The United States' approach to fighting terrorism is among the most debated in the 2008 presidential campaign. The new administration will face an immediate need to address Islamist extremist terrorism and develop a long-term strategy that will shape U.S. interests abroad and life at home. This special volume of the ANNALS provides valuable insight that can help influence policy choices and strategies for addressing the challenges of combating terrorism.
Special editor, Richard A. Clarke, served the past three presidents as a senior White House advisor on counterterrorism. Clarke has pulled together a panel of distinguished scholars and experts to prepare a detailed background and agenda for a U.S. strategy to address the problem of Islamist extremist terrorism.
Taken together, these unclassified briefs are designed to assist the new president and administration—as well as scholars and the general public-- to examine terrorism. They provide a fresh perspective from which to set an agenda to counter violent Islamist extremists – especially the growing threat of nuclear terrorism – immediately following the inauguration, before day-to-day crises obstructs long-term planning and strategies.
Divided into four parts, this substantial collection offers considerations of strategic policymaking:
I. Al Quaeda's Incarnations
Examines the recent status of this violent and well-known Islamist extremist group
Attempts to explain the impetus for terrorists to carry out violence against innocent people
III. Specific U.S. Policies and Programs
Reviews important areas of expertise where the United States must succeed in order to counter violent groups
IV. Overall U.S. Strategy
Proposes ways to develop broad strategies to counter violent Islamist extremists
Drawing from the diligent work of scholars, journalists, prosecutors, and legislators, this collection of articles elucidates, analyzes, and sets an agenda for addressing the threat of terrorism. It is a must-read for students of political sciences as well as policymakers, and although prepared as a brief for the new administration, it is in the interest of every U.S. citizen to gain the important knowledge gathered in these articles.