- Hardcover: 352 pages
- Publisher: Potomac Books; First Edition edition (June 1, 2004)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1574888498
- ISBN-13: 978-1574888492
- Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.1 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 222 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #461,683 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Imperial Hubris: Why the West is Losing the War on Terror First Edition Edition
Use the Amazon App to scan ISBNs and compare prices.
All Books, All the Time
Read author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more at the Amazon Book Review. Read it now
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
The war on terror has created near unanimity on many points, at least within the American press and political leadership. One essential point of agreement: al Qaeda specifically and radical Islamism in general are stirred by a hatred of modernity. Or as President George W. Bush has articulated repeatedly, they hate freedom. Nonsense, responds the nameless author of this work and 2003's Through Our Enemies' Eyes (the senior U.S. intelligence official's identity became an open secret by publication date). Indeed, he grimly and methodically discards common wisdom throughout this scathing and compelling take on counterterrorism. Imperial Hubris is not a book that will cheer Americans, regardless of their perspectives on the post-9/11 environment. We are, the author notes, losing the war on terror. Hawks will squirm as the author heaps contempt on U.S. missions in Afghanistan (too little, too late) and Iraq ("a sham causing more instability than it prevents"), but opponents of Bush administration policies may blanch at Anonymous' suggestion that what's needed is for the West to "proceed with relentless, brutal, and, yes, blood-soaked offensive military actions until we have annihilated the Islamists who threaten us." Quoting the at-all-cost likes of William Tecumseh Sherman and Curtis Lemay on one hand and contending that unrelenting military measures be accompanied by concessions to the ideology of the militants on the other are unlikely to curry widespread support from either side of the divide. And how will readers conditioned to references to Osama bin Laden as a deranged gangster or simple-minded fanatic with deep pockets digest the respect accorded "the most popular anti-American leader in the world today"? Imperial Hubris clearly wasn't written to win friends, though the author believes it's essential that his words influence people at the top. Whether it will is debatable, but that this blunt, forceful, urgently argued polemic recharges the discussion is a foregone conclusion. --Steven Stolder
From Publishers Weekly
It's unclear how, in an age when even office workers must sign confidentiality agreements, an alleged CIA Middle Eastern specialist has gotten permission to publish a sprawling, erudite book on the origins and present state of the "war on terror." His main point is that Arab antagonism to the West (and even non-fundamentalist Arab regimes' winking at terrorism) has its root in real grievances that have gone unaddressed by U.S. measures. The actions of the Saudis, and their U.S. supporters, come in for some hard criticism, as does the elevation of Northern Alliance warlords to de facto governors of Afghanistan. The author makes some challenging remarks regarding Israel ("Surely there can be no other historical example of a faraway, theocracy-in-all-but-name of only six million people that ultimately controls the extent and even the occurrence of an important portion of political discourse and national security debate in a country of 270-plus million people that prides itself on religious toleration, separation of church and state, and freedom of speech") while playing down the extent to which the Taliban itself was a corrupt theocratic regime. But his annotated compendia of battles and skirmishes won and lost by the U.S. and al-Qaeda are gripping, and his engagement with his subject has made him a pundit-in-demand.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Top customer reviews
One reason he can use open source (e.g. unclassified documents availible to anyone with a computer and internet) is that he knows what can and what cannot be true. I hope the Obama White House is reading Scheuer and formulating a new "why" regarding what a strategy for Afghanistan should look like. Hint: we're doing it wrong.
During my travelling abroad, I hear very derogatory remarks about us. There was a time, we were seen as great people and country. Not any more.
All this because of our politicians and meia who are suservient to lobbyists and money.
The writer unleashes a scathing commentary on the White House, the intelligence community, the `Elites' (whoever they are) and just about anyone else involved in the Afghan/Iraqi debacle. The `Hubris' is what causes us to engage in nation building without analysis. We Americans are engaged in flights of fancy where optimism alone can reshape centuries of culture overnight. In a sense the Bush administration diminishes the sacrifices that Americans and Europeans have made over the centuries in the fight for freedom, equality and Democracy by suggesting that it can be imposed on a people who consider them completely foreign ideas.
The main point is that we need to keep the focus on destroying the enemy and the enemy is al Qaeda and its offshoots. Nation building is costly, resource intensive and likely to end in failure. Anonymous states that our Generals are taught one thing and asked to do another. War isn't about speed or low casualties or bloodless combat. It's about crushing the enemy until they have no more will to fight. Killing 20% of the Taliban or Iraqi army leaves 80% to fight another day. If politicians looked at war in that respect they might not be so quick to pull the trigger.
Anonymous sees Usama Bin Laden not as a madman but as a worthy opponent and as such worthy of serious American resolve. Instead of tackling the enemy we gave him a gift beyond measure in our occupation of Iraq.
Liberals may flock to this book because of its Bush White House bashing but be warned that the writer suggests ramping up the war, ending our defense at any cost relationship with Israel and ripping into the Alaskan wilderness to free ourselves from Middle Eastern oil dependency. Anonymous is a realist but some may not be so thrilled with his reality.
Dr. Scheuer has taken a very brave stance in writing this book and I'm sure that he has paid, and will continue to pay a price for this
If anyone thinks that the West has a sensible working policy that can beat terrorism with its approach to Afghanistan,Israel and the Gulf States then read this book and see what the terrorists representatives say and have it interpreted by ex-CIA operatives involved during the Russian presence in Afghanistan. These operatives had enormous insight to the tribal tensions and politics, Afghani history and what makes the population tick. All of which was neglected by new kids on the block when the country was invaded by the West. In dealing with Afghanistan the writer also shows the thinking inside the Islamic world that includes that country, Israel and Gulf states as to why terrorists cannot be defeated by the gun.
I do not agree with his idea that bin Laden has a valid point, but I like some of his arguments.
However, it is only fair to judge the work from every aspect.
The book contains a lot of information and you can learn about ME Muslim countries and terrorism.
There may be some books that are poorly written, but every book worth reading it. There is always something to learn.
So have fun reading this book.