Military Justice: A Guide to the Issues

Military Justice: A Guide to the Issues

Military Justice: A Guide to the Issues

Military Justice: A Guide to the Issues

Synopsis

Nassim Nicholas Taleb, the bestselling author of The Black Swan and one of the foremost thinkers of our time, reveals how to thrive in an uncertain world.

Just as human bones get stronger when subjected to stress and tension, and rumors or riots intensify when someone tries to repress them, many things in life benefit from stress, disorder, volatility, and turmoil. What Taleb has identified and calls "antifragile" is that category of things that not only gain from chaos but need it in order to survive and flourish.

In The Black Swan, Taleb showed us that highly improbable and unpredictable events underlie almost everything about our world. In Antifragile, Taleb stands uncertainty on its head, making it desirable, even necessary, and proposes that things be built in an antifragile manner. The antifragile is beyond the resilient or robust. The resilient resists shocks and stays the same; the antifragile gets better and better.

Furthermore, the antifragile is immune to prediction errors and protected from adverse events. Why is the city-state better than the nation-state, why is debt bad for you, and why is what we call "efficient" not efficient at all? Why do government responses and social policies protect the strong and hurt the weak? Why should you write your resignation letter before even starting on the job? How did the sinking of the Titanic save lives? The book spans innovation by trial and error, life decisions, politics, urban planning, war, personal finance, economic systems, and medicine. And throughout, in addition to the street wisdom of Fat Tony of Brooklyn, the voices and recipes of ancient wisdom, from Roman, Greek, Semitic, and medieval sources, are loud and clear.

Antifragile is a blueprint for living in a Black Swan world.

Erudite, witty, and iconoclastic, Taleb's message is revolutionary: The antifragile, and only the antifragile, will make it.

Praise for Antifragile

"Taleb takes on everything from the mistakes of modern architecture to the dangers of meddlesome doctors and how overrated formal education is.... An ambitious and thought-provoking read... highly entertaining."- The Economist

"This is a bold, entertaining, clever book, richly crammed with insights, stories, fine phrases and intriguing asides.... I will have to read it again. And again."- The Wall Street Journal

"[Taleb] writes as if he were the illegitimate spawn of David Hume and Rev. Bayes, with some DNA mixed in from Norbert Weiner and Laurence Sterne.... Taleb is writing original stuff-not only within the management space but for readers of any literature-and... you will learn more about more things from this book and be challenged in more ways than by any other book you have read this year. Trust me on this."- Harvard Business Review

"By far my favorite book among several good ones published in 2012. In addition to being an enjoyable and interesting read, Taleb's new book advances general understanding of how different systems operate, the great variation in how they respond to unthinkables, and how to make them more adaptable and agile. His systemic insights extend very well to company-specific operational issues-from ensuring that mistakes provide a learning process to the importance of ensuring sufficient transparency to the myriad of specific risk issues."-Mohamed El-Erian, CEO of PIMCO, Bloomberg


From the Hardcover edition.

Excerpt

With the armed forces deployed throughout the world undertaking a wide range of critical missions from nation building to fighting terrorism, the military justice system is in the forefront. There have been significant trials of service members, unlawful enemy combatants, and civilians accompanying the armed forces.

These cases bring attention and scrutiny to the military justice system. In studying this system, all must know not only the text of the Constitution, the Uniform Code of Military Justice, and the Manual for Courts-Martial, but also develop an awareness of history, tradition, purpose, and precedent in analyzing, interpreting, and practicing in this system. This book sets forth the democratic pedigree of our form of government and how the three branches of government interrelate in the military justice system, making it easier to understand the rules and procedures that are unique to military justice. This treatise emphasizes constitutional rights but recognizes that greater rights are granted by the code and the manual.

Whether a novice or an experienced practitioner, it is important to examine the purpose of the military criminal system in light of history. The historical vignettes concerning jurisdiction, geographical reach of code, and purposes of sentencing put this treatise in perspective.

Practitioners have a great deal of discretion, whether it is the prosecutor deciding what to charge or the defense counsel shaping the theme and theory of a case. The material in this book will be helpful in exercising that discretion and prompt reflection and deeper understanding by those entrusted with administering military justice—not only the lawyers but also commanders and other leaders who are charged with bringing about good order and discipline, fairness, and justice.

For all, this book sets forth the basic underlying concepts on which the military justice system is built and addresses many fundamental topics in a refreshing manner that should be intelligible to experts, lay readers, and military justice practitioners. When you step back from the fray, you realize that the military justice system is about doing justice, and this book will be an excellent guide to how that happens—and keeping it on course.

Colonel (Retired) Francis A. Gilligan . . .

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