National Security and Double Government

National Security and Double Government

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Why has U.S. security policy scarcely changed from the Bush to the Obama administration? National Security and Double Government offers a disquieting answer. Michael J. Glennon challenges the myth that U.S. security policy is still forged by America's visible, "Madisonian institutions" - the President, Congress, and the courts. Their roles, he argues, have become largely illusory. Presidential control is now nominal, congressional oversight is dysfunctional,
and judicial review is negligible. The book details the dramatic shift in power that has occurred from the Madisonian institutions to a concealed "Trumanite network" - the several hundred managers of the military, intelligence, diplomatic, and law enforcement agencies who are responsible for protecting the
nation and who have come to operate largely immune from constitutional and electoral restraints. Reform efforts face daunting obstacles. Remedies within this new system of "double government" require the hollowed-out Madisonian institutions to exercise the very power that they lack. Meanwhile, reform initiatives from without confront the same pervasive political ignorance within the polity that has given rise to this duality. The book sounds a powerful warning about the need to resolve this
dilemma-and the mortal threat posed to accountability, democracy, and personal freedom if double government persists. This paperback version features an Afterword that addresses the emerging danger posed by populist authoritarianism rejecting the notion that the security bureaucracy can or should be
relied upon to block it.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 312 pages
  • 141 x 209 x 18mm | 342g
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • Reprint
  • 0190663995
  • 9780190663995
  • 1,003,138

Review Text

Michael Glennon's book is important precisely because it pulls back the curtain to reveal the realities of the largely unconstrained U.S. national security state. In doing so, Glennon's analysis shows how the national security apparatus is a threat to the very freedoms its inhabitants and supporters purport to protect. Christopher J. Coyne, Public Choice
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Review quote

