***** Terror and Iraq: How We Can Better Combat Islamic Terrorism. By Shimshon Issaki; published by Atlas Books; available from ASIS, item #1858, 703/519-6200 (phone), www.asisonline.org (Web); 503 pages; $39 (ASIS members), $43 (nonmembers).
Shimshon Issaki’s Terror and Iraq is predicated on the notion that no country is immune from jihadist terrorism—a point clearly illustrated in the United States over the past year. Issaki further argues that the United States and its allies are victims because of their own omissions.
He calls counterterrorism efforts since 9-11 “deficient and partial.” Issaki analyzes these shortcomings, examining the hypothetical consequences of a complete pullout of U.S.-led forces from Iraq. He does a masterful job of explaining al Qaeda’s intricate and extensive global network, describes the unsuccessful attempts to eliminate it, and suggests novel alternative strategies.
Most, if not all, of the information in the book is drawn from open sources. Al Qaeda’s activities throughout the world are both well-known and documented. This is one of the most disturbing themes of this book, because Osama bin Laden, al Qaeda, and associated movements were never very sophisticated in the planning and execution of their attacks. Did we not recognize the emerging threat? Or did we handle the situation with kid gloves due to the roots of the movement being within the nation of Saudi Arabia, which the United States sees as an ally?
Issaki is highly qualified to take on this complex area of study. He has served more than 40 years with the Israeli Defense Forces and other security intelligence services as a senior intelligence analyst and operations officer.
Terror and Iraq is a worthwhile read for any security professional who seeks to understand the internal workings of al Qaeda and its allied organizations—and any reader open to a critical assessment of the U.S.-led war on terror.
Reviewer: Frederick D. “Rick” Arons, CPP, CRT (Certified in the Reid Technique), is president and CEO of American Eagle Investigations in Eagle, Idaho. He is a security consultant specializing in corporate security investigations and threat analysis. He is a former member of the U.S. Army Special Forces and an expert in insurgency and counterinsurgency warfare. He is a member of ASIS International.