Winning the Un-war

Winning the Un-war : A New Strategy for the War on Terrorism

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According to President Bush, "the American people are safer" as a result of invading Iraq. True, Saddam Hussein has been removed from power. But al Qaeda, the group that planned and carried out the attacks on September 11, remains at large. Meanwhile, the White House has conceded that Saddam Hussein had nothing to do with the attacks. Charles Pena argues that the war in Iraq is but one misstep in the Bush administration's "global war on terror." Terrorism is simply a tactic, however, not an enemy. Trying to eradicate it is a quixotic quest that does not focus on those responsible for 9/11. Instead, the national security strategy should consist of three central elements: establishing homeland security against further attacks; dismantling the al Qaeda terrorist network; and enacting a foreign policy that does not attract new al Qaeda terrorists. This approach requires restructuring U.S. forces and ending Cold War-era commitments that distract from the current, pressing threat. It also requires ameliorating the negative consequences of an interventionist U.S. foreign policy, which creates incentives and opportunities for terrorists to target the United States. If we misdiagnose al Qaeda's motivations or focus military efforts on the wrong targets, then we run the risk that the war against the al Qaeda terrorist threat (and the radical Islamic ideology it represents) will become a broader war against the Islamic world that could last generations and cost countless lives. With a foreword by Michael Scheuer, the bestselling author of Imperial Hubris.

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Product details

  • Paperback | 256 pages
  • 152.4 x 226.06 x 20.32mm | 453.59g
  • Potomac Books Inc
  • Dulles, United States
  • English
  • Revised ed.
  • 15 figures, 2 tables
  • 1597970069
  • 9781597970068

Review quote

"Not only does Charles Pena understand the nature of modern Islamic terrorism--and the threat that it poses--but he understands how to tackle it. His argument is lucid, intelligent, and necessary." Jason Burke, chief reporter for the "London Observer" and author of "Al Qaeda: Casting a Shadow of Terror" and "Al Qaeda: The True Story of Radical Islam"--Jason Burke"

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About Charles Pena

Charles Pena is a senior fellow with the Independent Institute, the Coalition for a Realistic Foreign Policy, and the George Washington University Homeland Security Policy Institute. He is also an adviser on the Straus Military Reform Project and the former director of defense policy studies at the Cato Institute. Pena is the coauthor of Exiting Iraq: Why the U.S. Must End the Military Occupation and Renew the War Against Al Qaeda. He lives in Arlington, Virginia.

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