- ISBN/SKU: 9781591145035
- Binding: Hardcover & eBook
- Era: War on Terrorism
- Number of Pages: 336
- Subject: Political Science
- Date Available: June 2011
Blending academic objectivity with a clear agenda to devise a new strategic U.S. approach to Al Qaeda, McGrath proposes policy options for confronting terrorism. He asserts that Al Qaeda is primarily a political threat that challenges the very nature of the U.S. political system, not a military threat capable of destroying the United States. Coercive means are necessary to reduce Al Qaeda's capacity for violence. A coercive approach alone, however is insufficient. A carefully chosen political response to undercut Al Qaeda to reduce its political support, and thus reduce its operational capacity, and bolster US political character against terrorism's destabilizing and corrosive effects on US political choices is equally necessary.
The U.S., McGrath contends, must politically undercut Al Qaeda by addressing key political disputes that fuel the US-Al Qaeda conflict in a manner consistent with traditional U.S. foreign policy values. He argues that not only will such an approach weaken Al Qaeda's internal cohesion and politically isolate Al Qaeda from the public that hides and assists it, but it will also stunt terrorism's subversive effects on the American political character.
Kevin McGrath is a senior analyst with a global intelligence and risk management firm and lives in Washington. DC. He holds a Ph.D. from the University of Maryland.
"Confronting al Qaeda presents a good account of how the United States has dealth with al Qaeda's 9-11 attack in the ten years since that disaster. Those charged with countering this threat should consider McGrath's discussion of the conflict and proposals for the future. He backs his arguments with detailed notes that refer readers to the literature surrounding this challenge...A valuable addition to the literature on how to confront the difficulties of, in current military terminology, asymmetric warfare, represented by the terrorism launched by al Qaeda under the leadership of the late Osama bin Laden. McGrath is well qualified to discuss this topic. "
— On Point: The Journal of Army History, Winter 2013
“This book is a highly readable effort full of policy implications and prescriptions….Recommended.”
— Choice, February 2012
“Worth buying and worth a read.”
— THE NAVY, the quarterly magazine of the Navy League of Australia, January-March 2012
“Confronting Al Qaeda is an important treatise on reassessing the West’s ongoing battle with the threat of terrorism…. This is a well written and thought-provoking book that will find an audience with subject specialists as well as general readers. It certainly provides food for thought for anyone engaged in counterterrorism policy development.”
— Australian Defence Force Journal
"Author McGrath deploys a deft hand in helping us decipher the complexity of [the struggle with Al Qaeda]. He systematically lays out, region by region, who the players are; what their goals are; and more importantly, what the U.S. can do to counteract this volatile mix."
—New York Journal of Books, June 2011
“In this incisive and insightful book, Kevin McGrath performs a dual service. In addition to exposing the incoherence of Washington's efforts to deal with Al Qaeda before and after 9/11, he describes in admirable detail a realistic, affordable approach for getting U.S. policy back on track. Senior U.S. officials: take note.”
—Andrew J. Bacevich, author of Washington Rules: America's Path to Permanent War
“Kevin McGrath uniquely combines a host of on-scene experience with a reflected and detached academic analysis of the broad issues. Extremely well written and thoughtfully nuanced, the book will be of use to policy analysts as well as to students, providing a useful review of the big issues and a number of novel insights.”
—George H. Quester, Shapiro Professor, Elliott School of International Affairs, The George Washington University, author of Preemption, Prevention and Proliferation: The Threat and Use of Weapons in History