Review: Intelligence and the War in Bosnia–1992-1995 (Perspectives on Intelligence History)

5 Star, Asymmetric, Cyber, Hacking, Odd War, Atrocities & Genocide, Complexity & Catastrophe, Crime (Government), Empire, Sorrows, Hubris, Blowback, Force Structure (Military), History, Insurgency & Revolution, Intelligence (Government/Secret), Military & Pentagon Power, Misinformation & Propaganda, Peace, Poverty, & Middle Class, Politics, Power (Pathologies & Utilization), Religion & Politics of Religion, Stabilization & Reconstruction, Strategy, True Cost & Toxicity, Truth & Reconciliation, Voices Lost (Indigenous, Gender, Poor, Marginalized), War & Face of Battle

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5.0 out of 5 stars Unique Blend of Lessons Learned and Tutorial on Intelligence,

September 24, 2003
Cees Wiebes
This is a superb publication. An American, who would never have received the kind of direct official support provided to the author by the government of The Netherlands, could not have written it.This is the only book that I know of that fully integrates deliberate studies of UN intelligence; Western and NATO intelligence (which the author correctly notes does not exist); Dutch intelligence; and belligerent party intelligence.

Several recurring themes of lasting value emerged from my reading of this book:

1) The UN is dangerously devoid of intelligence qua decision-support. The culture of the UN leadership, the UN bureaucracy, and the UN delegates is one that places a higher priority on the semblance–the mockery–of lip service to open sources and legal methods, while sacrificing the lives of UN forces in the field. One cannot read this book, and its superb documentation of how UN Force Commander after UN Force Commander pleaded for intelligence support, only to be told no by the staff in New York, without becoming very angry. This book makes it perfectly clear that the UN leadership failed the Croats, the Serbs, and the international peacekeepers, in every possible way. Toward the end of the book the author also focuses on the UN as a source for the belligerents, i.e. UN incapacity for operational security and secure communications in fact makes it a primary source for belligerents seeking to kill one another.

2) The West failed in Bosnia in part because it became over-reliant on technical intelligence (which it could not process or analyze with sufficient speed and reliability), and did not have adequate numbers of competent clandestine Human Intelligence (HUMINT) or even ground-truth observers in the region. A contributing source of failure was the evidently deliberate decision on the part of the Clinton White House to downplay the conflict and to withhold such intelligence warning as they did have from the UN, in the misplaced belief that sharing such information would interfere with the peace process. Tens of thousands died because of Clinton White House irresponsibility.

3) Intelligence “liaison” or structured sharing across national boundaries, was an ungodly mess made worse by the inherent biases and rose-colored glasses worn by the Americans and the British on one side, and the French and the Germans on the other. “Wishful thinking” by policy makers interfered with proper assessments of the relative condition and intentions of the various belligerents.

4) The CIA clandestine endeavor was split, with one Station operating out of Sarajevo and another out of Zagreb, and no overall coordination or integration of sources and reports.

5) Civil Affairs (CA) as a military occupational specialty is blown forever by CIA Directorate of Operations (DO) abuses, most without the permission of the U.S. European theater commander. CIA/DO managers should be disciplined for this breach of internal US government protocols.

6) The Dutch were not ready to field a major operational or tactical intelligence support architecture, and in-fighting among various elements prevented the various analysts from making the most of what little they could glean from varied sources. The same was actually true of all Western intelligence communities–all had other priorities and too few resources [although language deficiencies are not emphasized by the author, one presumed a grotesque lack of required competencies across the Croat and Serb dialects as well as Yugoslavian, Turkish, and Arabic]. In the view of a senior officer whose quotations close Chapter 3, heads should be rolling for dereliction of duty–although the subject refers only to the Dutch, the reviewer would add US and British heads as well.

7) The book excels–is remarkable and perhaps unique–for its discussion of the secret arms supplies–not only the routes, the providers, the landing zone delivery means–but the active violation by the US of the embargo, and the active role of US Special Forces in violating the embargo without a covert action “finding”, and hence also in violation of US law. Other nations were equally at fault. It is clear from the book that the UN needs not only operational and tactical intelligence for the specific area of operations, but an extended intelligence and operational capability sufficient to *interdict* incoming arms to the belligerents. This book may well be the single best reference on this topic.

