"Derek Reveron and Jeffrey Stevenson Murer provide a much-needed corrective to the spate of alarmist writings on the Islamist roots of terrorism. Their essential book should be subtitled, The thoughtful person s guide to political violence in the Islamic world. Fourteen country and regional studies show that most terrorist threats to the U.S. and regional security come from festering local conflicts in weak Muslim states, not from global jihad. While many activists claim an Islamic identity, their struggles mainly reflect nationalist goals and economic grievances. The U.S.-led war on terrorism risks internationalizing these conflicts by pushing political militants into the eager arms of jihadists."
Ted Robert Gurr, Distinguished University Professor, University of Maryland
"This outstanding and timely essay collection pinpoints the causes of political violence in a number of conflicts worldwide, and demonstrates the need to take a more nuanced and comprehensive approach to fighting terrorism. The authors offer insightful and practical recommendations for simultaneously combating terrorism and promoting democratic reforms."
Karin Von Hippel, Senior Fellow, Center for Strategic and International Studies
"This volume represents a vital and comprehensive effort to understand the wide variety of local struggles that are often subsumed under the label global war on terror. Collectively, the case studies present a formidable, empirically grounded challenge to the conventional wisdom that the United States is confronting a global Islamist movement. Anyone who wants to understand the war on terrorism for what it is rather than for what we imagine it to be should read this book."
Jeremy Shapiro, Research Director and Fellow, Center on the United States and Europe, The Brookings Institution Flashpoints in the War on Terrorism
offers a uniquely comprehensive overview of international political violence by bringing together foreign-policy experts on several regions who examine conflicts in the Fertile Crescent, the Balkans, the Post-Soviet Region, the Himalayas, Southeast Asia, and sub- Saharan Africa. With cogent assessments of civil conflicts that portend to be parts of a global jihad each chapter both dissects the historical roots and socioeconomic causes that catalyze terrorism in those areas, as well as posits ways for the United States to meet the myriad of foreign-policy challenges posed by the growing threat of contemporary international terrorism.
Derek S. Reveron is Associate Professor of National Security Affairs at the Naval War College, where he specializes in U.S. foreign policy, civil-military relations, and intelligence. He is the author of Promoting Democracy in the Post-Soviet Region
and editor of America's Viceroys: The Military and U.S. Foreign Policy
Jeffrey Stevenson Murer is Assistant Professor of Political Science at Swarthmore College and Visiting Associate Professor at Haverford College. His research engages cultural and institutional responses to political and economic transitions in Central and Eastern Europe, and the politics of European integration.