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Warlords Rising: Confronting Violent Non-State Actors

5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0739111901
ISBN-10: 0739111906
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Editorial Reviews


Thomas, Kiser, and Casebeer fill an important void in terrorism literature. To date, much has been written about the root causes of terrorism. Less has been written about violent non-state actors who are today's main terrorist threat. And, until this book, nothing authoritative has been written about how, where, when, and why to intervene so that violent non-state actors can't perpetuate terrorist acts such as those of 9/11. Reading this book will give policy makers the necessary tools to preclude, mitigate, and possibly even prevent, future terrorist acts. A must-read for those charged with the security of the United States and its allies. (Col. Russ Howard, director of the Combating Terrorism Center, U.S. Military Academy)

About the Author

Troy S. Thomas is an Air Force Officer with professional experience in intelligence operations and defense policy. He is a Term Member of the Council on Foreign Relations and a Member of the Council for Emerging National Security Affairs. Stephen D. Kiser is Director of Operations at the 614th Space Intelligence Squadron at Vandenberg Air Force Base and is a Term Memeber of the Council on Foreign Relations and the Pacific Council for International Programs. William D. Casebeer is a former associate professor at the U.S. Air Force Academy and is currently at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 264 pages
  • Publisher: Lexington Books (August 29, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0739111906
  • ISBN-13: 978-0739111901
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.8 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,704,583 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Paperback
The aim of Warlords rising is to conceptualize Violent non-state actors (VNSA), for this end authors uses ecological parallel - VNSA being a living organism - and open source theory which puts this organism in interaction with it's environment. For analysis of the VNSA they propose very interesting matrix of indicators about 1) environment in which it operates, 2) transforming or facilitating factors of spawning a VNSA, then 3) performed functions of the VNSA, 4) life cycle of the VNSA and 5) different types of VNSA 6) varieties of violence they use. The countermeasures are proposed at the end. All with many examples from various backgrounds, mostly Central Asia. In my opinion:

+ so far the best effort to conceptualize non-state actor on general level (for concrete one see Manwaring ed., or Arquilla and Ronfeldt).

+ detailed framework applicable on various non-state actors.

+ helps to underscore important features about VNSA, relevant for anyone who would like to write on or analyze non-state actors.

+ the authors' style of writing is very accessible, free of academic cumbersomeness.

- less suited for an analysis of non-political actors like transnational crime organizations.

- the matrix is presented without being said how the authors arrived on such indicators, which would be very interesting for me personally.

Warlords rising could be the basis for a future research and conceptualization of non-state actors, it's importance is almost paradigmatic. Recommending to anyone interested in violent non-state actors (terrorist organizations, warlords etc.).

Petr Zelinka,
Journal of Security Issues
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Format: Paperback
A comprehensive look at the different types of violent non-state actors (VNSAs). The book looks at VNSAs from a wholistic point of view and studies how they are shaped by the environment. A must reed for people who wish to understand more about the kind of enemy we are facing in the years to come.
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