War on Terror

The Middle East Dimension

Robert B. Satloff
Release Date: April 1, 2002

The attacks of September 11 were transformative events, both in how Americans view their own sense of security and in how America engages with the world. Although the initial battle in the U.S.-led war against terror has been fought in central and south Asia, the principles behind that campaign have special resonance in the Middle East. This region is home to organizations which share both ideology and methodology with the perpetrators of the September 11 terrorist attacks. In addition, many aspects of the threat to U.S. interests are particular to the region: the frightening spread of weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery; the ongoing challenge to the international system posed by Iraq; and, perhaps most of all, the reluctance that many U.S. allies in the region exhibit to confront their own religious militants.

In this volume, key U.S. and Middle East decision makers, academics, and journalists discuss important themes such as the common interests of regional states in cooperating against terrorism, the different strategies adopted by regimes in confronting their Islamist challenges, the impact of September 11 events on the Israeli-Palestinian arena, the problems and prospects of maintaining the antiterror coalition, and the role of democracy as an antidote to the region’s ills.