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The Next Attack: The Failure of the War on Terror and a Strategy for Getting it Right Paperback – July 25, 2006
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Top Customer Reviews
Benjamin's and Simon's "The Age of Sacred Terror," which was published in 2002, was one of the first books to appear after 9/11 that offered a thorough explanation of the origins of Islamic terrorism and traced America's intensifying response to it. Balanced and studious, it showed how the attacks did not come from "out of the blue," but from the depths of religious zealotry and historical grievance. It provided some comfort; the world may be crueler than you thought but at least it still followed the same logic of resentment, bigotry and violence.
"The Next Attack" is not comforting even in that limited sense. It is a shout of alarm and a warning. The authors can barely contain their anger at the Bush Administration for its marginalization of the government's intelligence bureaucracy and its consequent misconceptualization of the jihadist threat. To their credit, however, they do not descend into pure polemic and their arguments are well documented with 437 end notes. Their careful evaluation of some claims and counter-claims, such as the President's statement that "75 percent of known al Qaeda leaders have been brought to justice," is particularly appreciated by this reader.Read more ›
Most gripping, on page 159 of the book, is a quote from a TIME article in 2003 that I missed back then, but that today I find compelling--a quote that likens Al Qaeda and its off-shoots not to a snake, the analogy popular with the Administration, but to mold--toxic mold one might add.
The authors are to be commended for both their recognition that it is disruption, not destruction, that will cause the most pain to the West; and that most of our wounds are self-inflicted.
"Intelligence" qua spies and secrecy and espionage does not play in this book. Indeed, in a footnote, the authors wonder if future adversaries will have any respect at all for U.S. intelligence, and with good reason. The irrelevance of secret intelligence to this larger conflict lends added weight to the common-sense open source information observations of the authors. [My own first book, ...Read more ›
U.S. attacks in Afghanistan did serious damage to Al Qaeda - aided by the Taliban's straight-line trenches and high-tech weapons. On the other hand, Osama's ability to elude capture for a period longer than U.S. involvement in WWII has enhanced his image. Regardless, we now have the phenomena of "self-starting" groups that include highly educated Muslims capable of highly sophisticated acts (eg. the Madrid and London train bombings).
While it is impossible to provide credible estimates of the number of foreign fighters in Iraq, an Israeli's analysis of 154 foreigners who died in Iraq concluded that the vast majority had never taken part previously in violence. At the same time, a British bomb expert employed as a consultant notes that terrorist progress in Iraq has been rapid - a result of the pooling of experience from around the region (and the Internet).
The number of terrorist (mostly Muslim) Internet sites has risen from 12 in '98 to about 4,400. Uses include dispensing "how-to" information, showing evidence of recent acts (eg. IEDs exploding, beheadings) and fatwahs, and serving as recruitment tools.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
There's some good points in the book, but most of it is left-biased. One of the authors was a speech writer (foreign policy) under Clinton. Read morePublished on July 11, 2012 by Wraith
The writers try to build a convincing case, and do that with lots of references. But adding lots of references doesn't make a good book. Read morePublished on December 6, 2007 by J. Flachs
I will be short and succinct in this review. The authors contend in this book that U.S. military interventions are jeopardizing the war against radical Islamists. Read morePublished on October 5, 2007 by M. A. Ramos
In their bestseller The Age of Sacred Terror; Radical Islam's War Against America (2002), a widely hailed book that won the Arthur Ross Book Prize given by the Council on Foreign... Read morePublished on January 17, 2007 by Daniel B. Clendenin
The central core of this book is that the United States is 'losing' the War on Terror because, in a nutshell, the Bush Administration has no concept of either the enemy or the war... Read morePublished on April 17, 2006 by Stephen A. Troutt
This is another book about the war, were have all these people come from,I have never seen so many books about bin laden, where were all these so called experts before 9/11. Read morePublished on February 18, 2006 by Nicholas P. Clark
The Next Attack is one of the latest - and worst - examples of popcorn political diatribes that lack substance, intellectual heft and reasoned analysis. Read morePublished on January 17, 2006 by Mahatma Kane Jeeves
A sober but devastating critique of the Bush administration's failures in combatting/prosecuting/preventing terrorism.Published on January 11, 2006 by me/myself
This is a well written book. And it is sincere. So it may seem unfair that I'm giving it only one star. Read morePublished on December 22, 2005 by Jill Malter