by Adam Elkus
It is without reservations that I state that The Sovereignty Solution was the most important book of 2011 that most of you never read.
Anna Simons and her co-authors at the Naval Postgraduate School have crafted the national security equivalent of a religious revival. Like the Great Awakening, it contains a heavy undertone of conservatism (although thankfully no fire-and-brimstone moments akin to “Sinners in the Hand of an Angry God”) but also a call for reinvention. It is both a trip back to as we once were and a journey to a place we never were—but might go.
The Sovereignty Solution begins by laying out a set of unfortunate realizations: Americans don’t like protracted wars, are easily politically divided over national security, and our enemies understand us in many ways better than we understand ourselves. To make matters worse, those enemies, through use of human shields, lawfare, and the assistance of”useful idiots” both home and abroad, force us to play by their rules and agonize over how to deal with their asymmetric tactics. Our campaigns have attempted to use state-building and democracy promotion to overcome these difficulties, but met with mixed results. So far, the book is hardly different from many post-9/11 critiques.