8) The sections of the book on signals and imagery intelligence are a work of art, combining historical scholarship with original research and a very fine tutorial aspect. The listing of the 11 disadvantages of SIGINT (pages 224-228) is the finest I have ever seen. The bottom line in both instances is: too much collection, too little processing and analysis. The author uses a remarkable quote from a former Director of the National Security Agency to make this point: good news is that we can exploit a million messages a day; bad news is that we don't know which million out of the billions we capture to do… Also interesting is the detailed accounting of belligerent party competencies in SIGINT and IMINT, to include the use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles and advanced methods.

9) The book ends with two notes that I choose to emphasize, although the author makes many valuable observations in his conclusions that I will not repeat here: first, support to UN operations was the *fifth* priority for Western intelligence, coming after force protection, after ground truth observation, after support for air targeting, and after support for NATO ground troop planning; and second, Doctors Without Borders, a non-governmental organization, was the *only* entity to get true validated warning of the Srebrenica genocide.

The index is terrible-names only. Properly indexing the book for references to all intelligence sources and methods as well as events and practices, would make it 2X to 3X more valuable as a basic reference.

This book is highly recommended and a “must have” for every national security and international affairs library, and for every professional interested in peacekeeping intelligence.

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2003 Information Peacekeeping & The Future of Intelligence: The United Nations, Smart Mobs, and the Seven Tribes

Articles & Chapters, Civil Affairs, Civil Society, Complexity & Resilience, Decision-Making & Decision-Support, Information Operations, Information Society, Intelligence (Government/Secret), Intelligence (Public), Security (Including Immigration), Stabilization & Reconstruction, Strategy, Survival & Sustainment, Terrorism & Jihad, Threats (Emerging & Perennial), True Cost & Toxicity, Truth & Reconciliation, United Nations & NGOs, Values, Ethics, Sustainable Evolution, Voices Lost (Indigenous, Gender, Poor, Marginalized), War & Face of Battle, Water, Energy, Oil, Scarcity
PKI UN Smart Mobs Seven Tribes
PKI UN Smart Mobs Seven Tribes

Chapter 13: “Information Peacekeeping & the Future of Intelligence: The United Nations, Smart Mobs, and the Seven Tribes” pp. 201-225

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

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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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Review: Waging Modern War–Bosnia, Kosovo, and the Future of Combat

5 Star, Empire, Sorrows, Hubris, Blowback, Intelligence (Government/Secret), Military & Pentagon Power, Stabilization & Reconstruction, Threats (Emerging & Perennial), War & Face of Battle
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5.0 out of 5 stars

Most Miss Point: Book Excells At Highlighting Our Weaknesses,

>November 3, 2001

Wesley K. Clark

Every citizen should read this book so they can instruct their elected representatives and vote for military reform. As things now stand, we will lose the war on terrorism over time because of the perennial flaws in our system that this book identifies.Don't Bother Us Now. The U.S. political system is not structured to pay attention to “early warning”. Kosovo (as well as Croatia and Serbia beforehand and later Macedonia) were well known looming problems, but in the aftermath of the Gulf War, both Congress and the Administration in power at the time said to the U.S. Intelligence Community, essentially: “don't bother us anymore with this, this is inconvenient warning, we'll get to it when it explodes.” We allowed over a hundred thousand to be murdered in genocide, because our political system was “tired.””Modern war” is an overwhelming combination of micro-management from across the varied nations belonging to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization; a reliance on very high-tech weapons with precision effect that are useless in the absence of precision intelligence (and the lawyers insist the intelligence be near-real-time, a virtual impossibility for years to come); and an obsession with avoiding casualties that hand-cuffs our friendly commanders and gives great encouragement to our enemies.

Services versus Commanders. The military services that under Title 10 are responsible for training, equipping, and organizing the forces–but not for fighting them, something the regional commanders-in-chief must do–have become–and I say this advisedly–the biggest impediment to the successful prosecution of operations. The detailed story of the Army staff resistance to the use of the Apache helicopters is the best case study I have ever seen of how senior staff generals with political access can prevent operational generals with field responsibilities from being fully effective. In combination with the insistence of the services that forces be held back for Korean and Persian Gulf threats that might not be realized, instead of supporting a real war that existed in Europe, simply stated, makes it clear that there is a “seam” between our force-creating generals and our force-fighting generals that has gotten *out of control.* The fog of war is thickest in Washington, and the greatest friction–the obstacles to success in war–are largely of our own making.

