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Why We're Losing the War on Terror

ISBN: 978-0-7456-4197-3
180 pages
March 2008, Polity
Why We
The war on terror is a lost cause. As the war heads towards its second decade, American security policy is in disarray – the Iraq War is a disaster, Afghanistan is deeply insecure and the al-Qaida movement remains as potent as ever with new generations of leaders coming to the fore.

Well over 100,000 civilians have died in Iraq and Afghanistan, many tens of thousands have been detained without trial, and torture, prisoner abuse and rendition have sullied the reputation of the United States and its coalition partners.

Why We’re Losing the War on Terror examines the reasons for the failure, focusing on American political and military attitudes, the impact of 9/11, the fallacy of a New American Century, the role of oil and, above all, the consummate failure to go beyond a narrow western view of the world.

More significantly, it argues that the disaster of the war may have a huge if unexpected bonus. Its very failure will make it possible to completely re-think western attitudes to global security, moving towards a sustainable policy that will be much more effective in addressing the real threats to global security – the widening socio-economic divide and climate change.

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Introduction: Lost Cause or Second Chance?.

Part I Context.

1. The Political Context.

2. The US Military Posture.

3. Oil and the War on Terror.

Part II Events.

4. From Kabul to Baghdad.

5. Baghdad and Beyond.

Part III Consequences.

6. Towards the Long War.

7. Sustainable Security.

Notes.

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Paul Rogers is Professor of Peace Studies at the University of Bradford.
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Major new book from Paul Rogers – a leading world figure in Security Studies

  • Provocative and completely up-to-date analysis of the war on terror
  • Focuses on the Iraq war, the situation in Afghanistan and the al-Qaida movement
  • Beautifully written and very accessible, this book will have a broad appeal on both sides of the Atlantic
  • Likely to attract lots of media attention and be widely reviewed in the press and in journals
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"Analysis and perception is provided admirably by Paul Rogers' short, punchy book. Perhaps surprisingly, given the disastrous situation he is describing, Rogers sees reasons to hope amid the carnage and despair. For all our sakes, we can only hope he is right."
New Internationalist

"Rogers' analysis is insightful and his damning appraisal of the past, and pessimistic vision of the future, are sobering."
Political Studies Review

"A very good overview of the motives and consequences of US policy since 9/11. Rogers is particularly good at analysis of military affairs, but ably locates it within the wider political context and provides some revealing insights."
International Affairs

"Rogers writes with authority and incisiveness."
Times Higher Education

"Paul Rogers is one of the foremost British academic commentators on the American-led 'war on terror'. Like all ambitious and mature scholars, he takes as his field the entire terrain of conflict, from the technological and economic factors, to the political, social and ideational factors that have shaped public policy. Rogers' view is refreshing because he is not bound by the traditional strictures of critical political economy that tend to place undue emphasis on single factors. While he quite rightly places the economics of national interest squarely in his sights, he also takes a great deal of effort to show how both technological and ideational factors come into play."
International Peacekeeping.

"Paul Rogers has produced the best guide I have read to the post-9/11 international security environment; its origins, nature, and consequences."
Mark Phythian, University of Leicester

"Paul Rogers' short book packs a mass of tough wisdom and reasoned provocation into its 180 pages. He sees the war in Iraq as a delusion; one that condemns us to a long war against 'Islamo-fascism'. This book is not prescriptive, but challenges us all to a debate. Everyone involved with the practice and policy of national security should read, think and argue about it."
Rear Admiral Richard Cobbold, Royal United Services Institute

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