Using American Power Prudently

New York Times columnist Thomas L. Friedman argues that the next president must read Michael Mandelbaum’s latest book, Mission Failure: America and the World in the Post-Cold War Era, to avoid mistakes of the last several years and have a more successful national-security policy. Our next president should also read Andrew Bacevich’s latest book, America’s War for the Greater Middle East: A Military History.

Between them, Mandelbaum and Bacevich have written more than 20 books on U.S. national-security policy. While these authors often overstate their case, they offer useful insights. Taking their critiques seriously will help prevent our next chief executive from reflexively following the advice of the foreign-policy establishment that Ben Rhodes, Obama’s deputy national security adviser for strategic communications, refers to as the Blob.

This article was originally published in The American Prospect.