Religion, Terror, and Error: U.S. Foreign Policy and the Challenge of Spiritual Engagement (Praeger Security International)

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9780313391453: Religion, Terror, and Error: U.S. Foreign Policy and the Challenge of Spiritual Engagement (Praeger Security International)

How should the United States deal with the jihadist challenge and other religious imperatives that permeate today's geopolitical landscape? Religion, Terror, and Error: U.S. Foreign Policy and the Challenge of Spiritual Engagement argues that what's required is a longer-term strategy of cultural engagement, backed by a deeper understanding of how others view the world and what is important to them. The means by which that can be accomplished are the subject of this book.

The work realizes three important tasks. It shows how the United States can reposition itself to deal more effectively with the causal factors that underlie religious extremism; offers a successor to the rational-actor model of decision-making that has heretofore excluded "irrational" factors like religion; and suggests a new paradigm for U.S. leadership in anticipation of tomorrow's multipolar world. Describing how the United States should realign itself to deal more effectively with the factors underlying religious extremism, this innovative treatise explains how existing capabilities can be redirected to respond to the challenge and identifies additional capabilities that will be needed to complete the task.

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Book Description:

Following the fall of Baghdad in 2003, Iran offered to negotiate a "Grand Bargain" with the United States, which had the potential to resolve outstanding differences. The offer was met with silence. If the United States is to prevail in its contest with militant Islam, it will need to rethink old assumptions, expand the scope of its policymaking to include religion and other "irrational" factors, and be willing to depart from past practice.

From the Back Cover:

This extraordinary book, which builds upon Dr. Johnston's seminal work on religion and statecraft, offers new and compelling insights into the foreign policy challenges that lie ahead and how they should be approached. Its unique illumination of the Muslim perspective on world events provides the backdrop for a dramatically different way of perceiving and pursuing international relations. At a critical juncture in our nation's history, this exceptional work promises to crystallize new and helpful debate among policymakers and foreign policy practitioners alike.
 
- Dr. Amos Jordan,
President Emeritus, Center for Strategic and International Studies;
formerly served as Undersecretary of State for Security Assistance and as
Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs.
 
 
I consider this the best book that has yet been published on how religion can be deployed to improve US-Muslim World relations. It should be required reading for anyone concerned with bringing peace to our war-torn world.
 
- Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf,
Founder, The Cordoba Initiative and
author of What's Right with Islam is What's Right with America
 
 
This book pulls off the huge accomplishment of turning the game completely around. Anyone who doesn't adopt what it proposes is not being a hard-headed realist. Even those without faith would have to conclude that absent the sophisticated understanding of other world views that Dr. Johnston calls for, we are doomed to the most dangerous kind of blindness. This is the most important foreign policy book I have read in recent years.
 
- Dr. Stanton Burnett,
former Counselor and Director of European Affairs, U.S. Information Agency;
author of award-winning book The Italian Guillotine.
 
 
In our struggle with international terrorism, I firmly believe that the United States should not rely solely on its "hard" power but also employ the many tools of "soft" power that are available to it. In this regard, Douglas Johnston's new book provides a pragmatic blueprint, one that relies on building trust and finding common ground between vastly different cultures. If properly applied, this approach can enhance American influence in the efforts to find solutions to this global challenge. 
 
- James A. Baker III,
former U.S. Secretary of State

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