David A. Westbrook

Louis A. Del Cotto Professor; Director for Global Strategic Initiatives

Research Focus: Corporations and Finance, International Law and Globalization, Political Economy and Social Theory

Links: Curriculum Vitae (PDF), SSRN, Personal Website

Contact Information

521 O'Brian Hall, North Campus
Buffalo, NY 14260-1100
Phone: 716-645-2073

Faculty Assistant: Reigelman, Jessica

Deploying Ourselves: Islamist Violence, Globalization and the Responsible Projection of U.S. Force

A noted theorist of globalization offers a complete reconstruction of our national security institutions and strategies to better match today's realities. David A. Westbrook shows how "deploying ourselves"–as statesmen and –women, as citizens can better achieve U.S. national security.

Westbrook explains why today's national security establishment is outdated, entrenched in a model of defense befitting the post–World War II Cold War era. Today, without military peers, the U.S. must re-create its institutions around wielding influence globally, based on the cooperation of other states and groups. Even when we deploy troops today, our goal is the construction of order, not "defense."

Westbrook explores radical (including Jihadist) challenges, the "long war" on terror, and other current topics to show how defense institutions could be reconceived in order to become both more responsible and more effective. His measures include a wholesale revision of the National Security Act of 1947 to radically reform intelligence work by reintegrating it into democratically responsible military and diplomatic bureaucracies.


"Westbrook’s diagnosis of the problems endemic to the modern exercise of U.S. military power is highly lucid and persuasive, which makes his (notably patriotic) case for a reorientation of U.S. security policy towards political goals seem like common sense."
– Crista Khong, Meridian 180

"Excellent...Westbrook is refreshingly direct and realistic. He cuts through so much of the cant surrounding the global war on terror."
Andrew Bacevich, Professor of History and International Relations at Boston University and author of The Limits of Power

"Highly readable, Deploying Ourselves builds a persuasive case for extending the classical political framework for the legitimate use of military force to the global polity, leading to sound advice for conducting the war against terrorists. It should be read by concerned citizens as well as responsible government officials."
– Lt. General (USA, Ret.) Robert G. Gard, Jr., PhD

"This thought-provoking book reflects on the need to re-examine security policy in an increasingly interdependent world where threats to peace have taken new and ever more dangerous forms. As Westbrook points out, we cannot expect strategies designed for other times and other types of enemy to be optimal for addressing the conflicts that have arisen in our globalized age. Moving well beyond debates over "hard" and "soft" power, and disdaining partisan politics, he offers practical suggestions for a security policy that is smarter about politics in the classical sense of ordering our lives together. Deploying Ourselves is a timely, important work that deserves to be widely discussed."
Mary Ann Glendon, Learned Hand Professor of Law, Harvard University, and former US Ambassador to the Holy See

"How to think about wars conducted in the name of a public which is not mobilized for them, other than through fear? How to lay claim to war itself as a democratic virtue of the specifically American republic under contemporary conditions? With the rhetorical power and texture of Tom Paine's Common Sense, this gripping work of deep intellect, diagnostic acumen, and stunning turns of phrase leads to proposals of reform in the conduct of our foreign, military, and security/intelligence affairs that make radical common sense."
George E. Marcus, Chancellor's Professor of Anthropology, University of California at Irvine, and Member of the American Anthropology Association's Commission on the Engagement of Anthropology with the US Security and Intelligence Communities

"This book opens up new analytic ground for grappling with some of the most difficult and complex issues of our time. And it gives us pragmatic answers that can take us out of the spirals of current strategy. Westbrook avoids familiar tropes and gives us an original point of view. A great book that should be widely read."
Saskia Sassen, Professor of Sociology and Co-Chair, Committee on Global Thought, Columbia University.

"This timely book by David Westbrook makes a powerful case for understanding the US war against Muslim extremism as also and ultimately a political battle for Muslim hearts and minds. His unconventional but persuasive argument, inspired not by sympathy for Islam or the Muslim world but by a realistic rethinking of the arts of both war and statecraft in a global age, should prove a useful counterweight to current tendencies to short-circuit the cultural and diplomatic, not just military, tasks before us."
Frank Vogel, former Custodians of the Two Holy Mosques Chair and Director of the Islamic Legal Studies Program, Harvard Law School

Deploying Ourselves.

Purchase from Paradigm Publishers