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978-1-58648-218-3 / 1586482181

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About the book:

Retired General Wesley Clark's follow up to his insightful, detailed memoir of NATO's victorious Kosovo campaign begins as a concise analysis of the 2003 military invasion/occupation of Iraq and wends its way to a troubling yet ultimately hopeful examination of America at an unprecedented domestic, economic, and geopolitical crossroads. Clark's keen intellect (he was a Rhodes Scholar and graduated first in his class at West Point) and refreshing gift for intelligent plain-speaking often call attention to salient observations too often overlooked in the daily jumble of selective news and political spin. Our conflicts with Iraq have not been two distinct wars, but an unceasing, 13-year-long military campaign; the ambitious Pax Americana envisioned by Bush administration neocons is not only unsustainable, but a redundant anachronism, America having long ago created a "virtual empire" by dint of its interlocking international business relationships, cultural lure, and (ideally) moral leadership. His critics may label it the political manifesto of an ambitious presidential contender (a charge he quickly addresses in his introduction with a pre-emptive strike that is, given the subject matter, a bit ironic), but Clark's vision of an engaged, enterprising America leading the world instead of dominating it is rooted in an objective understanding of history, our nation's own longstanding philosophical ideals, and no small amount of refreshing horse sense (are we fighting terrorism by creating terrorists? And how safe is a country that starves its very security apparatus with unsound economic policies?). Ever loyal to the armed forces he served with distinction for 33 years, Clark also never passes up an opportunity to praise our nation's best and bravest, the men and women who are the cutting edge of America's sword, be it yielded with restrained wisdom or reckless abandon. --Jerry McCulley

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