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PARTNERSHIPS FOR THE AMERICAS
Western Hemisphere Strategy and U.S. Southern Command
By James Stavridis [ Link to eBook ]
Admiral James G. Stavridis, USN, reflects on his tenure as Commander of United States Southern Command (SOUTHCOM). The first Admiral to command Southern Command, Admiral Stavridis broke with tradition from day one, discarding the customary military staff model and creating an innovative organization designed not solely to subdue adversaries, but, perhaps more importantly, to build durable and lasting partnerships with friends. As he has said often, “We are excellent at launching Tomahawk missiles; in this part of the world, we need to get better at launching ideas.”
From his unique perspective as commander, Stavridis uses his engagingly personal style to describe his vision for the command’s role in the Americas, making the most of limited resources to create goodwill and mutual respect, while taking care of the serious business of countering illegal drug trafficking, overcoming a dangerous insurgency in Colombia, and responding to humanitarian crises. He also devotes chapters to USSOUTHCOM’s role in nurturing institutional respect for human rights among the military and security forces of the region, in advancing health security, and in supporting a new regional strategy to counter the increasing challenge of urban and transnational gang violence. Citing the hemisphere’s common geography, culture, economy, and history, Stavridis makes a passionate case for a common approach and strategy for defending our “shared home of the Americas” through an international, interagency, and private-public approach, all connected through coherent and effective strategic communication.
THE ACCIDENTAL SUPERPOWER
The Next Generation of American Preeminence and the Coming Global Disorder
By Peter Zeihan
Near the end of the Second World War, the United States made a bold strategic gambit that rewired the international system. Empires were abolished and replaced by a global arrangement enforced by the U.S. Navy. With all the world’s oceans safe for the first time in history, markets and resources were made available for everyone. Enemies became partners. We think of this system as normal-it is not. We live in an artificial world on borrowed time.
In The Accidental Superpower, international strategist Peter Zeihan examines how the hard rules of geography are eroding the American commitment to free trade; how much of the planet is aging into a mass retirement that will enervate markets and capital supplies; and how, against all odds, it is the ever-ravenous American economy that-alone among the developed nations is rapidly approaching energy independence. Combined, these factors are doing nothing less than overturning the global system and ushering in a new (dis)order.
For most, that is a disaster-in-waiting, but not for the Americans. The shale revolution allows Americans to sidestep an increasingly dangerous energy market. Only the United States boasts a youth population large enough to escape the sucking maw of global aging. Most important, geography will matter more than ever in a de-globalizing world, and America’s geography is simply sublime.
The South China Sea and the End of a Stable Pacific
By Robert D. Kaplan [ Link to eBook ]
Over the last decade, the center of world power has been quietly shifting from Europe to Asia. With oil reserves of several billion barrels, an estimated nine hundred trillion cubic feet of natural gas, and several centuries’ worth of competing territorial claims, the South China Sea in particular is a simmering pot of potential conflict. The underreported military buildup in the area where the Western Pacific meets the Indian Ocean means that it will likely be a hinge point for global war and peace for the foreseeable future.In Asia’s Cauldron, Robert D. Kaplan offers up a vivid snapshot of the nations surrounding the South China Sea, the conflicts brewing in the region at the dawn of the twenty-first century, and their implications for global peace and stability. One of the world’s most perceptive foreign policy experts, Kaplan interprets America’s interests in Asia in the context of an increasingly assertive China. He explains how the region’s unique geography fosters the growth of navies but also impedes aggression. And he draws a striking parallel between China’s quest for hegemony in the South China Sea and the United States’ imperial adventure in the Caribbean more than a century ago.
To understand the future of conflict in East Asia, Kaplan argues, one must understand the goals and motivations of its leaders and its people. Part travelogue, part geopolitical primer, Asia’s Cauldron takes us on a journey through the region’s boom cities and ramshackle slums: from Vietnam, where the superfueled capitalism of the erstwhile colonial capital, Saigon, inspires the geostrategic pretensions of the official seat of government in Hanoi, to Malaysia, where a unique mix of authoritarian Islam and Western-style consumerism creates quite possibly the ultimate postmodern society; and from Singapore, whose “benevolent autocracy” helped foster an economic miracle, to the Philippines, where a different brand of authoritarianism under Ferdinand Marcos led not to economic growth but to decades of corruption and crime. At a time when every day’s news seems to contain some new story—large or small—that directly relates to conflicts over the South China Sea, Asia’s Cauldron is an indispensable guide to a corner of the globe that will affect all of our lives for years to come.
