The ‘War on Terror’ in Perspective


With the United States withdrawing its forces from Iraq and probably from Afghanistan beginning next year, many fear that the forces of Islamic radicalism will grow stronger. But, as Mark Katz points out in the opening article of the series, the U.S. withdrawal from Indochina in the early 1970s was followed less than two decades later by the collapse of communism.

Katz argues that an American withdrawal from Iraq and Afghanistan could do more to undermine Islamic radicals and strengthen the ability of America and its allies to deal with them than if the United States remained bogged down militarily in war efforts that it either cannot win or can only “win” at an unacceptably high cost. Topics he addresses in this series include the nature of the “War on Terror,” the regional impact of American withdrawal from Iraq and Afghanistan, U.S. policy choices after withdrawing from these conflicts, and the larger geopolitical context in which this “war” is taking place.

Bush and Obama: Parallels with the Past
February 15, 2011

The Arab Uprisings of 2011 and the “War on Terror”
February 10, 2011

The “War on Terror:” (How) Will It End?
February 2, 2011

The “War on Terror:” Future Directions
January 25, 2011

American Foreign Policy and Regional and Local Conflicts in the “War on Terror”
January 18, 2011

Pakistan and the “War on Terror”
January 13, 2011

Yemen and the “War on Terror”
January 11, 2011

Iran and the “War on Terror”
January 4, 2011

The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict and the War on Terror
December 20, 2010

Regional and Local Conflicts in the War on Terror
December 14, 2010

Rifts among the Radicals
December 7, 2010

Radical Repression
November 30, 2010

Regional Opposition
November 23, 2010

Implications of America Withdrawing from Iraq and Afghanistan
November 18, 2010

Assessing the Obama Strategy toward the “War on Terror”
November 11, 2010

The Geopolitical Context of the “War on Terror”
November 4, 2010

Democratization and the Legacy of History In the Muslim World
October 27, 2010

The U.S. and Democratization in Afghanistan
October 21, 2010

The U.S. and Democratization in Iraq
October 14, 2010

Assessing the Bush Strategy for Winning the “War on Terror”
October 7, 2010

What Exactly is the “War on Terror?”
September 30, 2010

The “War on Terror”: Not Going Well, But Does that Mean it is Lost?
September 24, 2010

Mark N. Katz is Professor of Government and Politics at George Mason University, where he has been teaching since 1988. He has contributed articles to numerous publications, including several to the Council’s quarterly journal Middle East Policy. Links to many of his publications can be found on his website:

The views expressed in this series do not necessarily reflect those of the Middle East Policy Council.

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