The most bureaucratic of bureaucrats

Reviewed by John R. Bolton

Former Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates’s memoir follows the classic form, telling the story of his years at the Pentagon during the Bush and Obama administrations. He focuses on what he did and experienced personally as secretary, neither writing a broad policy treatise nor recounting the entire history of… more»

A scary frontier

Reviewed by Derek Parker

When it comes to military planning, there is always the temptation to re-fight the last war instead of thinking about the next one. David Kilcullen, a former Australian soldier who has been in most of the world’s red zones and now works as a consultant to Western military agencies, has… more»

A rigorous academic account of the 2012 campaign

Reviewed by Jonathan Bradley

At the tail end of the 2012 election campaign, MSNBC Morning Joe host Joe Scarborough let off some steam over stat-junkie wiseacres like the New York Times’s Nate Silver, who had aggregated a slew of electoral polls and declared President Barack Obama to have a 73.6 per cent shot at… more»

The wisdom of George Kennan

Reviewed by Jacob Heilbrunn

The wisdom of George F. Kennan — and he truly was a wise man, a term that has been debauched by overuse in Washington DC, applied to almost any senior official who manages to make it to octogenarian status — was never fully accepted by his countrymen. To be sure,… more»

Game change, Part II

Reviewed by Nicole Hemmer

“I just don’t know if I can do this,” Barack Obama confided to his advisers. After his disastrous first debate with Mitt Romney, Obama’s team had laboured to get the President back on track, but in mock after mock, Obama failed to deliver. With just four days to go before… more»

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