Clear and Present Safety The World Has Never Been Better and Why That Matters to Americans Michael A. Cohen, Micah Zenko

Publication date:
14 May 2019
Yale University Press
264 pages: 210 x 140mm

What most frightens the average American? Terrorism. North Korea. Iran. But what if none of these are probable or consequential threats to America? What if the world today is safer, freer, wealthier, healthier, and better educated than ever before? What if the real dangers to Americans are non-communicable diseases, gun violence, drug overdoses—even hospital infections? In this compelling look at what they call the “Threat-Industrial Complex,” Michael A. Cohen and Micah Zenko explain why politicians, policy analysts, academics, and journalists are misleading Americans about foreign threats and ignoring more serious national security challenges at home.
Cohen and Zenko argue that Americans should ignore Washington’s threat-mongering and focus instead on furthering extraordinary global advances in human development and economic and political cooperation. At home, they should focus on that which actually harms Americans and undermines their quality of life: substandard schools and healthcare, inadequate infrastructure, gun violence, income inequality, and political paralysis.

Michael A. Cohen is a columnist for the Boston Globe. Micah Zenko is a columnist with Foreign Policy.