Chris Miller’s book “War on Terror” is an insightful analysis of the United States’ response to the 9/11 terrorist attacks. The book takes a critical look at the policies and strategies employed by the Bush administration in the wake of the attacks, with a particular focus on the invasion of Iraq. Miller’s writing style is engaging and accessible, making the book a must-read for anyone interested in understanding the impact of the war on terror on American foreign policy.
The Response to 9/11
Miller begins by providing a detailed account of the immediate response to the 9/11 attacks. He highlights the confusion and lack of preparedness that characterized the US government’s response in the immediate aftermath of the attacks. However, he also acknowledges the resilience and determination displayed by the American people in the face of tragedy. Miller argues that the response to 9/11 was shaped by a sense of fear and uncertainty, which led the Bush administration to adopt a confrontational and militaristic approach to counterterrorism.
The Invasion of Iraq
The bulk of the book is devoted to an analysis of the decision to invade Iraq. Miller argues that the invasion was a strategic blunder that was based on faulty intelligence and misguided assumptions about the nature of the Iraqi regime. He provides a detailed account of the run-up to the war, highlighting the role played by key figures in the Bush administration, such as Vice President Dick Cheney and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. Miller’s analysis is incisive and well-researched, providing a compelling argument for why the invasion was a mistake.
Consequences of the War on Terror
Miller also examines the consequences of the war on terror for American foreign policy. He argues that the war on terror has undermined the credibility of the United States in the eyes of the world, particularly in the Muslim world. He also contends that the war on terror has had a corrosive effect on American democracy, leading to the erosion of civil liberties and the normalization of torture as a means of interrogation. Miller’s analysis is nuanced and thought-provoking, highlighting the complex and often unintended consequences of US foreign policy.
Overall, “War on Terror” is an excellent book that provides a comprehensive and critical analysis of the United States’ response to the 9/11 attacks. Miller’s writing is clear and concise, making the book accessible to a wide range of readers. The book’s strengths lie in its detailed and well-researched analysis of the decision to invade Iraq and the consequences of the war on terror for American foreign policy. Miller’s analysis is incisive and thought-provoking, challenging readers to think critically about the role of the United States in the world today.
While the book is a valuable contribution to the literature on the war on terror, it does have some limitations. Miller’s analysis is focused primarily on the Bush administration’s response to 9/11, and he does not spend as much time examining the policies of subsequent administrations. Additionally, some readers may find that Miller’s analysis is overly critical of the United States, and that he does not give enough consideration to the difficult choices and trade-offs that policymakers faced in the aftermath of 9/11.
Overall, I highly recommend “War on Terror” to anyone interested in understanding the impact of the war on terror on American foreign policy. The book provides a detailed and critical analysis of the decision to invade Iraq, as well as the broader consequences of the war on terror for American democracy and international relations. Miller’s writing is engaging and accessible, making the book a must-read for anyone seeking to understand the complex and often difficult choices faced by policymakers in the aftermath of 9/11.