No End to War: Terrorism in the 21st Century / Edition 1

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While the destruction of the World Trade Center and the strike against the Pentagon shocked the world at large, experts on terrorism like Walter Laqueur couldn't feign complete surprise. In No End to War, Laqueur, who has devoted three decades to the study of political violence, answers the most-often raised questions about terrorism in the light of 9/11 and the still unsolved Anthrax letters. First, what constitutes terrorism? What is new about the "new" terrorism? Why is the Muslim world the most potent breeding ground of this new terrorism? To what extent is religion itself a factor? Is there a clash of civilizations between the Muslim world and the largely Christian or post-Christian West? Is America at fault? Israel? Did European nations turn a blind eye to terrorists and their sympathizers in their midst? To what extent are poverty and oppression the causes of terrorism? What is the likelihood that terrorists will obtain weapons of mass destruction-chemical, biological, or nuclear? Why was the United States unprepared for 9/11? Why the intelligence failure? Are Islamic terrorists the only terrorists we need to fear? What about other terrorists from the right of the left, ecoterrorists or anti-globalization terrorists? And finally, what is the best defense against terrorism?

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
One of the West's leading scholars of terrorism, author of The New Terrorism and other titles, takes on the vexing questions about its origins and manifestations and provides a lot to chew on along the way. Laqueur, of the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C., is at his strongest in relating the history of terrorism and how the motivations underlying such violence have changed. At the end of the 19th century, he writes, secular leftists in Russia aimed at overthrowing that regime and their targets were limited in number; the range of victims became much wider beginning in the 1970s. Laqueur also emphasizes a range of causes of terror, such as the incompetence of Arab governments and a desire to use Israel as a scapegoat for Arab problems. (Israel, he thinks, should give back the West Bank and Gaza Strip to help its own democracy, not because it would eliminate one excuse for Arab and Muslim fury.) Laqueur also ridicules some media outlets for refusing to call a spade a spade, referring to terrorists as militants or using other euphemisms. Unfortunately, his reasoning can sometimes be hard to follow. On the one hand, he argues that poverty and Western policies do not cause terrorism, but elsewhere he says that if the world were less economically inequitable, there would likely be less terrorism. In an appendix, the author states that while a definition of terrorism is impossible, the vast majority of us know it when we see it. Some may find it difficult to share his certainty. (May) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
"To be hated is a consequence of being great and powerful. It can be remedied not by becoming gentler, only by becoming weaker." So writes Laqueur (Center for Strategic and International Studies; The New Terrorism, 1999, etc.), a longtime, and prescient, student of terrorist movements through history. In this survey, he ranges over some of those movements-the IRA and the Irgun against the British, Algerian independence fighters against French pieds-noirs, anarchists against capitalists-to discern the patterns of organization and action that define what strategists term the "asymmetric warfare" of terrorism. Real wars, writes Laqueur, are expensive, but terrorism is relatively cheap and open to all comers, which means that terrorism as we now know it "will be with us for as long as anyone can envision, even if not always at the same frequency and intensity" as it raged in September 2001. That month brought to America a horrendous fact that much of the rest of the world has known for a long time: citing the Indian subcontinent as a likely flashpoint for terrorist movements in the coming years, Laqueur observes that the number of victims of terrorism in the single Indian state of Tripura "was larger in the 1990s than that in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict," a fact that few world media or governmental figures have bothered to explore. Laqueur explores this imbalance while calmly insisting that terrorism is an ineradicable fact of modern life-and calmly reassuring American readers than there is no good evidence to suggest that we're any more hated than any other imperial power of the past or present. Even so, that will come as small comfort to those who envision happier times ahead, for,Laqueur argues, "there is a huge reservoir of aggression" out there, thanks to which "the combination of paranoia, fanaticism, and extremist political (or religious) doctrine" on which terrorism feeds will only blossom in the years to come. A sobering analysis of geopolitics and current events. Agent: Joe Spieler/Spieler Agency
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780826414359
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Academic
  • Publication date: 5/15/2003
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 6.28 (w) x 9.16 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Walter Laqueur holds the Kissinger Chair for International Security Studies at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C. He is the author of a score of books, including Terrorism,The Age of Terrorism, and The New Terrorism.
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Table of Contents

1. Roots of Terrorism? 2. Origins of Islamic Terrorism 3. Jihad 4. Suicide5. Israel and the Palestinians 6. Intelligence Failure7. The Far Right 8. Anti-Americanism9. Battlefields of the Future: 1. India and Central Asia 10. Battlefields of the Future: 2. The International Brigade Conclusion: War Against the West

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 10, 2004

    amazing, read it, lots of info

    the book is distributed in chapters covering general terrorism throughout history, and focusing a bit more on islamic terrorism. The footnotes will let you see the news some of the info comes from. A mention also to the reaction of extrem left and right to 9/11. Read it and know the truth and know all your enemies. See what is happening.

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