Talking to Terrorists: Why America Must Engage with its Enemies

Overview


It has long been an article of faith that the United States does not "talk to terrorists"-- that to peaceably approach groups such as Hamas, Hezbollah, and the Muslim Brotherhood would undermine our democratic principles and acknowledge extremists as legitimate political actors. Not so, argues Middle East expert Mark Perry. In Talking to Terrorists, Perry uses extensive interviews with Pentagon insiders to expose the fruitful history of covert meetings between the U.S. armed forces and major terrorist leaders. ...
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Talking to Terrorists: Why America Must Engage with its Enemies

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Overview


It has long been an article of faith that the United States does not "talk to terrorists"-- that to peaceably approach groups such as Hamas, Hezbollah, and the Muslim Brotherhood would undermine our democratic principles and acknowledge extremists as legitimate political actors. Not so, argues Middle East expert Mark Perry. In Talking to Terrorists, Perry uses extensive interviews with Pentagon insiders to expose the fruitful history of covert meetings between the U.S. armed forces and major terrorist leaders. In so doing, he demonstrates that diplomacy with extremists may be the only way to end terrorism-- controversial wisdom we ignore at our peril.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Perry (A Fire of Zion) offers a stylistically fascinating history of post 9/11 American intervention in the Middle East that unearths the secret meetings between U.S. Armed Forces and insurgents and terrorist organizations. Perry describes the excruciating process led by dedicated American and Iraqi officials to open lines of communication between the American military and Iraqi insurgents, a decision born out of the painful realization “that America's leadership had miscast the enemy in Iraq” and that what was lacking was not “more troops to kill terrorists [but] marines to talk to them.” Perry reassesses conventional wisdom regarding Israel, Hamas, and Hezbollah and points out the essential differences between the two nationalist organizations and al-Qaeda, their trans-national nihilistic counterpart, calling into question the American and Israeli tendency to conflate all Islamic political movements as implacable enemies with “nothing to say.” In the penultimate chapter, Perry weaves a lyrical narrative of memories and impressions from 20 years spent in and out of the Middle East. He contributes a worthy commentary on contemporary Middle Eastern history and a valuable argument for communication between America and her enemies. (Feb.)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780465021994
  • Publisher: Basic Books
  • Publication date: 3/8/2011
  • Edition description: First Trade Paper Edition
  • Pages: 272
  • Sales rank: 814,777
  • Product dimensions: 5.70 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author


Mark Perry is a military, intelligence, and foreign affairs analyst and writer. His articles have appeared in the Nation, the Washington Post, and the Los Angeles Times, among other papers. The author of seven books, including Grant and Twain, Partners in Command, and the National Jewish Book Award-winning A Fire in Zion, he lives in Arlington, Virginia.
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Table of Contents

Author's Note xi

Prologue Coalitions 1

Chapter 1 Vigilant Resolve 7

Chapter 2 The July Surprise 33

Chapter 3 Terrorists and Moderates 59

Chapter 4 Al-Anbar Awakens 85

Chapter 5 Hamas 111

Chapter 6 Hezbollah 137

Chapter 7 Israel 165

Chapter 8 Talking to Terrorists 191

Epilogue Winning 211

Notes 219

Index 245

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