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Near Abroad by Gerard ToalNear Abroad: Putin, the West, and the Contest over Ukraine and the Caucasus
By Gerard Toal
Oxford University Press, January 2017
ISBN-13: 978-0190253301
408 pages

In Near Abroad, the eminent political geographer Gerard Toal moves beyond the polemical rhetoric that surrounds Russia’s interventions in Georgia and Ukraine to study the underlying territorial conflicts and geopolitical struggles. Central to understanding are legacies of the Soviet Union collapse: unresolved territorial issues, weak states and a conflicted geopolitical culture in Russia over the new territorial order. The West’s desire to expand NATO contributed to a growing geopolitical contest in Russia’s near abroad. This found expression in a 2008 NATO proclamation that Georgia and Ukraine will become members of NATO, a “red line” issue for Russia. The road to invasion and war in Georgia and Ukraine, thereafter, is explained in Near Abroad.

Geopolitics is often thought of as a game of chess. Near Abroad provides an account of real life geopolitics, one that emphasizes changing spatial relationships, geopolitical cultures and the power of media images. Rather than being a cold game of deliberation, geopolitics is often driven by emotions and ambitions, by desires for freedom and greatness, by clashing personalities and reckless acts. Not only a penetrating analysis of Russia’s relationships with its regional neighbors, Near Abroad also offers an analysis of how US geopolitical culture frequently fails to fully understand Russia and the geopolitical archipelago of dependencies in its near abroad.


“Gerard Toal is one of the smartest and most interesting thinkers working on post-Soviet politics today and his incisive new book, Near Abroad, does not disappoint. Toal sheds new light on how Russians think about their neighbors, with major implications for regional stability and the West more generally.” —Henry Hale, Professor of Political Science and International Affairs, George Washington University

Near Abroad is a brilliant and indispensable contribution to our understanding of post-Soviet politics and the hidden power of geopolitical culture. Examining the conflicts in Georgia and Ukraine, Toal convincingly shows that geopolitical practice is neither inherently rational nor driven by objective external pressures, but is rather infused with deep normative assumptions about the legitimate boundaries of political spaces, shared discourses and flows among transnational political communities, and highly stylized emotional appeals.” —Alexander Cooley, Director, Harriman Institute, Columbia University; author of Logics of Hierarchy and Great Games, Local Rules

“Cutting through the overarching narratives that dominate discussion of Russia’s engagement with its ‘near abroad,’ Toal offers telling insights into the underlying geopolitical conceptions and arrangements that are at the heart of the territorial struggles that have unfolded in Ukraine and Georgia. The book is not just a contribution to understanding these selected conflicts, however. It will help audiences beyond the academy appreciate the nature and value of the ‘critical geopolitics’ project that Toal himself has played such an important role in advancing.” —Alexander Murphy, Professor of Geography, University of Oregon, and former President, Association of American Geographers

Gerard Toal is Professor of Government and International Affairs in the School of Public and International Affairs at Virginia Tech’s Washington metro area campus.

Fighting Corruption is Dangerous by Ngozi Okonjo-IwealaFighting Corruption is Dangerous: The Story Behind the Headlines
By Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala

MIT Press, April 2018
ISBN-13: 978-0262-038010
192 Pages

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala has written a primer for those working to root out corruption and disrupt vested interests. Drawing on her experience as Nigeria’s finance minister, she provides a frontline account of the dangers, pitfalls, and successes in fighting corruption. Okonjo-Iweala details the numerous ways in which corruption can divert resources away from development, rewarding the unscrupulous and depriving poor people of services. Okonjo-Iweala discovered just how dangerous fighting corruption could be when her 83-year-old mother was kidnapped in 2012 by forces who objected to some of the government’s efforts at reforms led by Okonjo-Iweala―in particular a crackdown on fraudulent claims for oil subsidy payments, a huge drain on the country’s finances. The kidnappers’ first demand was that Okonjo-Iweala resign from her position on live television and leave the country. Okonjo-Iweala did not resign, her mother escaped, and the program of economic reforms continued. “Telling my story is risky,” Okonjo-Iweala writes. “But not telling it is also dangerous.” Her book ultimately leaves us with hope, showing that victories are possible in the fight against corruption.

