The Foreign Service Journal, July/August 2018

100 JULY-AUGUST 2018 | THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL financial and monetary leverage, such as intervention in currency markets, that we once used to great effect but find unthinkable today. Well-equipped, too, with the capacity to offer grants, loans, debt swaps and simi- lar concessions for political advantage— except that deep skepticism in Congress about reaping the promised gains is likely to stifle any sizable aid-based initiative. And well-equipped, thanks to fracking, with energy resources that can raise U.S. gross domestic product, reduce Russian leverage in Europe and strengthen our hand in negotiations with allies and rivals alike—if deployed with the will and skill that have so far been missing. War by Other Means was written before the 2016 U.S. election and before the United Kingdom’s referendum on remaining a member of the European Union. Its discussion of trade agree- ments already provokes nostalgia. “Even granting their shortcomings,” the authors write, the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership are “of central importance to the future of U.S. power projection.” President Donald Trump killed the former in his first days in office, and the Brexit decision rendered the latter moot for the foreseeable future. For those who see the United States as already engaged in an economic struggle with China, the abandonment of TPP is a self-inflicted wound, an own goal. Beijing’s exclusion from the TPP, according to an analysis by Ashley Tellis that the authors cite, would have “cost China $100 billion in lost annual income and exports.” The authors propose to bring geoeco- nomic considerations into future nego- tiations. For example, trade agreements with allies could include “explicit com- mitments to joint responses to economic coercion.” Reauthorization of NATO budgets could require the Secretary of State to certify (subject to a presidential waiver) that the European Union has made progress toward diversification of its energy supplies. New legislation could give private firms a right under U.S. law to seek trade remedies, such as tariffs, quotas or embargoes, when they are victimized by foreign cyber attacks. These are ideas that could attract bipartisan support. The book suffers from a few deficien- cies. The treatment of China will remind some readers of America’s awestruck, panicky regard for the briefly trium- phant Japanese economic juggernaut of the late 1970s. The problems of demog- raphy, environmental degradation and public corruption that could undermine China’s ability to execute its geoeco- nomic strategies are all ignored. The book’s many numbered lists (e.g., 5 points, 4 lessons, 6 changes, 7 tools, 4 endowments, 20 prescriptions) imply more precision than the analysis war- rants; and the clunky, sodden prose for which the Council on Foreign Relations is famous appears too often. There are nearly a hundred pages of notes, but no bibliography. Yet these shortcomings are minor next to the power of the authors’ argu- ments and the creativity of their propos- als. War by Other Means offers new ways to think about national security at a time when new thinking is sorely needed. It deserves a wide audience. Harry W. Kopp, a frequent contributor to The Foreign Service Journal , was deputy assistant secretary of State for international trade policy in the Carter and Reagan ad- ministrations. He and Robert D. Blackwill, co-author of War by Other Means , were in the same June 1967 Foreign Service class. When Brothers Fight Civil Wars: A History in Ideas David Armitage, Vintage Books, 2017, $10.37/paperback, $14.99/Kindle, 359 pages. Reviewed By KeithW. Mines I recently visited Get- tysburg with one of my adult sons, com- pensating for my guilt at his having learned American history overseas. Across what is now a placid landscape raged three of the bloodiest days of our history—yielding 7,000 dead and 30,000 wounded. There was a simplicity to the contest—Would America be one nation or two?—even if embedded in that question were a host of moral and historical issues. Today internal conflicts are on the rise; they are lasting longer, and they are increasingly influenced by outside powers channeling their disagreements. They have made a living hell of entire countries for decades. We often misun- derstand both the wars themselves, as well as our place in them. David Armitage’s Civil Wars: A His- tory in Ideas takes on the topic from a fresh, if challenging, perspective. Using the same technique as in his The Dec- laration of Independence: A Global His- tory , he covers a concept not “of ideas” but “in ideas”—how an idea, in this case civil war, traveled and evolved and was internalized, and how it influenced the course of civilization. It is in some ways odd to see civil war treated as an idea and not a series of acts. But one of the book’s main themes is that “attempts at precision are as