America's Promise Restored: Preventing Culture, Crusade, and Partisanship from Wrecking Our Country

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America's Promise Restored is by one of America's foremost military and political thinkers. It shows how, if left unchecked, America's current political culture and historical capacity for crusade — motivated and corrupted by ideology — will prove far more destructive than all of Bin Laden's devilish intentions. Contemporary American politics is destroying America's relevance and influence abroad and its democratic values at home. This book shows how these forces evolved and have been transformed, fragmented, and...

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Overview

America's Promise Restored is by one of America's foremost military and political thinkers. It shows how, if left unchecked, America's current political culture and historical capacity for crusade — motivated and corrupted by ideology — will prove far more destructive than all of Bin Laden's devilish intentions. Contemporary American politics is destroying America's relevance and influence abroad and its democratic values at home. This book shows how these forces evolved and have been transformed, fragmented, and perverted such that America has been broken by old political mindsets and harsh partisanship; how religion, ideological overtones, and excesses prevent rational policy. We also see that the forces threatening American democracy are an "antique" form of government that seems to be in permanent gridlock since it is driven, distorted and corrupted by self-interest. These things have engaged the nation in the wrong war in the wrong place at the wrong time, as well as having intruded across inviolable political boundaries; and an extraordinarily dangerous yet misunderstood threat that can draw on tens of millions of converts — many of whom are prepared to die in the process of imposing a political-theological regime on a region rich in oil with access to nuclear weapons.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
A former naval officer, Ullman is afraid that bureaucracy, rampant partisanship and a crusading foreign policy have rendered the United States government completely dysfunctional. He also worries that the rise of al-Qaeda and other organizations run by "Jihadist Extremists" constitutes a threat to the United States on par with that once posed by Nazi Germany. As a result, he says, "the United States may be in the gravest danger... since the Civil War." Taking aim at special interest groups, both political parties, the Bush administration and even the Constitution itself, Ullman worries that the American system of government might not be able to adapt to today's mounting challenges. This is an ambitious contention, and one the book doesn't support very well. While providing solid historical background for the "War on Terrorism" and other major foreign policy issues, the book's sprawling structure occasionally dilutes the force of its arguments. However, the author does propose some governmental reforms that might appeal to public policy buffs. The most novel of these is a call for mandatory universal voting, in the belief that higher voter participation will lead to greater government accountability. (July) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780786717583
  • Publisher: Basic Books
  • Publication date: 5/28/2006
  • Pages: 320
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Harlan K. Ullman, Ph.D., is a senior adviser to the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a prominent Washington, DC, think tank, and a senior fellow at the Center for Naval Analyses. He is a columnist for the WASHINGTON TIMES and a commentator on Fox News, the BBC, and Al Jazeera. His military background includes skippering swift boats during the Vietnam War and commanding a destroyer in the Persian Gulf. He is the author of OWLS AND EAGLES: ENDING THE FOREIGN POLICY FLIGHT OF FANCY OF HAWKS, DOVES, AND NEO-CONS; FINISHING BUSINESS: TEN STEPS TO DEFEAT GLOBAL TERROR; and UNFINISHED BUSINESS: AFGHANISTAN, THE MIDDLE EAST, AND BEYOND—DEFUSING THE DANGERS THAT THREATEN AMERICA'S SECURITY. Ullman is credited with being the principal architect of the "shock and awe" doctrine that was adopted by the Pentagon. He lives in Washington, DC.

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Table of Contents

1 Why we are at risk 3
2 History matters : past fault lines 19
3 Unchecked and unbalanced - the enemy from within : dysfunctional government and an exposed nation 49
4 The enemy from without 81
5 The world as it is, not as we wish it 115
6 The Chinese puzzle and the Russian enigma 137
7 Vietnam and the greater Middle East 165
8 Partisanship and paradox at home 197
9 Repairing the rifts 229
10 Big ideas 253
Conclusion : a plea for the reader 283
Epilogue : March 15, 2006 289
App Pros and cons for universal, mandatory voting
App Terrorist surveillance or domestic spying - an overview 297
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