Dec 30, 2010

Another review The Longest War

Library Journal Reviews January 1, 2011 The Longest War: The Enduring Conflict Between America and al-Qaeda BYLINE: Nader Entessar SECTION: REVIEWS; Social Sciences; Pg. 112 Vol. 136 No. 1 LENGTH: 220 words Bergen, Peter L. The Longest War: The Enduring Conflict Between America and al-Qaeda. Free Pr: S. & S. Jan. 2011. c.480p. maps. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780743278935. $28. INT AFFAIRS

CNN reporter Bergen (The Osama bin Laden I Know), one of the foremost Western experts on al-Qaeda, presents a compelling narrative of the history of the battle against al-Qaeda since 9/11. Relying on a variety of sources, including the jihadists and U.S. government documents, interviews with al-Qaeda operatives and senior Washington officials, and his own extensive field experience, the author describes success and failure in the "war on terror." He divides his book into two major parts. Part 1 describes al-Qaeda's misunderstanding of the West and its capabilities and Washington's policy in Afghanistan and Iraq. In Part 2, Bergen explains the lessons that the U.S. military learned from its mistakes in Afghanistan and Iraq and how it later used its experience in these two countries to take the initiative from al-Qaeda and its affiliates. However, as General Sir David Richards, the head of Britain's armed forces, recently noted, al-Qaeda cannot be beaten, but it can be contained and weakened. VERDICT This highly readable book is suitable for specialists and nonspecialists alike.—Nader Entessar, Univ. of South Alabama, Mobile