Ultimately this is a book about grit and also about what it means to be patriotic.—DevexFearless, principled, compassionate for Africa’s poor and passionate for Africa’s future—Okonjo-Iweala’s book tells us what politics and public service should be about. —Gordon Brown, former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom; United Nations Special Envoy for Global Education

Brave declarations and indignant statements about fighting corruption are what we are used to hearing from well-meaning people in politics or business. How difficult and sometimes dangerous it is to fight corruption is not always appreciated. Okonjo-Iweala is a lioness on the hunt who writes eloquently to tell us the story from the front lines. —Mo Ibrahim, Philanthropist and Businessman; Founder and Chair of the Mo Ibrahim Foundation

A remarkable book by a truly outstanding human being. Okonjo-Iweala is not only a fine economist but also a charismatic leader. Good governance is a key element in fostering successful economic development, and corruption is deeply corrosive of governance. These reflections on fighting corruption are not only a gripping and moving personal story of stress and courage but a deeply thoughtful and constructive analysis of a fundamental aspect of economic development. —Lord Nicholas Stern, I. G. Patel Professor of Economics and Government, London School of Economics; past President of the British Academy; Chair of the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change; author of Why Are We Waiting?ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala was Nigeria’s Minister of Finance from 2003 to 2006 and from 2011 to 2015, and Foreign Minister in 2006. She was Managing Director of the World Bank from 2007 to 2011, overseeing South Asia, Europe, Central Asia, and Africa, and is currently Senior Adviser at Lazard and Board Chair of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance. She is the author of Reforming the Unreformable: Lessons from Nigeria (MIT Press).

The Peace Makers: Leadership Lessons From Twentieth-Century Statesmanship

The Peace Makers by Bruce Jentleson

By Bruce W. Jentleson

W.W. Norton & Company, April 2018
53 Pages

In the twentieth century, great leaders played vital roles in making the world a fairer and more peaceful place. How did they do it? What lessons can be drawn for the twenty-first-century global agenda?

Those questions are at the heart of The Peacemakers, a kind of global edition of John F. Kennedy’s Profiles in Courage. Writing at a time when peace seems elusive and conflict endemic, when tensions are running high among the major powers, when history has come roaring back, when democracy and human rights are yet again under siege, when climate change is moving from future to present tense, and when transformational statesmanship is so needed, Bruce W. Jentleson shows how twentieth-century leaders of a variety of types—national, international institutional, sociopolitical, nongovernmental—rewrote the zero-sum scripts they were handed and successfully made breakthroughs on issues long thought intractable.

The stories are fascinating: Henry Kissinger, Zhou Enlai, and the U.S.-China opening; Mikhail Gorbachev and the end of the Cold War; Dag Hammarskjöld’s exceptional effectiveness as United Nations secretary-general; Nelson Mandela and South African reconciliation; Yitzhak Rabin seeking Arab-Israeli peace; Mahatma Gandhi as exemplar of anticolonialism and an apostle of nonviolence; Lech Walesa and ending Soviet bloc communism; Gro Harlem Brundtland and fostering global sustainability; and a number of others. While also taking into account other actors and factors, Jentleson tells us who each leader was as an individual, why they made the choices they did, how they pursued their goals, and what they were (and weren’t) able to achieve.

And not just fascinating, but also instructive. Jentleson draws out lessons across the twenty-first-century global agenda, making clear how difficult peacemaking is, while powerfully demonstrating that it has been possible—and urgently stressing how necessary it is today.


