The first serious book to examine what happens when the ancient boundary between war and peace is erased.
Once, war was a temporary state of affairs - a violent but brief interlude between times of peace. Today America's wars are everywhere and forever: Our enemies change constantly and rarely wear uniforms, and virtually anything can become a weapon. As war expands, so does the role of the US military. Today military personnel don't just "kill people and break stuff". Instead they analyze computer code, train Afghan judges, build Ebola isolation wards, eavesdrop on electronic communications, develop soap operas, and patrol for pirates. You name it, the military does it.
Rosa Brooks traces this seismic shift in how America wages war from an unconventional perspective - that of a former top Pentagon official who is the daughter of two antiwar protesters and a human rights activist married to an army Green Beret. Her experiences led her to an urgent warning: When the boundaries around war disappear, we risk destroying America's founding values and the laws and institutions we've built - and undermining the international rules and organizations that keep our world from sliding toward chaos. If Russia and China have recently grown bolder in their foreign adventures, it's no accident; US precedents have paved the way for the increasingly unconstrained use of military power by states around the globe. Meanwhile we continue to pile new tasks onto the military, making it increasingly ill prepared for the threats America will face in the years to come.
By turns a memoir; a work of journalism; a scholarly exploration into history, anthropology, and law; and a rallying cry, How Everything Became War and the Military Became Everything transforms the familiar into the alien, showing us that the culture we inhabit is reshaping us in ways we may suspect but don't really understand. It's the kind of book that will leave you moved, astonished, and profoundly disturbed, for the world around us is quietly changing beyond recognition - and time is running out to make things right.
©2016 Rosa Brooks (P)2016 Simon & Schuster
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"A Must-Read for Military and other Govt Leaders"
As a senior Army officer and graduate of the U.S. Army War College (the motto of which is "To preserve peace, not to promote war") I found this book very educational and, moreover, extremely relevant to the professional development of military leaders. It's a must-read book for those who are willing to view the current strategic and operational environments through a different lens; which is, in my view, the only way our Nation and the collective Global community will ever have any hope of breaking free of the current pervasive state of armed conflict. Masterfully conceived and written!
an amazing account of the present with a thoughtful account of what the future can, and maybe should, hold. must read! narrator and author are both fantastic
"Should be on Pentagon's Mandatory Reading List"
As a career Naval Officer, it is the type of book I would like to have read early in my career. As for now, all politicians, military leaders, and political scholars should explore our everything is war policy decisions and abandon them.
"All Americans need to know this."
Solid information. The United States is and must evolve to address new threats, but it can not do it all.
"New look at the economic complex of the military!"
I devoured this. I also recently have been recommending to my son that he seriously consider enlisting. He is a college grad who cannot find work. The military is paying more competitive salaries than the private sector since 2008.
This book was very informative. The author takes a mostly neutral political stance as she deliveries many factual events an offers intuitive insight into how these facts will impact American and world citizens.
Had to blast my audio to hear the reader because she talks somewhat quietly. Story itself has very interesting and poignant thoughts but a little long-winded with the anecdotes and some points being drilled a little too repetitively for my tastes. I finished the book for the ideas presented but not a fan of the writing or reading.
Seemed very balanced between reality and idealism. Did not question the assumption that it was the role of the USA to fix the world. In that sense, American Exceptualism and hubris is still in charge.
"The Armed Services Explained and Considered"
How Everything Became War and the Military Became Everything: Tales from the Pentagon, By Rosa Brooks.
This is a brilliant explanation of the State of our Military; and its status as a political tool, its ability to fight conventional war, and its developing ability to engage in insurrection as well as an analysis of how America got to where it is now and what mistakes and maneuvers were made to get us here. The writings provide a non-partisan set of theories to consider when assessing the above teachings, but also contains critique of who we have been and who we may now be. Finally it provides guideposts to whoever may hold the responsibility for the future of our armed services as well as the American future. This is a demonstrative history of the armed services, a political study of its civilian control. If all that were not enough, one gets a history of civil and historical military law as well.
Okay, I let the cat out of the bag, it is written by an attorney, and she bleeds forth in legal think. Nevertheless, it’s an exciting story that is told. Professor Parks conveys her teaching into episodes of occurrences, the Gulf Wars, terrorism, Guantanamo, the Busch Presidency, the Obama Presidency, the Insurgency, drone fighting, cyber war and even WWII, the Korean Conflict and the Viet Nam War. Most of all though once you start reading you do not want to put it down. The tale is told magnificently well. It is a page turner.
The Author has had a career that spanned form an antiwar family, to several tours in NGOs to terms in both the State Department and the Defense Department. She has no axe to grind other than an earnest assessment of the military and to provide its future leaders with ideas on how to keep it strong.
This book is splendid. It should be read by all concerned with the military.
"Thought provoking with a call to action"
A well written book that challenges the detrimental activities that we have allowed to become normal. The challenge is followed up with solid ideas for making our government and world a safer place while maintaining American values of life and liberty.
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