The Withdrawal: Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan, and the Fragility of U.S. Power

New Pr. Aug. 2022. 208p. ISBN 9781620977606. $24.99. MILITARY HISTORY
This work transcribes a late-2021 conversation between Chomsky (linguistics, MIT; Internationalism or Extinction) and Prashad (director, Tricontinental Inst. for Social Research; Washington Bullets: A History of the CIA, Coups, and Assassinations). The U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan serves as the prompt for this sweeping discussion about the nature of American power as demonstrated by its actions in Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya; and how those events have shaped international affairs. The authors compare the United States to a mafia-like godfather that uses its power and influence to pressure both friends and foes to bend to its will. They argue that China is its primary rival, as it works to establish institutions such as the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank to circumvent the U.S.-dominated world order. They conclude that the relationship between these two powers could lead to a devastating world conflict, if not managed carefully.
VERDICT This approachable book is recommended for readers interested in thought-provoking works on international relations and current affairs.
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