“With diplomacy too often in retreat and under attack, we need to learn from the past as well as understand the future. Bruce W. Jentleson’s wide-ranging study is a welcome reminder that big problems are there to be solved, and can be.” —Rt. Hon. David Miliband, president and CEO, International Rescue Committee, and United Kingdom foreign secretary

“Peace has many facets and many types of leaders. Bruce W. Jentleson provides a fascinating selection of examples of who, why, how and what they have done. It is a very readable account that brings new insights to a crucial subject.” —Joseph S. Nye, Jr., Harvard professor and author of Presidential Leadership and the Creation of the American Era

Bruce Jentleson is professor of public policy and political science at Duke University, where he served from 2000 to 2005 as director of the Terry Sanford Institute of Public Policy. He has served as a senior advisor to the U.S. State Department Policy Planning Director; as a foreign policy aide in the U.S. Senate; and as foreign policy advisor to Al Gore during his 2000 presidential campaign. In addition to numerous articles, he is the co-author of The End of Arrogance: America in the Global Competition of Ideas, with Steven Weber.

China's Great Wall of Debt by Dinny McMahon

China’s Great Wall of Debt: Shadow Banks, Ghost Cities, Massive Loans, and the End of the Chinese Miracle
By By Dinny McMahon

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, March 2018
ISBN-13: 978-1328846013
ISBN-10: 1328846016
285 Pages

A stunning inside look at how and why the foundations upon which China has built the world’s second largest economy, have started to crumble.

Over the course of a decade spent reporting on the ground in China as a financial journalist, Dinny McMahon gradually came to the conclusion that the widely held belief in China’s inevitable economic ascent is dangerously wrong.

McMahon shows how, lurking behind the illusion of prosperity, China’s economic growth has been built on a staggering mountain of debt. He goes beyond the headlines to explain how waste has been allowed to flourish, and why one of the most powerful governments in the world has been at a loss to stop it.

Through the stories of ordinary Chinese citizens, McMahon tries to make sense of the unique—and often bizarre—mechanics of the Chinese economy, whether it be the state’s addiction to appropriating land from poor farmers; or why a Chinese entrepreneur decided it was cheaper to move his yarn factory to South Carolina; or why ambitious Chinese mayors build ghost cities; or why the Chinese bureaucracy was able to stare down Beijing’s attempts to break up the state’s pointless monopoly over the distribution of table salt.

Debt, entrenched vested interests, a frenzy of speculation, and an aging population are all pushing China toward an economic reckoning. China’s Great Wall of Debt unravels an incredibly complex and opaque economy, one whose fortunes—for better or worse—will shape the globe like never before.

“McMahon comes closer than any previous writer to covering the Chinese economy as Michael Lewis, the hugely popular author of “The Big Short”, might do. His analysis is informed but accessible, animated by anecdotes and characters, some colourful, some verging on tragic.” —The Economist

“Of the many books that have observed the fragility and contradictions of China’s economic model, “China’s Great Wall of Debt” is the best.” —Reuters

“Dinny McMahon’s lively book…should be read by anybody wanting an antidote to excessive western optimism about China.” —The Times of London

“McMahon… avoids the pitfalls so common to books about broad economic and financial topics, which is to be dry and overly technical. He has a reporter’s eye for the character or fable that can impart bigger themes without dragging down the eyelids of the reader.” —The Sunday Business Post

DINNY MCMAHON spent a decade in China as a journalist covering the Chinese economy and financial system for the Wall Street Journal and for the Dow Jones Newswires. A native Australian, he is fluent in Mandarin. McMahon completed China’s Great Wall of Debt while a fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, DC. He is currently a fellow at MacroPolo, a China-focused think tank based in Chicago.


Thailand by Benjamin Zawicki

Thailand: Shifting Ground Between the U.S. and a Rising China
By Benjamin Zawacki

Zed, October 2017
ISBN-10: 178-36-08692

Since the World War II, Thailand has positioned itself as a key strategic ally of the United States, serving as a bulwark against communism in Southeast Asia and as a base for American troops during the Vietnam War. In return, the United States has provided millions of dollars in military and economic aid. However, recent decades have seen a striking reversal in Thailand’s foreign relations, with China, once a sworn enemy, now treated as a valued ally by the Thai junta. This shift reflects China’s growing status as a world power, and it represents a major setback to American efforts at curbing the spread of Chinese influence in Asia. It has also had a dramatic impact on Thailand itself, as the country’s ruling elite seek to follow the Chinese model of authoritarianism combined with neoliberalism.

