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Insanity Defense

Insanity Defense

Why Our Failure to Confront Hard National Security Problems Makes Us Less Safe

Jane Harman; read by the author

Macmillan Audio

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Macmillan Audio

Macmillan Audio

On Sale: 05/18/2021

ISBN: 9781250802897

6:48:0

This program is read by the author.

An insider's account of America's ineffectual approach to some of the hardest defense and intelligence issues in the three decades since the Cold War ended.

Insanity can be defined as doing the same thing over and over again but expecting a different result. As a nation, America has cycled through the same defense and intelligence issues since the end of the Cold War. In Insanity Defense, Congresswoman Jane Harman chronicles how four administrations have failed to confront some of the toughest national security policy issues and suggests achievable fixes that can move us toward a safer future.

The reasons for these inadequacies are varied and complex, in some cases going back generations. American leaders didn’t realize soon enough that the institutions and habits formed during the Cold War were no longer effective in an increasingly multi-power world transformed by digital technology and riven by ethno-sectarian conflict. Nations freed from the fear of the Soviets no longer deferred to America as before. Yet the United States settled into a comfortable, at times arrogant, position as the lone superpower. At the same time our governing institutions, which had stayed resilient, however imperfectly, through multiple crises, began their own unraveling.

Congresswoman Harman was there—as witness, legislator, exhorter, enabler, dissident and, eventually, outside advisor and commentator. Insanity Defense is an insider’s account of decades of American … More…

This program is read by the author.

An insider's account of America's ineffectual approach to some of the hardest defense and intelligence issues in the three decades since the Cold War ended.

Insanity can be defined as doing the same thing over and over again but expecting a different result. As a nation, America has cycled through the same defense and intelligence issues since the end of the Cold War. In Insanity Defense, Congresswoman Jane Harman chronicles how four administrations have failed to confront some of the toughest national security policy issues and suggests achievable fixes that can move us toward a safer future.

The reasons for these inadequacies are varied and complex, in some cases going back generations. American leaders didn’t realize soon enough that the institutions and habits formed during the Cold War were no longer effective in an increasingly multi-power world transformed by digital technology and riven by ethno-sectarian conflict. Nations freed from the fear of the Soviets no longer deferred to America as before. Yet the United States settled into a comfortable, at times arrogant, position as the lone superpower. At the same time our governing institutions, which had stayed resilient, however imperfectly, through multiple crises, began their own unraveling.

Congresswoman Harman was there—as witness, legislator, exhorter, enabler, dissident and, eventually, outside advisor and commentator. Insanity Defense is an insider’s account of decades of American national security—of its failures and omissions—and a roadmap to making significant progress on solving these perennially difficult issues.

A Macmillan Audio production from St. Martin's Press

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INTRODUCTION


Insanity Defense

“The House believes the war on terror has been its own worst enemy.” I was asked to argue this proposition before the Oxford Union for a debate on October 28, 2018. At first I was uncomfortable...

Jane Harman; read by the author

During her long public career, JANE HARMAN served nine terms in Congress, including four years after 9/11 as ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, and recently completed a decade at the nonpartisan Wilson Center as its first female president and CEO. Harman is recognized as a national expert at the nexus of security and public policy issues, and has received numerous awards for distinguished service. She has served on adivsory boards for the CIA, Director of National Intelligence, and the departments of Defense, Homeland Security, and State. Harman is currently a member of the Aspen Strategy Group and the advisory board of the Munich Security Conference and co-chairs the Homeland Security Experts Group with former Homeland Security secretary Michael Chertoff.

Jane Harman

Read Author Biography at the Wilson Center

Author Biography at Govtrack

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