Addressing the range of nation-building experiences and concerns in the United States and its allies, Watson opens with a discussion of Somalia, Haiti, and Southeastern European experiences during the 1990s. She then shifts to a discussion of the more recent lessons from Iraq and Afghanistan since the beginning of the Global War on Terrorism. An examination of the growing emphasis within the U.S. government focused on the education officers at the flag rank in combined, joint, and multinational aspects of military activities that form the basis of nation-building underscores the pace of changes taking place today. As nation-building and stability operations have expanded, so too should the discussion of such activities. With increasing pressure on the United States to engage in actions abroad in the long War on Terrorism, a greater understanding among the American public of what is involved in this area is absolutely crucial.
The U.S. has been involved in numerous nation-building activities. Watson breaks down the operational and doctrinal shifts that have occurred in military and political circles during the last twenty years in this introductory overview of the topic. She supplements her narrative with brief biographical essays focused on individuals such as Marine General (Ret.) and U.S. commander in Somalia (1992-1994), Anthony Zinni and others who influenced the course of nation-building and stabilization processes now in place. Their impact is underscored in the documents Watson includes, which are taken from various studies, laws, and debates on the subject at hand, making this a useful work for both students and specialists.
About the Author:
Cynthia A. Watson is Professor of Strategy at the National War College, serving as a core course director, Associate Dean of Faculty and Curriculum, Director of Faculty Development, and Director of Electives. She is the author of Nation-Building (2004), U.S. National Security (2002), and U.S. National Security Interest Groupsr (Greenwood, 1990), and was contributing co-editor of Political Role of the Military (Greenwood, 1996). Her most recent work is Military Education (Praeger Security International, 2006).