In this up-to-date study of Thai foreign policy, Benjamin Zawacki provides a compelling account of Thailand’s modern history and its changing role in the world order, from the beginning of its alliance with the United States in 1945 to the 2014 coup and beyond. Featuring extensive interviews with more than seventy high-level figures in Thailand and the United States, including deposed prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, the book offers unprecedented insight into the inner workings of the Thai elite and their dealings with the United States and China. As the Sino-American rivalry escalates, Southeast Asia will become an increasingly important theater in global affairs. Understanding the current transitions of power in Thailand are essential for comprehending the profound implications of China’s influence, not only for the region, but for the wider world.

“Presents a clear-eyed and well-informed analysis of a critical moment, in which ideals of democracy and human rights, never deeply rooted, are giving way as Thailand increasingly sees its future tied to a rising China.”—Seth Mydans, Southeast Asia correspondent for The New York Times

“The US has failed to reliably present democracy and human rights as alternatives to the China Model. It has allowed its ‘interests’ to override its ‘values,’ and hence is vulnerable to accusations of hypocrisy. Zawacki argues that the US must correct for these two failures and make the kind of commitment to Asia that Obama promised but never delivered. “For the sake of America’s geopolitical interests—all of them—there is no choice.” —New York Review of Books

“A must-read for those concerned by Chinese ascendency in Southeast Asia and its implications for human rights in the coming decades.” —Tyler Giannini, Human Rights Program Director, Harvard Law School

“Zawacki skillfully tells the story of America’s oldest Asian ally, exploring how equivocation in Washington and dysfunction in Bangkok is allowing a resurgent China to extend its talons into a disturbingly authoritarian Thailand.” —Charlie Campbell, Beijing correspondent for TIME

“Zawacki’s carefully documented and balanced analysis lifts the curtain on a gradual, often invisible, but seemingly inexorable geopolitical shift. It provides a thorough explanation of the circumstances that have led Thailand, once seen as an unequivocally staunch US ally, to lean increasingly toward a pragmatic and strategically assertive China.” —Michael Herzfeld, Harvard University

“Presents a powerful counter-argument to the conventional wisdom that China’s economic rise alone explains Thailand’s pivot from the US to China. In thoroughly researched detail, the book traces a sorry trail of US condescension and clumsy diplomacy.” —Daniel Fineman, author of A Special Relationship: The United States and Military Government in Thailand

Benjamin Zawacki was a visiting fellow in the Human Rights Program at Harvard Law School in 2014-15, and a term member on the Council on Foreign Relations through 2016. He was Amnesty International’s Southeast Asia researcher for five years, and served as a policy advisor to President Jimmy Carter and two other “Elders” in Myanmar. A regular contributor to the media in Southeast Asia, he has lived in Thailand for 15 years.


The Road to Unfreedom by Timothy Snyder  The Road to Unfreedom: Russia, Europe, America
By Timothy Snyder

Tim Duggan Books (Imprint of Crown Publishing Group), April 2018
ISBN-13: 978-0-525-57446-0
359 Pages

With the end of the Cold War, the victory of liberal democracy seemed final. Observers declared the end of history, confident in a peaceful, globalized future. This faith was misplaced. Authoritarianism returned to Russia, as Putin found fascist ideas that could be used to justify rule by the wealthy. In the 2010s, it has spread from east to west, aided by Russian warfare in Ukraine and cyberwar in Europe and the United States.

Russia found allies among nationalists, oligarchs, and radicals everywhere, and its drive to dissolve Western institutions, states, and values found resonance within the West itself. The rise of populism, the British vote against the EU, and the election of Donald Trump were all Russian goals, but their achievement reveals the vulnerability of Western societies.

In this forceful and unsparing work of contemporary history, based on vast research as well as personal reporting, Snyder goes beyond the headlines to expose the true nature of the threat to democracy and law. To understand the challenge is to see, and perhaps renew, the fundamental political virtues offered by tradition and demanded by the future. By revealing the stark choices before us—between equality or oligarchy, individuality or totality, truth and falsehood—Snyder restores our understanding of the basis of our way of life, offering a way forward in a time of terrible uncertainty.


