War, Welfare & Democracy: Rethinking America's Quest for the End of History [NOOK Book]

Overview

American foreign policy since World War II has actively sought to reshape both domestic and international orders to hasten the coming of the end of history in a peaceful democratic utopia. While the end of the Cold War heightened optimism that this goal was near, policymakers still face dramatic challenges. In War, Welfare & Democracy, Peter J. Munson argues that the foreign policy problems we face today stem from common roots—the modern state system's struggle to cope with the pressures of market development...

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War, Welfare & Democracy: Rethinking America's Quest for the End of History

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Overview

American foreign policy since World War II has actively sought to reshape both domestic and international orders to hasten the coming of the end of history in a peaceful democratic utopia. While the end of the Cold War heightened optimism that this goal was near, policymakers still face dramatic challenges. In War, Welfare & Democracy, Peter J. Munson argues that the foreign policy problems we face today stem from common roots—the modern state system's struggle to cope with the pressures of market development and sociopolitical modernization.

Washington's policies seek to treat challenges as varied as insurgency, organized crime, fiscal crises, immigration pressures, authoritarianism, and violations of human rights with a schizophrenic mix of realpolitik and idealism. The ideologies that inform this outlook were born during the Great Depression and two world wars and honed during the early years of the Cold War. Although the world has long since changed, American policy has failed to adjust. The world's leading welfare states face a crisis of aging populations, shrinking revenues, and spiraling costs in their attempts to provide services and social security for their citizens, compounding this inflexibility.

By addressing the inequality of wealth, security, and stability brought on by dramatic economic change and modernization, Munson describes how the United States can lead in reforming the welfare state paradigm and adjust its antiquated policies to best manage the transformation we all must face.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"In this savagely critical yet astonishingly insightful book, Peter Munson lays bare the folly of what passes for sophisticated thinking in Washington. Better still, he offers a sound, reasoned basis for an altogether different approach—one with fewer wars and greater attention to putting America’s own house in order."—Andrew J. Bacevich, author of Washington Rules: America’s Path to Permanent War

"An outstanding indictment of the protracted and repeated political folly and grand strategic incompetence that has imperiled U.S. ability to function effectively as a prudent hegemonic power, Munson's powerfully persuasive study is an uncomfortable, but essential, read for Americans."—Colin S. Gray, author of National Security Dilemmas

"With experience as a military professional and the eye of a strategist, Peter Munson provides a wise, elegantly written assessment of the choices the United States faces today in its security policy. Advocating neither isolation nor appeasement, he makes a strong case for retrenchment from ‘micromanagement of world affairs’ and a return to an exemplary role. All Americans concerned with their nation’s future should read it."—Steven Metz, author of Iraq and the Evolution of American Strategy

"U.S. Marine and scholar Peter Munson has written a superb book about the severe limitations of military force to achieve what he rightly characterizes as 'utopian' outcomes. This is not an easy, feel-good read. War, Welfare & Democracy is a hard-hitting, rigorously researched call-to-action by a man who has served on the front lines."—Rye Barcott, author of It Happened on the Way to War

"Peter Munson has a sharp mind and a keen eye for military affairs. His work develops a series of critical arguments designed to focus our limited resources in smart ways to cope with real security challenges today and in the future. His bottom line is straightforward: we should get our own house in order as the precondition for the emergence of any sound national security strategy."—Col. Douglas MacGregor, USA (Ret.), author of Warrior’s Rage: The Great Tank Battle of 73 Easting and executive vice president of Burke-Macgregor Group

"War, Welfare, and Democracy is a well-researched and authoritative look at what drives us as a nation and how we arrived at where we are today."—Nathan K. Finney, US Army War College Quarterly

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781612345406
  • Publisher: Potomac Books Inc.
  • Publication date: 1/31/2013
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • File size: 2 MB

Meet the Author

PETER J. MUNSON is a Middle East specialist and Marine officer with fifteen years of service around the world. The author of Iraq in Transition: The Legacy of Dictatorship and the Prospects for Democracy (Potomac Books, 2009) and the editor of the Small Wars Journal, Munson earned his master of arts degree in national security affairs from the Naval Postgraduate School. He lives near Tampa, Florida.
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