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Winning the Long War: Retaking the Offensive against Radical Islam [Hardcover]

by Ilan Berman, Newt Gingrich
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Book Description

August 16, 2009 0742566196 978-0742566194 First Edition
Winning the Long War is a trenchant examination of the past seven years of the Global War on Terror, the future battlegrounds that will confront the United States in the struggle against radical Islam in the years ahead, and how America can reclaim the initiative in what has become the defining struggle of the twenty-first century. Middle East expert Ilan Berman offers new thinking on counterterrorism strategy and provides the new administration with ways to close the gaps in current American counterterrorism strategy.

While there are many books about fighting terrorism, none offer Berman's approach of integrating diplomatic, legal, economic, military, and theoretical strategies into a comprehensive national security action plan. Using cutting edge analysis of current terrorism trends, Winning the Long War identifies three central failings that triggered the West's retreat and radical Islam's simultaneous advance: the failure to properly define the enemy, the inability to dominate the battlefields, and the inability to calibrate counterterrorism strategies. Demonstrating the need for more creative thinking about the nature of the conflicts in which the West now finds itself, this book lays out the steps that must be taken to win the long war.

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Berman (Tehran Rising), vice president for policy at the American Foreign Policy Council, offers a comprehensive strategy for reclaiming the offensive in the global war on terror. He expresses optimism cautiously, but warns that the gains—especially in Afghanistan—are tenuous and that the U.S. risks losing the initiative to the terrorists. He proposes a broad approach that emphasizes the political, economic and legal fronts in this long war, cautioning—as has Defense Secretary Robert Gates—that the military should not... be the tip of the spear. As concerned with Iran as with al-Qaeda, the author recommends an array of tactics—some more hopeful than helpful—including political outreach, an Iranian embargo, educational assistance, updated laws of war and disrupting terrorist fund-raising. There is much of interest, although the main thrust of Berman's argument—the need for a comprehensive counterterrorism strategy—is the new conventional wisdom. Nevertheless, Berman's careful analysis and thoughtful conclusions are a welcome addition to the ongoing debate about the way forward . (Aug.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


The struggle against radical Islam is not limited to al-Qaeda or confined to Afghanistan and Iraq. The enemy is global. The challenge is multi-generational. The outcome remains uncertain. Ilan Berman argues persuasively that our strategic approach must be revisited and the rules of engagement changed. He offers a provocative, insightful, and scholarly blueprint for defeating the enemy in the intellectual, economic, diplomatic, and political theaters of this confrontation. (Thomas J. Ridge)

Berman is right when he writes that military force alone will not be enough to defeat this enemy; we must also employ economic and ideological tools. Sadly, when we have used these tools, we have usually failed to do so effectively. Winning the Long War shows policymakers across the political spectrum what to do to win this war. (Jon Kyl)

Berman’s careful analysis and thoughtful conclusions are a welcome addition to the ongoing debate about the way forward. (Publishers Weekly)

Berman offers a complete and coherent strategy for the so-called Long War, a struggle against radical Islam that will last decades. Most importantly, he has put forth a vision for countering our adversaries by demonstrating to their target audience that the jihadist ideology is an illegitimate interpretation of Islam and offers a bankrupt future. Very few writing in this area have tied together all the elements of a successful counter-terrorism strategy—political, diplomatic, law enforcement and especially economic. Berman has. (Brad Sherman)

Islam is undergoing what once in America was called a 'revival,’ the outcome of which will determine whether the overwhelming majority of moderate Muslims remain so. This global struggle for the heart and soul of Islam bodes fair to change the course of history—and thus far we in the West are losing. In this absorbing and rigorous examination of where we stand in this battle of ideas, Ilan Berman documents an alarming litany of failures on our side. The power of this remarkable book lies, however, in Berman’s prescriptions which, if adopted, are a basis for optimism that it’s not too late. Read it. (Robert C. McFarlane)

Mr. Berman has written a compact, swift-moving book in which he seeks to set the agenda for future strategic frameworks that will better address both the root causes of Islamic radicalism and the ongoing struggles we face with its most dogmatic and violent adherents. Mr. Berman has done great work in identifying the gaps in American strategy and proposing some solutions, and policymakers would do well to consider them. The book does not (nor does it claim to) have all the answers, but it asks all the right questions. (Robbins, James S. Washington Times)

The book lays out a must-read plan for tackling some of America's thorniest foreign policy challenges. . . . It is an excellent review of the challenges we have faced since the fall of the World Trade Center towers in 2001, and a succinct synopsis of the prevailing diplomatic and military thinking on how ultimately to win the war. (Jonathan Schanzer The Jerusalem Post)

