Synopses & Reviews
'Long before international terrorism became a salient issue for Americans, many years before 9/11 bred a legion of supposed \'experts\' on terrorism, Brian Michael Jenkins was pioneering serious study of the subject. His work at the RAND Corporation beginning four decades ago is a foundation of modern scholarship on terrorism.... Unconquerable Nation distills much of Jenkins\'s painstakingly acquired wisdom about terrorism and applies it to today\'s challenge of countering the global jihadist movement.
Journal Of Strategic Studies
[Jenkins] is not a Pollyanna, but he believes that \'controlling\' (even if not eradicating) terrorism is possible and offers concrete ideas. One intriguing though is that much of the Islamic World is also threatened and that we should use the dynamic of a shared enemy to better advantage... The [book] is relatively short and worth reading by those concerned with \'strengthening ourselves\'.
Air Power History, Spring 2008Among the many books that purport to point the way forward for America in the wake of 9-11, this one stands out, chiefly for its clarity and sensibility. Author Brian Michael Jenkins\' counterterrorism credentials are legendary and he has a gift for expressing truly significant and subtle insights on terrorism with simple clarity. It is often difficult to deny the common sense of his commentary. Unconquerable Nation is sensibly structured, opening with an examination of how Americans prevailed over challenges like the Civil War and the Great Depression. Jenkins plainly states his convictions, the most fundamental of which are that America\'s courage is the ultimate source of its security, and that whatever we do, we must preserve American values. He also does not shy away from declaring where he agrees and disagrees with current official policy... Jenkins has written an assessment of the global war on terror that is an indispensable addition to any security bookshelf. With so much riding on our war against terrorism and against extremism in Iraq, reading this book is a must.
Security Management, November 2007
Brian Jenkins began RAND\'s terrorism research program in 1972 after serving in the Vietnam War in the Special Forces, and he is now senior advisor to the president of RAND. In \'Unconquerable Nation: Knowing Our Enemy, Strengthening Ourselves\', he has synthesized his shorter writings on terrorism from the past six years into a single volume that assesses the current situation, delves into the need for a deeper understanding of the terrorists and their motivations, prescribes a new set of strategic principles to guide our efforts in the Long War, and addresses how the Nation can strengthen itself... His careful explication[s], combined with a willingness to take on some of the shibboleths of the past 5 years (\'fighting them there instead of here\', the color-coded alert system) and a level-headed reminder to keep the terrorist threat in perspective, make for thought-provoking reading.
Joint Force Quarterly, 1st Quarter 2007Using as inspiration Chinese strategist Sun Tzu\'s words, \'Being unconquerable lies with yourself\', terrorism expert Brian Jenkins lays out a strategy for dealing with the modern terrorist threat, one unlike any the US has seen in its history. Jenkins provides an assessment of the current situation and of the enemy we face. He then outlines the strategic principles for defeating our terrorist enemies and the strategies that we can use to strengthen ourselves while avoiding irrational fear.
ournal of Counterterrorism and Homeland Security International, Fall 2007
On the fifth anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Brian Jenkins, one of the world's leading experts on terrorism and counterterrorism strategies, presents a concise and compelling overview of where we are today in the struggle against terrorism. He offers personal reflections on how some of our recent approaches to counterterrorism have been counterproductive. He presents an overview of the jihadists, particularly al Qaeda, and their operational code. He proposes strategies to counteract this adversary and to avoid reinforcing it further. Finally, he clarifies the American and Western values that we must strive to uphold, as well as ways that we might do so today and in the future.
'The author presents a clear-sighted and sobering analysis of where we are today in the struggle against terrorism. Jenkins, an internationally renowned authority on terrorism, distills the jihadists\' operational code and outlines a pragmatic but principled approach to defeating the terrorist enterprise. We need to build upon our traditions of determination and self-reliance, he argues, and above all, preserve our commitment to American values.'