Here’s the perfect book for your next plane trip

Civil-military relations is one of the hottest of the hot topics in the national security arena.  Fortunately, to help us get our arms around it, my friend Rosa Brooks, currently a professor at Georgetown law (but formerly a Los Angeles Times columnist and Pentagon official), has a terrific, must-read new book entitled How Everything Became War and the Military Became Everything: Tales from the Pentagon.

In putting the topic in context, she discusses such diverse things as piracy, military detention, our strategic deafness about Africa, stability operations, drones, covert operations, cyber, nonlethal weapons, the militarization of foreign policy, and much more – including her experiences as a senior advisor to then Under Secretary of Defense Michèle Flournoy.  She expertly shows us linkages that are easily missed in making her proposals to address the concerns she raises.

Honestly, I really don’t know of another book that covers as many contemporary national security topics as thoughtfully and as truly readably as this one.  Sure, I don’t agree with all of Rosa’s views, but she cogently presents a perspective very much worth pondering.  I can easily imagine a whole law school or graduate school seminar built around debating the many issues the book presents.

Not only is this volume essential for the specialist, it’s also the ideal “catch up” book for someone interested in national security issues, but hasn’t been able to keep up with all the latest developments.   This is the book that will quickly bring you up to date, and do so in a way that keeps you turning the pages.

I have a lengthy review over on Lawfare (“American Military Culture and Civil-Military Relations Today”) that I hope find of interest.  As I say in that review, reading Rosa’s book is like having that all-too-rare experience of sitting next to a very interesting and articulate person on a long plane flight.  So I urge you to get her book, as I know you will enjoy the ride!

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