Veteran journalist Thomas Shanker and former Pentagon official turned RAND executive Andy Hoehn team up to produce a very thoughtful and insightful book about what more can be done to ensure America is better protected. They begin by noting that although about $1.25 billion is currently spent on national security, the government often is stunned by events at home and abroad and fails to respond adequately. The authors argue that our national security system needs an overhaul—both to provide better intelligence and warnings and also to respond more effectively. Outlining some ways to achieve this, Shanker and Hoehn are very persuasive in making a case that hopefully will help bring about new strategies, processes, and institutional tools to deal with the challenges posed by China and Russia and such future threats as pandemics, cyber attacks, drones, and climate change.
Badkhen, already one of the most important chroniclers of our time, here turns her sharp, perceptive eye on both human history and recent events such as the Covid-19 pandemic and systemic violence against migrants and marginalized people. These 11 essays weave scenes of past ages with Badkhen's travels and scholarly work to interrogate the state of humanity with empathy and intelligence.
After World War II, many countries that had lived under the shadow of colonialism longed to rebuild and strengthen themselves with their newfound autonomy. While the Cold War intensified, Third World countries were optimistic as they solidified bonds amongst each other, ready for a new future. Juxtaposing personal narratives with the violent events that occurred in Jakarta--a swift and bloody annihilation of suspected communists that resulted in the deaths of an estimated one million Indonesians--Bevins recounts how that initial post-war optimism clashed with the US's violent suppression of such dreams in their quest to end communism. The scorched earth approach extended to Latin America, and Bevins emphasizes that when America wasn't directly involved in the killings, they installed governments that were. A chilling portrait of a little-known chapter in America’s violent history, Bevin's study holds the imperial war machine to account and wonders if its cost to human life was worth it.