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National Security under the
Obama Administration
BahramM. Rajaee and Mark J. Miller, eds.,
Palgrave Macmillan, 2012, $90, hardcover,
239 pages.
Barack Obama won the presidency with a
message of hope and change for the Ameri-
can people that was shared by the inter-
national community. Rajaee and Miller’s
collection of essays, written by American and non-American
experts in the feld from a variety of backgrounds, evaluates the
Obama administration’s security policy to date.
National Secu-
rity under the Obama Administration
examines the institutional
processes and institutions dealing with U.S. security, as well as
the regional and major policy dimensions of contemporary U.S.
engagement with the world.
“Much more than a simple assessment of how the Obama
administration has fared in the national security global arena,” is
how Robin Dorf, a professor at the U.S. Army War College Strate-
gic Studies Institute describes the work. “It provides much-needed
and long-overdue non-U.S. perspective to the discussion.”
All of the contributors have been associated with a series of
U.S. foreign and national security policy “institutes” convened
at the University of Delaware, made possible by grants from the
Department of State and the university’s Institute for Global
Bahram Rajaee is a specialist on U.S. foreign policy, Iranian
politics and the international relations of Southwest Asia, who
has served as a director at the University of Delaware’s Institute
for Global Studies. Mark Miller is the Emma Smith Morris Profes-
sor at the University of Delaware, where he has taught political
science and international relations since 1978.
Inside the Red Box: North Korea’s
Post-Totalitarian Politics
Patrick McEachern, Columbia University
Press, 2010, $35, hardcover, 320 pages.
Te government of unpredictable North
Korea is hard to categorize in terms of the
classical political models of totalitarian,
personalistic and communist regimes.
Inside the Red Box
McEachern, a specialist on North Korean afairs, presents a new
theoretical model to explain how this isolated nation’s political
institutions debate policy and inform and execute strategic-level
decisions today.
Focusing on the regime of the late Kim Jong-Il, McEachern
argues that the Korean government was changed by the crises
of the 1990s and is no longer the “one-man dictatorship” many
believe it to be. He calls Kim Jong-Il’s leadership style “post-
totalitarian” and identifes three major institutions that maintain
political continuity: the Cabinet, the party and the military.
Tese institutions constantly debate political issues, both
before and after the supreme leader and his senior advisers have
made a decision. Because Kim Jong-Il was less powerful than his
father, Kim Il-Sung, he routinely pitted institutions against one
another in a strategy of divide and rule.
Te author documents the evolution of North Korean politics
under Kim Il-Sung, discusses the modifed institutional struc-
ture of Kim Jong-Il’s rule, and describes the country’s founding
national institutions and ideology. He also examines the compet-
ing models of North Korean politics, tests his own predictions
against real events and concludes with some general lessons for
foreign-policy practitioners.
FSO Patrick McEachern was based in Seoul supporting the
Six-Party Talks while writing this book. He is a former North
Korea analyst with the State Department’s Bureau of Intelligence
and Research.
U.S. Government Counterterrorism:
A Guide to Who Does What
Michael B. Kraft & Edward Marks,
CRC Press, 2012, $69.95, hardcover,
407 pages.
Tere are numerous agencies across
the United States government that are
engaged in the fght against global terror-
ism. In this book, Ambassador Edward
Marks and Michael Kraft show how, like pieces in a puzzle, these
varied and widely dispersed agencies, ofces and programs work
together to combat global terror.
Te authors use their combined knowledge as veterans of
the government’s anti-terror eforts to explain what each agency
does and how they coordinate with one another, a problem that
has frequently thwarted U.S. counterterrorism operations. Tey
address such topics as government training initiatives, weapons
of mass destruction, research and development, and the congres-
sional role in policy and budget issues.
Te book also discusses the challenges involved in coordinat-
ing the counterterrorism eforts at federal, state and local levels,
and explains how key events infuenced the development of
programs, agencies and legislation. In addition, the authors pro-