The Sovereignty Solution: A Common Sense Approach to Global Security

Overview


The Sovereignty Solution is not an Establishment national security strategy. Instead, it describes what the U.S. could actually do to restore order to the world without having to engage in either global policing or nation-building. Right now there is no coherent plan that addresses questions like: If terrorists were to strike Chicago tomorrow, what would we do? When Chicago is burning, whom would we target? How would we respond? There is nothing in place and no strategy on the horizon to either reassure the ...
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The Sovereignty Solution: A Common Sense Approach to Global Security

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Overview


The Sovereignty Solution is not an Establishment national security strategy. Instead, it describes what the U.S. could actually do to restore order to the world without having to engage in either global policing or nation-building. Right now there is no coherent plan that addresses questions like: If terrorists were to strike Chicago tomorrow, what would we do? When Chicago is burning, whom would we target? How would we respond? There is nothing in place and no strategy on the horizon to either reassure the American public or warn the world: attack us, and this is what you can expect. We've also never had a plan that says: respect our sovereignty and we'll respect yours. There are two tracks to the strategy presented in this book: strengthening state responsibility abroad, and strengthening the social fabric here at home. Because no one considers the state of our social fabric in light of our foreign policy, or our foreign policy in light of what we might all agree America should stand for, this book is unique. Our goal? To provoke a serious national security debate that addresses and then redresses the gaps and disconnects between what the U.S. says, what the U.S. does, how the U.S. wants to be perceived, and how the U.S. actually is perceived. We offer a radically commonsensical way to recalibrate global security by getting countries to self-police.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"…thought-provoking…The authors, a Naval Postgraduate School professor and a pair of Special Forces officers know very well what they have written about. The ideas they propound are good. They are well worth taking on board."

--AUSMarine

"This book is recommended, particularly for those who are respon­sible for making policy decisions at the highest levels of govern­ment, and especially those decisions governing the use of force. Given current global focus on events in Syria and Iran, and with calls for military intervention coming from some quarters, one wonders if this book will become, or already is, required reading within what Americans call, 'The Administration.'" -- Starshell

"The Sovereignty Solution is an excellent pick for community and library reference collections discussing important international issues." -- The Midwest Book Review

A Select Title on the AIR FORCE CHIEF OF STAFF READING LIST 2013

"I highly recommend this book as an invaluable resource for service members, who, more than perhaps any other group of people, are directly affected by foreign policy decisions." -- Air Force Chief of Staff Reading List review

"The book thoughtfully articulates an alternate future US foreign policy supporting a new US grand strategy. This book is suitable for higher Defence College consideration, as it tests and stretches important international norms, while proposing policy choices impacting not only the US but also most nations of the world. In addition, it includes more than 65 pages of comprehensive notes from research, which add significant value and are usefully read alongside each of the book's nine chapters." -- Australian Defence Force Journal

"...the book challenges U.S. citizens and policymakers to formulate a clear strategy before demanding sacrifices from a fraction of the population. In this, it is a worthwhile contribution to what should be a pressing matter of public debate, especially in an election year." -- H-Net

"It is without reservations that I state that The Sovereignty Solution was the most important book of 2011 that most of you never read." -- Rethinking Security

"The book is highly recommended, because it describes a perfectly sound alternative to the current US military conduct." -- Naval Forces

"While one can disagree with them, the authors make a strong case for a U.S. strategy that leaves other countries alone to live as they wish unless they attack our sovereignty. The beauty of the strategy is its stark simplicity. As important, the three authors work daily with U.S. military officers, and they cannot mask their frustration and anguish over national leadership that sends young Americans into combat without even having the guts to seek formal declarations of war, and without operationally clear criteria for success. The authors care, and so should we all." -- The Honorable James G. Roche, 20th Secretary of the U.S. Air Force
"Like an unexpected wet mop in the face of tired complacency, The Sovereignty Solution works on the receptive mind as a pry bar works on a tightly sealed box. Written with courage and passion, this is a book whose often counterintuitive clarity shakes entombed assumptions like an earthquake. Whether you end up convinced or not, you will never think about American national security the same way ever again." -- Adam Garfinkle, editor of The American Interest

"The argument is distinct and explicit, the writing lucid and cogent, the authors passionate and experienced. This is a book that will start many much-needed discussions." -- Jakub Grygiel, George H. W. Bush Senior Associate Professor of International Relations, Johns Hopkins University's School of Advanced International Studies

"Years ahead of the Washington policy cognoscenti, Simons, McGraw, and Lauchengco blaze a new intellectual path between the frustrations of nation building and the temptations of drone counterterrorism." -- Robert Andrews, former deputy under-secretary of defense and special assistant to the Secretary of the Army; author of The Village War

"Counterinsurgency by nation building is concurrently official U.S. doctrine, an evident case of military malpractice, and the imperialism of fools…This book is a valuable contribution because it describes a perfectly sound alternative to the current U.S. military conduct." -- EDWARD N. LUTTWAK, military strategist and historian; author of Strategy: The Logic of War and Peace