By Henry Kissinger [ Link to eBook ]
Henry Kissinger offers in World Order a deep meditation on the roots of international harmony and global disorder. Drawing on his experience as one of the foremost statesmen of the modern era—advising presidents, traveling the world, observing and shaping the central foreign policy events of recent decades—Kissinger now reveals his analysis of the ultimate challenge for the twenty-first century: how to build a shared international order in a world of divergent historical perspectives, violent conflict, proliferating technology, and ideological extremism.There has never been a true “world order,” Kissinger observes. For most of history, civilizations defined their own concepts of order. Each considered itself the center of the world and envisioned its distinct principles as universally relevant. China conceived of a global cultural hierarchy with the Emperor at its pinnacle. In Europe, Rome imagined itself surrounded by barbarians; when Rome fragmented, European peoples refined a concept of an equilibrium of sovereign states and sought to export it across the world. Islam, in its early centuries, considered itself the world’s sole legitimate political unit, destined to expand indefinitely until the world was brought into harmony by religious principles. The United States was born of a conviction about the universal applicability of democracy—a conviction that has guided its policies ever since. Now international affairs take place on a global basis, and these historical concepts of world order are meeting. Every region participates in questions of high policy in every other, often instantaneously. Yet there is no consensus among the major actors about the rules and limits guiding this process, or its ultimate destination. The result is mounting tension.
Grounded in Kissinger’s deep study of history and his experience as National Security Advisor and Secretary of State, World Order guides readers through crucial episodes in recent world history. Kissinger offers a unique glimpse into the inner deliberations of the Nixon administration’s negotiations with Hanoi over the end of the Vietnam War, as well as Ronald Reagan’s tense debates with Soviet Premier Gorbachev in Reykjavík. He offers compelling insights into the future of U.S.–China relations and the evolution of the European Union, and examines lessons of the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. Taking readers from his analysis of nuclear negotiations with Iran through the West’s response to the Arab Spring and tensions with Russia over Ukraine, World Order anchors Kissinger’s historical analysis in the decisive events of our time. Provocative and articulate, blending historical insight with geopolitical prognostication, World Order is a unique work that could come only from a lifelong policymaker and diplomat.
Stories I Tell to Friends
By Dwight Eisenhower
President Eisenhower here tells a number of stories for the simple pleasure of telling them. In warm and personal terms, he writes about his life, his acquaintances both celebrated and little known, and the history that unfolded before his eyes. In anecdote after anecdote, we learn about life at West Point, in turn-of-the-century Kansas, in an “ordinary” but remarkable family. His storytelling suggests what it was like to grow up and go to school at a time when the wild west had just become the rural west, when the frontier was his home town. It awakened the dreams of adventure in a boy’s imagination–and carried him from the wrong side of the tracks in Abilene to the leadership of a great alliance and military expedition, a great university, and a great nation. The young Eisenhower’s dreams, he thought, could probably best be realized at Annapolis. And yet–through a fortuitous turn of events–the future naval officer settled in at West Point.
From the Point to the Presidency is a chronicle that now belongs to history, and the author has done his duty in The ‘Crusade in Europe’, The ‘Mandate for Change’ and ‘Waging Peace'(the White House Years).
THE REVENGE OF GEOGRAPHY
What the Map Tells Us About Coming Conflicts and the Battle Against Fate
By Robert D. Kaplan [ Link to eBook ]
In this provocative, startling book, Robert D. Kaplan, the bestselling author of Monsoon and Balkan Ghosts, offers a revelatory new prism through which to view global upheavals and to understand what lies ahead for continents and countries around the worldIn The Revenge of Geography, Kaplan builds on the insights, discoveries, and theories of great geographers and geopolitical thinkers of the near and distant past to look back at critical pivots in history and then to look forward at the evolving global scene. Kaplan traces the history of the world’s hot spots by examining their climates, topographies, and proximities to other embattled lands. The Russian steppe’s pitiless climate and limited vegetation bred hard and cruel men bent on destruction, for example, while Nazi geopoliticians distorted geopolitics entirely, calculating that space on the globe used by the British Empire and the Soviet Union could be swallowed by a greater German homeland.