A New York Times Editors’ Choice

“Combining topical reporting with delvings into the history of ideas and some political-philosophical musing in the author’s own voice, this relatively short book covers a vast canvas…. A roller-coaster world calls for a news editor’s skill in processing facts and a philosopher’s ability to dissect ideologies. Snyder has both.” —The Economist

The Road to Unfreedom is a rich and complex book, punctuated by epigrams that cast heroic clarity upon the disturbing distance the United States has already traveled to the sinister destination in Snyder’s title. If some of Snyder’s assessment seems overstated or premature, he can powerfully reply: He has perceived more accurately than his critics what has already happened. He has earned the right to be heard on what may lie ahead.” —David Frum, The Atlantic

The Road to Unfreedom offers a brief, potent and carefully documented history of Vladimir Putin’s consolidation of power in Russia, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.” —The Chicago Tribune

“We are living in dangerous times, Timothy Snyder argues forcefully and eloquently in his new book…. To understand Putin, Snyder argues persuasively, you must understand his ideas…. The Road to Unfreedom is a good wake-up call.” —Margaret MacMillan, The New York Times Book Review

“Deluged by ugly headlines, readers need books that force us to pause, step back and understand how America arrived at this chaotic moment. One of the best such books this year is historian Timothy Snyder’s essential, penetrating look at how toxic ideas, autocratic power and fake news spread from Russia into Ukraine, Western Europe and now to the White House. At a time when the politics of apocalypse haunt American democracy, Snyder helps unpack how we got here—and, maybe, how we can get out.” —Lucas Wittmann, TIME

“Brilliant…. Bleak and eloquent…. Snyder’s account of the Trump ascendancy, and the many helping hands given from Russia, is vividly and insightfully told.” —Edward Lucas, The Times (London)

Timothy Snyder is the Levin Professor of History at Yale University and the author of On Tyranny, Black Earth, and Bloodlands. His work has received the literature award of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Hannah Arendt Prize, and the Leipzig Book Prize for European Understanding. He lives in New Haven, Connecticut.



The Darkening Web by Alexander Klimburg The Darkening Web: The War for Cyberspace
By Alexander Klimberg

Penguin Books, July 2018
ISBN-13: 978-0735-22283-0
ISBN-10: 0735-22283-5
420 Pages

No single invention of the last half century has changed the way we live now as much as the Internet. Alexander Klimburg was a member of the generation for whom it was a utopian ideal turned reality: a place where ideas, information, and knowledge could be shared and new freedoms found and enjoyed. Two decades later, the future isn’t so bright any more: increasingly, the Internet is used as a weapon and a means of domination by states eager to exploit or curtail global connectivity in order to further their national interests.

Klimburg is a leading voice in the conversation on the implications of this dangerous shift, and in The Darkening Web, he explains why we underestimate the consequences of states’ ambitions to project power in cyberspace at our peril: Not only have hacking and cyber operations fundamentally changed the nature of political conflict—ensnaring states in a struggle to maintain a precarious peace that could rapidly collapse into all-out war—but the rise of covert influencing and information warfare has enabled these same global powers to create and disseminate their own distorted versions of reality in which anything is possible. At stake are not only our personal data or the electrical grid, but the Internet as we know it today—and with it the very existence of open and democratic societies.

Authoritative, thought-provoking, and compellingly argued, The Darkening Web makes clear that the debate about the different aspirations for cyberspace is nothing short of a war over our global values.


