Book: Threats in the Age of Obama

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Previously posted January 22; this post is updated with a new Amazon link.

Congratulations to real-life friend Mike Tanji on editing his first book. It is listed on Amazon here

From Mike’s introduction:

No author here has been a cabinet officer and none is likely to be one, which gives us a considerable amount of freedom. No one here has to face scrutiny on Capitol Hill, which makes our jobs much easier; but by the same token none of us are beholden to parties or institutions with ulterior motives, nor are we playing our cards in a fashion designed to net us comfortable situations. If you are on a mission to change the way government works, particularly in the national security arena, this is one of the few places where some independent thinking is to be found. It is with that in mind that we offer our view of some of the more pressing threats the Obama administration will have to deal with in these early days of the 21st century.

Author list and an excerpt from my chapter are below the fold.

Authors:

Daniel Abbott, Chris Albon, Matt Armstrong, Mathew Burton, Molly Cernicek, Christopher Corpora, Shane Deichman, Adam Elkus, Matt Devost, Bob Gourley, Art Hutchinson, Tom Karako, Carolyn Leddy, Sam Liles, Adrian Martin, Gunnar Peterson, Cheryl Rofer, Mark Safranski, Steve Schippert, Tim Stevens, Shlok Vaidya

Excerpt from “Arming for the War of Ideas”:

Through the last thirty to forty years, the concepts of persuasion, influence, and even public diplomacy have become dirty words on par with “propaganda.” How can it be that bullets and bombs can be valid tools of persuasion while information to persuade carries a stigma? Is it really better to kill an adversary rather than to directly or indirectly persuade him by the conveyance of truth and dispelling false rumors? Is it possible to bomb our adversaries into liking us? Surely the U.S. can better use information in a way that is not opposed to our democratic foundations in a way the 80th Congress found possible sixty years ago when it passed the Smith-Mundt Act to prevent, shorten, or terminate conflict today?

America’s failure to understand or to participate in the war over public perception is not a noble act, but one of implicit suicide. Insurgents can now measure their success in terms of money, supplies, safe houses, and recruits—all of which come at the expense of trust in the United States and its influence on the people.