This readable and deeply informed book examines the threat that Islamic extremists pose to the United States and provides a balanced and nuanced discussion of Iraq as a test case of America's war on terrorism. Explaining the basics of Islam and guiding the reader through the intricacies of each significant extremist group, the authors answer key questions: Who are the Jihadists and how do they fit within the broader context of the Islamic religion? What is their war plan and how do they operate? Who are their allies and what are their weaknesses? What is the experience of Israel, the Islamic world, and the United States in fighting Islamic extremists? How can they be defeated?
Drawing on decades of experience in the Middle East, the authors provide the only current analysis of the vulnerabilities of the Jihadists, linking those weaknesses to concrete strategies to defeat them. The Palmers trace the movement far beyond Osama bin Laden and the now-splintering al-Qaeda into a range of autonomous networks. The authors also provide extensive information on the Muslim Brotherhood, Hizbullah, and other extremist groups attempting to achieve an Islamic state by more-or-less peaceful means. Their relationship with the Jihadists and their potential for violence are explored in detail. The book also provides the first in-depth discussion of the evolution of a vibrant Hizbullah organization in Iraq.
This vitally important work reflects the authors' thorough understanding of the culture and history of the Muslim world. Careful in its analysis, its subtle observations pay tribute to the authors' thirty years of working with Middle Eastern organizations and conducting pioneering studies in the areas of Arab psychology and political behavior. The Palmers effectively combine an engaging writing style and extensive personal experience into an invaluable resource for both policy makers and general readers.
Monte Palmer is professor emeritus at Florida State University. He directed FSU's Middle East Studies Center, as well as the Center for Arab and Middle Eastern Studies at the American University of Beirut.
Princess Palmer is a former consultant for the World Bank.