From the list on understanding how to fix U.S. diplomacy.
Who am I?
My passion is fixing our diplomacy. Relatively late in my career, I found a new home working with and for some of the Foreign Service’s most talented people. My assignments in Egypt and Saudi Arabia (during the 1990-91 Gulf War) led to my appointment as ambassador in Oman. After retirement I returned to Cairo to set up a regional multilateral development bank (we were unsuccessful) and later rebuild Iraq’s foreign ministry. I experienced the negative and frustrating impact of politicization and militarization on our foreign policy. Knowing we can and must do better motivated me to write From Sadat to Saddam and to commend to you the five books below.
David's book list on understanding how to fix U.S. diplomacy
Why did David love this book?
This book entertains while recounting the militarization of our foreign policy. Post-retirement, I worked briefly for the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq and later as a contractor helping to train military units headed for Iraq and Afghanistan. Our professional military is a superb fighting machine but the decisions to invade Iraq and Afghanistan inevitably resulted in challenges diplomats and development workers are best equipped to handle. The budget-slashing reinvention of government during the Clinton years meant there weren’t enough trained civilians to handle existing priorities much less a surge to rebuild Iraq and Afghanistan. As Rosa Brooks writes, from the perspective of both an insider and a superb reporter, the military became everything. The military had the money while civilian agencies like State and USAID were underfunded.