“A prescient and important book…. Fascinating.”—The New York Review of Books

“It’s this type of worldwide cyber-chaos—the type that could down airplanes, turn off respirators and plunge millions into darkness—that Alexander Klimburg warns of in The Darkening Web…. Klimburg’s warnings regarding Russian cyber-aspirations… are on the money.”—The New Scientist

“A quietly horrifying new book…. The Darkening Web eventually accumulates the picture of an impending apocalypse, an utterly unwinnable war in which the world’s few good guys… are outgunned, outspent, and outmaneuvered at every stage of what Klimburg refers to as the great cyber game.”—The Christian Science Monitor

The Darkening Web provides a sweeping yet nuanced overview of how we got to where we are online, with ample backstory… A thoughtful framework for assessing developments in this fast-moving area… Ultimately, Klimburg concludes, the battle for a free Internet ‘is nothing less than the struggle for the heart of modern democratic society.'”—Nature

“At a time of rising focus on threats to the internet, Alexander Klimburg introduces much needed clarity and precision into such concepts as cyber war and information security. This book is indispensable—not only for national security officials formulating policies on cyber conflict, cyber crime and cyber governance, but for any reader seeking a strong grounding in this critically important material and what it means for our global future.” —Michael Chertoff, former U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security

“An excellent primer on cyberwarfare…. A chilling portrait of the emergence of cyberspace as a domain for political conflict.”—Publishers Weekly

“Klimburg delivers an urgent warning that civil libertarians and cybernauts alike will want to heed.”—Kirkus Reviews

Alexander Klimburg is a program director at The Hague Centre for Strategic Studies, a nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council, and an associate and former fellow at the Belfer Center of the Harvard Kennedy School. He has acted as an advisor to a number of governments and international organizations on cybersecurity strategy and internet governance, and has participated in various national, international, NATO and EU policy groups. He splits his time between Boston, Vienna and The Hague.

In Praise of Blood by Judi Rever

 In Praise of Blood: The Crimes of the Rwanda Patriotic Front
By Judi Rever

Random House Canada, March 2018
ISBN-13: 978-0-345-81209-4
ISBN-10: 0345-81209-3
288 pages

A stunning work of investigative reporting by a Canadian journalist who has risked her own life to bring us a deeply disturbing history of the Rwandan genocide that takes the true measure of Rwandan head of state Paul Kagame.

Through unparalleled interviews with RPF defectors, former soldiers and atrocity survivors, supported by documents leaked from a UN court, Judi Rever brings us the complete history of the Rwandan genocide. Considered by the international community to be the saviours who ended the Hutu slaughter of innocent Tutsis, Kagame and his rebel forces were also killing, in quiet and in the dark, as ruthlessly as the Hutu genocidaire were killing in daylight. The reason why the larger world community hasn’t recognized this truth? Kagame and his top commanders effectively covered their tracks and, post-genocide, rallied world guilt and played the heroes in order to attract funds to rebuild Rwanda and to maintain and extend the Tutsi sphere of influence in the region.

Judi Rever, who has followed the story since 1997, has marshalled irrefutable evidence to show that Kagame’s own troops shot down the presidential plane on April 6, 1994–the act that put the match to the genocidal flame. And she proves, without a shadow of doubt, that as Kagame and his forces slowly advanced on the capital of Kigali, they were ethnically cleansing the country of Hutu men, women and children in order that returning Tutsi settlers, displaced since the early ’60s, would have homes and land. This book is heartbreaking, chilling and necessary.

In Praise of Blood is compulsory reading for a world that has acknowledged only half the story of the Rwandan genocide. We owe a debt of gratitude to Judi Rever for risking her life to bring us the whole truth of that genocide in this great work of investigative journalism.”—Terry Gould, winner of the CJFE Tara Singh Hayer Press Freedom Award and author of Worth Dying For and Murder Without Borders

“This is an unflinching account of one of the most ruthlessly executed and cynically exploited human catastrophes of the twentieth century. If you thought you understood the genesis of the Rwandan genocide, think again. If you are confused by the origins of the ongoing carnage in the Congo and Zaire, mysterious murders in Uganda and South Africa, start reading now.”—Linden MacIntyre, award-winning broadcast journalist and Scotiabank Giller award-winning author of The Bishop’s Man

In Praise of Blood will remain a work of reference on Rwanda for decades to come. Judi Rever exposes and meticulously documents a litany of crimes against Rwandans that forces loyal to the Rwandan President, Paul Kagame, have killed many people to conceal. We are indebted to Rever’s courageous reporting in the face of great personal risk.” —Anjan Sundaram, journalist and author of Bad News and Stringer

JUDI REVER is a freelance print and broadcast journalist who started her career with Radio France Internationale before working for the wire service Agence France-Presse, reporting from Africa and the Middle East. Her reporting on Rwanda has been featured in seven front-page stories in the Globe and Mail over the past three years, and she has been named a country of origin information expert on Rwanda by the Rights in Exile Programme, which promotes the legal protection of refugees. Her work has also appeared in Foreign Policy Journal, Le Monde Diplomatique, Humanosphere, Digital Journal and the Africa Report.

