A sober assessment of what "intervention" can and cannot accomplish.
British Parliament member Stewart (The Places In Between, 2006, etc.) and Knaus, the founding chairman of the European Stability Initiative, are not opposed to interventionper se, but they argue that many of its premises, and certainly the implementation, are faulty. Stewart takes up failures in execution of intervention especially in Afghanistan, and Knaus shows that the Bosnian precedent, often considered a model for success, was anything but. In Afghanistan, there is a mismatch between means and ends—the spending of $14 billion per year just on training the military and police cannot be sustained by a government with a budget of just $1 billion per year. Knaus deconstructs a succession of untruths or exaggerations about the Balkans War, where the so-called Brcko model was based on giving plenipotentiary or almost vice-regal powers to an administrator. After becoming generalized there, the program was transferred to Iraq, along with personnel, under the Coalition Provisional Authority. Knaus shows that the successes attributed to the model are largely mythical and that what was accomplished by the CPA was based largely on models other than those implemented in Bosnia. Stewart and Knaus stress that lip service to rhetorical or administrative formulas and standards and exaggeration of threat and achievement are no substitutes for truthfulness.
Two experienced authors effectively identify what those who decide to make such interventions require for success, that what is required often does not exist and that brute force is not a viable alternative.
Seth G. Jones
…Rory Stewart and Gerald Knaus provide a fresh and critically important perspective on foreign interventions…the book's insistence on caution and humility in foreign interventions is an important contribution, which bucks conventional wisdom.
The Washington Post
Stewart and Knaus convincingly argue for new approaches to understanding and executing political and military intervention in the modern world. Making use of firsthand experiences in Kosovo, Afghanistan, and Iraq, the authors move beyond the philosophical models utilized by various international organizations and analyze both the efficacy and consequences of nation building. James Langton provides steady, clear narration for this audio edition. He pronounces esoteric terms and foreign phrases consistently and without hesitation. His use of emphasis focuses listener attention on important passages and guides them through complicated sections. Additionally, Langton’s tone invites listeners to think about the book’s arguments and assertions. Although his English accent adds zest to this rather academic exploration of international intervention, listeners without an understanding of global politics may become confused or lose interest. A Norton hardcover. (Aug.)
From the Publisher
"James Langton provides steady, clear narration...His use of emphasis focuses listener attention on important passages and guides them through complicated sections...[his] tone invites listeners to think about the book's arguments and assertions." - Publishers Weekly
"...a fresh and critically important perspective on foreign interventions...the book's insistence on caution and humility in foreign interventions is an important contribution, which bucks conventional wisdom." - The Washington Post