GENERAL POST-WORLD WAR II

National Security Generally

2000s

G - L

Gaddis, John Lewis. Surprise, Security, and the American Experience. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2004.

Szafranski, Air & Space Power Journal 18.4 (Winter 2004), finds this work to be "well written and thought provoking." The author's thesis is that U.S. national security policy is based on three approaches -- preemption, unilateralism, and hegemony -- which are all rooted in our history and persist today.

For Killebrew, Parameters (Winter 2004-05), the author "has produced a small and pristine essay on the American experience that will change the reader's view of American history, the current war in Iraq, and the outlook for the future.... Though not all will agree with Gaddis's ambivalent views on the United States' current course, the reader can't help but respect the historian's brilliant analysis of America's past and present security strategies, and his penetrating and honest perspective of current events."

van Tol, NWCR 58.4 (Autumn 2005), calls this work "a succinct and masterful statement of the central national security dilemma that presently faces us.... Gaddis argues that far from being a radical departure, the Bush administration's response to the [9/11] attacks represents considerable continuity with American historical tradition." To Schecter, I&NS 20.4 (Dec. 2005), the author "does well on finding thematic precedents" in national security strategies of the past in an effort to illuminate the present. However, he "comes up short by failing to zero in on presidential deception and the misuse of intelligence."

Gaddis, John Lewis. Strategies of Containment: A Critical Appraisal of American National Security Policy during the Cold War. 2d rev. & expanded ed. New York: Oxford University Press, 2005.

Gerstein, Daniel M.

1. Securing America's Future: Naitonal Strategy in the Information Age. Westport, CT: Praeger, 2005.

Chapman, IJI&C 19.3 (Fall 2006), finds that the core argument here "is that the world is leaving the Industrial Age and entering the Information Age, which requires that nations ... change and adapt their military and foreign policies to the new era." The reviewer finds it difficult to comprehend "what kind of information will bring people together across the globe." Gerstein "places great stock in globalization to change the world..., but it's debateable whether globalization" is actually such a force.

2. Leading at the Speed of Light: New Strategies for U.S. Security in the Information Age. Washington, DC: Potomac, 2006.

Baltrusaitis, JFQ 48 (1st Quarter 2008), says that the author's "attempt to reformulate the U.S. approach to strategic leadership falls short of hitting the mark by attempting to accomplish too much with too little." Gerstein's change to the U.S. security apparatus is based on an assumption of systemic failure. Yet, he fails to "convince[] the reader that he has identified the endemic problem." In addition, he "offers no solution on how to restructure government for the information age other than ordering a congressional review for reorganization."

Gray, Colin S. National Security Dilemmas: Challenges and Opportunities. Washington DC: Potomac, 2009.

For Eberhart, Military Review (Jan.-Feb. 2010), the author creates "a clear picture of the global security situation and the challenges strategists and policymakers face.... For policymakers, the book provides insight into the difficult question of what the role of military power should be in the 21st century. The answer may be much different than what it can be." (Italics in original)

Peifer, Joint Forces Quarterly 55 (4th Quarter 2009), comments that where the author "earns his reputation for keen, perceptive thinking is in his elaboration of how [Clausewitzean] verities continue to assist in understanding the current security environment.... Gray combines general, enduring insights and analysis with specific, contemporary recommendations." However, the "interesting question of defining decisive victory against insurgents, terrorists, and others is barely touched."

To Bateman, Parameters 36.4 (Winter 2009-2010), this is "a worthy and useful addition to the bookshelf of any strategist -- academic, practitioner, or theorist." With only a couple of "hiccups, Gray presents a magnificent series of essays regarding practical issues facing the United States, and in particular the ground forces, as we think about the future and the nature of the strategic environment in which we operate." Stigler, NWCR 63.1 (Winter 2010), calls Gary's book "a commendable work that engages a wide array of security considerations and offers much engaging and original thinking."

Hart, Gary. The Shield and the Cloak: The Security of the Commons. New York: Oxford University Press, 2006.

Lloyd, NWCR 59.4 (Autumn 2006), notes that the author includes economic, environmental, health, energy, and educational issues in the definition of security. Hart believes that the U.S. military shield must be comprised of three principles: flexibility, reform, and intelligence. He "recommends appreciation of fourth-generation warfare and establishment of a human intelligence corps within the CIA. He consolidates all special forces into a fifth service, and brings the National Guard home to reassume its traditional duties of guarding the homeland."

Norwitz, Jeffrey H., ed. Armed Groups: Studies in National Security, Counterterrorism, and Counterinsurgency. Newport, RI: U.S. Naval War College, 2009.

Walsh, I&NS 25.3 (Jun. 2010), notes that this book "analyzes the history, organization, strategies, and successes and failures of a wide range of armed groups," from terrorists to street gangs. Such a range "makes it more difficult to find common themes to completely link together the disparate types of groups." However, "the encompassing nature of the book reflects important real-world developments."

Hsu, Spencer S. "9/11 Commission Leaders Push for More Action on Security." Washington Post, 25 Jul. 2009. [http://www.washingtonpost.com]

The leaders of the 9/11 Commission, Lee H. Hamilton and Thomas H. Kean, "met with U.S. intelligence and homeland security chiefs" on 24 July 2009 and "urged the Obama administration not to lose focus on counterterrorism and domestic security threats as the nation's political attention moves elsewhere." Hamilton and Kean "have revived their partnership, convening a new bipartisan group to advise policymakers on ongoing dangers such as biological terrorism and cyber attacks."

Jordan, Amos A., William J. Taylor, Jr., and Lawrence J. Korb. American National Security: Policy and Process. 4th ed. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1993. Jordan, Amos A., William J. Taylor, Jr., and Michael J. Mazarr. American National Security: Policy and Process. 5th ed. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1998. Jordan, Amos A., William J. Taylor, Jr., Michael J. Meese, and Suzanne C. Nielsen. American National Security. 6th ed. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2009.

Clark comment: The 4th edition was used (Fall Term 1997) as the primary text in the POLS 320 National Security Issues course I taught at Muskingum University. It is strongest on the defense element of the national security triad, but weaker on foreign policy and intelligence. Writing on the 4th edition, MI 21.1 says that this "may be the best source volume for the process of developing national security policy.... This is an excellent reference and the extensive footnotes can be used as a springboard for deeper research."

From publisher (6th edition): "The sixth edition of American National Security has been extensively rewritten to take into account the significant changes in national security policy in the past decade. Thorough revisions reflect a new strategic context and the challenges and opportunities faced by the United States in the early twenty-first century."

Korb, Lawrence J. A New National Security Strategy in an Age of Terrorists, Tyrants, and Weapons of Mass Destruction: Three Options Presented as Presidential Speeches. New York: Council on Foreign Relations, 2003.

Ross, NWCR 57.3/4 (Summer-Autumn 2004), finds this to be an "admirably concise and sharply focused volume.... Korb masterfully translates" three alternative national-security policies "into full-blown presidential addresses to Congress and the nation. He also systematically and evenhandedly assesses the strengths, weaknesses, and political impact of each."

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