Read The Mission: Waging War and Keeping Peace With America's Military by Dana Priest Online


The Cambridge Companion to the Italian Novel provides a broad ranging introduction to the major trends in the development of the Italian novel from its early modern origin to the contemporary era. Contributions cover a wide range of topics including the theory of the novel in Italy, the historical novel, realism, modernism, postmodernism, neorealism, and film and the novelThe Cambridge Companion to the Italian Novel provides a broad ranging introduction to the major trends in the development of the Italian novel from its early modern origin to the contemporary era. Contributions cover a wide range of topics including the theory of the novel in Italy, the historical novel, realism, modernism, postmodernism, neorealism, and film and the novel. The contributors are distinguished scholars from the United Kingdom, the United States, Italy, and Australia. Novelists examined include some of the most influential and important of the twentieth century inside and outside Italy: Luigi Pirandello, Primo Levi, Umberto Eco and Italo Calvino. This is a unique examination of the Italian Novel, and will prove invaluable to students and specialists alike. Readers will gain a keen sense of the vitality of the Italian novel throughout its history and a clear picture of the debates and criticism that have surrounded its development....

Title : The Mission: Waging War and Keeping Peace With America's Military
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780393010244
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 429 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Mission: Waging War and Keeping Peace With America's Military Reviews

  • Will Byrnes
    2019-02-16 06:20

    Priest looks at the CinCs, the Commanders in Chief of the different military global regions for the USA. She describes how they are called upon to perform diplomatic as well as military work. She profiles four of them, Zinni, Wesley Clark, Admiral Dennis Blair and Charles Wilhelm. She also give plenty of ink to others, including Hugh Shelton and William Cohen. The role of Donald Rumsfeld is paramount as well. Priest’s description of events in the Balkans was quite interesting. This is the best part of the book in my humble opinion. Overall, it was interesting, particularly when looking at how the CincS have had to become more political. One can read elsewhere details about how they deal with military matters.

  • Jerome
    2019-02-16 10:09

    A very quick read, but nothing of much substance. Many of the books I've read cite this, so I thought it might be cool. Ms. Priest makes her whole argument in the first chapter, and the rest is just disconnected anecdotes, with little analysis of the various stories. For example, the book starts off talking about the proconsular role of the US Combatant Commanders (formerly known as CINCs until Rummie outlawed the term for everyone except George W.) but then inexplicably switches to various lengthy accounts of soldiers on the ground all around the world, culminating in an extensive -- but superficial -- depiction of the peacekeeping mission in the Balkans (and a long discussion of Frank Ronghi's rape of a young Albanian girl). Ms. Priest seems to alternately praise and blame the military for the current emphasis on the use of military force over diplomacy in US foreign policy, but neglects the issue of how this situation came about (why doesn't the State Department get the funding that DOD gets? why do civilians trust the military to solve all of their problems, and not their fellow civilian leaders & foreign service personnel?). Ms. Priest also spends an inordinate amount of time commenting on what various highranking military officers are wearing and the trappings of their office (Wesley Clark wears Burberry blazers, but Anthony Zinni likes Hawaiian shirts) as if this provides some deep insight into their psyches, and then glosses over substantive issues such as the apparent willingness of military officials to circumvent the law as they try to accomplish their missions. The book ends abruptly without a real conclusion. Ms. Priest also needed a better editor -- the book is full of typographical errors. I suspect this book was rushed into print. Dana Priest writes very well. No matter the subject in this book -- whether its CINCs, Special Forces, or peacekeeping -- she captures your attention. She knows how to tell a story, and write colorful vignettes of the people in it. (Whether they're accurate or not, I have no idea, but they are fun to read.)Unfortunately, Priest wants her collection of well-written reports to mean something, and it is here -- whenever she moves from narrative to analysis -- that her book runs aground. Her main notion seems sound enough: that the U.S. military is too often in the front lines of diplomacy and peacekeeping, both because it is so strong and the U.S. diplomatic corps is so weak. This condition, she claims, attenuates both the U.S. military and U.S. diplomacy.But Priest's details do not support her thesis. In one chapter she writes about the confrontation between the new U.S. ambassador to Indonesia, Robert Gelbard, and the U.S. military commander of the forces in the Pacific, Dennis Blair, on what policy the U.S. should take with Indonesia's military over human rights abuses in East Timor. Gelbard wants to cut off military-to-military contacts while Blair wants to maintain them. Despite his lack of nominal authority over U.S. policy in Indonesia, Blair's view wins out.Priest thinks this is an example of how the U.S. military is able to overpower U.S. diplomacy because of the military's greater funding. But is it? In her summary of events, Priest makes clear Blair did not so much overpower Gelbard as outmaneuver him. Blair had to push the matter up to the National Security Council in Washington before it was finally decided in his favor. That kind of bureaucratic infighting is both common and acceptable to the policy-making process. One hardly needs to be well-funded to excel at it.Priest also recounts the sad tale of the rape and murder of a Kosovar girl by a U.S. military "peacekeeper". It is one of the centerpieces of her account in the last third of the book showing the ineffectiveness of the U.S. military at handling peacekeeping duties in Kosovo. At times she seems to suggest that U.S. troops should just be out killing things rather than trying to keep the peace. In this section, she even gives an anecdote of some U.S. troops in Kosovo who, while driving their tank through traffic, lose their patience, and demand to be given immediate passage through a red light.Priest seems too easily offended to imagine what the situation might have been like without U.S. troops on the ground in Kosovo. Unable to successfully carry out their mission of protecting the minority Serbs in Kosovo from reprisal attacks, the troops' presence at least gave some orderliness to what would have certainly been much worse if they had not been there. And it's very difficult to come up with a plausible scenario where U.S. diplomats would have been more successful at completing the near impossible mission the troops were given.An isolated rape case and some impatient troopers at a traffic stop shouldn't be emblematic of U.S. military peacekeeping efforts. It's unfortunate that Priest doesn't show a better appreciation of how difficult these missions are, and the unlikelihood that U.S. diplomats - even when armed with cash and executive support - would be any better at solving them.I quote from page 230: "Meanwhile, since January 1998, seven intelligence analysts at the 'Joint Intelligence Center Pacific' (JIC), the world largest military-intelligence center, in a windowless concrete building near (US Pacific Command CINC, Admiral Dennis) Blair's headquarters in Hawaii, had tracked the movements of Indonesian military and militia forces in East Timor and Indonesia. The Indonesia desk in the JIC had grown from one to nine persons and maintained a round-the-clock 'crisis action' mode. Over the preceding year, the analysts had received a tenfold increase in imagery and a fivefold increase in electronic collection. It was actually too much to process."Priest blows the name of the institution she's describing. It's the Joint Intelligence Center Pacific, or JICPAC (now Joint Intelligence Operations Center, Pacific, or JIOC-PAC). Second, the "Indonesia desk" implies a single person monitoring this country. That was never the case, as a team of at least five analysts had always been assigned to maritime Southeast Asia. Suharto's 1998 fall had ramped up both Pacific Command's and JICPAC's attention to Indonesia, and the scheduled elections of mid-1999 and following East Timor referendum were anticipated months in advance, with commensurate analytical adjustments and assignments.All in all, Priest's book feels disjointed and this is probably by necessity. She worked long and hard on an interesting book about America's new place in the world in the late 1990s. When 9/11 took place, instead of turning it into a history book she tried to keep it up to date and ended up with a disjointed, somewhat confused book.If you must read it, borrow it from the library.