Ilan Berman's new book, Winning the Long War, Retaking the Offensive Against Radical Islam , catalogues American successes and failures to defeat radical Islam post-9/11. In its quiet, meticulously researched way, it is a powerful call to action in the war against radical Islam-especially the war of ideas. (Huffington Post)

Berman's chapter titled "Messaging to the (Muslim) Masses" is a damining, and convincing, indictment of US public diplomacy in the Islamic world. . . . Winning the Long War is a valuable contribution to the policy literature, containing many ideas that merit further discussion and exploration. Moreover, its brevity makes it accessible even for those with little time for reading. It is to be hoped that many policymakers, academics, and others will do so. (Comparative Strategy)

Our country has been waiting for a creative yet realistic approach to foreign policy. One Middle East expert, Ilan Berman, has developed a moderate, non-polemic approach with his new book, Winning the Long War: Retaking the Offensive against Radical Islam . . . His suggestions merge military, diplomatic, economic, theoretical, and legal strategy into an easily readable blueprint that outlines the 'vastness' of our national security plan in an ultimately bipartisan manner. . . No matter what your politics are on issues such as national security, you will find that this book actually offers a non-apologist, non-obstructionist view of how the United States may go about winning the long war. I might be too hopeful a citizen, but Berman's thoroughly less militarized approach to the war on terror may help re-establish not only this country's safety, but also perhaps its honor. (The Humanist)

Ilan Berman . . . goes straight to the philosophical nub of the problem. . . . Mr. Berman provides a compelling argument that it is time for the U.S. to enter the debate, not with a megaphone but with a steady voice, and back its ideas with money and sustained commitment. (The Far Eastern Economic Review)

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers; First Edition edition (August 16, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0742566196
  • ISBN-13: 978-0742566194
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.2 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,124,820 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
It has been my distinct honor and privilege to meet the author of this work and review his brilliant analysis of the threat we face from the radicals currently in control of Iran and other anti-western groups in the Middle East.

Berman's study is worthy of review, not just by our current admin, but also by every citizen who transcends the mundane day to day trivia that diverts our attention from the real threats we now face.

If you wish to study the efforts of a brilliant scholar who has dedicated his life to insuring our national security against foes who desire our destruction, place this book at the top of your reading list. After reading it, you will understand why we must not sink to the craven responses of western democracies when confronted with fascism in the 1930s. The difference between then and now? "Only" fifty million died in our confrontation against Nazism and Japanese Imperialism. . .the stakes are far higher this time around. . .and this time we have yet to react and the clock is ticking in their favor, not ours.

Definitely read Berman's study and take heed.

Dr. Wm. R. Forstchen
author of "One Second After"
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1 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars just whose side is the author on? February 26, 2012
Ilan Berman, an insecure man with an unhealthy obsession with the Islamic Republic of Iran, is an "expert" on Middle East Affairs in the sense that David Koresh was an expert on Christianity. Those who smugly believe that Rep. Sue Myrick is the only person deluded enough to believe in "Hezbollah anchor babies" on the North American continent need to look again: such paranoid theories form the crux of Mr. Berman's world-view. What Berman neglects to mention is that the primary engine of global terror and hate is Saudi oil money backing the Wahhabi cult. Need I mention that presently it is *Iran* that is the primary check on Saudi power and influence? That Berman would have the U.S. military take that away leads me to wonder what side is he on ..
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5 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars First, Understand the Enemy Within July 25, 2009
I love the book, not least because it reiterates the Secretary of Defense view that the military cannot win this Long War alone.

What this book does NOT address is the raw fact that we are our own worst enemy, and that as long as we make policy based on delusional fantasies combined with rapid profiteering mandates from Goldman Sachs and Wall Street, as long as we lack a strategic analytic model, and as long as we are completely opposed to actually creating a prosperous world at peace, then the USA is destined for self-immolation.

Buy the book. Also consider:
Winning the Long War: Lessons from the Cold War for Defeating Terrorism and Preserving Freedom
Unfolding the Future of the Long War: Motivations, Prospects, and Implications for the U.s. Army

HOWEVER, if you recognize as I do that those in power are completely divorced from reality, having become "like morons" as Daniel Ellsberg lectured Henry Kissinger in Secrets: A Memoir of Vietnam and the Pentagon Papers, and that both Congress and the White House consist of good people trapped in a bad system that robs each and every one of them of their integrity, then no happy ending is possible.

I have posted my book
... Read more ›
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