Soft Power

Major General Edward Lansdale pioneered modern counterinsurgency techniques and played a key role in implementing U.S. geopolitical strategy during the Cold War. Here, historian and national security expert Max Boot reveals the secret of his success: Lansdale knew, like few other people, how to listen. Mastery of this simple but often-overlooked skill is critical to every leader professionally and personally.

Octavian Report

JUL 2016

Edward Lansdale is now all-but-forgotten — a state of affairs I hope to rectify by publishing a new biography of him. But at one time he was a legend.

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In the Shadow of the Towers

In a heartbreaking chapter, Wright recounts the efforts to free five Americans kidnapped by ISIS in Syria. Only one emerged alive.

Wall Street Journal

AUG 23, 2016

No book about the 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon has won as much acclaim, and deservedly so, as Lawrence Wright’s “The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11.” Its multi-talented author, a longtime writer for the New Yorker, even staged a one-man play, “My Trip to Al-Qaeda,” about his reporting experiences. Since publishing “The Looming Tower” in 2006, Mr. Wright has gone on to produce two other impressive books: one about Scientology, the other about the Camp David negotiations between Jimmy Carter, Menachem Begin and Anwar Sadat.

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Khans show no low is too low for Trump

The GOP nominee professes his love for veterans, but he has a long history of disrespecting them.

USA Today

AUG 1, 2016

Just when you think he can't go any lower, Donald Trump goes there.

The most powerful moment of the Democratic convention occurred when Khizr Khan attacked Trump for putting forward proposals, such as his ban on Muslims entering the country, that insult the memory of Khan’s son, a U.S. Army captain who died in Iraq. “Let me ask you, have you even read the United States Constitution?" Khan asked, adding that Trump “has sacrificed nothing and no one.”

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How the ‘Stupid Party’ Created Donald Trump

New York Times

JUL 31, 2016

It’s hard to know exactly when the Republican Party assumed the mantle of the “stupid party.”

Stupidity is not an accusation that could be hurled against such prominent early Republicans as Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Elihu Root and Charles Evans Hughes. But by the 1950s, it had become an established shibboleth that the “eggheads” were for Adlai Stevenson and the “boobs” for Dwight D. Eisenhower — a view endorsed by Richard Hofstadter’s 1963 book “Anti-Intellectualism in American Life,” which contrasted Stevenson, “a politician of uncommon mind and style, whose appeal to intellectuals overshadowed anything in recent history,” with Eisenhower — “conventional in mind, relatively inarticulate.” The John F. Kennedy presidency, with its glittering court of Camelot, cemented the impression that it was the Democrats who represented the thinking men and women of America.

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The Terrorist Past Has a Message for the Terrorist Present

History suggests that Europe’s current wave of terror can be ameliorated, if not entirely stopped.

Wall Street Journal

JUL 27, 2016

Western Europe appears to be under an unrelenting terrorism assault. In the past 19 months, France has seen the attack on the newspaper Charlie Hebdo (17 deaths); the coordinated attacks in Paris (130); a cargo-truck attack in Nice (84); and this week a hostage-taking and murder of an elderly parish priest in the small town of Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray.

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Trump's opposition research firm: Russia's intelligence agencies

Los Angeles Times

JUL 25, 2016

As a lifelong Republican, I don’t much care who runs the Democratic National Committee. But I am deeply disturbed by the way that Debbie Wasserman Schultz was forced to resign as the DNC head over the weekend. WikiLeaks released 20,000 stolen emails revealing a clear, if unsurprising, preference for Hillary Clinton over Bernie Sanders among Democratic officials. This appears to be a foreign intervention in American politics — and it may only be the beginning.

Read more: Trump's opposition research firm: Russia's intelligence agencies

“Destined to be the classic account of what may be the oldest . . . hardest form of war.” —John Nagl, Wall Street Journal


"Enormous, brilliant and important…. Terrific… Astute… Boot’s Invisible Armies should be required reading in the White House and Pentagon." —Michael Korda, Daily Beast

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