War on Peace

War on Peace

The End of Diplomacy and the Decline of American Influence

Book - 2018
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WW Norton
A harrowing exploration of the collapse of American diplomacy and the abdication of global leadership, by the winner of the 2018 Pulitzer Prize in Public Service.
US foreign policy is undergoing a dire transformation, forever changing America’s place in the world. Institutions of diplomacy and development are bleeding out after deep budget cuts; the diplomats who make America’s deals and protect its citizens around the world are walking out in droves. Offices across the State Department sit empty, while abroad the military-industrial complex has assumed the work once undertaken by peacemakers. We’re becoming a nation that shoots first and asks questions later.In an astonishing journey from the corridors of power in Washington, DC, to some of the most remote and dangerous places on earth—Afghanistan, Somalia, and North Korea among them—acclaimed investigative journalist Ronan Farrow illuminates one of the most consequential and poorly understood changes in American history. His firsthand experience as a former State Department official affords a personal look at some of the last standard bearers of traditional statecraft, including Richard Holbrooke, who made peace in Bosnia and died while trying to do so in Afghanistan.Drawing on newly unearthed documents, and richly informed by rare interviews with warlords, whistle-blowers, and policymakers—including every living former secretary of state from Henry Kissinger to Hillary Clinton to Rex Tillerson—War on Peace makes a powerful case for an endangered profession. Diplomacy, Farrow argues, has declined after decades of political cowardice, shortsightedness, and outright malice—but it may just offer America a way out of a world at war.

Baker & Taylor
A notable journalist presents a harrowing exploration of the collapse of American diplomacy and the abdication of global leadership.

Book News
Award-winning investigative journalist Farrow puts the spotlight on American diplomacy and its devolution. Already, by the time of 911, the State Department had eliminated 20 percent of its staff, and those remaining were undertrained and under-resourced. The 1990s saw the U.S. international affairs budget cut by 30 percent-similar to the cuts requested by the Trump administration. Sometimes framed as a champion of diplomacy—e.g., the Iran deal and the Paris Climate Change Accord—the Obama administration, out of the gate, accelerated trends that together have ravaged America’s diplomatic capacity during the Trump administration. To a lesser extent than Trump, but greater in extent than those before him, Obama also surrounded himself with a posse of retired generals or other military officers in senior positions. In addition, his administration sold more arms than any other since World War II. One diplomat, whose career had covered 35 years, was notified of his firing in January 2017, while in the Middle East on a mission a few hours before critical contact with foreign governments. Later, bidding adieu to more than 100 other career officers he warned that “a foreign policy without professionals is by definition an amateur foreign policy.” Annotation ©2018 Ringgold, Inc., Portland, OR (protoview.com)

& Taylor

The journalist and former U.S. State Department official explores the decline of American diplomacy and traditional statecraft, the abdication of global leadership, and how the work of peacemaking has been taken over by the military-industrial complex.

Publisher: New York : W.W. Norton & Company, [2018]
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780393652109
Branch Call Number: 327.73 F249w 2018
Characteristics: xxxiii, 392 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm


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"US foreign policy is undergoing a dire transformation, forever changing America’s place in the world. "

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Jul 13, 2018

WAR ON PEACE covers a lot of ground. It could be a challenge for some to move through all of the moving parts associated with diplomacy. It isn't until the end that Farrow makes a case for diplomacy.

While not for everyone, I think that this should be on the reading list for anyone (or his/her handler, campaign manager) who aspires to be president.

Jun 09, 2018

A very interesting and thought-provoking presentation on the importance of diplomacy and the slow break-down of the State Dept. by several administrations. It cannot all be blamed on Trump. Even Colin Powell talked about the position of the dept. and policy being decided by the VP and the DOD. Military solutions MUST be the very last resort. Diplomacy is less expensive in money and lives than war. But there is a strong feeling among many of our leaders that it is acceptable to have the military make policy. That is not their strong area which is probably why our Constitution had a civilian be the Commander-in-chief. This book is not light reading but patriotic citizens should read it.


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