Fellman, Philip Voss, and Roxana Wright. "Modeling Terrorist Networks: Complex Systems at the Mid-Range." Intelligencer 14, no. 1 (Winter-Spring 2004): 59-66.
While acknowledging the impossibility of total predictivity, the authors argue that "the greatest room for improving the performance of those organizations tasked with preventing or combating terrorism is at the mid-range [emphasis in original]. That is, we think the application of the most recent advances in science is most likely to bear fruit in the fight against terrorism ... at an intermediate or organizational level."
Fidas, George C. "The Terrorist Threat: Existential or Exaggerated? A 'Red Cell' Perspective." International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence 21, no. 3 (Fall 2008): 519-529.
"The thesis of this 'Red Cell' analysis is that the terrorist threat to the United States and globally is real but exaggerated, and is evoking an unrealistic -- and costly -- quest for perfect immunity from it."
Forest, James J.F., ed.
1. Countering Terrorism and Insurgency in the 21st Century: International Perspectives. 3 vols. Westport, CT: Praeger Security International, 2007.
Cassidy, Parameters 38.3 (Autumn 2008), finds that this set "contribute[s] to the corpus of knowledge that informs how we counter terrorism and insurgency in the twenty-first century. The majority of the essays are well-researched, well-written, and germane.... Plowing through ... 2,000-plus pages of this edited work does require more resilience than the typical reader should be expected to exhibit." The first volume is "the best and most salient" of the three.
2. The Making of a Terrorist: Recruitment, Training and Root Causes. 3 vols. Westport, CT: Praeger Security International, 2006.
Markel, Parameters 36.4 (Winter 2006-07), sees this as "a useful and practical reference for commanders, planners, and analysts.... At $300, I would not recommend it to the individual with a passing interest, but I would recommend its inclusion in operations and intelligence libraries at the division-level and above, and for the whole array of combat developers."
Friedman, George. America's Secret War: Inside the Hidden Worldwide Struggle Between America and Its Enemies. New York: Doubleday, 2004.
Peake, Studies 49.2 (2005), comments that "the author's weak grasp of how the Intelligence Community and its member agencies function" are among the flaws that "diminish the quality and value of the narrative." Worse, however, the work "cites not a single source and does not even provide a bibliography.... In short, this book is a 349-page op-ed piece."
Friedman, Norman. Terrorism, Afghanistan, and America's New Way of War. Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 2003.
Morgan, Parameters 34.3, finds that the author "has written an excellent book that seamlessly moves across" his topics. Friedman "covers systemic problems in the national counterterrorism apparatus.... [His] exposition on Afghanistan ... is ... compelling and well-researched." In discussing "a new American way of war," the book, written before the U.S. invasion of Iraq, "makes some incorrect predictions about similarities between Afghanistan and Iraq." Nevertheless, the author's observations "provide valuable insights into modern warfare as exemplified by Operation Enduring Freedom."
For Freedman, FA 83.1 (Jan.-Feb. 2004), the author "offers a comprehensive, workmanlike account of the first months of the war on terrorism.... His discussion of the disappointing Operation Anaconda in Afghanistan reveals the immense difficulty of taking on a shadowy enemy." Jonkers, AFIO WIN 33-03, 22 Aug. 2003, calls this work "a rich source on the complex interplay of history, policy and technology.... This is a wide-ranging, broadly argued, informative book."
Frum, David, and Richard Perle. An End to Evil: How to Win the War on Terror. New York: Random House, 2003.
Terrill, Parameters 34 (Winter 2004-2005), comments that the authors have "outlined an agenda as sweeping as the title of their book and every bit as unrealistic." Frum and Perle attack the State Department and the intelligence community, "but they also have some hard things to say about the military, whose leaders are described as nothing more than bureaucrats in uniform." Essentially, "this book presents shallow and supercilious answers to complex questions and in doing so threatens to create more problems than it solves."
Ganor, Boaz. The Counter-Terrorism Puzzle: A Guide for Decision Makers. New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction, 2005.
According to Norwitz, NWCR 59.1 (Winter 2006), the author uses the Israeli model to observe that "democracies are uniquely vulnerable to terrorism where government must defend itself yet maintain principles of transparency, rule of law, and representative governance while remaining mindful of world opinion.... This book is an authoritative accounting of Israel's struggle against terrorism. However, Ganor's exclusive analysis of the Israeli experience is also a weakness."
Gareau, Frederick H. State Terrorism and the United States: From Counterinsurgency to the War on Terrorism. Atlanta, GA: Clarity, 2004. London: Zed, 2004.
This is essentially an "it's all Washington's fault" rant.
Gertz, Bill. Breakdown: How America's Intelligence Failures Led to September 11. Washington, DC: Regnery, 2002.
Doder, Nation, 4 Nov. 2002, comments that "[t]here are no great revelations, no mystery, to be found in this volume. Virtually everything comes from newspaper accounts.... The shocking revelation is Gertz's central thesis.... He argues that the CIA failed to avert the tragedy;... and that the CIA should be abolished, broken up into two parts, each to be merged with other parts of US intelligence.... Gertz may well be right, but the arguments he offers are sloppy and far from compelling."
For Berkowitz, IJI&C 16.2, the author "makes some good arguments, and reveals some interesting facts. But, as a whole, his account is rather incomplete and simplistic, and contains numerous errors and inconsistencies. Nevertheless,... Gertz gets the big picture exactly right."
Gressang, Daniel S., and Jeffrey A. Baxter. "Crawling into the Terrorist's Head: Coordination and Cooperation across Levels of Government." Defense Intelligence Journal 14, no. 1 (2005): 121-140.
The most interesting portion of this article discusses the Maryland Coordination and Analysis Center (MCAC) as a potential model for local, state, and federal coordination on counterterrorism.
Grey, Stephen. Ghost Plane: The True Story of the CIA Torture Program. New York: St. Martin's, 2006.
Thomas, Washington Post, 14 Nov. 2006, says that the author "interviewed spooks and diplomats and soldiers, as well as the victims of torture, all over the world. His writing style tends to fall into the 'It-was-a-dark-and-stormy-night' genre, and like most investigative reporters, he is a little too eager to dump out the entire contents of his notebook. But he is a prodigious digger and more than a single-minded muckraker." He "offers a reasoned analysis" of the pros and cons of "'coercive interrogation techniques' ... before ultimately concluding that the utility of the intelligence gained by torture is vastly outweighed by the harm done in the global battle for hearts and minds."
1. Inside Al Qaeda: Global Network of Terror. New York: Columbia University Press, 2002.
From publisher: This work "examines the leadership, ideology, structure, strategies, and tactics of the most violent politico-religious organization the world has ever seen. The definitive work on Al Qaeda, this book is based on five years of research, including extensive interviews with its members; field research in Al Qaeda-supported conflict zones in Central, South and Southeast Asia and the Middle East; and monitoring Al Qaeda infiltration of diaspora and migrant communities in North America and Europe."
2. Ed. Terrorism in the Asia Pacific: Threat and Response. Singapore: Eastern Universities Press, 2003.
Banlaoi, I&NS 19.4 (Winter 2004), says this work, with its "eleven well-written papers on Asia Pacific terrorism," is "an excellent piece of literature that elevates the ... region to the mainstream of international terrorism discourse.... The strength of the book lies in the mix of insights and perspectives articulated by the various contributors who are well-known authorities on the subject."
Return to Terrorism 2000s Table of Contents