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Your Government Failed You: Breaking the Cycle of National Security Disasters
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Your Government Failed You: Breaking the Cycle of National Security Disasters

3.88  ·  Rating Details ·  205 Ratings  ·  24 Reviews
Richard Clarke's dramatic statement to the grieving families during the 9/11 Commission hearings touched a raw nerve across America. Not only had our government failed to prevent the 2001 terrorist attacks, but it has proven itself, time and again, incapable of handling the majority of our most crucial national security issues, from Iraq to Katrina and beyond. This is not ...more
Hardcover, 416 pages
Published May 27th 2008 by Ecco
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Jun 27, 2008 Tripp rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Richard Clarke worked for decades in the United States government's national security world. He reached the upper levels of government serving as an Assistant Secretary State and as the chief counter-terrorism official. He left government in 2003 over his disagreements overIraq policy. Shortly thereafter he wrote Against All Enemies, a memoir of his service, as well as a sharp critique of the Bush Administration's terror policy. In his latest book, Your Government Failed You, expands his critiqu ...more
Elizabeth Sulzby
Apr 21, 2011 Elizabeth Sulzby rated it it was amazing
Must reading for those wanting insights into what lead up to 9-11, how 9-11 has been used for harm as well as somewhat for good purposes, how complicated the business/industrial/government complexes are in the 21st Century. Clarke's writing is clear, moves quickly with great detail, and is well measured. He states that not only has our country failed us but that he also failed us in not getting the influence and power to keep the Bush administration from basing foreign and war policies on lies a ...more
Nov 09, 2008 Downhill rated it really liked it
As much as Clarke likes to toot his own horn, I can easily overlook that when thinking about some of his ideas and that there aren't very many as qualified experience wise as he is, to actually understand the subjects he writes about.

It's complicated and he's been in the drivers seat when it comes to Washington insiders and Pentagon highups for a long time.

Cheers for having the guts to take on some hard issues facing this country.
Oct 23, 2008 Paul rated it it was amazing
This book takes an uncompromising look at the inability of the government to prevent security and intelligence failures, like those that occurred before 9/11.

Prior to the invasion of Iraq, the US Army had no counter-insurgency strategy. Part of the reason was to not resurrect unpleasant memories from Vietnam, and part of the reason was the absolute belief among top officials of the Bush Administration that it would not be needed, that the US troops would be greeted as liberators. It wasn’t until
Sep 29, 2012 Doug rated it liked it
Shelves: audio, current-events
Mr. Clark makes many valid points identifying failures by the federal government. In fact, I might say he makes a powerful argument for why the federal government shouldn't be in charge of much of anything. And may they really probably shouldn't be trusted with managing/controlling 25% of the US economy, healthcare. But that's another debate.

Mr. Clark traces back to the roots of several calamities made worse by our "leaders" in the executive and legislative branches of our Federal government. Ir
Mar 03, 2009 Thomas rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook, history
The last thing I expected to find in this book was repeated exonerations of Cheney. Yet there they are. In this and many other ways, this was not the book I expected to read (and dislike.) Perhaps my confusion was due to the title. If the publisher had fired "Your Government Failed You", eliminated the position of Subtitle, and promoted "Breaking the Cycle of National Security Disasters" to the office of Title, the result would have been briefer, more clear, and almost as snappy. Of course, one ...more
May 17, 2012 Jeff rated it liked it
Ego aside, he clearly knows what he's talking about. While I'm not so sure more oversight committees could have prevented malfeasance by Cheney and his ilk, this is still chocked full of great analysis and recommendations. His passion and belief that government has a constructive and honorable role is refreshing in this day of bashing government to climb in the polls. Almost made me want to sign up.

While the book is probably too broad in its focus -- it lost me at times -- his sections on cyber
Clarke discusses America's national security situation, pre-9/11 and post. He addresses the problem areas (just about everything) and what possible solutions are. This isn't a difficult read (although the acronyms got to be a bit much) and it's enlightening. Basically, our governmnent, bloated with political appointees and overpaid, underqualified civilian contractors, won't take security seriously until there's a few more 9/11s. Then the military, Congress, the President will stop fooling aroun ...more
Larry Schofer
Clarke is the counter-terrorism expert who resigned in protests from the Bush administration. In his earlier book he talked about how Rice and others simple ignored the proglems. In this book he talks about failures of the intelligence community. I was particularly interested in how he shows the lessons drawn by the military from the war in Vietnam - intended to show that in a future war we would have to reinstitute the draft or else call up the national guard. They thought we would never call t ...more
Chris Jasinski
Dec 26, 2016 Chris Jasinski rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorite
An expert analysis on the current state of our national security. Richard Clarke shows how politics and inefficiencies within US intelligence bureaucracies have impeded America's abilities to keep pace with a post 9/11 world.

