New Internationalist

Why We’re Losing The War on Terror

March 2008

The analysis and perception so signally lacking in Docherty’s offering (see left), is provided admirably by Paul Rogers’ short, punchy book. Rogers is Professor of Peace Studies at Britain’s University of Bradford and he has written extensively about global security and the West’s response to the post-9/11 international landscape.

Rogers’ argument is that the ‘War on Terror’ is a delusion that condemns us all to a dangerous present and an uncertain future. He provides detailed evidence of the catastrophic failure of the US political and military élite to grasp the realities of the geopolitical situation, a failure which has resulted in the illegal invasion of Iraq, uncounted civilian deaths there and in Afghanistan, widespread detention without trial, ‘extraordinary rendition’ and torture by the US and its allies. Al-Qaeda could not have wished for a better recruiting sergeant in its equally delusional war.

Rogers’ style is academic but accessible to the general reader and he gives his analysis an appropriate historical, economic and political context.

Perhaps surprisingly, given the disastrous situation he is describing, Rogers sees reasons to hope amid the carnage and despair. He advances the idea that the failure of the War on Terror has been so complete and pervasive that its collapse – allied with the departure from office of the war-criminals who authored it – may open up a space for dialogue about a sustainable and just policy on addressing world security. For all our sakes, we can only hope he is right.

This column was published in the March 2008 issue of New Internationalist. To read more, buy this issue or subscribe.

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Product information by Paul Rogers (Polity, ISBN 9780745641973)
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