The Accidental Admiral: A Sailor Takes Command at NATO

The Accidental Admiral A Sailor Takes Command at NATO After he was selected to be NATO s sixteenth Supreme Allied Commander The New York Times described Jim Stavridis as a Renaissance admiral A U S Naval Academy graduate with a master s degree and docto

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  • Title: The Accidental Admiral: A Sailor Takes Command at NATO
  • Author: James G. Stavridis
  • ISBN: 9781612517049
  • Page: 256
  • Format: Hardcover
  • After he was selected to be NATO s sixteenth Supreme Allied Commander, The New York Times described Jim Stavridis as a Renaissance admiral A U S Naval Academy graduate with a master s degree and doctorate from The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, conversant in both French and Spanish, this author of numerous books and articles impressed the NaAfter he was selected to be NATO s sixteenth Supreme Allied Commander, The New York Times described Jim Stavridis as a Renaissance admiral A U S Naval Academy graduate with a master s degree and doctorate from The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, conversant in both French and Spanish, this author of numerous books and articles impressed the Navy s leaders and senior Pentagon civilians with his wide range of interests, educational background, keen understanding of strategic doctrine, mastery of long range planning, and command of international affairs.Since NATO had previously been led by generals, Stavridis saw his assignment as the first admiral to take command as somewhat accidental As the American and NATO commander in Europe responsible for 120,000 coalition troops serving in fifty one nations, on three continents and at sea he had come a long way since almost leaving the Navy for law school five years after receiving his commission.The Accidental Admiral offers an intimate look at the challenges of directing NATO operations in Afghanistan, military intervention in Libya, and preparation for possible war in Syria as well as worrying about the Balkans, cyber threats, and piracy, all while cutting NATO by a third due to budget reductions by the twenty eight nations of the alliance More than just describing the history of the times, Stavridis also shares his insights into the personalities of President Barack Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Secretaries of Defense Robert Gates, Leon Panetta, and Chuck Hagel, Afghan President Hamid Karzai Generals David Petraeus, Stanley McChrystal, John Allen, and many .Known as an innovator and an early adopter of technology and social media, Stavridis ability to think outside the box and sail in uncharted waters is unmatched He shares his insights on leadership, strategic communications, planning, and the convergence of threats that will confront the United States and its allies in the near future Stavridis is an advocate of the use of Smart Power, which he defines as the balance of hard and soft power He explains that in creating security in the twenty first century it is critical to build bridges, not walls, and stresses the need to connect international, interagency, and public private actors to achieve security.

    One thought on “The Accidental Admiral: A Sailor Takes Command at NATO”

    1. I'm still unsure about what rating I would give this book. It's really two books in one. The first section is filled with Stavridis' views on recent and current world events. There are a lot of great nuggets in these chapters, but there is also too much ego pumping. There's too much in the way of describing events and people associated directly with the US as "excellent" or "outstanding" even when we know the view should be more nuanced than that. The second story involves touching on various le [...]

    2. I first heard of this author after reading an article he wrote, Don't Shortchange Foreign Aid. Working in international development and an rPCV, I was appreciative to hear someone with such an extensive military background espouse the importance, even imperative, of a multi-pronged approach that extended beyond just armed forces. Starting to look into the author more and growing to appreciate his relatable writing voice, I came across the Accidental Admiral. I've found this book to be helpfully [...]

    3. Good, informative, enjoyableGood, informative, enjoyable, but more of a memoir than I was expecting. His other book Destroyer Captain is more of a direct leadership book. Of course, this is to be expected considering the vastly different point in time and responsibilities he holds in the two books.

    4. James Stavridis gave an excellent talk at the January Series this year. I remember taking copious notes and actually typing them up later. The talk was on global security in the 21st century. His overall theme was that we needed to be about building bridges, not walls, and that our primary task was to listen. I liked his style. I liked his book also, though it was a bit more ego-driven than his talk. The book is basically a memoir of his four years as Supreme Allied Commander of NATO and command [...]

    5. Extremely interesting not only from the insight of one of our most senior military officers as to the workings of political and military policy as it relates to the US in its roles in Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East, but also as to the importance of leadership in all levels of the military structure. Admiral Stavridis is not only a leader in the realm of foreign and military policy, but an intellectual and author who knows how to write what otherwise could be very dry and uninteresting [...]

    6. Superb leadership examples at the four star Unified Command level. Excellent evaluation of Afghanistan, its risks, and his analysis about the probability of success. Several examples of four star Admirals and Generals having their career paths derailed by some less than significant event. One incident resulted in Admiral Stavridis's selection as SACEUR and CINCEUR rather than CINCPAC. Another resulted in his retirement rather than nomination as the CNO. I wholeheartedly support his thinking abou [...]

    7. A great memoir by one of the leading soldier-scholars of today. Highly recommend for those interested in understanding the west's role in trying to stop the numerous conflicts we face today.

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