With the publication of “Undaunted: My Fight Against America’s Enemies at Home and Abroad,” John O. Brennan, former director of the Central Intelligence Agency, has joined an exclusive list of CIA directors and deputy directors who have misled the U.S. Congress and the American people.
In the past, the exploits and the history of the Marine Corps always saved it in the halls of Congress from any serious cuts in funding or even criticism. But the task of rebuilding the federal government after four years of Donald Trump will be an expensive and arduous task. An initial step could involve the United States stopping the misuse of its military power by limiting its global involvement and the operational tempo of its military forces.
Gates’ “Exercise in Power: American Failures, Successes, and a New Path Forward in the Post-Cold War World” requires a two-part review.
This second part discusses the inadequacies of the book and provide a strong case for demilitarization—with recommendations about what needs to be done.
Gates carries too much Cold War baggage to deal with the solutions to militarization. He fails to understand the current problems with Russia because he distorts the 1990 understanding between Secretary of State James Baker and his Soviet counterpart. Gates’ discussion of the Middle East, particularly the Iraq War, is fundamentally flawed. He points to the non-military instruments of power as being “unequal to the circumstances,” but it was the use of military force that created the regional instability that dominates the Middle East. Gates still believes in the exceptionalism of America, which puts all of us at risk.
As with any book by Gates, there needs to be the standard warning of “caveat emptor.” This is particularly true for “Exercise in Power” in view of Rachel Maddow’s obsequious interview of Gates last month in which she described the former director of the Central Intelligence Agency as a “public intellectual.”
Gates’ “Exercise in Power: American Failures, Successes, and a New Path Forward in the Post-Cold War World” requires a two-part review. The first part will be a review of Gates’ record in the government, particularly his politicization of intelligence on the Soviet Union.