To cite this article: Mohammed Nuruzzaman (): The dispensable nation: American foreign. policy in retreat, Global Change, Peace & Security: formerly Pacifica Review: Peace, Security & The dispensable nation: American foreign policy in retreat, by Vali Nasr, New York, Anchor. The Dispensable Nation. The people of the Middle East don't want the leadership that President Obama offered them on. Thursday. BY FLYNT. The dispensable nation: American foreign policy in retreat. New York: Doubleday , pp., $ (cloth) ISBN: Reviewed by: Kari.
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A Financial Times Best Book of the Year Forcefully persuasive, The Dispensable Nation is a game changer for America as it charts a course in the Muslim world. "indispensable nation" in global affairs under these new conditions? It depends on what you mean by the term. There is one form of American indis- pensability. A Financial Times Best Book of the Year Forcefully persuasive, The Dispensable Nation is a game changer for America as it charts a course in the Muslim.
In The Dispensable Nation , he takes us behind the scenes to show how Secretary Clinton and her ally, Ambassador Richard Holbrooke, were thwarted in their efforts to guide an ambitious policy in South Asia and the Middle East. Instead, four years of presidential leadership and billions of dollars of U. After taking office in , the Obama administration had an opportunity to fundamentally reshape American foreign policy, Nasr argues, but its fear of political backlash and the specter of terrorism drove it to pursue the same questionable strategies as its predecessor.
Meanwhile, the true economic threats to U. Nasr makes a compelling case that behind specific flawed decisions lurked a desire by the White House to pivot away from the complex problems of the Muslim world. The United States has secured stability, promoted prosperity, and built democracy in region after region since the end of the Second World War, he reminds us, and The Dispensable Nation offers a striking vision of what it can achieve when it reclaims its bold leadership in the world. Vali Nasr is Dean of the Paul H.
Nasr delivers a devastating portrait of a first-term foreign policy that shunned the tough choices of real diplomacy. The Dispensable Nation constitutes important reading. It nails the drift away from the art of diplomacy—with its painful give-and-take—toward a U. It holds the president to account for his zigzags from Kabul to Jerusalem. Its core message is: Diplomacy is tough and carries a price, but the price is higher when it is abandoned. Anyone interested in the Middle East, China, or the future of American power should read it immediately and think hard about its message.
State Department collisions over U. Gutsy, intriguing, and challenging. Read An Excerpt. Paperback —. download the Audiobook Download: Apple Audible downpour eMusic audiobooks. Add to Cart. For example, if as a student you are the way I was, you may be discouraged over money matters—and almost everyone is, at least some of the time. A recent study indicated that financially related problems outranked all other factors in marital difficulty by a margin of three to one.
And the pressure can be about that great on single students as well. If shared misery provides any consolation for you, take heart—you have friends. From the day I walked into my first college class until I staggered out the exit of my last— a period of time stretching over twelve years and four degrees—I was responsible for every cent of my education.
These things can be troublesome, but you have an obligation—to yourself if no one else—to see that they are not destructive.
Get it down on paper and deal with it there. That is the counsel given to husbands and wives, and the same solution works for others. The alternative is to leave it churning in your stomach and head and heart, all of which are susceptible to their own forms of ulcer. I see President Oaks labor over it for the university. I hope soon to see someone labor over it for our nation.
You can consider it part of a very valuable education to labor over it in your own life. Spend cheerfully on things that matter. Smile at an old pair of shoes. Pay your tithing. Cherish a used book. Though some of you may be living in almost desperate financial straits, I promise you there is a way. Such times may be burdensome. Such sacrifice may be hard. In the words of Henry David Thoreau: Most of the luxuries, and many of the so-called comforts of life are not only dispensable, but positive hindrances to the elevation of mankind.
Quite apart from the financial challenge, schoolwork itself can be quite a drag. Hold your applause. But a little preparation can work wonders here as well. And despair distills upon us as the dews from heaven. I remember handing in a paper to Dean Bruce B. Clark who was at the time the teacher of an English literature class I was taking. I loved the class and knew from the first day of instruction that three short papers would be due on clearly stated dates during the term. Here was the chairman of my major department, teaching only one class a semester that year, the very symbol of my academic hopes and dreams for the B.
I should have been devastated. Perhaps that discouraged me more than anything.
It never is. I simply should have done better.
I should have been at work much sooner. I should have written a draft or two and then left it alone for a time. I should have gone back to it in freshness and strength.
I might even have asked for some suggestions. At the end I should have been working with a scalpel; as it was I delivered one butchered idea, the meat axe still dripping as I walked into class.
The point is the same with school as with money or marriage or profession or any hope and dream. Spend cheerfully on matters of worth. Carry the calm, and wear the assurance of having done the best you could with what you had.
If you work hard and prepare earnestly, it will be very difficult for you to give in or give up or wear down. If you labor with faith in God and in yourself and in your future, you will have built upon a rock.
Then, when the winds blow and the rains come—as surely they will—you shall not fall. Of course, some things are not under your control. Some disappointments come regardless of your effort and preparation, for God wishes us to be strong as well as good.
