Cover of Fighting Back by Edited by Paul Shemella
Fighting Back
What Governments Can Do About Terrorism
Edited by Paul Shemella


416 pages.
from $32.00

Hardcover ISBN: 9780804777070
Paperback ISBN: 9780804777087
Ebook ISBN: 9780804778220

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Excerpts and More

Since terrorism became a global national security issue in the new millennium, all governments have wrestled with its effects. Yet strong measures against terrorism have often made the root causes of the problem worse, while weak responses have invited further attack. In response, this book explains how governments can construct and execute the most effective strategies to combat terrorism—and how they can manage the consequences of those acts of terrorism they cannot prevent.

It provides an overview of the complex problem of terrorism and offers a guide to shaping solutions to fit the unique structures and processes of governments. These issues and their solutions are demonstrated in six case studies. The book's value lies in its holistic treatment of what governments can do to protect their societies, with the ultimate goal of reducing terrorism from the global security threat it is today to a national-level criminal problem.

Written by a team of experts, the book offers a concise but complete course on the most important national security challenge of our time.

About the author

Paul Shemella retired from the Navy at the rank of Captain after a career in Special Operations, and is currently the Program Manager for the Combating Terrorism Fellowship program at the Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey.

"[Fighting Back] boldly goes where few academics are able to effectively tread. The faculty members who put this work together have extensive experience in dealing with these same issues in the field, sometimes in places which were recently conflict zones. . . . Sure to take its place among other important and enduring books. . . , Shemella and colleagues have answered their own sub-title of What Government Can Do About Terrorism -- they are fighting back."

—David Brannan, Homeland Security Affairs

"Terrorism is a devilish problem because it ranges across so many perspectives. Paul Shemella and his fellow authors put a range of the pieces together in a way that advances understanding for policymakers and provides a comprehensive guide for students."

—Gregory Treverton, Director, RAND Center for Global Risk and Security

"To defeat the modern terrorist's methods of aggression we must depart from the deliberate conventional thinking of past wars move to a more unconventional, irregular model that requires us to act at the speed of our adversaries. This book addresses those challenges, discusses past attacks, and provides a framework from which governments can act."

—Albert M. Calland III, Vice Admiral, USN (Ret.)

"No government effort is more 'interagency' than preventing terrorism or dealing with it when it cannot be prevented. Fighting Back is a surprisingly readable guide for developing 'whole-of-government' and multinational strategies against terrorism—for our international partners as well as our own leaders."

—The Honorable James R. Locher III, former Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations and Low Intensity Conflict

"Because today's terrorism is most often transnational or stateless, success against terrorism can therefore be achieved only by close coordination and cooperation across governments and agencies. Based on the experiences of 130 countries that are fighting terrorism within the context of their laws, capabilities, and security frameworks, Fighting Back provides the first strategic framework for addressing this complex issue in a workable way."

—John J. Sheehan, General U.S. Marine Corps (Ret.)