Best Laid Plans: The Inside Story of America's War Against Terrorism

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9780060158774: Best Laid Plans: The Inside Story of America's War Against Terrorism

In this startling expose, journalists David C. Martin and John Walcott pry up the layers of misinformation and intrigue surrounding some of the decades biggest battles in the war against terrorism.

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From Publishers Weekly:

This is at once a survey of terrorist incidents involving U.S. citizens and a review of the Reagan administration's attempts to formulate a coherent and effective counterterrorist policy. The authors show "the American Gulliver being run ragged by Lilliputian terrorists" and charge the president with confusing the war against terrorism with the war against Communism, as well as confusing the emotionalism of the phenomenon with its true significance. They contend that the damage caused by terrorist activity, aside from the suffering of its victims and families, has been slight, and that its power lies "almost exclusively in the fear it creates." Martin and Walcott express skepticism that the Pentagon can devise an effective military counter to terrorism and suggest that terrorism does not threaten our national security although it does menace international law and order. "Diplomacy and law enforcement," they argue, "must be the cornerstones of any successful attempt to contain international terrorism." Martin (Wilderness of Mirrors) is CBS Pentagon correspondent, Walcott national security correspondent for the Wall Street Journal.
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal:

This is exciting, informative, and disturbing required reading. Martin and Walcott lack the strongly articulated perspective (a.k.a., ideology) of some other recent valuable works, e.g., Leslie Cockburn's Out of Control ( LJ 2/1/88) and therefore do not push analytically beneath the surface. Still, they provide the sad but necessary story of the war against terrorism from President Carter (the hostage rescue disaster) to President Reagan (the Iranian arms sale fiasco, the impotent response to the skyjacking of TWA 847, the tragic imcompetence in Beirut). A necessary corrective to more academic works (e.g., Neil C. Livingston and Terrell E. Arnold's Beyond the Iran-Contra Crisis , Lexington:Heath, 1988), and instructive in light of the upcoming election.Henry Steck, SUNY Coll. at Cortland
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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