It adds a valuable new chapter to the international history of the war. The book deserves more attention than it has thus far received. It enriches our understanding of the War in Vietnam and by implication, subsequent American commitments, including the war in Afghanistan. Permissions Information.
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Home Close. View Inside. Apple iBookstore. Blackstone Audio, Inc. While most historians of the Vietnam War focus on the origins of U. And they need to understand that there will be costs if they do not. For this and other reasons, U. But we strongly believe that it would be a mistake to increase defense spending at the expense of other critical investments in national security — especially those in diplomacy, development, democracy, and peacebuilding.
We know from experience that force, and the credible possibility of its use, are essential to defend our vital interests and keep America safe.
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But as one of us has said in the past, force alone can be a blunt instrument, and there are many problems it cannot solve. The military leaders who so frequently testify before this committee would be the first to tell you that they cannot succeed in their missions without the vital capabilities that our civilian agencies bring to the table.
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Gutting these capabilities will put an unacceptable burden on our men and women in uniform, and would make America less safe. We need to fund these other civilian elements of American power as robustly as we do the military element. We recognize that government can always be made more efficient and effective, but the best way to accomplish that goal is to build a budget based on a sound strategy. This administration first needs to take the time to staff the Departments and agencies, and to develop a national security strategy.
As members of the legislative branch, it is your responsibility to ensure that every dollar is spent wisely, but it also your responsibility to protect our national security institutions from arbitrary and senseless cuts.
No region has seen more death and suffering or presented more challenges to the international order than the Middle East, with outcomes that have frustrated both Democratic and Republican administrations. The Middle East is likely to be an important test case in the coming years — the region in which the international order gets rejuvenated for a new era or ceases to function entirely. Our goal was not to develop a new U.
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One of our initial insights was that we face not just a crisis in the Middle East, but from the Middle East having global impact. The roots of this crisis lie in a long history of poor governance in many states in the region. The Arab Spring was a consequence of the dissatisfaction of increasingly connected and empowered citizens with a number of political leaders who ruled ineptly and often corruptly. Where leaders sought to quash these popular protests by force, the result in most cases was civil war.
The four civil wars raging in the Middle East — in Syria, Iraq, Libya, and Yemen — have had destabilizing consequences for the region and beyond. They have produced the ungoverned spaces and grievances that have allowed terrorist groups to direct or inspire attacks in the West. They have also created the greatest worldwide refugee crisis since the Second World War, the devastating human cost of which has been coupled with profound effects on our own domestic politics and those of Europe.
The challenges we face in the Middle East bear some resemblance to those of post-war Europe. Countries torn apart by war will need to determine the new shape of their governments, and how those governments interact with their people. The entire state system will need to be shored up so that countries are less prone to subversion, supported by effective regional institutions to mediate conflicts and prevent them from spiraling into all-out war. But there are also important differences between the modern Middle East and post-war Europe.
There is no magnanimous victor in the mold of the Allies, with the will and capability to reshape the region from the outside. New global and political realities mean that no Marshall Plan is in the offing for the rebuilding of the Middle East. The American people have no appetite for this, and the people of the region, too, are tired of being beholden to outside powers. The Middle East must chart its own vision for the future.
There is reason for hope. Although not always evident at first glance, there are promising developments happening in the Middle East, even in the most unexpected places. In Saudi Arabia, female entrepreneurs are founding startup companies at a rate three times that of women in Silicon Valley, as they begin to claim their rightful place in Saudi civic life. In Egypt, the social enterprise Nafham is using technological solutions to address the problem of overcrowding in Egyptian schools. Some governments are beginning to understand that their future depends on promoting these efforts and partnering with their people to build a common future.
Tunisia is showing that revolution need not result in either chaos or authoritarianism, but can begin a transition to an inclusive, democratic future. The UAE has led the way for positive economic and social reforms and Saudi Arabia has now adopted its own vision for the future. Jordan is making its own efforts. These can be examples for other countries in the region. Renewed and enhanced American leadership is needed in the Middle East.
But not to impose our will militarily or otherwise. Instead, America has a clear interest in supporting and accelerating the positive changes that are already happening. The goal of our strategy in the region should be to help the Middle East move from the current vicious cycle in which it finds itself to a more virtuous one -- one in which the Middle East no longer spawns violence and refugees, is not a drain on international resources, and does not through its instability and political vacuums aggravate great power competition.
With this goal in mind, US foreign policy toward the Middle East should be informed by a set of guiding principles that represent the new reality of the region since First, the old order is gone and is not coming back. Stability will not be achieved until a new regional order takes shape. The region should assume the principal responsibility for defining this new order, which should offer the people of the region the prospect of a stable and prosperous future free from both terrorist violence and government oppression. Second, disengagement is not a practical solution for the West.
Instead, it is in the interest of the United States and others to help the Middle East achieve a more peaceful vision. But their role must be different from what it has been in the past.
Rather than dictating from the outside how countries should behave, they should support and facilitate the positive efforts that some people and governments in the region are beginning to take. Third, a strategy for the region should focus on more than counterterrorism. Even if these groups disappeared tomorrow, others would arise in their place so long as the underlying grievances that led to the Arab Spring remain unresolved.
Fourth, sectarian and ethnic rivalries are not as entrenched or inevitable in the Middle East as many assume. Instead, they wax and wane with broader tensions in the region. Achieving political solutions to the civil wars would go far in stanching these communal tensions. To this end, empowered local governance will be essential going forward, so as to allow people the freedom to shape their own communities. Finally, the Middle East cannot build a better future without the active participation of the people of the region—including women, youth, minorities, and those displaced by conflict.