Catalogue


Trapped in the war on terror /
Ian S. Lustick.
imprint
Philadelphia : University of Pennsylvania Press, 2006.
description
xii, 186 p.
ISBN
0812239830 (cloth : alk. paper), 9780812239836
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
Philadelphia : University of Pennsylvania Press, 2006.
isbn
0812239830 (cloth : alk. paper)
9780812239836
catalogue key
5938611
 
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2007-04-01:
Lustick (Univ. of Pennsylvania) argues that in its conceptualization and execution, the Bush administration's "war on terror" has been politically self-serving. He further argues that some of the mechanisms adopted by the Bush administration to fight that war are more likely to perpetuate and potentially exacerbate the problem of al Qaeda and international terror. Lustick first supports his critiques through a well-argued analysis of the political orientations of the Bush inner circle of policy advisors, whom he refers to as "the cabal." He then documents the ways in which the war on terror has turned into a feeding frenzy for virtually every interest imaginable, with the result that the core objectives and tactics adopted by the Bush administration have not been subjected to the kind of dispassionate and objective scrutiny that one would expect of an issue that forms the central core of the US policy agenda. Despite some proofreading errors, and missing an occasional opportunity to mention authors making arguments somewhat similar to his, Lustick provides a solid critique of the US war on terror. ^BSumming Up: Recommended. All readership levels. C. W. Herrick Muhlenberg College
Reviews
Review Quotes
"A must and timely read for all who worry that we are trapped in a self-defeating strategy. Lustick courageously swims against the within beltway wisdom by raising the question whether the U.S. government treatment of counter-terrorism is worse than the disease itself."--Marc Sageman, author of Understanding Terror Networks
"A must and timely read for all who worry that we are trapped in a self-defeating strategy. Lustick courageously swims against the within beltway wisdom by raising the question whether the U.S. government treatment of counter-terrorism is worse than the disease itself."--Marc Sageman, author ofUnderstanding Terror Networks
"A must and timely read for all who worry that we are trapped in a self-defeating strategy. Lustick courageously swims against the within beltway wisdom by raising the question whether the U.S. government treatment of counter-terrorism is worse than the disease itself."-Marc Sageman, author of Understanding Terror Networks
"An important book. . . . [Ian Lustick] is willing to engage in a critical examination and speaks truths that politicians and pundits run from."- Middle East Policy
"An important book. . . . [Ian Lustick] is willing to engage in a critical examination and speaks truths that politicians and pundits run from."-- Middle East Policy
"An important book. . . . [Ian Lustick] is willing to engage in a critical examination and speaks truths that politicians and pundits run from."--Middle East Policy
"Ian Lustick has written a brave, forceful, and very valuable book. I wish that every politician promising to 'defend' America would read what he has to say. Failing that, the voters should."--James Fallows, National Correspondent, The Atlantic Monthly
"Ian Lustick's excellent book presents in an engaging and most intelligent manner a point of view that should be far more widely considered. It brings the problem of terrorism, such as it is, back down to earth and deftly skewers the large political, economic, and media industry that has an interest in exaggerating terrorism's effect and in scaring people unnecessarily. I recommend the book highly."--John Mueller, Professor of Political Science, Ohio State University
"Ian Lustick's excellent book presents in an engaging and most intelligent manner a point of view that should be far more widely considered. It brings the problem of terrorism, such as it is, back down to earth and deftly skewers the large political, economic, and media industry that has an interest in exaggerating terrorism's effect and in scaring people unnecessarily. I recommend the book highly."-John Mueller, Professor of Political Science, Ohio State University
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, April 2007
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Summaries
Bowker Data Service Summary
The media has given constant attention to possible terrorist-initiated catastrophes and to the failures and weaknesses of the government's response. 'Trapped in the War on Terror', however, questions the very rationale for that response.
Main Description
The first principle of terrorism is to understand that the weak win by exploiting the strength of the powerful. When 9/11 terrorists with box cutters hijacked American airliners, they transformed America's preeminent transportation system into a devastating weapon of attack. They also set a trap with the promise of revenge and security as the bait. The hijackers' biggest victory was to goad our government into taking the bait by unleashing the War on Terror. The worry, witch-hunt, and waste that have ensued are, according to Ian S. Lustick, destroying American confidence, undermining our economy, warping our political life, and isolating us from our international allies. The media have given constant attention to possible terrorist-initiated catastrophes and to the failures and weaknesses of the government's response. Trapped in the War on Terror , however, questions the very rationale for the War on Terror. By analyzing the virtual absence of evidence of a terrorist threat inside the United States along with the motives and strategic purposes of al-Qaeda, Lustick shows how disconnected the War on Terror is from the real but remote threat terrorism poses. He explains how the generalized War on Terror began as part of the justification for invading Iraq, but then took on a life of its own. A whirlwind of fear, failure, and recrimination, this "war" drags every interest group and politician, he argues, into selfish competition for its spoils. Facing the threat of nuclear incineration during the Cold War, America overcame panic about nonexistent communist sleeper cells poised to destroy the country, a panic fueled by the destructive hysteria of McCarthyism. Through careful analysis of the Soviet threat, the nation managed to sustain a productive national life and achieve victory, despite the terrifying daily possibility of catastrophe. This book is inspired by that success. It points the way forward, not toward victory in the War on Terror but to victory over it. The first and most difficult step toward that victory is to know the enemy. In large measure, as Trapped in the War on Terror shows, that means understanding how al-Qaeda is making us our own worst enemy.
Main Description
The first principle of terrorism is to understand that the weak win by exploiting the strength of the powerful. When 9/11 terrorists with box cutters hijacked American airliners, they transformed America's preeminent transportation system into a devastating weapon of attack. They also set a trap with the promise of revenge and security as the bait. The hijackers' biggest victory was to goad our government into taking the bait by unleashing the War on Terror. The worry, witch-hunt, and waste that have ensued are, according to Ian S. Lustick, destroying American confidence, undermining our economy, warping our political life, and isolating us from our international allies. The media have given constant attention to possible terrorist-initiated catastrophes and to the failures and weaknesses of the government's response.Trapped in the War on Terror, however, questions the very rationale for the War on Terror. By analyzing the virtual absence of evidence of a terrorist threat inside the United States along with the motives and strategic purposes of al-Qaeda, Lustick shows how disconnected the War on Terror is from the real but remote threat terrorism poses. He explains how the generalized War on Terror began as part of the justification for invading Iraq, but then took on a life of its own. A whirlwind of fear, failure, and recrimination, this "war" drags every interest group and politician, he argues, into selfish competition for its spoils. Facing the threat of nuclear incineration during the Cold War, America overcame panic about nonexistent communist sleeper cells poised to destroy the country, a panic fueled by the destructive hysteria of McCarthyism. Through careful analysis of the Soviet threat, the nation managed to sustain a productive national life and achieve victory, despite the terrifying daily possibility of catastrophe. This book is inspired by that success. It points the way forward, not toward victory in the War on Terror but to victory over it. The first and most difficult step toward that victory is to know the enemy. In large measure, asTrapped in the War on Terrorshows, that means understanding how al-Qaeda is making us our own worst enemy.
Table of Contents
Preface
The Imperative of Triage
Perceptions of the Terrorist Threat
Measuring the Terrorist Threat: What Is the Evidence?
The Cabal, the Invasion of Iraq, and the Origins of the War on Terror
The War on Terror Whirlwind
Freeing America from the War on Terror
Notes
Index
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

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