Lawyers, Fear, and Micro-Management. Just as we recently witnessed a lawyer overruling the general to avoid killing the commander of the Taliban, General Clark's war was dominated by lawyers, a fear of casualties, and micro-management, from Washington, of his use of every weapons system normally left to the discretion of the field commander. This has gotten completely out of hand. Within NATO it is compounded by multi-national forces whose commanders can refuse orders inconsistent with their own national view of things, but reading this book, one is left with the clear understanding that General Clark was fighting a three-front war at all times: with the real enemy, with the media, and with Washington–his NATO commanders were the least of his problems.

Technology Loses to Weather and Lacks Intelligence. Throughout the book there are statements that make it clear that the U.S. military is not yet an all-weather military, and has a very long way to go before it ever will be. Aligned with this incapacity is a high-technology culture that suffers from very weak maintenance and an almost complete lack of intelligence at the level of precision and with the timeliness that is needed for our very expensive weapons to be effective. Nothing has changed since MajGen Bob Scales wrote his excellent Firepower in Limited War, pointing out that artillery still cannot be adequately supported by the intelligence capabilities we have now.

Strategic Mobility Shortfalls, Tactical Aviation Constraints. Although General Clark judges the air war to have been a success, and an essential factor in facilitating “coercive diplomacy”, he also communicates two realities about U.S. military aviation: 1) we do not have the strategic aviation lift to get anywhere in less than 90-180 days, and his request for a 75 day mobilization was not possible as a result; and 2) our tactical aviation assets are so specialized, and require so much advance preparation in terms of munitions, route planning, and so on, that they cannot be readily redirected in less than a full day. A full day. This is simply outlandish.

We Don't Do Mountains. No statement in the book hurt me more than one by an Army general telling General Clark that his plans for the ground campaign could not be supported by the U.S. Army because “we don't do mountains” This, in combination with the loser's attitude (no casualties) and the general reluctance of the services to put their high-tech capabilities like the Apache at risk in a real war, sum up the decrepitude of the U.S. military leadership and the Revolution in Military Affairs-Andrew Gordon in Rules of the Game has it exactly right-the post Viet-Nam and post Cold War era has left us with a bunch of high-tech chickens in control of military resources, and we need to find ourselves some rat-catchers able to redirect our military toward a lust for man to man combat in every clime and place-and the low-tech sustainable tools to do the job.

General Clark's concluding words, on page 459: “In Kosovo my commanders and I found that we lacked the detailed prompt information to campaign effectively against the Serb ground forces. Most of the technologies we had been promoting since the Gulf War were still immature, unable to deal with the vagaries of weather, vegetation, and urban areas, or the limitations of bandwidth and airspace. The discrete service programs didn't always fit together technically. And (sic) the officers who operated the programs were not qualified to work across service lines and did not understand the full range of national capabilities. I worried about the nature of Joint skills even among senior officers.” Are we ready? No.

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Review: Burundi on the Brink 1993-95–A UN Special Envoy Reflects on Preventive Diplomacy

4 Star, Intelligence (Government/Secret), Stabilization & Reconstruction, United Nations & NGOs

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4.0 out of 5 stars Hard Reading for Hard Issues–Graduate Minds Only,

April 8, 2001
Ahmedou Ould-Abdallah

This book is for graduate students and hard-core professionals whose lives might depend on really understanding the ugly complexities of places like Burundi where they will be sent again and again.

This book is depressing. One sees both the heroism and the futility of United Nations activities. Sadly, whereas the Texas Rangers might have gotten away with sending one great man to handle a major crisis, the United Nations, sending one great man and an assistant, is decades behind the times in terms of understanding what it is about and how to obtain results in today's world.

The lessons from Burundi summarized by the author at the end of the book are an excellent conclusion:

Problem Area #1: Shortcomings in UN Machinery and Culture, including no intelligence gathering and analysis; weak institutional memory; lack of accountability; and luxury and inefficiency.

Problem Area #2: Overreliance on Military Intervention

Problem Area #3: Unintended Consequences of Humanitarian Assistance

This book left me with a profound respect for the people that work for the United Nations, and with a continuing profound distrust and disrespect for the United Nations as an entity. It is not working. It needs a complete make-over, and one wonders if the time has not come for a new international gathering of governments and non-governmental organizations, to conceptualize a completely fresh start that harnesses distributed resources spanning the full range from civil economic assistance to police protection and training, to violent military intervention.

