This book is unlike other RAND publications. While it is based in
part on objective research, particularly as it applies to knowing
the enemy, it also includes the personal reflections of someone who
has thought about terrorism for decades. I initiated RAND's
research on terrorism in 1972 with a simple memorandum that
observed that this phenomenon was likely to spread and increase and
could create serious problems for the United States and its allies;
therefore, I proposed, we should take a serious look at it....
reader will find strong personal opinions on these pages. There is
much concerning the conduct of the war on terror that I agree with:
the muscular initial response to 9/11, the removal of the Taliban
government, the relentless pursuit of al Qaeda's leaders and
planners, the increasingly sophisticated approach to homeland
security, and, although I have deep reservations about the invasion
of Iraq, President Bush's determination to avoid an arbitrary
timetable for withdrawal. the arrogant attitude toward needed
allies, the exploitation of fear, the exaggerated claims of
progress, the serial bending of history and fact, the persistence
of a wanted-poster approach while the broader ideological struggle
is ignored, the rush to invade Iraq, the failure to deploy
sufficient troops there despite the advice of senior military
leaders and the head of the Coalition Provisional Authority, the
cavalier dismissal of treaties governing the conduct of war, the
mistreatment of prisoners, the unimaginable public defense of
torture, the use of homeland security funding for political pork
barrel spending, and the failure to educate and involve citizens.
is to reckon how America can defeat its terrorist foes while
preserving its own liberty. Throughout the Cold War, Americans
maintained a rough consensus on defense matters, despite
substantive disagreements. Unity did not require the suspension of
honest differences or of civilized political debate. But today's
fierce partisanship has reduced national politics to a gang war.
The constant maneuvering for narrow political advantage, the
rejection of criticism as disloyalty, the pursuit by interest
groups of their own exclusive agendas, and the radio, television,
newspaper, and Internet debates that thrive on provocation and
partisan zeal provide a poor platform for the difficult and
sustained effort that America faces. All of these trends imperil
the sense of community required to withstand the struggle ahead. We
don't need unanimity. We do need unity. Democracy is our strength,
Partisanship is our weakness... Ourselves. Taliban movement in
Afghanistan, and wages a global campaign to dismantle the jihadist
terrorist enterprise responsible for 9/11, many Americans are
asking, Where are we in this global struggle? Who are we fighting?
What are we fighting against? What are we fighting for? presents a
clear-sighted and sober analysis of where we are today in the
struggle against terrorism. An internationally renowned authority
on terrorism, Jenkins distills the jihadists' operational code and
suggests how they might assess their situation very differently
than how we might do so. He outlines a ferociously pragmatic but
principled approach that goes beyond attacking terrorist networks
and operational capabilities to defeating their entire missionary
enterprise by deterring their recruitment, encouraging defections,
and converting those in captivity. and become the impetus for
rebuilding America's decaying infrastructure. He advises Americans
to adopt a realistic approach to risk and get a lot smarter about
security. America needs to build upon its traditions of
determination and self-reliance and, above all, preserve its
commitment to American values of democracy, civil freedom, and
individual liberties. Preserving these values is no mere matter of
morality, he argues; it is a strategic imperative.
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