In This Review

Terrorism and U.S. Foreign Policy
Terrorism and U.S. Foreign Policy
By Paul R. Pillar
Brookings Institution Press, 2001, 272 pp

A veteran of counterterrorism work at the CIA, Pillar wants less attention paid to glamorous threats such as weapons of mass destruction and more care given to the steady, incremental jobs done each day to track and contain the problems that will never really go away. Pillar thinks a "tough" policy on terrorism is often too simplistic, and he counsels less reliance on force and more attention to international cooperation and diplomatic prevention. He therefore suggests that counterterrorism concerns should emerge from their compartment to become mainstream elements in U.S. foreign policy thinking. But this book is not meant for those looking for advice about U.S. policy toward Iran, Afghanistan, or any other state. The book's strength is its nuanced sense of how Washington's counterterrorism policy actually works, day in and day out.