State vs. Defense by Stephen Glain
The Battle to Define America's Empire

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Synopsis

A masterful account of how sixty years of American militarism created the Cold War, fanned decades of unnecessary conflict, helped to fuel Islamist terror, and threatens to bankrupt the country.
 
For most of the twentieth century, the sword has led before the olive branch in American foreign policy. In eye-opening fashion, State vs. Defense shows how America truly operates as a superpower and explores the constant tension between the diplomats at State and the warriors at Defense.
 
State vs. Defense characterizes all the great figures who crafted American foreign policy, from George Marshall to Robert McNamara to Henry Kissinger to Don Rumsfeld with this underlying theme: America has become increasingly imperial and militaristic.
 
Take, for example, the Pentagon, which as of 2010, acknowledged the concentration of 190,000 troops and 115,000 civilian employees inside 909 military facilities in 46 countries and territories. The price of America’s military-base network overseas, along with the expense of its national security state at home, is enormous. The bill comes in at well over $1 trillion. That is equal to nearly 8 percent of GDP and more than 20 percent of the federal budget. (By comparison, China, Russia, Cuba, Iran, and North Korea, the five countries Pentagon planners routinely trot out as conventional threats to the national well-being, have a cumulative security budget of just over $200 billion.) Quietly, gradually—and inevitably, given the weight of its colossal budget and imperial writ—the Pentagon has all but eclipsed the State Department at the center of U.S. foreign policy.
 
In the tradition of classics such as The Wise Men, The Best and the Brightest, and Legacy of Ashes, State vs. Defense explores how and why American leaders succumbed to the sirens of militarism, how the republic has been lost to an empire, and how “the military-industrial complex” that Eisenhower so famously forewarned has set us on a stark path of financial peril.
 

About Stephen Glain

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Stephen Glain has been a journalist for twenty years. He spent four years in Hong Kong writing for the local South China Morning Post before joining the Wall Street Journal in 1991 with stints in Tokyo, Seoul, and then Tel Aviv and Amman. His book Mullahs, Merchants, and Militants was named the best book of 2004 by online magazine The Globalist. His articles on U.S. foreign policy, East Asia, and the Arab world have appeared in The New Republic, The Atlantic, The Nation, the Financial Times, Gourmet, Smithsonian, Newsweek, The National, and elsewhere. Visit his website at www.StephenGlain.com.
 
Published August 2, 2011 by Crown. 498 pages
Genres: History, Political & Social Sciences, War. Non-fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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The Soviet threat (and communist China) would keep alarmists and neoconservatives frothing at the mouth through wars in Korea and Vietnam, fed by defense contractors, RAND Corporation analysts and nuclear-bomb fears—despite ample evidence that the Soviet Union was “sclerotic” and incapable of pos...

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The Wall Street Journal

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Mark Moyar reviews "State Vs. Defense: The Battle to Define America's Empire"
by Stephen Glain.

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The Wall Street Journal

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With federal budget cuts looming, both the State Department and the Defense Department are scrambling to justify their budgets and to explain why they are each better qualified than the other to manage spending when their tasks overlap.

Aug 23 2011 | Read Full Review of State vs. Defense: The Battle...

Bookmarks Magazine

(By comparison, China, Russia, Cuba, Iran, and North Korea, the five countries Pentagon planners routinely trot out as conventional threats to the national well-being, have a cumulative security budget of just over $200 billion.) Quietly, gradually—and inevitably, given the weight of its colossal...

Aug 29 2011 | Read Full Review of State vs. Defense: The Battle...

The Roanoke Times

A Government Accountability Office report for 2010 cited “serious financial management problems at the Department of Defense that made its financial statements unauditable.” How did it come to this, with the American citizenry groaning under the weight of so massive a defense budget?

Sep 25 2011 | Read Full Review of State vs. Defense: The Battle...

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