Synopses & Reviews
A new strategy for American foreign policy that looks beyond Iraq and changes the way we think about the war on terror.
Six years into the “war on terror,” are the United States and its allies better off than we were before it started? Sadly, we are not, and the reason is that we have been fighting - and losing - the wrong war.
In this paradigm-shifting book, Philip H. Gordon presents a new way of thinking about the war on terror and a new strategy for winning it. He draws a provocative parallel between the world today and the world of the Cold War, showing how defense, development, diplomacy, and the determination to maintain our own values can again be deployed alongside military might to defeat a violent and insidious ideology. Drawing on the latest scholarly research, his own experience in the White House, and visits to more than forty countries, he provides fresh insights into the nature of the terrorist challenge and offers concrete and realistic proposals for confronting it.
Gordon also asks the question “What would victory look like?” - a topic sorely missing from the debate today. He offers a positive vision of the world after the war on terror, which will end not when we kill or capture all potential terrorists but when their hateful ideology collapses around them, when extremists become isolated in their own communities, and when Americans and their allies will again feel safe. His vision for promoting these goals is achievable and realistic, but only if the United States changes course before it is too late. As we look beyond the presidency of George W. Bush, we must seize the opportunity to chart a new course to security for America, the West, and the world at large. The stakes could not be higher.
"A powerful critique of, and a sound strategic alternative to, the flawed assumptions and self-defeating prescriptions of George W. Bush's misguided and mislabeled 'war on terror.' "--Zbigniew Brzezinski, former U.S. national security adviser and author of Second Chance: Three Presidents and the Crisis of American Superpower
"Philip H. Gordon offers wise advice on how to think about the threats and challenges facing the United States in the wake of the Iraq disaster. He puts forward a clear vision of a less militarized foreign policy that actually stands a chance of reducing the numbers of enemies we face, rather than increasing them as we have done in the recent past."--Francis Fukuyama, author of America at the Crossroads: Democracy, Power, and the Neoconservative Legacy
"Philip H. Gordon has written an absolutely brilliant book, informed by a deep understanding of the successes and failures of U.S. foreign policy since World War II. Winning the Right War
is the most clearly argued critique yet of the Bush administration's flawed approach to defeating jihadist terrorism. It shows how the United States can contain - and ultimately defeat - the terrorists who would destroy us."--Peter Bergen, author of The Osama bin Laden I Know
and Holy War, Inc.
"After four years of war in Iraq, the resurgence of Al Qaeda, and a steadily diminishing influence in the world, the United States needs a strategy for recovery. This book provides it. Philip H. Gordon's prescription is prudent, deeply informed, and workable. The next administration would be wise to take this strategy as a starting point for the way forward."--Steven Simon, senior fellow, Council on Foreign Relations, and coauthor of The Age of Sacred Terror
and The Next Attack
" 'Either you're with us or you're with the terrorists.' This was President Bush's challenge to the rest of the world in the immediate aftermath of 9/11. Over the succeeding six years his administration's conduct of the 'global war on terror' has managed to push hundreds of millions of Muslims onto the wrong side of that divide. Drawing upon America's successful conduct of the Cold War, Philip H. Gordon suggests how this competition must be radically recast if the extremists are to be marginalized and the terrorists rejected by their own societies."--James Dobbins, director of the International Security and Defense Policy Center at RAND, and former U.S. special envoy to Afghanistan
“An absolutely brilliant book . . . the most clearly argued critique yet of the Bush administrations flawed approach to defeating jihadist terrorism.”—Peter Bergen, author of Holy War, Inc.
Six years into the “war on terror,” are the United States and its allies safer than they were before it started? Sadly, we are not, and the reason is that we are fighting—and losing—the wrong war.
In this paradigm-shifting book, Philip H. Gordon presents a new way of thinking about the war on terror and a new strategy for winning it. He draws a provocative parallel between the war on terror and the Cold War, showing how defense, development, diplomacy, and the determination to maintain our own values can again be deployed alongside military might to defeat a hostile and insidious ideology.
Gordon also asks, “What would victory look like?”—a topic sorely missing from the debate today. He offers a positive vision of the world after the war on terror, which will end not when we kill or capture all potential terrorists but when their hateful ideology collapses. Gordons strategy for achieving this goal is achievable and realistic, but only if the United States changes course before it is too late.
About the Author
Philip H. Gordon is the senior fellow for U.S. foreign policy at the Brookings Institution, having previously served on the National Security Council staff during the Clinton administration. He is the author or co-author of five previous books, and his articles have appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, the Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal, and Foreign Affairs. He lives in Washington, D.C.