No Higher Honor: A Memoir of My Years in Washington
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From one of the world’s most admired women, this is former National Security Advisor and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice’s compelling story of eight years serving at the highest levels of government. In her position as America’s chief diplomat, Rice traveled almost continuously around the globe, seeking common ground among sometimes bitter enemies, forging agreement on divisive issues, and compiling a remarkable record of achievement.
A native of Birmingham, Alabama who overcame the racism of the Civil Rights era to become a brilliant academic and expert on foreign affairs, Rice distinguished herself as an advisor to George W. Bush during the 2000 presidential campaign. Once Bush was elected, she served as his chief adviser on national-security issues – a job whose duties included harmonizing the relationship between the Secretaries of State and Defense. It was a role that deepened her bond with the President and ultimately made her one of his closest confidantes.
With the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, Rice found herself at the center of the Administration’s intense efforts to keep America safe. Here, Rice describes the events of that harrowing day – and the tumultuous days after. No day was ever the same. Additionally, Rice also reveals new details of the debates that led to the war in Afghanistan and then Iraq.
The eyes of the nation were once again focused on Rice in 2004 when she appeared before the 9-11 Commission to answer tough questions regarding the country’s preparedness for – and immediate response to – the 9-11 attacks. Her responses, it was generally conceded, would shape the nation’s perception of the Administration’s competence during the crisis. Rice conveys just how pressure-filled that appearance was and her surprised gratitude when, in succeeding days, she was broadly saluted for her grace and forthrightness.
From that point forward, Rice was aggressively sought after by the media and regarded by some as the Administration’s most effective champion.
In 2005 Rice was entrusted with even more responsibility when she was charged with helping to shape and carry forward the President’s foreign policy as Secretary of State. As such, she proved herself a deft crafter of tactics and negotiation aimed to contain or reduce the threat posed by America’s enemies. Here, she reveals the behind-the-scenes maneuvers that kept the world’s relationships with Iran, North Korea and Libya from collapsing into chaos. She also talks about her role as a crisis manager, showing that at any hour -- and at a moment’s notice -- she was willing to bring all parties to the bargaining table anywhere in the world.
No Higher Honor takes the reader into secret negotiating rooms where the fates of Israel, the Palestinian Authority, and Lebanon often hung in the balance, and it draws back the curtain on how frighteningly close all-out war loomed in clashes involving Pakistan-India and Russia-Georgia, and in East Africa.
Surprisingly candid in her appraisals of various Administration colleagues and the hundreds of foreign leaders with whom she dealt, Rice also offers here keen insight into how history actually proceeds. In No Higher Honor, she delivers a master class in statecraft -- but always in a way that reveals her essential warmth and humility, and her deep reverence for the ideals on which America was founded.
time. The collapse of the Soviet Union, however, revealed that move to be a strategic error; Russia suddenly found itself with important assets and a large part of its population trapped in the newly independent Ukraine. The Russian navy’s most important base, at Sevastapol, now resided in a different country, along with almost 700,000 ethnic Russians, roughly 70 percent of the city’s population. Both from the perspective of Russia’s strategic interests and its national identity, the Orange
African dress, she looked as though she was determined to pull her people out of poverty and despair—by the ear if necessary. First Lady Laura Bush and I attended her inauguration in Monrovia on January 16. We arrived that morning because there was no place to stay. Even the ambassador’s residence was basic, with intermittent electricity and water. In the hot midday sun, we listened to Johnson Sirleaf’s optimistic charge to her people to claim their future. I was reminded of the close
book also received important contributions from Mohammad Ali, Jenny Arriola, Amir Badat, Dianna Bai, Carolyn Forstein, Avery Halfon, and Philippe de Koning. My team in California has been a blessing to me as they balance and support my many commitments. My new, indefatigable chief of staff, Georgia Godfrey, along with her excellent predecessors, Anne Lyons and Colby Cooper, have provided leadership and wise counsel over the years. Caroline Beswick and Julianne Jochmann kept me on schedule and
stunned and so was the President. Since many people believed that we’d already decided to go to war against Iraq, sinister interpretations suggested that we were preparing to use military force against all three states. We had for all intents and purposes, some believed, declared war on North Korea, Iran, and Iraq. As luck would have it, I was scheduled to give a speech on proliferation the next day. Working with Steve Hadley and Robert Joseph, the senior director at the NSC who dealt with
Saddam ON THE OTHER HAND, I felt confident about our postwar planning on the civilian side. There were several contingencies that we just didn’t anticipate. But the idea that we did not take the postwar situation seriously is patently false. We examined war termination procedures, humanitarian issues, and reconstruction and political arrangements, producing hundreds of documents and almost as many meetings to review them. Elliott Abrams of the NSC staff was charged with developing a plan for