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Your Government Failed You: Breaking the Cycle of National Security Disastersby Richard A Clarke
Synopses & Reviews
Richard Clarke's dramatic statement to the grieving families during the 9/11 Commission hearings touched a raw nerve across America. Not only had our government failed to prevent the 2001 terrorist attacks, but it has proven itself, time and again, incapable of handling the majority of our most crucial national security issues, from Iraq to Katrina and beyond. This is not just a temporary failure of our current leadership—it is a systemic problem, the result of a pattern of incompetence that must be understood, confronted, and prevented.
Clarke's first book, the number one bestseller Against All Enemies: Inside America's War on Terror, explained how the United States had stumbled into a struggle with violent Islamist extremists. Now, in Your Government Failed You, Clarke looks at why these unconscionable failures have continued and how America and the world can succeed against the terrorists. Yet Clarke also goes far beyond terrorism, to examine the inexcusable chain of recurring U.S. government disasters. Despite the lessons of Vietnam, there is Iraq. A trail of intelligence failures litters the Washington landscape. From Katrina to color codes and duct tape, "homeland security" has been an oxymoron. Why does the superpower continue to bobble national security?
Clarke minces no words in his examination of the breadth and depth of the mediocrity, entropy, and collapse endemic in America's national security programs. In order for the United States to stop its string of strategic mistakes, we first need to understand why they happen. Drawing on his thirty years in the White House, Pentagon, State Department, and intelligence community, Clarke gives us a privileged, if horrifying, look into the debacle of government policies, discovering patterns in the failures and offering ways to stop the cycle once and for all.
Book News Annotation:
When former national coordinator for security and counterterrorism Clarke originally told families of the victims of the September 11th terrorist attacks, "Your government failed you. and I failed you," he was referring only to that particular tragedy. Yet, in this work he argues that the US government has been failing repeatedly in the realm of national security. Often referring to his own experience, he attempts to explain why the government has been systemically incapable of conducting the process of national security, from problem identification and analysis, through policy development and implementation, to oversight and accountability. Suggesting that partisan politics and the atrophying of professional public sector management lies at the heart of the problem, he looks at the conduct of sustained, large-scale, complex operations such as Iraq; the collection and analysis of intelligence; the threat from Islamist extremism; domestic security risks management; global climate change and national energy policy; and cyberspace security. Annotation ©2008 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
The bestselling author of "Against All Enemies" now looks at why national security failures have continued and how America and the world can succeed against violent Islamist extremists.
About the Author
Richard A. Clarke began his career in the Office of the Secretary of Defense in 1973. He was a Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Intelligence in the Reagan Administration. The Senate confirmed him as Assistant Secretary of State for Politico-Military Affairs in the George H.W. Bush Administration. He served in the White House for both presidents Bush and for President Clinton, who appointed him as National Coordinator for Security and Counter-Terrorism. He now teaches a Harvard’s Kennedy School, consults for ABC News, and is Chairman of Good Harbor Consulting.
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