Surveying U.S. Middle East policy since the era of Franklin Roosevelt, Gerges sees a constant tussle between “regionalists,” who are highly sensitive to the peculiarities of the Middle East, and “globalists,” whose approach to the region has stressed the unquestioning backing of Israel, first as a Cold War ally and later as a partner in the “war on terror.” The globalists have generally prevailed, never more so than during the George W. Bush years.
Gerges, one of the most astute chroniclers of Islamist radicalism, begins his book with a masterly and trenchant account of the origins of al Qaeda and its decline after 9/11. Warrick, a reporter for The Washington Post, narrates an extraordinary story of intrigue and betrayal behind one operation in the war on terror.
In this special feature, James Fallows, Fawaz Gerges, Paul R. Pillar, and Jessica Stern respond to John Mueller's article "Is There Still a Terrorist Threat?" from the September/October issue of Foreign Affairs and assess the state of the "war on terror" five years after 9/11.
This article appears in the Foreign Affairs eBook, "The U.S. vs. al Qaeda: A History of the War on Terror." Now available for purchase.
Israel and Egypt's cold peace has turned arctic. Jerusalem and Cairo are clashing over nuclear disarmament, other Arab states' ties to Israel, the stability of the Mubarak regime, and the peace process. The strains stem from Israel's and Egypt's competing visions of a new Middle East, which they both hope to lead. With U.S.-Egyptian relations also on the rocks, these tensions threaten the entire Middle East peace process.