Archives for 2008

Global Jihadism: Theory and Practice

Jarret Brachman, a former Fellow in the Central Intelligence Agency's Counterterrorist Center, has openly declared that the single greatest tactical failing in the current War on Terrorism is the institutional failure to strategically analyze as war fighting creed, doctrine and strategy of the global jihadist movement. During his tenure as leader of the Com...    read more 

The Future of Kurdistan in Iraq

As the future of post-war Iraq continues to be debated and examined by scholars and policymakers, one vexing problem remains at the forefront: Should the people residing in the Kurdistan region of Iraq remain under Iraqi governance, receive greater autonomy or be granted independence? For the editors of The Future of Kurdistan in Iraq, the answer is clear: ...    read more 

Foxbats over Dimona: The Soviets’ Nuclear Gamble in the Six-Day War

ould the Soviets have provoked the 1967 Six-Day War between Israel and Egypt in order to destroy Israel’s nascent nuclear program? This is the provocative thesis Isabella Ginor and Gideon Remez have set forth in their book, Foxbats over Dimona,which argues—contrary to conventional historiography—that the Soviets may have carelessly provoked the war by...    read more 

Thabo Mbeki and the Battle for the Soul of the ANC

For decades the African National Congress (ANC) was considered by many in the international community as an organization of terrorists. Over the years, the ANC earned the sympathy of the west and emerged as the ruling party of South Africa producing names like Mandela, Mbeki and Zuma—all of whom became well known players on the world stage. Thabo Mbeki a...    read more 

Defending the West: A Critique of Edward Said’s Orientalism

Just a few years ago, Vintage Books celebrated the twenty-fifth anniversary of the publication of Edward Said’s Orientalism by releasing a special edition of the book. This new edition contained a preface in which Said, reminiscent of his approach inOrientalism itself, sought to privilege his narrative over those of his colleagues who he variously describ...    read more 

The Enigma of Islamist Violence

The Enigma of Islamist Violence is a collection of essays written by primarily French scholars who seek to understand why Islamist groups have utilized violence in order to achieve political goals. Although the topics of the essays vary, the editors’ main point is to emphasize that Islamist groups must be understood as local groups, rather than part of a g...    read more 

Imagining the Arab Other: How Arabs and Non-Arabs View Each Other

Another entry in an overlong series of discussions on the construction of “otherness,” this anthology represents some of the results of an international colloquium held in 1993 by the Arab Association of Sociology, an organization that seems no longer to exist. In the preface, the book’s editor Tahir Labib purports this to be a set of papers chosen to...    read more 

China in Africa

China is in the midst of a remarkable economic expansion, but much of their continued economic development is premised on the availability of energy resources and raw materials. Since the 1990s, China has aggressively tapped African countries for its resources to meet these needs. Chinese state and private firms are active in Africa exploiting hardwoods, pum...    read more 

Jihad in Islamic History: Doctrines and Practice

The concept of jihad has been the subject of much debate and confusion in recent years, especially since September 11, 2001. At one extreme are the Islamists insisting that jihad is the sixth pillar of Islam and using it to justify a movement that glorifies violence and terror. The clearest expression of this was in February 1998 when Osama bin Laden and h...    read more 

When Things Fell Apart: State Failure in Late-Century Africa

Like other developing regions of the world, Africa was host to much violence, bloodshed, and political upheaval during the twentieth century. The “Year of Africa” (1960) and subsequent independence movements, it was thought and hoped, would bring a more stable and prosperous future for the continent. Yet, violence, bloodshed, and upheaval persisted to ...    read more