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How to Lose the War on Terror

by Mark Perry

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In 2004 a small group of Americans and Europeans held a series of meetings in Beirut with senior members of Hamas, Hezbollah and the Muslim Brotherhood. And in early 2005, a larger group of former senior American and European government officials and diplomats travelled to Lebanon for talks with these 'terrorist leaders'. The discussions were detailed, wide ranging, blunt, and often uncomfortable, but they touched on a wide variety of subjects: on democracy, Israel, Al-Qaeda, violence and terrorism. The result was startling: a conviction among the participants that the United States and its allies had gotten the 'War on Terror' wrong, dangerously wrong. Now, in this inside account, one of the leaders of these delegations details how those unprecedented discussions - and an opening that was engineered between American military officers and Iraqi insurgents based in Amman - has helped to convince American and European policymakers to recast the war on terrorism, providing a fundamental shift in Western strategy. How to Lose the War on Terror is not only an on-the-ground, real-time account of how 'talking' and 'listening' to the leaders of Hamas, Hezbollah and the Muslim Brotherhood is beginning to shift American and European perceptions, but how groups that the West once viewed as 'dead enders' and 'enemies of freedom' are now slowly being recruited in the war against America and Europe's real enemies - Al-Qaeda and its 'Salafist' allies. How to Lose the War on Terror is a dramatic narrative of the crippling strategic and intellectual mistakes that have mired the West in an unwinnable war. It is one of those rare books that suggests a way forward in a conflict whose victory depends less on force than it does on a realistic understanding of the true enemy and a comprehension of the challenges we all face. After seven years of getting it wrong, is the West finally getting it right? Mark Perry's startling account helps to answer that question. ( )
  HurstPub | Nov 5, 2010 |
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