NATO Playlist

at Amazon and elsewhere

Chapter 1 NATO at War: In Afghanistan and at Home?

  • Billy Joel, We Didn’t Start the Fire because the conflict in Afghanistan preceded NATO and will continue after NATO is gone.
  • Barenaked Ladies, Its All Been Done because the alliance dynamics we address here apply to all forms of multilateral warfare (alliances, coalitions of the willing, etc) past, present and future.
  • Kansas, Dust in the Wind because Afghanistan is really dusty.

Chapter 2 NATO & the Primacy of National Decisions in Multilateral Interventions

  • Led Zeppelin, Communication Breakdown because the basics of NATO are well known yet poorly understood even among the allies.
  • New Radicals, You Get What You Give because the reality of NATO is that despite its obligatory nature, it requires countries to donate, and those are not always forthcoming.
  • Rolling Stones, You Can’t Always Get What You Want because as in any collective action problem, cooperation usually under-achieves but yet you might still get what you need.

Chapter 3 Explaining National Behavior in Multilateral Interventions

  • Johnny Rivers, Secret Agent Man as our framework builds on principal-agent theory, and this song could easily be re-written for Principal-Agent Man.  Also a tip of the hat towards those that this book cannot really capture--the Special Operations Folks.
  • Texas Hippie Coalition, Pissed Off and Mad About It as it presents a perfect combo of group name and sont title since coalitions are a key part of the story in this chapter, and the uneven burden-sharing that we explain here does lead to much anger among friends.
  • All-American Rejects, Move Along "Everything is wrong, we move along." This chapter shows that the problems we see in alliance efforts are foreseeable but we go ahead anyway.  As does the book.

Chapter 4 Presidents in Charge: The United States, France, and Poland

  • Bon Joni, We Weren’t Born to Follow I just found a quote from early WWII about how the US is bad at taking orders from other countries.  Indeed, the big American caveat in this and every other mission is that the US gets the top command position when they have enough troops in play. 
  • Green Day, Boulevard of Broken Dreams as the US managed its mission mostly by changing the general running it, with each one laying out a strategy/dream that broke.
  • Tom Waite, Change as the French had one of the most significant turnarounds in Afghanistan from being amongst the "rations consumers" to being among the "burden bearers" all with a change in President. 
  • Yellowcard, Lights and Sounds as Poland got more action than it was probably ready for.

Chapter 5 Single-Party Parliamentary Governments: The British and Canadians

  • Jimmy Eat World, Big Casino as the British effort to support the U.S. wherever it can ended up being a pretty big gamble or two.
  • Triumph, Lay It On the Line because Triumph is a good Canadian band with the Canadians putting a great deal on the line in Kandahar.
  • Patty Smyth and Scandal, The Warrior as the mission in Afghanistan helped to remind Canadians that the CF's day job is to engage in violence, revising or erasing its reputation at home as peacekeepers.

Chapter 6 Coalition Governments in Combat: Germany, Netherlands, Denmark

  • R.E.M, Everyone Hurts as even the most limited countries, such as Germany, paid significant costs both at home and in blood in Afghanistan.  We pick on Germany a whole lot, but we need to take seriously that they hurt, too.
  • Blondie, Hanging on the Telephone as the Dutch had a very distinct way to ensure control of the folks in the field
  • Linkin Park, Bleed it Out as the Danes were the second most surprising case and the exception that proved the rule, bearing a higher price than any other country in Afghanistan other than the Afghans and the Estonians (who are so small that the hits they took do represent big proportions)

Chapter 7 Does Membership Matter? Examining the Outsiders: Australia and New Zealand

  • Thin Lizzy, The Boys Are Back in Town as the Australians relied heavily on their SOF ... so much so that the small contingents had to return again and again.  Read this chapter if you want to find out why the Aussies were the sneakiest contingent in Afghanistan.
  • New Zealand Defence Forces, Haka.   I have no words to describe how the New Zealanders so powerful deploy a Maori tradition to mark the loss of troops in Afghanistan except to say that a very small country can have an outsized impact.

Chapter 8 Extending the Argument: Libya and Operation United Protector

  • The Clash, Should I Stay or Should I Go as members of NATO varied quite visibily in whether they would join this mission and in what capacity.  Everyone showed up to some degree in Afghanistan but some opted out of the Libyan effort entirely.  And, of course, NATO itself did not stick around very long.
  • Queen, Another One Bites the Dust as we see NATO countries falling into patterns very similar to that of the Afghanistan effort with some very notable exceptions.

Chapter 9 Implications for Policy and Theory

  • Aerosmith, Jaded.  Yeah, NATO under-performed in Afghanistan, and there is much to learn, including perhaps not doing this again.  But as we argue in this chapter, it is going to happen again, and these some problems will arise. 
  • Taking Back Sunday, MakeDamnSure as the challenges of civilian control of the military do not end when the fighting starts, we need to name damn sure that how control is exercised does not get in the way of the mission.  The drug references in the song are also appropriate given how failure in Afghanistan has many fathers, with NATO playing just one part in the larger story.
  • Billy Joel, Shades of Grey as there is no single right way to proceed.  Sorry, but there you have it.

 If these do not work for you, read the book and let us know what a better playlist might be.

This playlist was inspired by the one created by Peter Singer and Allan Friedman to promote their Cybersecurity book

1 comment:

Paul Eykamp said...

I like the play list. Great Idea.
Will read the book as soon as I have time, to read a book.