It is refreshing to read a book or article that avoids optimistic but unachievable normative proposals. Glennon's book neatly captures a real phenomenon in the national security arena: executive-branch experts have significant, and sometimes unchecked, power to make critical policy decisions that are hard to unwind."-AJIL, Ashley Deeks, University of Virginia School of Law Michael Glennon is a respected scholar; his book is objective and nonideological; and his contentions and conclusions are carefully documented and corroborated." -David S. D'Amato, The Future of Freedom Foundation National Security and Double Government is a well-written and researched work. The author eloquently states his case with support from numerous examples, quotes, and case studies from past political, military, and judicial personnel. Overall, this book provides an important and timely contribution to the current political discourse." -George Washington International Law Review In his provocative new book, National Security and Double Government, he [Glennon] analyzes political developments after World War II that should be of great interest to those who follow constitutional law." -Lou Fisher, The Federal Lawyer My favorite nonfiction book this year is National Security and Double Government by Michael J. Glennon, which argues that the president and Congress are largely figureheads in setting U.S. national security policy." -Tom Jackson, Sandusky Register National Security and Double Government is brilliant, deep, sad, and vastly learned across multiple fields * a work of Weberian power and stature. It deserves to be read and discussed. The book raises philosophical questions in the public sphere in a way not seen at least since Fukuyama's end of history." -David A. Westbrook, Del Cotto Professor, SUNY Buffalo Law School
* Michael Glennon's National Security and Double Government explains why U.S. foreign policy is prone to recurring failure and resistant to genuine reform. Instead of being responsive to citizens or subject to effective checks and balances, U.S. national security policy is in fact conducted by a shadow government of bureaucrats and a supporting network of think tanks, media insiders, and ambitious policy wonks. Presidents may come and go, but the permanent
national security establishment inevitably defeats their efforts to chart a new course. Gracefully written and extensively researched, this book is the most penetrating analysis of U.S. foreign policy that I have read in years." -Stephen M. Walt, Harvard Kennedy School National Security and Double Government is an important and insightful book. It should be read by anyone concerned that Obama's national security policies differ so little from those of the Bush Administration, and by every in-coming President and her staff." -Morton H. Halperin, Senior Advisor, Open Society Foundations In this timely book Michael Glennon provides a compelling argument that America's national security policy is growing outside the bounds of existing government institutions. This is at once a constitutional challenge, but is also a case study in how national security can change government institutions, create new ones, and, in effect, stand-up a parallel state. This is a well-argued book of academic import and policy relevance. It is recommended reading for an
informed debate on an issue of great significance." -Vali Nasr, Johns Hopkins University's School of Advanced International Studies Michael Glennon has written a brilliant book that helps explain why U.S. foreign policy changes so little over time, despite frequent failure. Barack Obama certainly promised to fundamentally alter America's approach to the world, but little changed after he took office. Glennon shows how the underlying national security bureaucracy in Washington - what might be called the deep state - ensures that presidents and their successors act on the world stage like
Tweedledee and Tweedledum." -John J. Mearsheimer, University of Chicago His answer is altogether darker and more radical than you'd reasonably expect from a former Senate Foreign Relations Committee legal counsel and current international law professor at Tufts. Glennon argues, in essence, that the national security state has become a runaway train and that presidential elections are contests that determine who gets to pretend he's driving." -Gene Healy, Cato Institute Taking a leaf from Walter Bagehot's thesis of dual government in Britain, Michael Glennon has transported the concept of 'double government' to the United States analyzing the constitutional institutions, or what he calls the 'Madisonian' side; and a cohort of several hundred senior military, diplomatic, and intelligence officials who run the daily business of national security, or what he calls the 'Trumanite' side. This explains the relatively little difference
between the Bush 43 and the Obama presidencies. In this brilliant, deeply researched book, Glennon spells out the relation of his overall thesis to contemporary issues such as the Snowden revelations." -Charles G. Cogan, Harvard Kennedy School Shrewdly updating Walter Bagehot's theory of 'double government,' Michael Glennon shows how present-day Washington really works. In our faux democracy, those we elect to govern serve largely ornamental purposes, while those who actually wield power, especially in the realm of national security, do so chiefly with an eye toward preserving their status and prerogatives. Read this incisive and richly documented book, and you'll understand why." -Andrew J. Bacevich,
Boston University If constitutional government is to endure in the United States, Americans must confront the fundamental challenges presented by this chilling analysis of the national security state." -Bruce Ackerman, Yale University Glennon's argument is powerful and troubling. Whatever the exact diagnosis of a problem that is clearly multidimensional, Glennon is devastating in his critique of Congressional weakness in checking Executive actions and overseeing military and intelligence agencies. Whether or not it helps resuscitate American democracy or serves as an autopsy on its demise, Double Government is essential reading." - Clifford Bob, New Rambler Michael Glennon's book is important precisely because it pulls back the curtain to reveal the realities of the largely unconstrained U.S. national security state. In doing so, Glennon's analysis shows how the national security apparatus is a threat to the very freedoms its inhabitants and supporters purport to protect." -Christopher J. Coyne, Public Choice Glennon has written a unique book that stands out among the collection of post-9/11 works for the way it lashes historical trends to the most contemporary problems of government secrecy, power and overreach in a highly readable way. I underlined passages on just about every page and can't wait to reread it. The 'ah ha!' moments are endless." -Dana Priest, The Washington Post Glennon's book is not a breezy read: It's thick with fact and not unappreciative of conundrum. Nor is he glib with proposed solutions: to adequately respond to the threats posed by a below-the-radar second government will require. But if Glennon's book is enlightening it is also scary. And it's not fiction." -Mickey Edwards, The Boston Globe Mr. Glennon smartly points out that while lawmakers aren't experts in social policy, education, economics and countless other areas subject to legislation, it is only in the realm of national security and intelligence that they surrender the reins of power. This is a powerful part of his argument: The lack of oversight means there is neither check nor balance on how our national-security policies are implemented or on how they are created in the first place." -Ali
Soufan, The Wall Street Journal To Michael J Glennon, in National Security and Double Government, . . . no matter who is elected to run White House and Congress, they are puppets of a permanent apparatus. In less capable hands, Glennon's thesis might come across as sophomoric. Yet as a scholar who worked on Capitol Hill for years, Glennon is that rare thing: an academic with real world experience. Instead of a rupture between George W Bush and Obama, Glennon sees remarkable continuity.
Towards the end of his presidency, Bush was asked what most surprised him about the job. 'How little authority I have,' he said. That is also what people say about Obama." -Edward Luce, Financial Times Michael Glennon's book is important precisely because it pulls back the curtain to reveal the realities of the largely unconstrained U.S. national security state. In doing so, Glennon's analysis shows how the national security apparatus is a threat to the very freedoms its inhabitants and supporters purport to protect. * Christopher J. Coyne, Public Choice *
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About Michael J. Glennon

Michael J. Glennon is Professor of International Law at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University. Before going into teaching, he was the Legal Counsel to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. He co-authored Foreign Affairs Federalism: The Myth of National Exclusivity (with Robert D. Sloane, Oxford, 2016). He also co-authored Foreign Relations and National Security Law, and he is the author of Constitutional
Diplomacy, among other books. His op-ed pieces have appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, International Herald-Tribune, Financial Times, and Frankfurt Allgemeine Zeitung. He lives in Concord, Massachusetts, with his wife and son.
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Rating details

136 ratings
4.19 out of 5 stars
5 41% (56)
4 42% (57)
3 12% (17)
2 4% (5)
1 1% (1)
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