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In the spring of 2004, army reservist and public affairs officer Steven J. Alvarez waited to be called up as the U.S. military stormed Baghdad and deposed Saddam Hussein. But soon after President Bush’s famous PR stunt in which an aircraft carrier displayed the banner “Mission Accomplished,” the dynamics of the war shifted. Selling War recounts how the U.S. military lost the information war in Iraq by engaging the wrong audiences—that is, the Western media—by ignoring Iraqi citizens and the wider Arab population, and by paying mere lip service to the directive to “Put an Iraqi face on everything.” In the absence of effective communication from the U.S. military, the information void was swiftly filled by Al Qaeda and, eventually, ISIS. As a result, efforts to create and maintain a successful, stable country were complicated and eventually frustrated. Alvarez couples his experiences as a public affairs officer in Iraq with extensive research on communication and government relations to expose why communications failed and led to the breakdown on the ground. A revealing glimpse into the inner workings of the military’s PR machine, where personnel become stewards of presidential legacies and keepers of flawed policies, Selling War provides a critical review of the outdated communication strategies executed in Iraq. Alvarez’s candid account demonstrates how a fundamental lack of understanding about how to wage an information war has led to the conditions we face now: the rise of ISIS and the return of U.S. forces to Iraq.
A revolutionary look at how the armed forces need to update management policies
Selling Intervention and War examines the competition among foreign policy elites in the executive branch and Congress in winning the hearts and minds of the American public for military intervention. The book studies how the president and his supporters organize campaigns for public support for military action. According to Jon Western, the outcome depends upon information and propaganda advantages, media support or opposition, the degree of cohesion within the executive branch, and the duration of the crisis. Also important is whether the American public believes that military threat is credible and victory plausible. Not all such campaigns to win public support are successful; in some instances, foreign policy elites and the president and his advisors have to back off. Western uses several modern conflicts, including the current one in Iraq, as case studies to illustrate the methods involved in selling intervention and war to the American public: the decision not to intervene in French Indochina in 1954, the choice to go into Lebanon in 1958, and the more recent military actions in Grenada, Somalia, Bosnia, and Iraq. Selling Intervention and War is essential reading for scholars and students of U.S. foreign policy, international security, the military and foreign policy, and international conflict.
Scales on War is a collection of ideas, concepts and observations about contemporary war taken from over 30 years of research, writing and personal experience by retired Major General Bob Scales. The book melds Scales’ unique style of writing that includes contemporary military history, current events and his philosophy of ground warfare to create a very personal and expansive view of where Americn defense policies are heading in the future. The book is a collection. Each chapter addresses distinct topics that embrace tactical ground warfare, future gazing, the draft and the role of women in the infantry. His uniting thesis is that throughout its history the United States has favored a technological approach to fighting its wars and has neglected its ground forces. America’s enemies have learned though the experience of battle how to defeat American technology. The consequences of a learning and adaptive enemy has been a continuous string of battlefield defeats. Scales argues that only a resurgent land force of Army and Marine small units will restore America’s fighting competence.
Joystick Soldiers is the first anthology to examine the reciprocal relationship between militarism and video games. War has been an integral theme of the games industry since the invention of the first video game, Spacewar! in 1962.While war video games began as entertainment, military organizations soon saw their potential as combat simulation and recruitment tools. A profitable and popular relationship was established between the video game industry and the military, and continues today with video game franchises like America’s Army, which was developed by the U.S.Army as a public relations and recruitment tool. This collection features all new essays that explore how modern warfare has been represented in and influenced by video games. The contributors explore the history and political economy of video games and the "military-entertainment complex;" present textual analyses of military-themed video games such as Metal Gear Solid; and offer reception studies of gamers, fandom, and political activism within online gaming.
Now a New York Times bestseller We have a strong instinct to belong to small groups defined by clear purpose and understanding--"tribes." This tribal connection has been largely lost in modern society, but regaining it may be the key to our psychological survival. Decades before the American Revolution, Benjamin Franklin lamented that English settlers were constantly fleeing over to the Indians-but Indians almost never did the same. Tribal society has been exerting an almost gravitational pull on Westerners for hundreds of years, and the reason lies deep in our evolutionary past as a communal species. The most recent example of that attraction is combat veterans who come home to find themselves missing the incredibly intimate bonds of platoon life. The loss of closeness that comes at the end of deployment may explain the high rates of post-traumatic stress disorder suffered by military veterans today. Combining history, psychology, and anthropology, TRIBE explores what we can learn from tribal societies about loyalty, belonging, and the eternal human quest for meaning. It explains the irony that-for many veterans as well as civilians-war feels better than peace, adversity can turn out to be a blessing, and disasters are sometimes remembered more fondly than weddings or tropical vacations. TRIBE explains why we are stronger when we come together, and how that can be achieved even in today's divided world.
From the Ancient Greeks' obsession with the armies of the Persians, Westerners have been irresistibly drawn to the exotic nature of "Oriental" warfare and have sought either to emulate their enemies' imagined ways of fighting or to incorporate Eastern warriors and "martial races," such as the Sikhs and Gurkhas, in their own forces. The alluring yet terrifying prospect of Samurai warriors, obedient to an ancient code of chivalry, or of the Mongol cavalry thundering across the steppes, continue to grip our imagination, while the courage and fighting prowess of today's "Eastern" warriors, the Taliban and Hezbollah, have been grudgingly acknowledged by the high tech armies of NATO in Afghanistan and the IDF in Lebanon. Such romantic notions are based on a highly questionable premise, namely that race, culture and tradition are separate and primordial, and that they determine how societies fight. But how far does culture shape war? Do non-Westerners approach strategy, combat, or death in ways intrinsically different from their Eastern neighbours? This debate can be tracked through time, from Herodotus onwards, and features in innumerable histories and literary works as well as in poetry, art and oral epics. Yet there are few histories of the idea itself. Military Orientalism argues that viewing culture as a script that dictates warfare is wrong, and that our obsession with the exotic can make it harder, not easier, to know the enemy. Culture is powerful, but it is an ambiguous repertoire of ideas rather than a clear code for action. To divide the world into western, Asiatic or Islamic ways of war is a delusion, one whose profound impact affects contemporary war and above all the War on Terror. Porter's fascinating book explains why the "Oriental" warrior inspires fear, envy and wonder and how this has shaped the way Western armies fight.

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