Author(s): Patrick Sookhdeo
For more than two decades the United States has responded to global terrorism largely as a physical threat, avoiding direct confrontation with the beliefs and ideas that motivate it. This collection of essays seeks to redress this imbalance. It aims to give decision-makers the tools to craft an effective strategy for countering and defeating the beliefs that motivate Islamist terrorists by examining those beliefs closely and drawing on the lessons to be learned from past ideological conflicts.
This just released work is an important and timely contribution to current thinking regarding the modern resurgence of Islamism. More precisely, in the relatively short span of 240 pages, the book offers an intriguing perspective on how the Western democracies can develop a comprehensive methodology to combat Islamic expansionism in all of its forms, both violent as well as nominally peaceful [which relies heavily on da'wa, Muslim proselytization]. Demonstrative of the anthology's currency, it is reflective of a post bin-Laden world. While the subject matter will necessarily be of most interest to those already working within the field [or students thereof], it might well have broader appeal to those interested generally in national security matters, comparative political theory, ideological trends and taking the offensive in a multi-front asymmetrical war. Though there is a fairly large preexisting knowledge base in these combined areas of study much of the subject material is by nature, dense and therefore primarily of interest to academicians. Fighting the Ideological War is the type of work that would be appropriate as a basis for further exploration in the field, though it certainly stands as a powerful achievement in its own right. The book is organized around seven essays, grouped under three subheadings, Identifying the Enemy After the Death of Bin-Laden, Learning from the Past and Winning the Ideological War, which logically connect the major points: Defining the enemy's nature. Identifying successful historical examples of dealing with such challenges. Developing an overall enemy threat doctrine and presenting a template for winning the war of ideas. It follows then that in order to triumph within such a paradigm, both aspects of Islamism must be defeated, with Fighting the Ideological War offering a reasonable winning strategic vision based upon historical fact, rather than the current policy which heavily relies upon gestures rooted in appeasement and willful ignorance. -- WILLIAM MAYER
Patrick Sookhdeo has a Ph.D. from the School of Oriental and African Studies, London University on issues relating to Islam and society. He is the Director of the Institute for the Study of Islam and Christianity and also serves as a senior advisor and consultant on security and military issues. He is currently Adjunct Professor at George C. Marshall European Center and Senior Visiting Fellow at the Defence Academy of the UK, as well as lecturing at other institutions. He is author of 21 books. Katharine Cornell Gorka is the Executive Director of The Westminster Institute, a non-governmental think-tank which is based in McLean, Virginia.
Introduction, Chapter 1: Identifying the enemy after the death of Bin Laden, The West, Islam, and the Counter-Ideological War - Patrick Sookhdeo, Islam and Totalitarianism: The Challenge of Comparison - Stephen Ulph, Chapter 2: Learning from the Past, Ideology and Central Planning: Lessons from the Cold War - John Moore, Political-Ideological Warfare in Integrated Strategy, and its Basis in an Assessment of Soviet Reality - John Lenczowski, Public Diplomacy in an Age of Global Terrorism: Lessons from the Past - Robert Reilly, Chapter 3: Winning the Ideological War, The Jihadist States - Thomas Joscelyn, The Enemy Threat of Al Qaeda: Taking the War to the Heart of our Foe - Sebastian Gorka; End notes, About the authors, About The Westminster Institute