Gary Hart has long been one of the nation's foremost experts on national security, combining a deep knowledge of national security policy with first-hand experience of the political realities that influence how America safeguards itself and its interests. In his new book, Hart outlines, in clear, concise prose, the fundamental changes with which America must grapple when confronting a terrorist threat that has no state and no geographic homebase and thus offers no genuine target for the world's largest and most sophisticated military force.
Security can only be achieved, Hart argues, by applying new tactics, new players, and a nuanced understanding of the radical changes in the security environment. The old security required massive weapons in massive numbers. The new security requires special forces, individual warrior teams seeking out terrorists in the most remote corners of the world and in the heart of American cities, as well as cooperation among intelligence services. The old security required economic dominance. The new security requires economic integration in a world of international markets, trade, and finance. The new security will be both national and international, defensive and offensive, and will require a shield for the homeland as well as a cloak of non-military security.
At a time when the Democratic Party is searching for a platform on security issues, and the Republican strategy of preemption appears increasingly flawed, Gary Hart once again leads the discussion with this far-ranging vision of how a true security of the commons can be achieved.
Former Senator Hart argues in this treatise the future of national security that 9/11 was an "opportunity to redefine America's role in the world," but one the U.S. is misusing "by waging preemptive warfare in the Middle East and thus possibly increasing the threat." Hart proposes the military abandon traditional notions of warfare ("Fast fighters, giant carriers, monster tanks, big missiles") in favor of increasing the number of special forces units that can be deployed quickly and quietly against insurgents whose organization is akin to "cancerous cells." Hart would have the National Guard, no longer required as an invasion and occupation force, recast as a "homeland security shield." This is an accessible and stimulating read for those interested in national security, politics and terrorism.
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Oxford University Press, Incorporated
January 18, 2006
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