Edward N. Luttwak
"Counterinsurgency by nation building is concurrently official U.S. doctrine, an evident case of military malpractice, and the imperialism of fools...This book is a valuable contribution because it describes a perfectly sound alternative to the current U.S. military conduct."
-EDWARD N. LUTTWAK, military strategist and historian; author of Strategy: The Logic of War and Peace
Adam Garfinkle
"Like an unexpected wet mop in the face of tired complacency, The Sovereignty Solution works on the receptive mind as a pry bar works on a tightly sealed box. Written with courage and passion, this is a book whose often counterintuitive clarity shakes entombed assumptions like an earthquake. Whether you end up convinced or not, you will never think about American national security the same way ever again."
-ADAM GARFINKLE, editor of The American Interest
Jakub Grygiel
"The argument is distinct and explicit, the writing lucid and cogent, the authors passionate and experienced. This is a book that will start many much-needed discussions."
-JAKUB GRYGIEL, George H. W. Bush Senior Associate Professor of International Relations, Johns Hopkins University's School of Advanced International Studies
Robert Andrews
"Years ahead of the Washington policy cognoscenti, Simons, McGraw, and Lauchengco blaze a new intellectual path between the frustrations of nation building and the temptations of drone counterterrorism."
-ROBERT ANDREWS, former deputy under-secretary of defense and special assistant to the Secretary of the Army; author of The Village War
James G. Roche
"While one can disagree with them, the authors make a strong case for a U.S. strategy that leaves other countries alone to live as they wish unless they attack our sovereignty. The beauty of the strategy is its stark simplicity. As important, the three authors work daily with U.S. military officers, and they cannot mask their frustration and anguish over national leadership that sends young Americans into combat without even having the guts to seek formal declarations of war, and without operationally clear criteria for success. The authors care, and so should we all."
-THE HONORABLE JAMES G. ROCHE, 20th Secretary of the U.S. Air Force
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781612510507
  • Publisher: Naval Institute Press
  • Publication date: 11/28/2011
  • Pages: 226
  • Sales rank: 724,090
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author


Anna Simons is a Professor of Defense Analysis at the Naval Postgraduate School. She previously taught anthropology at UCLA. She graduated from Harvard College, and earned her PhD in social anthropology from Harvard University. She is the author of Networks of Dissolution: Somalia Undone and The Company They Keep: Life Inside the U.S. Army Special Forces.

Joe McGraw: An active duty Special Forces Officer with over 16 years in the US Army. He is married to LTC Leigh McGraw and father of three small children. He has served in combat with his Special Forces A-Team and his Special Forces Company, and has spent over 10 years with US Army Special Forces.

Duane Lauchengco: The busy life of a Special Forces Officer in today's Army parallels the equally busy life of a father with a bristling brood of four children and a very understanding wife. At home in a Cub Scout meeting, watching kids' soccer, or treading water, Duane contentedly enjoys North Carolina living

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Table of Contents

Preface vii

Introduction 1

Chapter 1 Global Insecurity Today 7

Chapter 2 Divisible America 19

Chapter 3 Why Sovereignty? 33

Chapter 4 The Radical Shift-The Relationship Framework 47

Chapter 5 Renewing America's Vision of War 61

Chapter 6 Indivisible America 77

Chapter 7 To Each His Own: The Ultimate Freedom Agenda 89

Chafter 8 Alliances and Other Arrangements 105

Chapter 9 Deeds, Not Words 119

Conclusion 133

Epilogue: Time Now-Afghanistan 139

Acronyms 145

Notes 147

Acknowledgments 215

Index 217

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 11, 2012

    I Also Recommend:

    Fine, well-argued critique of US foreign policy

    The authors argue that the USA needs to adopt a new policy, of “respect our sovereignty and we will respect yours.” This entails, “don’t expect us to embrace your values in this country and we won’t expect you to embrace our values in your country: or to be even more blunt about it: we’ll be us. You be you. ‘You be you’ means there would be no more government-sponsored proselytization of the American Way abroad. There would be no more inveigling by the U.S. government to get others to change. This buttresses the respect that sovereignty is supposed to accord, whereas self-respect requires a much more concerted focus by us on our domestic problems.” As the authors write, “populations should be able to live under whatever system of governance they choose, to use their natural resources in whatever manner they see fit, and to run their economies according to the principles that most suit them …” They point out that aid has failed, citing Kishore Mahbubani: “the story of Western aid to the developing world is essentially a myth. Western countries have put significant amounts of money into their overseas development assistance budgets, but these funds’ primary purpose is to serve the immediate and short-term security and national interests of the donors rather than the long-term interests of the recipients.” They observe that from 1985 to 2005 the World Bank pressed Malawi to adopt free-market policies and slash or end fertiliser subsidies. The 2005 harvest was the worst ever: 5 million of Malawi’s 13 million people needed food aid. Then the country’s new president adopted the policies the West practised (not those it preached) and subsidised its fertiliser production. Now it is feeding its own people and selling food to its neighbours. As the authors state, nation-building from outside always fails, so instead: “we would share our values, ideals, and principles, and let people make of them what they will. But we wouldn’t build or finance projects or inject large sums of anything that can be pocketed or siphoned off. We would educate. We would train.” As they point out, so-called ‘humanitarian interventions’ also always fail. They quote Alan Kuperman, “the emerging norm of humanitarian military intervention, which is intended to prevent genocide and ethnic cleansing, perversely causes such violence through the dynamic of moral hazard. The norm, intended as a type of insurance policy against genocidal violence, unintentionally encourages disgruntled sub-state groups to rebel because they expect intervention to protect them from retaliation by the state. Actual intervention, however, is often too late or too feeble to prevent such retaliation. Thus, the norm causes some genocidal violence that otherwise would not occur.” Again, occupations too always fail. No country welcomes foreign invaders or occupiers. As the authors point out, upon occupation, the initiative at once moves to the occupied. They advocate US disentanglement from the internal affairs of all other nations. On their own logic, they should be calling for an immediate end to the occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan. They are wrong to claim that Hezbollah and Hamas are ‘attacking the United States’. Again, on their own logic, the USA should withdraw all its forces from the Middle East. This is a rational, radical and effective critique of longstanding US foreign policy.

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