Eight years after 9/11 and in the shadow of two protracted U.S. military campaigns in the Middle East, the enemy is not only undefeated but emboldened and resurgent. What went wrong_and what should we do going forward? Winning the Unwinnable War shows how our own policy ideas led to 9/11 and then crippled our response in the Middle East, and it makes the case for an unsettling conclusion: By subordinating military victory to perverse, allegedly moral constraints, Washington's policy has undermined our national security. Owing to the significant influence of Just War Theory and neoconservatism, the Bush administration consciously put the imperative of shielding civilians and bringing them elections above the goal of eliminating real threats to our security. Consequently, this policy left our enemies stronger, and America weaker, than before. The dominant alternative to Bush-esque idealism in foreign policy_so-called realism_has made a strong comeback under the tenure of Barack Obama. But this nonjudgmental, supposedly practical approach is precisely what helped unleash the enemy prior to 9/11. The message of the essays in this thematic collection is that only by radically re-thinking our foreign policy in the Middle East can we achieve victory over the enemy that attacked us on 9/11. We need a new moral foundation for our Mideast policy. That new starting point for U.S. policy is the moral ideal championed by the philosopher Ayn Rand: rational self-interest. Implementing this approach entails objectively defining our national interest as protecting the lives and freedoms of Americans_and then taking principled action to safeguard them. The book lays out the necessary steps for achieving victory and for securing America's long-range interests in the volatile Middle East.
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About the Author
Elan Journo is a fellow at the Ayn Rand Institute specializing in foreign policy.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1 Introduction: An Unwinnable War? Part 2 Part I. The Enemy Chapter 3 Chapter One. The Road to 9/11 Chapter 4 Chapter Two. What Motivates the Jihad on America Part 5 Part II. America's Self-Crippled Response to 9/11 Chapter 6 Chapter Three. The "Forward Strategy" for Failure Chapter 7 Chapter Four. "Just War Theory" vs. American Self-Defense Chapter 8 Chapter Five. Neoconservative Foreign Policy: An Autopsy Part 9 Part III. From Here, Where Do We Go? Chapter 10 Chapter Six. Eight Years After 9/11: An Appraisal Chapter 11 Chapter Seven. The Road to Victory: A Radical Change in U.S. Mideast Policy
What People are Saying About This
Fighting for victory may sound obvious but Journo, Epstein, and Brook show how remote the goal of victory is from current U.S. policy in the Middle East, which they characterize as based on 'a welfare mission to serve the poor and oppressed.' Instead of this unwinnable approach, the authors offer a robust and unapologetic re-assertion of American national interests, and they do so with a bracing eloquence that left this reader elated.
As a Syrian woman who experienced life in an Islamic despotic society, I wonder whether the American government and the American public understand the gravity of the current danger emanating from radical Islam—the most vicious adversary the West has ever faced. This important book provides US policy makers with valuable ideas on how to win the war against Islamic totalitarianism and its insidious encroachment into our Western society.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Journo, Brook, and Epstein have compiled a robust defense for the moral case of American self-interest in Middle Eastern foreign policy. Contrary to popular belief, Journo et al. demonstrate with reference to history and U.S. policy since the Carter administration that the U.S. has been engaging in self-effacing, appeasing action towards its enemies that have only resulted in making them stronger. This most especially includes the recent Bush administration who, far from acting unilaterally with "Cowboy Diplomacy" as their guide, have needlessly sacrificed our military soldiers for the supposed cause of nation building and securing murderous barbarians the ability to vote for oppressive theocratic oligarchies. The authors explain why America is losing the fight against Islamic Totalitarianism as well as the will to fight at all. Armed with the proper ethics, they make their case that it is the Islamic Republic of Iran that is the well spring of all the attacks against the U.S. and that if America wishes to win and bring peace to our shores we need to topple their illegitimate regime root and all. With their inspiration in ruin Islamists worldwide will lose hope and be morally crushed knowing that their cause to spread Islam across the globe is self-defeating. After Brook and Epstein explain what is wrong with the current U.S. approach towards foreign policy (championed by liberals and conservatives alike) and its fundamental flaw, Just War Theory, Journo offers a positive moral alternative. A policy true to American self-defense and to the protection of its citizens' individual rights, a policy of rational self-interest: egoism. With Journo's approach we can defend ourselves and the values for which America stands, unapologetically and as he sums up his case, "with our heads held high." This book is a must read for all policymakers, military personnel, family members of the military, and anyone directly affected by this unnecessary protracted war. We need to do all we can to save American lives and bring them home as fast as possible, this book will do that.