With Us and Against Us: How America's Partners Help and Hinder the War on Terror

With Us and Against Us: How America's Partners Help and Hinder the War on Terror

by Stephen Tankel

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In the wake of the September 11 attacks, President George W. Bush drew a line in the sand, saying, “Either you are with us or you are with the terrorists.” Since 9/11, many counterterrorism partners have been both “with” and “against” the United States, helping it in some areas and hindering it in others. This has been especially true in the Middle East, Africa, and South Asia, where the terrorist groups that threaten America are most concentrated. Because so many aspects of U.S. counterterrorism strategy are dependent on international cooperation, the United States has little choice but to work with other countries. Making the most of these partnerships is fundamental to the success of the War on Terror. Yet what the United States can reasonably expect from its counterterrorism partners—and how to get more out of them—remain too little understood.

In With Us and Against Us, Stephen Tankel analyzes the factors that shape counterterrorism cooperation, examining the ways partner nations aid international efforts, as well as the ways they encumber and impede effective action. He considers the changing nature of counterterrorism, exploring how counterterrorism efforts after 9/11 critically differ both from those that existed beforehand and from traditional alliances. Focusing on U.S. partnerships with Algeria, Egypt, Mali, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Yemen against al-Qaeda, ISIS, and other terrorist organizations, Tankel offers nuanced propositions about what the U.S. can expect from its counterterrorism partners depending on their political and security interests, threat perceptions, and their relationships with the United States and with the terrorists in question. With Us and Against Us offers a theoretically rich and policy-relevant toolkit for assessing and improving counterterrorism cooperation, devising strategies for mitigating risks, and getting the most out of difficult partnerships.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780231547345
Publisher: Columbia University Press
Publication date: 05/22/2018
Series: Columbia Studies in Terrorism and Irregular Warfare
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Sales rank: 1,021,335
File size: 3 MB

About the Author

Stephen Tankel is associate professor at American University, adjunct senior fellow at the Center for New American Security, and senior editor at War on the Rocks. He has served as a senior advisor at the Department of Defense and is the author of Storming the World Stage: The Story of Lashkar-e-Taiba (2011).

Table of Contents

Preface and Acknowledgments
1. Counterterrorism Partnerships in Context
2. America and Its Partners in the War on Terror
3. The Elements of Counterterrorism Cooperation
4. Pakistan: The Paradox
5. Saudi Arabia: Arsonist and Firefighter
6. Yemen: An Unstable Partner
7. Mali: The Weakest Link
8. Egypt and Algeria: The Revolutionary Heartland
Conclusion: Making the Most of Cooperation
Appendix: List of U.S. Counterterror Programs

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