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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become stewards of presidential legacies and keepers of flawed policies, Selling War provides a critical review of the outdated communication strategies executed in Iraq.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.
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.
The #1 New York Times bestseller that charts America’s dangerous drift into a state of perpetual war. Written with bracing wit and intelligence, Rachel Maddow's Drift argues that we've drifted away from America's original ideals and become a nation weirdly at peace with perpetual war. To understand how we've arrived at such a dangerous place, Maddow takes us from the Vietnam War to today's war in Afghanistan, along the way exploring Reagan's radical presidency, the disturbing rise of executive authority, the gradual outsourcing of our war-making capabilities to private companies, the plummeting percentage of American families whose children fight our constant wars for us, and even the changing fortunes of G.I. Joe. Ultimately, she shows us just how much we stand to lose by allowing the scope of American military power to overpower our political discourse. Sensible yet provocative, dead serious yet seri­ously funny, Drift will reinvigorate a "loud and jangly" political debate about our vast and confounding national security state.
Animals and War: Confronting the Military-Animal Industrial Complex is the first book to examine how nonhuman animals are used in war and the military. Animals and War contributes significantly to the fields of social justice, animal rights, and anti-war/peace activist communities. This book also will be read by peace, conflict, social justice, and critical animal studies scholars, students, and practitioners.
A politico-military assessment of the Vietnam War analyzing the U.S. Army's strategic and tactical ideologies. Particularly relevant today, it stresses the futility of any military action without the full support of the people.
Beginning with Charlie Chaplin's Shoulder Arms, released in America near the end of World War I, the military comedy film has been one of Hollywood's most durable genres. This generously illustrated history examines over 225 Army, Navy and Marine-related comedies produced between 1918 and 2009, including the abundance of laughspinners released during World War II in the wake of Abbott and Costello's phenomenally successful Buck Privates (1941), and the many lighthearted service films of the immediate postwar era, among them Mister Roberts (1955) and No Time for Sergeants (1958). Also included are discussions of such subgenres as silent films (The General), military-academy farces (Brother Rat), women in uniform (Private Benjamin), misfits making good (Stripes), anti-war comedies (MASH), and fact-based films (The Men Who Stare at Goats). A closing filmography is included in this richly detailed volume.
A gripping insider account of the clash between America's civilian and military leadership The Pentagon's Wars is a dramatic account of the deep and divisive debates between America's civilian leaders and its military officers. Renowned military expert Mark Perry investigates these internal wars and sheds new light on the US military-the most powerful and influential lobby in Washington. He reveals explosive stories, from the secret history of Clinton's "don't ask, don't tell" policy to how the military plotted to undermine Barack Obama's strategy in Afghanistan, to show how internal strife and deep civilian-military animus shapes America's policy abroad, often to the nation's detriment. Drawing on three decades of high-profile interviews, both on and off the record, Perry yields sobering judgments on the tenures of our nation's most important military leaders. The Pentagon's Wars is essential reading for anyone seeking to understand the inner workings of the making of America's foreign policy.

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