US Counterterrorism by Michael B. Kraft & Edward Marks

 U.S. Counterterrorism: From Nixon to Trump—Key Challenges, Issues, and Responses
By Michael Kraft and Edward Marks

CRCV Press, Taylor and Francis Group, December 2017
ISBN-13: 978-1498-70615-5
ISBN-10: 1498-70615-0
240 Pages

U.S. Counterterrorism examines the “war on modern terrorism,” from the Nixon administration to the early stages of the Trump administration. The book describes the evolution of U.S. counterterrorism responses to the changing terrorist threats, from primarily secular groups, to those with broad-reaching fundamentalist religious goals such as ISIS. The authors highlight the accelerating rate of changes in the terrorism situation from modern technology; the internet, “lone wolf” terrorists, cyber threats, and armed drones.

The book describes the Bush Administration’s dealing with terrorism as an existential threat and a Global War on Terrorism following 9/11. It then discusses how the Obama administration both continued and modified previous policies. The book provides an extensive list of key documents for those interested in the original texts and a discussion of legal issues.

“Writing with the authority that comes only with years of experience in government, Ambassador Marks and Michael Kraft have produced a splendid history of America’s long campaign against terrorism. This edition analyzes the recent changes in technology and tactics that have profoundly altered today’s terrorist challenge. For those who truly want to understand where we are and how we got there, start here.” —Brian Michael Jenkins, The Rand Corporation

“I have been involved in the fight against terrorism since joining the Air Force in 1970. This book provides important perspective on where the US has been in this fight and how that fight must evolve in the new administration. It is must reading for the Trump Administration and anyone else seriously concerned about the next steps in this long struggle.” —Brig. Gen. Francis X Taylor, USAF (Ret), Former US Coordinator for Counterterrorism and DHS Under Secretary for Intelligence and Analysis

“A clear and comprehensive survey of American policy toward terrorism over the past half century by two experienced practitioners in the field. Their expert evaluation is well-documented and impartial, and it provides essential background for analysis of future policy. —Martha Crenshaw, Center for International Security and Cooperation, Stanford University, USA

“This excellent book provides an informed and detailed history of United States counterterrorism policy. It also includes a remarkable compilation of key counterterrorism documents illustrating the development of U.S. policy. The book is a must-read for those working counterterrorism anywhere in the world.” —John Norton Moore, Professor of Law & Director, Center for National Security Law of the University of Virginia, USA

“This important new book from Ambassador Edward Marks and Michael Kraft distills insights on terrorism from careers that include roles as policy-makers, practitioners and students of the terrorism trends with distinguished service in multiple capacities and organizations within the U.S. national security system. A particular strength of the book, in this reviewer’s opinion, is the way it draws upon Ambassador Marks’ previous trenchant analysis of organizational limitations and remedies in the national security system and the Department of State.” —Christopher J. Lamb, Distinguished Research Fellow, Institute for National Strategic Studies, National Defense University, USA

Michael B. Kraft is a Washington-based counterterrorism consultant, writer and editor with more than 30 years of experience working on terrorism issues in the State Department, Congress and the private sector. After retiring as a senior advisor in the State Department Counterterrorism Office, he worked on counterterrorism issues at the National Defense University Africa Center for Strategic Studies.

Edward Marks served as a Senior Foreign Service Officer (Minister-Counselor) prior to his retirement in 1995. Ambassador Marks was recalled to active duty in 2002-5 to serve as the Department of State’s advisor on terrorism to the United States Pacific Command. Since then he has concentrated on writing, speaking, and consulting, mostly with the Department of Defense.


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