In another big book from the Rand Corporation, eight authors provide separate chapters on Muslims and politics in the Middle East, the Maghreb, Southeast Asia, western Africa, and Muslim diasporas in Europe and America, as well as on the Islamic factor in India, Iran, Pakistan, and Turkey. The strengths of this work are its comprehensiveness, its accuracy, its relevance to existing policy concerns, and its organization of a welter of data (with well-conceived charts bringing needed clarity to complexities such as the diverse Muslim groups in Indonesia). Each chapter ends with recommendations for U.S. policy that are invariably intrusive and costly (from "disrupting radical networks" and "supporting 'civil Islam''' to more bellicose suggestions of "regime change" in Iran). How to prioritize these goals is unclear, not to mention the diplomatic overload of so much to do in so many places. But were that not so, not only would this book be un-Rand, it would be un-American.
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