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Battlegrounds: The Fight to Defend the Free World

  

Category:  Readers, etc.

Via:  cb  •  4 years ago  •  6 comments

Battlegrounds: The Fight to Defend the Free World
Russian propaganda has been described as a fire hose of falsehoods that spews, rapid, continuous, and repetitive disinformation. - H. R. McMaster

My Take On This Book!

Mr. McMaster has written a thorough book about Russia, China, Iran, and many other military and political historical and present day events and happenings.

H. R. McMaster narrates this audio book reading version which I enjoyed. And candidly, he does a really "swell" job articulating the process!

It is not a put-down of Donald Trump book. It is not a "fawning" over Donald Trump book either.

Yet, McMaster from his vantage point in the White House gives the reader ponderous trails to follow and really deep insights into the decision-making and internal workings of the Trump Administration - for good and bad. Strengths and weaknesses. What works and what fails.

One particular point comes through clearly. General McMaster was and may still be a strength 'pillar' to this president. Though out of the public service line-up. He persuaded President Trump from taking many unpopular and "unreal" actions and activities during his tenure as National Security Advisor to the Trump Administration.

My overall assessment of this book is its deep, rich, steeped in unclassified intelligence and is a set of history to topical lessons on Russia, Iran, China, and U.S. relationships and interactions during this current administration.

The excerpt above is a mere sample of the depth of this H. R. McMaster book mentioning just one of many nation topics playing out in our world today. It is a long read/audio book. It is an exhaustive analysis.

T h is book is well worth the investment of time to read. It may well grow you further as a person understanding international politics and warfare prevention .

original

Typically, successful disinformation and propaganda campaigns prioritize consistency in messaging. Russia under Putin however abandoned consistency because the aim was not make audiences believe something new but to question just about everything that they heard.

The purpose was to disrupt, divide, and weaken societies that Putin saw as competitors. The Kremlin uses many tools to fulfill that purpose such as direct financial support of fringe political parties, at the opposite ends of the political spectrum.

Russian disinformation is designed to shake citizens belief in their common identity and in their democratic principles, institutions, and processes by :

manipulating social media

planting false stories

creating false personas

Russia also uses media arms such as the television network RT, Formerly Russia Today and the news agency Sputnik to broadcast a steady stream of disinformation.

RT has a 300 million dollar annual budget for broadcasting propaganda that looks like legitimate news in multiple languages.

The [ RT ] network has more subscribers on Youtube than Fox News, CBS News, or NBC news.

Source: Chapter 7 opening.

* * * * * * * * * * * *


S E E D E D   C O N T E N T



BY Joshua Huminski  October 10, 2020

Battlegrounds: The Fight to Defend the Free World

| By Lieutenant General H.R. McMaster

| HarperCollins

| September 2020.

The Strategic Narcissism of American Foreign Policy

Central to McMaster's thesis is that the United States' foreign policy has suffered from and continues to suffer from "strategic narcissism". The phrase, borrowed from an essay by Hans Morgenthau, suggests that the United States only views the world in relation to itself and assumes that future events depend almost exclusively on American action.

The consequences of this are both overconfidence and resignation, in McMaster's assessment: overconfidence in the ability of the United States to affect change in the world (regardless of history or the situation on the ground) and a resignation that underestimates the risks of inaction in the face of such intractable challenges. Perhaps more than that, strategic narcissism leads to simplistic assessments of complex situations and erroneous assumptions on which failed policies are built.

In McMaster's view, Republican and Democratic administrations alike suffered from both in recent history. For President Bush, the overconfidence of the unipolar moment led to an underappreciation of the challenges of a post-invasion in Iraq while for President Obama, pessimism about the utility of American foreign policy—or a belief that engagement was more damaging than non-engagement—led to inaction. Both administrations suffered from erroneous assumptions about the countries with which they engaged and ignorance of the history that underpinned these challenges.

A Hybrid of History and Policy

Each section breaks down these assumptions and crafts a historical narrative that supports McMaster's analysis of the world and foreign policy. His approach is weighty and intellectual with occasional portraits of the leaders with whom he engaged and vignettes of his experiences as National Security Adviser.

Battlegrounds is an interesting hybrid of an insider account of McMaster's time as National Security Adviser (peppered with anecdotes from his military career), a history of the conflicts in which the United States finds itself, and a lengthy policy paper familiar to anyone in or around the think tank community. At first glance, such an amalgamation shouldn't work, but with McMaster's deft touch it does, and well.

McMaster's book is a rare thing to come out of those departing the Trump administration—an analytical, critical, and cogent policy work. It is not a political tell-all; it is not an insider's settling of scores; nor does it defend President Trump.

In Battlegrounds, McMaster carefully reviews the major foreign policy and national security challenges he encountered while he was National Security Adviser, unpacks their history, and dissects the legion of failings. It is eminently accessible and coherently presented.

Deeply researched, well-argued, and damning in its conclusions.

A Timely and Critical Appraisal

This is not to say that McMaster is not critical of the president's policies. Indeed, throughout the book McMaster explains the National Security Council's deliberations, the strategies finalized and presented to the president, and the rationale behind those courses of action. Yet on multiple occasions, for unclear reasons, the president, after having agreed to that strategy, abruptly changed course. Why and for what reason are not explored in this book, and that is a strength. McMaster stays in his self-defined lanes and for that, Battlegrounds is a better work.

*** See seed content for more info! ***


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CB
Professor Principal
1  seeder  CB    4 years ago

Russia also uses media arms such as the television network RT, Formerly Russia Today .and the news agency Sputnik to broadcast a steady stream of disinformation.  RT has a 300 million dollar annual budget for broadcasting propaganda that looks like legitimate news in multiple languages.

The [RT] network has more subscribers on Youtube than Fox News, CBS News, or NBC news.

 
 
 
Dismayed Patriot
Professor Quiet
2  Dismayed Patriot    4 years ago

"Russian propaganda has been described as a fire hose of falsehoods that spews, rapid, continuous, and repetitive disinformation"...

...and many conservatives just stand there in the firing line with their mouth agape, throat open just taking it all in like a champ.

 
 
 
CB
Professor Principal
2.1  seeder  CB  replied to  Dismayed Patriot @2    4 years ago

It's one "heaven" of a read. He is thorough. You literally can see this man's credentials pouring out of him through out the book. It is a non-partisan read. And yes, there are areas where he mentions Trump unfavorably, but it is often, but not always, crouched in a larger context of him and others holding Donald back from going over the edge.

It is not the critique of Trump people were looking (hoping) for, but I am really glad that I afforded the time to consume this book. It has a lot of good knowledge, political, and social background details about those countries listed above.

 
 
 
CB
Professor Principal
4  seeder  CB    4 years ago

Deeply researched, well-argued, and damning in its conclusions. ~ Joshua Huminsk

I am compelled to agree!

 
 

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