Cover: Star Spangled Security

Star Spangled Security

Applying Lessons Learned Over Six Decades Safeguarding America

Former U.S. secretary of defense Harold Brown served during the hottest part of the Cold War when the Soviet Union presented an existential threat to America. In Star Spangled Security, Dr. Brown, one of the most respected wise men of American foreign policy, gives an insider’s view of U.S. national security strategy during the Carter administration, relates lessons learned, and bridges them to current challenges facing America.

Brown describes his part in the SALT negotiations, the normalization of relations with China, the Camp David Accords, the development of a new generation of ballistic missiles, and more. Drawing on his earlier years as the director of the Lawrence Livermore Laboratory, as director of defense research and engineering, as Air Force secretary, and as president of Caltech, Brown uses his hard-won wisdom, especially during the painful Iran hostage crisis, to offer specific recommendations and key questions to ponder as America copes with challenges in a turbulent world.

Highly readable, Star Spangled Security is for anyone wishing to better understand the debates about defense and its budget, its effect on the entire economy and America’s relationship with allies during conflict and peace. Brown’s access to the leading forces in national security over 60 years spans ten presidents, giving the reader entrée into the inner circle of decisionmakers.

Since leaving public office, Brown has served on the boards of directors of a dozen corporations. His unique economic, military, research, university, and government experience—at the top of all institutions he served—makes his a voice well worth heeding.

Praise for Star Spangled Security:

"From the government of science to the science of government, Harold Brown has always put his country and its principles first. This book, like his counsel to me as my secretary of defense, offers keen insight into how to ensure national security in a turbulent world. He offers practical ways to redress the widening inequalities in our society and to revive our economy. Harold helped to maintain a strong nation at peace while in office, and here we can benefit again from his wisdom—along with unusual stories of political personalities that make delightful reading. The reader will understand within a few pages why I awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom."—President Jimmy Carter

"Harold Brown is the most unique of statesmen: a scientist, a Cold War warrior, and a Secretary of Defense under President Carter whose intimate knowledge of our nuclear deterrent was matched only by his clear-eyed patriotism. Star Spangled Security is a fascinating and rewarding look at the last sixty years of American defense and diplomacy."—President Bill Clinton

"I covered Harold Brown and have been waiting thirty years for this book and all it delivers. There is surely no one else who knows as much about national security, who could hold his own arguing thermonuclear warhead design with Edward Teller and whose talent for one-liners skewers complex problems. He’s mellowed over time, but, fortunately not a lot. His journey from wunderkind to wise man shows—from his pessimism about Afghanistan (‘technology cannot overcome corrupt governments’)—to his apprehension about China (‘getting to 2030 without a frightening confrontation will be a major achievement’)."—David Martin, CBS News correspondent