Kaplan then applies the lessons learned to the present crises in Europe, Russia, China, the Indian subcontinent, Turkey, Iran, and the Arab Middle East. The result is a holistic interpretation of the next cycle of conflict throughout Eurasia. Remarkably, the future can be understood in the context of temperature, land allotment, and other physical certainties: China, able to feed only 23 percent of its people from land that is only 7 percent arable, has sought energy, minerals, and metals from such brutal regimes as Burma, Iran, and Zimbabwe, putting it in moral conflict with the United States. Afghanistan’s porous borders will keep it the principal invasion route into India, and a vital rear base for Pakistan, India’s main enemy. Iran will exploit the advantage of being the only country that straddles both energy-producing areas of the Persian Gulf and the Caspian Sea. Finally, Kaplan posits that the United States might rue engaging in far-flung conflicts with Iraq and Afghanistan rather than tending to its direct neighbor Mexico, which is on the verge of becoming a semi-failed state due to drug cartel carnage. A brilliant rebuttal to thinkers who suggest that globalism will trump geography, this indispensable work shows how timeless truths and natural facts can help prevent this century’s looming cataclysms.
GRAND STRATEGIES IN WAR AND PEACE
By Paul Kennedy
In this book, eminent historians-among them Sir Michael Howard, J. H. Elliott, Douglas Porch, and Paul Kennedy-look at how the United States, the Soviet Union, and various European powers have developed their ‘grand strategies’-how they have integrated their political, economic, and military goals in order to preserve their long-term interests in times of war and peace. While providing insightful historical analysis of past and present grand strategies, the contributors also offer incisive advice on the future directions nations should take.
THE GRAND CHESSBOARD
American Primacy and Its Geostrategic Imperatives
By Zbigniew Brzezinski
As the twentieth century drew to a close, the United States has emerged as the world’s only superpower. No other nation possesses comparable military and economic power or has interests that bestride the globe. Yet the critical question facing America remains unanswered: What should be the nation’s global strategy for maintaining its exceptional position in the world? Former National Security adviser to Jimmy Carter, Dr. Zbigniew Brzezinski tackles this question head-on in this incisive and pathbreaking book. The Grand Chessboard presents Brzezinski’s bold and provocative geostrategic vision for American preeminence in the twenty-first century. Central to his analysis is the exercise of power on the Eurasian landmass, which is home to the greatest part of the globe’s population, natural resources, and economic activity. Stretching from Portugal to the Bering Strait, from Lapland to Malaysia, Eurasia is the ”grand chessboard” on which America’s supremacy will be ratified and challenged in the years to come. The task facing the United States, he argues, is to manage the conflicts and relationships in Europe, Asia, and the Middle East so that no rival superpower arises to threaten our interests or our well-being.
The heart of The Grand Chessboard is Brzezinski’s analysis of the four critical regions of Eurasia and of the stakes for America in each arena—Europe, Russia, Central Asia, and East Asia. The crucial fault lines may seem familiar, but the implosion of the Soviet Union has created new rivalries and new relationships, and Brzezinski maps out the strategic ramifications of the new geopolitical realities. He explains, for example: Why France and Germany will play pivotal geostrategic roles, whereas Britain and Japan will not. Why NATO expansion offers Russia the chance to undo the mistakes of the past, and why Russia cannot afford to toss this opportunity aside. Why the fate of Ukraine and Azerbaijan are so important to America. Why viewing China as a menace is likely to become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Why America is not only the first truly global superpower but also the last—and what the implications are for America’s legacy. Brzezinski’s surprising and original conclusions often turn conventional wisdom on its head as he lays the groundwork for a new and compelling vision of America’s vital interests. Once, again, Zbigniew Brzezinski provides our nation with a philosophical and practical guide for maintaining and managing our hard-won global power.
