profit out of war. Nationalize and mobilize the industrial sector, and pay every manager no more than each soldier earns.

2) Vote for war or no war on the basis of a limited plebisite in which only those being asked to bear arms and die for their country are permitted to vote.

3) Limit US military forces, by Constitutional amendment, to home defense purposes only.

There is a great deal of wisdom and practical experience in this small book–Smedley Butler is to war profiteering what S.L.A. Marshall is to “the soldier's load.” While a globalized world and the complex integration of both national and non-national interests do seem to require a global national security strategy and a means of exerting global influence, I am convinced that he is correct about the fundamentals: we must take the profit out of war, and restore the voice of the people in the matter of making war.

The Fog of War – Eleven Lessons from the Life of Robert S. McNamara
Why We Fight
Fog Facts: Searching for Truth in the Land of Spin
Lost History: Contras, Cocaine, the Press & ‘Project Truth'
Weapons of Mass Deception: The Uses of Propaganda in Bush's War on Iraq
American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War On America
The Unconquerable World: Power, Nonviolence, and the Will of the People
The Lessons of History
The Landscape of History: How Historians Map the Past

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Review: The Search for Security–A U.S. Grand Strategy for the Twenty-First Century

6 Star Top 10%, Asymmetric, Cyber, Hacking, Odd War, Culture, Research, Force Structure (Military), Future, History, Military & Pentagon Power, Peace, Poverty, & Middle Class, Security (Including Immigration), Stabilization & Reconstruction, Strategy, Survival & Sustainment, Values, Ethics, Sustainable Evolution, Voices Lost (Indigenous, Gender, Poor, Marginalized), War & Face of Battle, Water, Energy, Oil, Scarcity

Amazon Page
Amazon Page

5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, Coherent, Holistic, and Above All, Sane,

July 4, 2003
Max G. Manwaring
This book is a gem, and it is worth every penny, but it is a pity that it has not been priced for mass market because every U.S. citizen would benefit from reading this superb collection of chapters focused on how to keep America both safe and prosperous in a volatile world of super-empowered angry men, ethnic criminal gangs, mass migrations, epidemic disease, and water scarcity.President David Boren of the University of Oklahoma, himself a former Senator and former Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, provides a non-partisan foreword that clearly indicts both Democrats and Republicans for what he calls a “zig-zag” foreign policy that is guided by TV images and weekly polls, rather than any coherent and calculated evaluation of ends, ways, and means.

Divided into three parts, the book first addresses the Global Security Environment (2 chapters), then discusses elements of a grand or total strategy (5 chapters), and concludes with a prescription (2 chapters). Every chapter is good.

Chapter 1 by Richard Millet does an outstanding job of discussing the global security environment in terms that make it crystal clear that the highest probability threats are non-traditional threats, generally involving non-state actors in a failed state environment. These are not threats that can be addressed by a heavy metal military that is not trained, equipped, nor organized for humanitarian or constabulary operations. Among his most trenchant observations: America can not succeed when the local elites (e.g. Colombia) are not willing to pay the price for internal justice and stability; sometimes the costs of success can exceed the costs of failure (Afghanistan?); what America lacks today is any criteria by which to determine when to attempt coalition building and when to go it alone; the real threat is not any single government or non-state organization, but the millions of daily decisions (e.g. to buy cocaine or smuggle medicine) that incentivise crime and endless conflict.

Chapter 2 by Robert Dorff dissects existing U.S. national security “strategy” and shows clearly, in a non-partisan manner, that the U.S. does not have a coherent inter-agency capability for agreeing on ends, ways, or means. He calls what we have now–both from the past under Clinton and in the present under Bush, “adhocery” and he makes the compelling point that our failure to have a coherent forward-looking strategy is costing the U.S. taxpayer both money and results.

Chapters 3-7 are each little gems. In Chapter 3 Max Manwaring suggests that our existing assumptions about geopolitics and military power are obsolete, and we are in great danger if Americans cannot change their way of thinking about national security issues. He suggests five remedies, the most important of which is the establishment of a coherent inter-agency planning and operational control process for leveraging all sources of national power–political, diplomatic, economic, military, and informational–simultaneously and in balance. In Chapter 4 Edwin Corr and Max Manwaring offer a fine discourse on why legitimate governance around the world must be “the” end that we seek as a means of assuring American security and prosperity in the face of globalization. Chapter 5 by Leif Rosenberger addresses the economic threats inherent in globalization, including free flows of capital, concluding that fixed exchange rates divorce countries from reality, and that the US must sponsor a global early warning system dedicated to the financial arena. Chapter 5 by Dennis Rempe is good but too short. He clearly identifies information power as being the equal of diplomacy, economics, and military power, going so far as to suggest an “International Information Agency” that could eventually become a public good as well as an objective arbiter of “ground truth.” I like this idea, in part because it is consistent with the ideas I set forth in NEW CRAFT, to wit that we need to migrate from secret intelligence intended for Presidents (who then manipulate that intelligence and lie to their people) toward public intelligence that can be discussed and understood by the people–this makes for sounder decisions. Chapter 7, again by Edwin Corr and Max Manwaring, discusses deterrence in terms of culture, motive, and effect–they are especially good in pointing out that traditional deterrence is irrelevant with suicidal martyrs, and that the best deterrence consists of the education of domestic publics about the realities of the post-Cold War world.

The book concludes with 2 chapters, the first by Edwin Corr and Max Manwaring, who discuss how values (education, income, civic virtue) must be the foundation of the American security strategy. They then translate this into some specific “objectives” for overseas investments and influences by the U.S., and they conclude that the ultimate investment must be in better educating both domestic and international audiences. They recommend the legitimacy of all governments as a global objective; End-State Planning (ESP) as the way to get there; and a new focus on holistic and long-term programs rather than “adhocery” as the best way to manage scarce means. One can only speculate how differently Afghanistan and Iraq (and Haiti, now discarded for a decade) might have turned out if the US had rolled in with a Marshall Plan or Berlin Airlift equivalent the minute organized hostilities ceased. Robert Dorff closes the book by pointing out that state failure is not the root cause, but rather the symptom, and that the U.S. must intervene before a state fails, not after.

I recommend this book, together with Colin Gray's “Modern Strategy” as essential reading for any national security professional. The publishers should consider issuing a more affordable paperback (books cost a penny a page to produce, perhaps a penny a page to market, so anything over $5 on this book is pure profit). This is a book, like Harry Summers on strategy, that should be available for $15 in paperback–if it were, I would buy 200 for my next conference.

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