Throughout the 1990s, U.S. policymakers by and large thought they could insulate the country from the collapse of distant states and the spread of war and disorder in some of the world’s poorest regions. The attacks on September 11, 2001, however, showed that dire conditions in seemingly isolated regions could become incubators for violence that hits America directly. This book, based on Barnett R. Rubin¡’s years of experience as director of the Center for Preventive Action (CPA) at the Council on Foreign Relations, argues that initiatives aimed at preventing regional crises must form a key part of the U.S. global security strategy.
Drawing on his experience leading CPA projects in the Balkans, Central Asia, Central Africa, and West Africa, as well has his extensive work on Afghanistan, Rubin illustrates concretely how seemingly exotic and distant conflicts are deeply integrated into our global system through the effects of global strategies and markets. These conflicts, the author argues, are harder to contain once they flare up into violence and yet are potentially more subject to prevention by global actors than common wisdom claims.