In this, too, you have friends through the ages in whom you can take comfort and with whom you can form timeless bonds. Thomas Edison devoted ten years and all of his money to developing the nickel-alkaline storage battery at a time when he was almost penniless.
Through that period of time, his record and film production was supporting the storage battery effort. Then one night the terrifying cry of fire echoed through the film plant. Spontaneous combustion had ignited some chemicals.
Within moments all of the packing compounds, celluloid for records, film, and other flammable goods had gone up with a roar. Fire companies from eight towns arrived, but the fire and heat were so intense and the water pressure so low that the fire hoses had no effect. Edison was sixty-seven years old—no age to begin anew.
His son Charles was frantic, wondering if he were safe, if his spirits were broken, and how he would handle a crisis such as this at his age. Charles saw his father running toward him. He spoke first. Go get her. Tell her to get her friends. Anybody know where we can get some money? Others have walked that way before you. Read Noah again.
Go out there and take a few whacks on the side of your ark and see what popularity was like in B. Read Moses again.
Calculate the burden of fighting with the pharaohs and then a forty-year assignment in Sinai. Some tasks take time. Accept that. We will cross over Jordan eventually. Others have proven it. I stand before you as a living symbol that anyone can make it through school, fill a mission, and find a job.
Has health been a problem? Surely you will find comfort in the fact that a veritable Job has led this Church into one of the most exciting and revelatory decades of this entire dispensation.
President Kimball has known few days in the last thirty years that were not filled with pain or discomfort or disease. Do you ever feel untalented or incapable or inferior?
Would it help you to know that everyone else feels that way too, including the prophets of God? Moses initially resisted his destiny, pleading that he was not eloquent in language.
Jeremiah thought himself a child and was afraid of the faces he would meet. And Enoch?
American Foreign Policy in Retreat
I ask all of you to remember Enoch as long as you live. Enoch was a believer. He stiffened his spine and squared his shoulders and went stutteringly on his way. Plain old, ungifted, inferior Enoch. And this is what the angels would come to write of him: And so great was the faith of Enoch that he led the people of God, and their enemies came to battle against them; and he spake the word of the Lord, and the earth trembled, and the mountains fled, even according to his command; and the rivers of water were turned out of their course; and the roar of the lions was heard out of the wilderness; and all nations feared greatly, so powerful was the word of Enoch, and so great was the power of the language which God had given him.
There is, of course, one source of despair more serious than all the rest. It is linked with poor preparation of a far more serious order. It is the opposite of sanctification. It is the most destructive discouragement in time or eternity.
It is transgression against God. It is depression embedded in sin. Here your most crucial challenge, once you have recognized the seriousness of your mistakes, will be to believe that you can change, that there can be a different you. To disbelieve that is clearly a satanic device designed to discourage and defeat you. When you get home tonight, you fall on your knees and thank your Father in Heaven that you belong to a Church and have grasped a gospel that promises repentance to those who will pay the price.
Repentance is simply the scriptural invitation for growth and improvement and progress and renewal. You can change!
You can be anything you want to be in righteousness. Though not a swearing man, I am always sorely tempted to try my hand when I hear that. You can change anything you want to change, and you can do it very fast. Of course there will be problems to work out and restitutions to make.
The Dispensable Nation
You may well spend—indeed you had better spend—the rest of your life proving your repentance by its permanence. But change, growth, renewal, and repentance can come for you as instantaneously as for Alma and the sons of Mosiah.
Yet as Alma recounts his own experience in the thirty-sixth chapter of the book that bears his name, his repentance appears to have been as instantaneous as it was stunning. Do not misunderstand. Repentance is not easy or painless or convenient. It is a bitter cup from Hell. But only Satan, who dwells there, would have you think that a necessary and required acknowledgment is more distasteful than permanent residence.
Give up. Give in. You are just the way you are. As you know, the Brethren used to announce in general conference the names of those who had been called on missions. Not only was this the way friends and neighbors learned of the call, more often than not it was the way the missionary learned of it as well.
One such prospect was Eli H. He used the vernacular of the railroad and the barroom with a finesse born of long practice. He bought cigars wholesale—a thousand at a time—and he regularly lost his paycheck playing pool. He knew what Eli Pierce could become. He was out working on one of the railroad lines.
The Dispensable Nation
A fellow employee, once recovered from the shock of it all, ran out to telegraph the startling news. He goes on. I sent in my resignation. I then started into town to download [scripture]. During his missionary service, Brother Pierce was called in to administer to the infant child of a branch president whom he knew and loved.
Unfortunately, the wife of the branch president had become embittered and now seriously objected to any religious activity within the home, including a blessing for this dying child. The mother, suspecting just such an act, sent one of the older children to observe and report back. She seemed, however, quite oblivious to the movements of the two men.Vali Nasr shows how the Obama administration missed its chance to improve U.
The date: July 24, Holbrooke became ill during a meeting in Mrs. He used the vernacular of the railroad and the barroom with a finesse born of long practice. Bush, however, it has reached its limits and in all likelihood will cease to be the primary determinant of ongoing transformations of the global political economy.