Let me say this again: this is a very good book, it is only for the best and the brightest, and it calls into question the entire United Nations structure and management. Instead of paying our dues to the United Nations, instead of Ten Turner giving them a billion dollar tax avoidance contribution, we should probably create a new international Fund for Peace that uses the Internet and the network effect to nurture “many small acts” instead of one large industrial-age monstrosity called the United Nations.

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Review: Policing the New World Disorder–Peace Operations and Public Security

4 Star, Atrocities & Genocide, Complexity & Resilience, Culture, Research, Force Structure (Military), Humanitarian Assistance, Insurgency & Revolution, Justice (Failure, Reform), Peace, Poverty, & Middle Class, Security (Including Immigration), Stabilization & Reconstruction, Threats (Emerging & Perennial), Truth & Reconciliation, Voices Lost (Indigenous, Gender, Poor, Marginalized)

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4.0 out of 5 stars From Missile Gap to Cop Gap–Heart of Stability Operations,

October 13, 2000
Robert B. Oakley
EDITED 18 September 2007 to add links to other books. Still Ref A.

In excruciating detail, with substantial commonality between a number of case studies, this book examines the traditional public security (police, internal order) function in relation to failed states and external interventions.

This is not a book about the larger issue of when and how to intervene in the internal affairs of states beset by internal conflict and it is not a book about the actual conditions around the world that require some form of imposed or reinforced public order. Rather, it is the most detailed book one could hope for on the need for an international law enforcement reserve that is capable of rapidly filling the gap in local public police services that occurs when the indigenous capability collapses and traditional military forces arrive unprepared to meet this need.

All of the case studies are world-class, with primary source detail unlike any normally seen in the literature. All agree that this is a “force structure” issue that no government and certainly not the United Nations, has mastered, but most give due credit to UN civilian police operations for being the best available model upon which to build a future capability.

The summary of conclusions by Ambassador Oakley and Colonel Professor Dziedzic are alone worth the price of the book. If the Cold War era might be said to have revolved around early perceptions of a “missile gap”, the 21st Century with its Operations Other Than War (OOTW) could reasonably be said to have two issues-natural conditions such as depleted water resources, which is not the book's focus, and the “globo-cop gap”, which is-the book documents in a very compelling manner the fact that there is a major capabilities (and intelligence) chasm between preventive diplomacy on the one side, and armed military forces on the other, and that closure of this gap is essential if we are to improve our prospects for rescuing and maintaining public order around the world.

The capabilities of U.S. military police and civil affairs specialists are touched on by several pieces, but I for one would have liked to see more emphasis on what changes in their force structure is required-my understanding is that we have not increased their numbers in the aftermath of the Cold War despite the fact that these units are being used up all over the world, without relief.

The conclusion highlights the need for constabulary forces, and helpfully identifies the following specific national capabilities as being relevant (in this reader's interpretation) to a future standing international gendarmerie: U.S. Military Police and Special Forces, French gendarmerie, Spanish Guardia Civil, Chilean carabineros, Argentine gendarmes, Italian carabinieri, Dutch Royal Mariechaussee). I would add the Belgian Gendarme, the first national force to establish an open source intelligence network across all police precincts in the entire country.

It is clear from both the conclusion and the case studies that this constabulary-police capabilities requirement needs agreed-upon international concepts, doctrine, training, earmarked resources including surge capabilities and transport, and so on. We do not appear to have learned any lasting lessons from the various interventions, in that civil affairs and military police continue to be “last in line” for embarkation into areas where military forces are being introduced, and there is no U.S. program within Program 150 where we can demonstrate a real commitment to “law and order” as part of our contribution to peace in the 21st Century.

The book lacks an index, a typical shortcoming of think tank and defense educational institutions, and this is a major flaw that should be corrected in the next printing. This book is “Ref A” for every foreign service, military, and law enforcement officer interested in doing a better job of integrating diplomatic, gendarmerie, and military capabilities in every clime and place.