  • Lobstergirl
    2019-02-12 06:53

    Dana Priest is a really excellent, Pulitzer prizewinning reporter (for the Washington Post), but not a very good book writer. The chapters in this book seem to be cobbled together from past reporting, which is not a bad thing necessarily, but she (and her editors) didn't do a very neat job of it. You feel discombobulated going from one section to the next.She also needs to be banned from using adjectives. I don't particularly mind that Anthony Zinni's hands are referred to as "cantaloupes," actually it's pretty evocative. I'm sure we've all known large men with hands like that. But did she really mean to write "gracious, snow-capped mountains?" When was the last time you saw a gracious mountain? In a scene where a Kosovar Albanian family is being evicted from their Serb-owned squatter digs, the mother is described as a large, brawny woman but, incongruously, wearing "pretty, peach lipstick." And someone please tell Priest that "quipped" means "joked", not said, explained, uttered, muttered, complained, etc. Priest writes, "How can you have an army of 1.5 million, and 50,000 deployed, and it's nearly broke?" Shalikashvili quipped in an interview. "There's something that's crazy." Then she has Wesley Clark joking, "Our level of resources doesn't match our level of national interest," quipped Clark [watching from the sidelines as the situation in Afghanistan unfolded:]. Surely everyone in the room was slapping their thighs with the hilarity of that quip. The book is also filled with typos. Writers! Editors! Please do your jobs.

  • Kai Palchikoff
    2019-02-03 14:18

    Four-star generals who lead the military during wartime reign like proconsuls abroad in peacetime. Secretive Green Berets trained to hunt down terrorists are assigned to seduce ruthless authoritarian regimes. Pimply young soldiers taught to seize airstrips instead play mayor, detective, and social worker in a gung-ho but ill-fated attempt to rebuild a nation after the fighting stops.The Mission is a boots-on-the-ground account of America's growing dependence on our military to manage world affairs, describing a clash of culture and purpose through the eyes of soldiers and officers themselves. With unparalleled access to all levels of the military, Dana Priest traveled to eighteen countries--including Uzbekistan, Colombia, Kosovo, Indonesia, Nigeria, and Afghanistan--talking to generals, admirals, Special Forces A-teams, and infantry troops. Blending Ernie Pyle's worm's-eye view with David Halberstam's altitude, this book documents an historic and thought-provoking trend, one even more significant in the aftermath of September 11 as the country turns to its warriors to solve the complex international challenges ahead.

  • Phil
    2019-02-08 09:21

    I started appreciating the writing of Dana Priest during my year of working at the Pentagon, which also was the year I started the Air War College curriculum. I wish this book had been published in time for me to use it as a resource in writing my Air War College paper. Even though it's now 7 years old, it's still very relevant and will help the reader gain a much better understanding of the role of combatant commanders--namely, the handful of 4-star flag officers in charge of the geographical, unified commands around the world. They're more powerful, in many instances, than ambassadors or the State Department. Their successors (Stanley McChrystal, David Petraeus, et. al.)continue to bear huge responsibilities with an inestimable impact on the course of history.

  • Daniel
    2019-01-18 14:01

    decent read, and fun to go back to what the military was doing in the 90s...Bosnia, Kosovo, East Timor, however the book had a bad habit of bouncing back and forth from the Strategic level to the tactical.

  • Matt
    2019-02-06 11:17

    This book disabused me of what I thought I knew of the military. It was a good read through the first 170 pages. Damn library always wanting their books back.

  • Chris Looney
    2019-01-25 07:01

    2.5 stars