The Unquiet Frontier: Rising Rivals, Vulnerable Allies, and the Crisis of American Power ハードカバー – 2016/2/23
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From the Baltic to the South China Sea, newly assertive authoritarian states sense an opportunity to resurrect old empires or build new ones at America's expense. Hoping that U.S. decline is real, nations such as Russia, Iran, and China are testing Washington's resolve by targeting vulnerable allies at the frontiers of American power. The Unquiet Frontier explains why the United States needs a new grand strategy that uses strong frontier alliance networks to raise the costs of military aggression in the new century.
Jakub Grygiel and Wess Mitchell describe the aggressive methods rival nations are using to test U.S. power in strategically critical regions throughout the world. They show how rising and revisionist powers are putting pressure on our frontier alliescountries like Poland, Israel, and Taiwanto gauge our leaders' commitment to upholding the U.S.-led global order. To cope with these dangerous dynamics, nervous U.S. allies are diversifying their national-security "menu cards" by beefing up their militaries or even aligning with their aggressors. Grygiel and Mitchell reveal how numerous would-be great powers use an arsenal of asymmetric techniques to probe and sift American strength across several regions simultaneously, and how rivals and allies alike are learning from America's management of increasingly interlinked global crises to hone effective strategies of their own.
The Unquiet Frontier demonstrates why the United States must strengthen the international order that has provided greater benefits to the world than any in history.
"Well-argued and incisive."--"Kirkus"
"A persuasive case."--"Publishers Weekly"
"[I]mportant."--Francis P Sempa, "Asian Review of Books"
"Insightful new study."--Jack Caravelli, "Washington Free Beacon"
"The authors . . . paint a stark and compelling picture of the emerging geopolitical landscape. They remind us that, in the post-Cold War era, geopolitics matters."--H.R. McMaster, Wall Street Journal Book Review
"Well-argued and incisive."--Kirkus
"A persuasive case."--Publishers Weekly
"[I]mportant."--Francis P Sempa, Asian Review of Books
"A useful and thoughtful contribution to the most important debate in U.S. foreign policy and will be read with great care by President Barack Obama's supporters and critics alike."--Walter Russell Mead, Foreign Affairs
"[Grygiel and Mitchell] have a number of useful suggestions that deserve serious consideration."--Aram Bakshian Jr., Washington Times
A good introduction to the book is "World According to H. R. McMaster" article in the recent issue of the Atlantic. There are parallel's with it in Thomas Shelling's "Arms and Influence" which treats the same set of issues from a more theoretical game theory perspective. Henry Kissinger's "World Order" touches on related issues and possible ways of addressing them.
One thing that I am surprised is that I have not seen anyone connecting the US spending on entitlements (60% of the Federal budget) and another 6% interest on debt to the Unquiet Frontier. They are closely related.
Grygiel's argument is well written and supported. His description of the role of strategic alliances as a force multiplier is well-taken. Perhaps the most valuable contribution to the discussion is Grygiel's trenchant description of smaller states' range of behaviors when support from a stronger ally (the United States) is called into question. Grygiel's argument is driven, however, by a specific political perspective--one which calls for greater U.S. military engagement abroad. While he allows that this engagement should be targeted, rather than a blanket commitment to all, there remains significant questions of the cost of greater engagement with governments with (in the Saudi case) significant differences in long-term goal for their regions. That said, Grygiel's argument is well-crafted and certainly deserves consideration.