Book Launch: How Everything Became War and the Military Became Everything

Please join the Open Society Foundations for a conversation with Rosa Brooks about her new book, How Everything Became War and the Military Became Everything.

Once, war was a temporary state of affairs—a violent but brief interlude between times of peace. Today, America’s wars are everywhere and forever: our enemies change constantly and rarely wear uniforms, and virtually anything can become a weapon. As war expands, so does the role of the U.S. military. Today, military personnel don’t just “kill people and break stuff.” Instead, they analyze computer code, train Afghan judges, build Ebola isolation wards, eavesdrop on electronic communications, develop soap operas, and patrol for pirates.

Brooks’ book offers an urgent warning: when the boundaries around war disappear, we risk destroying America’s founding values and the laws and institutions we’ve built, and undermining the international rules and organizations that keep our world from sliding towards chaos.

By turns a memoir; a work of journalism; a scholarly exploration into history, anthropology, and law; and a rallying cry, How Everything Became War and the Military Became Everything argues that the world around us is quietly changing beyond recognition—and that time is running out to make things right.


  • Rosa Brooks is a senior fellow at the New America Foundation, a columnist for Foreign Policy, and a law professor at Georgetown University.
  • Aryeh Neier (moderator) is president emeritus of the Open Society Foundations.
Date: September 14, 2016
Time: 5:307:30 p.m.