From the only national security advisor to have served under Presidents Bush, Obama, and Trump, a riveting diplomat's memoir of America at war, and an exclusive insider's look at the way presidents make decisions under pressure.
Since the attacks of 9/11, American presidents have exercised raw and unchecked executive power to make critical, fateful decisions for our nation. From Afghanistan to Iraq and Syria, enemies have been declared and Americans have fought and died based on presidential orders issued outside public view--and therefore with little scrutiny or accountability. But McGurk deploys his insight as a vital player in the executive decision-making process to pull back the curtain on these crucial moments in modern American history.
From the Green Zone to the Situation Room, McGurk delivers an inside look at the last three presidents as they grapple with incomplete information and conflicting advice to make life-and-death decisions. Bush transformed his presidency over its last two years, becoming the most hands-on commander-in-chief since FDR. Obama demanded a rigorous process some saw as micromanagement, but others recognized as a key feature of what led to his election. Trump threw out the playbook. In page-turning prose, McGurk delivers hair-raising stories from his time as an American diplomat in Iraq and as a national security advisor in the White House, revealing how the vast differences in leadership and strategy among each president play out on the ground.
McGurk uses his close-up view of three presidents' successes and failures to extract an urgent set of lessons about the best way to make the biggest decisions--the means, ways, and ends of policymaking. With implications from the White House to the Pentagon to boardrooms and organizations around the globe, Command
lifts the mystique of wartime decision-making, illuminating the high-stakes choices made by a chosen few that profoundly affect us all.