See also:
Breaking the Real Axis of Evil: How to Oust the World's Last Dictators by 2025
See No Evil: The True Story of a Ground Soldier in the CIA's War on Terrorism
Sleeping with the Devil: How Washington Sold Our Soul for Saudi Crude
Deliver Us from Evil: Peacekeepers, Warlords and a World of Endless Conflict
The Unconquerable World: Power, Nonviolence, and the Will of the People
The Sorrows of Empire: Militarism, Secrecy, and the End of the Republic (The American Empire Project)
War of the Flea: The Classic Study of Guerrilla Warfare
The Road to 9/11: Wealth, Empire, and the Future of America

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Review: A Half Penny on the Federal Dollar–The Future of Development Aid

4 Star, Budget Process & Politics, Disaster Relief, Humanitarian Assistance, Stabilization & Reconstruction

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4.0 out of 5 stars Brother, Can You Spare a Half Penny to Save the World?,

October 12, 2000
Michael E. O'Hanlon
This is a hard-hearted practical look at development aid, and so it should be. The “official development assistance” (ODA) element of Program 150, the international affairs budget commonly recognized as the “preventive diplomacy” budget that runs alongside Program 50 (the traditional military budget), is evaluated by the authors in terms of amounts (are we doing enough), allocations (are we giving to the right countries), and directions (are we doing the right things). It is a small amount of money that is being discussed–$9 billion a year in 1997 for ODA alone-said to represent a half penny of each dollar spent by the U.S. government. This works out to about $15 per year for the members of the targeted populations. Larger more populous states receive less aid per capita than smaller states. India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and China are especially disadvantaged. In contrast to today's $15 per person nvestment, the Marshall Plan provided in excess of $100 to $200 per person in Europe (but for only several years, working out to an equivalent amount when compared to sustained aid flows today).Several thoughtful observations jump out from the book:

1) Foreign aid is not preventing conflicts from emerging (if anything, and this is not implied by O'Hanlon but is explicit in William Shawcross' book DELIVER US FROM EVIL: Peacekeepers, Warlords and a World of Endless Conflict (Simon & Schuster, 2000), foreign aid contributes to instability by giving rise to warlords and black markets);

2) Foreign aid is of limited use in reconstructing societies ravaged by conflict, especially those with limited infrastructures that cannot absorb resources as well as European nations;

3) Foreign aid's best return on investment appears to be the education of women-even a few years of education has a considerable impact on birth control, health, and other areas of interest;

4)Foreign aid shapes both our own philosophy of foreign affairs, and the perceptions others have of our foreign role-it also shapes our domestic constituencies perception of why we should have a foreign policy arm;

5) Foreign aid does not play a significant role in most countries where there is access to open markets and stability does not frighten away investors-indeed the emerging expert consensus appears to lean toward debt forgiveness combined with private capital investment as the best approach to economic reform;

6) Foreign aid is least effective in those countries that are either unstable or have a range of harmful economic policies including trade barriers, large budget deficits, oversized public sectors, and overvalued exchange rates. Roughly half the countries receiving aid today have poor economic policies in place;

7) The U.S. is the least generous of the Office of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) members, providing just over one third as much of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) as the other OECD countries-0.10 percent instead of 0.27 percent.

Having said all this, the author's document their views that our ODA investments need to rise from $9 billion to at least $12 billion a year, with other countries increasing their combined contributions from $51 billion to $68 billion per year. The authors favor increased foreign aid investments in poor countries with good economic policies, for the purpose of building transportation infrastructure, enhancing local health and education programs, and accelerating the expansion of utilities and communications services.

They also recommend a broader distribution of foreign aid for countries in conflict throughout Africa, and suggest that Public Law 480 food aid should be focused only on responding to disaster relief rather than indiscriminate distribution that benefits U.S. farmers but undermines foreign agricultural programs.

They conclude with the somewhat veiled suggestion that all of this could be paid for by a reduction of foreign military assistance to Egypt and Israel. One is left, at the end of the book, with two strong feelings: first, that U.S. foreign aid is on “automatic pilot” and rather mindlessly muddling along; and second, that this is a very small but very important part of the total U.S. national security budget, one that merits its own ombudsman within the National Security Council, and one that is worthy of no less than a penny on the dollar as we plan our future Federal investments.

What is left unsaid by the authors is whether the other $60-80 billion in foreign aid by various actors including the United Nations agencies, is well managed–one is left with the impression that the U.S. really faces two challenges: an internal challenge of improving its performance with respect to foreign aid, and an external challenge in demanding a more rational and coordinated approach to various forms of aid being sponsored by others.

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THE DOLLAR HAS NO INTRINSIC VALUE : DO YOUR ASSETS?