CRUSADE IN EUROPE
A Personal Account of World War II
By Dwight D. Eisenhower
Five-star General Dwight D. Eisenhower was arguably the single most important military figure of World War II. For many historians, his memoirs of this eventful period of U.S. history have become the single most important record of the war. Crusade in Europe tells the complete story of the war as Eisenhower planned and lived it. Through his eyes, the enormous scope and drama of the war—strategy, battles, moments of fateful decision—become fully illuminated in all their fateful glory.
Yet this is also a warm and richly human account. Ike recalls the long months of waiting, planning, and working toward victory in Europe. His personal record of the tense first hours after he had issued the order to attack—and there was no turning back—leaves no doubt of Eisenhower’s travail and reveals this great man in ways that no biographer has ever surpassed.
The Economics of Great Powers from Ancient Rome to Modern America
By Glenn Hubbard and Tim Kane
From the Ming Dynasty to Ottoman Turkey to imperial Spain, the Great Powers of the world emerged as the supreme economic, political, and military forces of their time—only to collapse into rubble and memory. What is at the root of their demise, and how can the United States stop it from happening again?
A quarter century after Paul Kennedy’s The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers, Glenn Hubbard and Tim Kane present a bold, sweeping account of why powerful nations and civilizations break down under the heavy burden of economic imbalance. Introducing a profound new measure of economic power, Balance traces the triumphs and mistakes of imperial Britain, the paradox of superstate California, the long collapse of Rome, and the limits of the Japanese model of growth. Most importantly, Hubbard and Kane compare the twenty-first-century United States to the empires of old and challenge Americans to address the real problems of our country’s fiscal imbalance. If there is not a new economics and politics of balance, they portend that inevitable demise is ahead.
THE PARADOX OF AMERICAN POWER
Why the World’s Only Superpower Can’t Go It Alone
By Joseph S. Nye, Jr.
Not since the Roman Empire has any nation had as much economic, cultural, and military power as the United States does today. Yet, as has become all too evident through the terrorist attacks of September 11th and the impending threat of the acquisition of nuclear weapons by Iran, that power is not enough to solve global problems–like terrorism, environmental degradation, and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction–without involving other nations. Here Joseph S. Nye, Jr. focuses on the rise of these and other new challenges and explains clearly why America must adopt a more cooperative engagement with the rest of the world.
By Henry Kissinger [ Link to eBook ]
In this sweeping and insightful history, Henry Kissinger turns for the first time at book-length to a country he has known intimately for decades and whose modern relations with the West he helped shape. On China illuminates the inner workings of Chinese diplomacy during such pivotal events as the initial encounters between China and tight line modern European powers, the formation and breakdown of the Sino-Soviet alliance, the Korean War, and Richard Nixon’s historic trip to Beijing.
With a new final chapter on the emerging superpower’s twenty-first-century role in global politics and economics, On China provides historical perspective on Chinese foreign affairs from one of the premier statesmen of our time.
GUNS, GERMS, AND STEEL
The Fates of Human Societies
By Jared Diamond [ Link to eBook ]
In this “artful, informative, and delightful” (William H. McNeill, New York Review of Books) book, Jared Diamond convincingly argues that geographical and environmental factors shaped the modern world. Societies that had had a head start in food production advanced beyond the hunter-gatherer stage, and then developed religion –as well as nasty germs and potent weapons of war –and adventured on sea and land to conquer and decimate preliterate cultures.
A major advance in our understanding of human societies, Guns, Germs, and Steelchronicles the way that the modern world came to be and stunningly dismantles racially based theories of human history. Winner of the Pulitzer Prize, the Phi Beta Kappa Award in Science, the Rhone-Poulenc Prize, and the Commonwealth club of California’s Gold Medal.
The Four Cornerstones of Corporate Finance
By Tim Koller, Richard Dobbs, Bill Huyett, McKinsey & Company [ Link to eBook ]
While you can find numerous books focused on the topic of corporate finance, few offer the type of information managers need to help them make important decisions day in and day out. Value explores the core of corporate finance without getting bogged down in numbers and is intended to give managers an accessible guide to both the foundations and applications of corporate finance. Filled with in-depth insights from experts at McKinsey & Company, this reliable resource takes a much more qualitative approach to what the authors consider a lost art:
A perfect companion to the Fifth Edition of Valuation, this book will put the various issues associated with corporate finance in perspective.
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