His reputable experience and acumen on issues such global conflicts, cyber warfare, and the US intelligence community not only come with diagnoses, but remedies.

Fact-filled and eye-opening. A must read.
Thomas Roth
Oct 05, 2016 Thomas Roth rated it it was amazing
It amazes me that a book written almost 10 years ago could be still so timely. Nothing appears to have changed for the better since Bush 43 took office. Bipartisanship seems to be a lost art. The greed is still rampant, the cronyism is worse then ever and the good people seem to be forced out in bigger numbers.
This is not a book about politics but a serious expose of what needs to be fixed.

Please read!!

I hope we have another Kennedy type of person to get things moving.
May 30, 2008 John rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: military buffs and policy wonks
Shelves: audiobook, politics
Not sure I'd recommend the audio version this book - author reads well, but much of the material is fairly dry, along the lines of a public policy textbook (although the points/suggestions themselves are spot on!); the print version would work better for those tempted to skim, as I was during the first half, dealing with post-Vietnam military policy.
Mar 28, 2009 Matt rated it really liked it
Shelves: for-fun, nonfiction
"I first became aware of the author when he was the top cybersecurity official in Washington DC. A career public servant in the intel community, his honest post 9-11 indictments of the intelligence community made it easy to trust him. Unfortunately, when reading about the bumbles and foibles of politicians and insular intelligence officials, you won't think any more positively about the future."
I liked getting a viewpoint from somebody who was in the trenches. I found the book a little dry and academic, but it was a fascinating look into how the current military and foreign policy positions our government practices were developed in the wake of the Vietnam War, and how they affected the Iraq and Afghanistan deployments.
Beth A
Jul 29, 2011 Beth A rated it really liked it
Yes, I'm a Richard Clarke fan even though he can sound preachy at times. I found Against All Enemies was quite preachy, but in this work Clarke is much less so. He offers so many really sound, well thought out strategies (policy, social, economic, infrastructure) to fix our national security and revamp our image in the Arab world. I hope someone in the new administration reviews this work.
Alex R
Jun 30, 2009 Alex R rated it liked it
Richard Clarke is a big time bureaucrat who has a few good ideas about improving U.S. national security. He spends too much time disagreeing with the frivolous detail of Bush 43s national security implementation (e.g. jumbo trons at the NCTC) and too little on substance.
Mar 01, 2010 ACRL added it
Shelves: motw
Read by ACRL Member of the Week Peter Hernon. Learn more about Peter on the ACRL Insider blog.
Oct 09, 2008 Pam rated it it was amazing
You can't trust your government. If you think you are middle class, you are probably poor or you will soon be poor. Your country is going to hell.
Feb 21, 2010 columbialion rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Every American
Recommended to columbialion by: Self
Highly credible push back from former National Security Chief Clarke on the root causes of the massive American intelligence failure precipitating 911.
Chris Morrow
Feb 25, 2011 Chris Morrow rated it it was amazing
I like Clarke's books, I think it's interesting to see an insider's perspective on the situation. Given how things went, it's illuminating to say the least.
Dec 09, 2010 Johnbh46 rated it really liked it
Clarke continues to be one of the best commentators and analysts on the actions of the U.S. government related to security.
Aug 05, 2008 BC rated it liked it
Much more of a textbook or extended white paper than Against All Enemies. I would recommend Against All Enemies instead of this unless you are very interested in national security/current affairs.
Zachary Harless
Zachary Harless rated it it was amazing
Jun 28, 2015
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Aug 19, 2015
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Jun 08, 2013
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Sep 15, 2013
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Dec 04, 2009
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Oct 11, 2010
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Richard Alan Clarke was a U.S. government employee for 30 years, 1973–2003. He worked for the State Department during the presidency of Ronald Reagan. In 1992, President George H.W. Bush appointed him to chair the Counter-terrorism Security Group and to a seat on the United States National Security Council. President Bill Clinton retained Clarke and in 1998 promoted him to be the National Coordina ...more
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