Since September 11, 2001, the United States has been preoccupied by the federal role in preparedness against terror attacks, and by ways to provide a quick fix through organizational overhauls. Airport security has been federalized, and Congress has approved a Cabinet-level homeland security agency. By contrast, national discussion of state and local preparedness has been largely absent.
Although military operations have dominated media coverage of the war on terrorism, a much broader array of policy options may hold the key to reducing the appeal of global terrorist networks, particularly in economically destitute areas. These strategies involve the use of "soft power," a term first used by political scientist Joseph Nye in a 1990 article in Foreign Policy to describe nonmilitary strategies to shape international relations and behavior.
On September 11, 2001, the United States began to consider the terrorist threat in a new light. Terrorism was no longer something that happened in other countries on other continents but became a pressing domestic concern for the US government and American citizens. The nation suddenly faced a protracted struggle.
More than ten years after the breakup of the Soviet Union, none of the major powers, including Russia, has developed a cohesive geopolitical strategy for dealing with the countries and regions that once made up the USSR. Even after September 11 and the sudden importance of Central Asia in the struggle against global terrorism, the United States continues to deal with the region in fragmented and incomplete ways.
The healthcare industry in America consists of a multitude of specialty professions. While most of these require licensing through state agencies, the legislation involved largely rubber stamps the desires of the professional associations, self-perpetuating and self-regulating bodies that effectively impose restrictions on entry to the profession, type and location of practice, and advertising.
The United States is the only superpower in the world today. Although the media are filled with prescriptions for how Washington might best wield its power, rarely are other countries asked what role they would like the United States to play.
In December 1998, Energy Secretary Bill Richardson announced that the U.S. planned to begin producing tritium for its nuclear weapons in commercial nuclear power plants. This decision overturned a fifty-year policy of keeping civilian and military nuclear production processes separate. Tritium, a radioactive form of hydrogen, is needed to turn A-bombs into H-bombs, and the commercial nuclear power plants that are to be modified to produce tritium are called ice condensers. This book provides an insider's perspective on how Richardson's decision came about, and why it is dangerous.
Soldiers and Civilians analyzes the emerging civil-military "gap" in the United States, drawing on a major survey of military officers, civilian leaders, and the general public. The book's contributors, leading scholars of defense policy, find that numerous schisms have undermined civil-military cooperation and harmed military effectiveness.
Most national security debates concern the outcomes of policies, neglecting the means by which those policies are implemented. This book argues that although the US military is the finest fighting force in the world, the system that supports it is in disrepair. Operating with Cold War-era structures and practices, it is subject to managerial and organizational problems that increasingly threaten our military's effectiveness.
Since the end of the Cold War, the US military has reduced its combat forces by 40 percent, closed about 20 percent of its bases, and withdrawn from many overseas posts. Even after these changes, the US military is by far the strongest in the world, with huge advantages in training, equipment, and technology. Despite cutting its annual spending by about 30 percent, the United States spends more than the countries with the six next-largest military budgets combined.