Waging War and Keeping Peace with America's Military
Walk with America's generals, grunts, and Green Berets through the maze of unconventional wars and unsettled peace.
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.
- March 2004
- 5.5 × 8.2 in
- Territory Rights: Worldwide
Endorsements & Reviews
“Insightful reportage that integrates the small with the large scale.” — Gilbert Taylor, Booklist
“Examines America's increasing reliance on its military to manage—and cure—complex crises in foreign policy and international diplomacy.” — Newsweek
“The fine texture of [Priest's] reporting of the views of the personalities involved is impressive....well written.” — Maj. Gen. Edward B. Atkeson, USA Ret., Ph.D., Army Magazine
“A clear-eyed portrait of American military culture....Rich in instruction for policymakers, soldiers, and politics junkies alike.” — Kirkus Reviews
“Contains colorful anecdotal evidence...[that] the military cannot take the lead role [in nation building].” — Christian D. Brose, Weekly Standard
“Dana Priest's revealing, close-up look at this dramatic new development is especially timely as we view the challenges of the post-9/11 world.” — Richard Holbrooke
“A book that is just in time for the great new debate between the hawks and the doves.” — Benjamin C. Bradlee
“Priest documents [how] the...armed forces pursue tasks for which they are ill suited, untrained and sometimes only loosely mandated.” — John T. Finn, San Francisco Chronicle
“[N]ot a dry tome aimed at policy wonks. Written in a journalistic style... [it] conveys its message through colorful stories.” — William Wineke, Wisconsin State Journal
“Priest has done prodigious research, including travel....The result...is an often fascinating kaleidoscope of the US military circa 2003.” — Max Boot, Washington Post Book World
“[A] fascinating set of answers to...important questions about America's role in today's world.” — Joseph Nye, Harvard University
“Anyone trying to understand the interplay between US military and foreign policy must read The Mission.” — Jody Williams, Nobel Laureate for Peace, 1997
“[S]uperbly written....should be required reading for anyone hoping to understand the goals and objectives of contemporary US foreign policy.” — Lawrence J. Korb, Director of Studies, Council on Foreign Relations
“An important, frequently troubling, portrayal...raises questions that urgently need answers.” — Jessica T. Matthews, president, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace