This book began with a statement that I often make in the dozens of presentations I deliver annually around the globe: America is the source code for today's globalization. For roughly a decade now, I've put that phrase out there--completely unpacked, expecting the audience to grasp it whole with the same comprehension that I feel intrinsically after contemplating it from a wide variety of angles across my career. When Robert Kagan wrote his brilliant history of America's early decades, Dangerous Nation, I realized I needed to explore that concept in some detail if I was going to accomplish what I set out to do in this book--namely, to connect Americans to this globalization process that so many of us now fear. Once that bond was properly recognized, I knew I could place the Bush-Cheney period in historical context, in turn allowing me to argue for the realignments in American grand strategy that my advisory work--with governments and militaries and corporations around the world these past four years--had convinced me were necessary for our nation's future success in this long war against violent extremism amid globalization's rapid expansion.
I drew on a large network of thinkers and practitioners--beyond the many wonderful authors cited already--to bring this volume to fruition.
First, let me thank my colleagues at Enterra Solutions for the amazing journey of discovery afforded by our start-up's rather meteoric rise. It is most gratifying to participate in the real-world applications of so many of my ideas, especially seeing them merge and further develop with those of my partner, Steve DeAngelis, an inventor of towering intellect and unparalleled skill in translating complex ideas into pragmatic solutions. Steve is, in the words of one director of our board, a "functioning genius." Without Steve's inventive mind and all the career opportunities it has afforded me, I don't think this book would have happened. Steve is also a very dear friend.
Next, I need to thank my part-time manager and full-time business developer, Jennifer Wang Posda. Like Steve, Jenn has become a primary mentor over the past few years, so much so that it's hard for me to imagine my arriving at this point in my career without her strategic guidance. Simply put, I couldn't serve as Enterra's senior managing director without her collaboration on a daily basis, and without that vantage point, this book would not have been written. Like Steve, Jenn is a beloved member of my chosen family.
A third chosen sibling is Mark Warren, the editor whose vision has guided my writing for more than half a decade now. What advances I've made as an author over the years are owed substantially to his tutelage. Collaborating with Mark is a pure joy. Besides being my favorite reason for writing, Mark is arguably the best thing that's ever happened to my career--the undeniable inflection point from which all connectivity now flows.
As with my previous two books, my literary agent, Jennifer Gates of Zachary Shuster Harmsworth, played a seminal role in defining this volume's approach to the reader, as did my publisher, the legendary Neil Nyren of G. P. Putnam's Sons. Their guidance made all the difference in the world. My mind is given to all manner of experiments, but Jenn and Neil found a way to locate the right expression consistently across this lengthy production process. It is my great privilege to continue working with both of them.
My webmaster and research assistant, Sean Meade, has been a hugely stabilizing influence on not just my frantic schedule but my entire work over the past three years. Sean has elevated my game by allowing me to concentrate my energies where they can be best applied. He is my Drucker-in-a-Box.
Three readers advised me on the manuscript as I produced it--all of them fellow bloggers. My thanks to Dan Abbott, Mark Safranski, and Michael Lotus for their efforts. Collectively, they constituted a vital emotional and intellectual crutch when I needed one most, filling in for my late brother-in-law, Steve, to whom this book is dedicated.
My weblog has remained my primary workspace, along with my weekly column for Scripps Howard News Service and my periodic articles in Esquire. Among the many bloggers, readers, and frequent commentators who deserve my special thanks for connecting me to so many sources over the past few years are: 54th Bn CEF, 77grampa77, a517dogg, Al Alborn, Alicescheshirecat, Allen, Andrew in Baghdad, Andrew Sullivan, Andy Shelley, andyinsdca, ansmeister, antonymous, Arherring, Art Hutchinson, Baltimoron, bdunbar, Benjamin, Bill C, Bill Millan, Bill Nagle, bill s, blairistic, boqueronman, Brad B., Brandon Winter, Brent Grace, Brian, Brian H, Brian Rhea, BrotherCaine, Bruce Sterling, Cadet Echo Boomer, Caitlyn, Cbiggs, Chad, Chap, Charles Ganske, Charles Sheehan-Miles, Chicago Boyz, China Law Blog, Chirol, Chris Albon, Chris Janiec, Christofer Hoff, Christopher Plummer, Chuck Butcher, CitSAR, Constantina, Consul-At-Arms, Critt Jarvis, Cuffy Meigs, Curtis Gale Weeks, Curzon, cyberdyver, Czechbikr, D Blair, Dan, Dan Hare, dan tdaxp, Dave Dilegge, Dave Goldberg, David Hallowell, David Stewart, David Sutton, Desiree Fox, DHM, dipaolom, drsteph, Eddie Beaver, EJDUBYA, Elmer Humes, emjayinc, Ethan Zuckerman, Fabius Maximus, farhad, felixdzerzhinsky, Fipps, Francisco, Frank Hecker, Galrahn, Gerry, Gilbert Garza, Gunnar Peterson, Hansrudolf Suter, historyguy99, hof1991, Hugh, Information Dissemination, Iskendar, jake, Jarrod Myrick, Javaid Akhtar, JBAndrsn, Jeff J., Jeremiah, Jeremy A, jerseyrefugee, Jesse, JFRiley, Jim Keenan, Jimmy J., Jimmy the Dhimmi, Joe Blizzard, Joe Canepa, Joe Crawford, Joel Helgeson, John of Argghhh!, John Robb, JohnShreffler, Joshua Foust, JTM, jwbarton, Keith, Keith_Indy, Kevin in Dallas, kilngoddess, Kim McD, Lance, Larry Dunbar, Larry Y, Lexington Green, Louis Heberlein, lrb, Major B, Manny, Marcus Vitruvius, Mark in Texas, Matt R., Matthew Garcia, Michael, Michael SteelWolf, Michael Tanji, michael75we, Michal Shapiro, MountainRunner, Mystery Meat, Nate Edwards, Nathan Machula, Noah Shachtman, nykrindc, outback71, Outside the Beltway, PamC, PeteJ, Peter Kay, phil, Phil Windley, Pilgrim, Prescottrjp, Purple-slog, Ray Kimball, Robert L, Robert Langland, sailordude, Sergio, Seth, Shane Deichman, shloky, Sopwith, SR, Steve Barrera, Steve Knott, Steven, Stuart Abrams, Sturt, subadei, taka2k7, TCG, Ted O'Connor, TEJ, thaddeusphoenix, The Globalizer, Tim Lerew, Tim Roth, TM Lutas, Todd McLauchlin, Tom Mull, Tyler Durden of CENTCOM, Valdis, Vinay Gupta, VoteWithTroops.com, Wiggins, William R. Cumming, Wiredman, Younghusband, and zenpundit.
My continued gratitude to my PowerPoint maven, Bradd Hayes. I love live theater, and Bradd is my director.
Fellow authors and colleagues I must single out for their help and advice at various times over the past few years include: Frank Akers, Andrew Barnett, Colleen Barnett, Jerome Barnett, Gennaro Buonocore, Hoyt Canady, Robert Clark, Geoff Davis, Paul Davis, Lu Dehong, Kent Franklin, Randy Fullhart, Hank Gaffney, David Granger, Peter Griffin, Steffany Hedenkamp, Tim Heffernan, Carl Hunt, Larry Kudlow, Alan Lowe, Denise McAuliffe, Jack McElroy, Steve McKnight, Vonne Meussling, Robert Moeller, Timothy Moon, Siobhan O'Connor, Steve Oppenheim, John Phillips, Eric Prince, Chet Richards, Don Rippert, Gary Roughhead, Michael Sfraga, Mark Sharpe, Nolan Sklute, Matt Smith-Meck, Yu Tiejun, Harry Ulrich, Ding Wei, Jessica Weigmann, Robert Wright, Zhang Yue, Yan Xuetong, and Andrew Zolli.
Finally, a huge thanks to my spouse, Vonne, who not only held down the family fort during this long effort but likewise evaluated and chose most of the historical sources I used in the book. She taught me a lot about America in the process, reminding me why I fell in love with her in the first place.