Share this

Deterring Rational Fanatics, Alex S. Wilner

Reviewed by Mohammed M. Hafez

BUY

 

More than a decade since the U.S.-led war on al Qaeda and its affiliate terrorist networks, we are nowhere near defeating this vexing adversary. On the contrary, the rise of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and America’s renewed engagement with countering radicalization at home and abroad demonstrate the failure of earlier strategies to contain, delegitimize, and defeat violent extremists. After two major wars, extensive security assistance to allied nations, billions spent on new homeland security institutions and measures, and a plethora of programs intended to delegitimize and deradicalize extremists, what else can be done to counter the threat of terrorism?

It is in this context that Alex S. Wilner introduces the case for deterrence as an underexplored strategy in the war against Islamist extremists. Deterring Rational Fanatics offers a lucid, if not entirely compelling, argument for seeking to deter terrorists by altering their motivation to orchestrate violence. His central argument is that despite the aura of fanaticism surrounding groups such as al Qaeda and the Taliban, these entities are rational actors that could be manipulated, influence, and compelled to rethink their violence. The key to deterring these organizations is to break their terrorism systems into their component processes and to seek ways to exercise leverage at

To continue reading, see options above.

More by This Author

The Occupation of Iraq: Winning the War, Losing the Peace, Ali A. Allawi
Reviewed by Mohammed M. Hafez

About PSQ's Editor

Demetrios James Caraley

Full Access

Join the Academy of Political Science and automatically receive Political Science Quarterly.

Editor’s spotlight

Developments in Beijing

The Varieties of Collective Financial Statecraft: The BRICS and China
LESLIE ELLIOTT ARMIJO

Chinese Thinking on the South China Sea and the Future of Regional Security
FENG ZHANG

Search the Archives

Publishing since 1886, PSQ is the most widely read and accessible scholarly journal with distinguished contributors such as: Lisa Anderson, Robert A. Dahl, Samuel P. Huntington, Robert Jervis, Joseph S. Nye, Jr., Theda Skocpol, Woodrow Wilson

view additional issues

New APS Book

Continuing Issues in U.S. National Security Policy   CONTINUING ISSUES IN U.S. NATIONAL SECURITY POLICY

Most read

Articles | Book reviews

Understanding the Bush Doctrine
Robert Jervis

The Study of Administration
Woodrow Wilson

Notes on Roosevelt's "Quarantine" Speech
Dorothy Borg

view all

About US

Academy of Political Science

The Academy of Political Science, promotes objective, scholarly analyses of political, social, and economic issues. Through its conferences and publications APS provides analysis and insight into both domestic and foreign policy issues.

Political Science Quarterly

With neither an ideological nor a partisan bias, PSQ looks at facts and analyzes data objectively to help readers understand what is really going on in national and world affairs.

Stay Connected

newsstand locator
About APS