Boaz Ganor is the founder and executive director of the International Institute for Counter-Terrorism (ICT), Ronald Lauder Chair for Counter-Terrorism, and dean of the Lauder School of Government, Diplomacy, and Strategy at the Interdisciplinary Center (IDC), Herzliya.
A provocative book that will generate discussion. -- Erica Chenoweth, Josef Korbel School of International Studies, University of Denver In Global Alert, Boaz Ganor addresses the fundamental dilemmas that confront the liberal democratic state in combating contemporary terrorist groups. Asymmetric warfare implies an unequal contest, with the state clearly having a material advantage over its terrorist adversaries, but rules based upon international law, democratic norms, ethics, values, and even how domestic and foreign audiences might perceive events, all constrain the state's application of power. Ganor makes the point that terrorism is not mindless violence, although earlier generations of terrorists seldom thought beyond the barrels of their guns. At best, they were tacticians, not strategists. While bloody-minded thugs and suicidal fanatics still fill the ranks, today's terrorist leaders think strategically. They have benefitted from decades of experience, observing their predecessors, enabling them to create new kinds of organizations and formulate strategies that exploit the disadvantages of the democratic state.Intellectually, states have not kept up. Official counter-terrorist doctrines are mired in old debates about the need to remove root causes, win hearts and minds, or shed self-imposed constraints and become more ruthless. Radical rethinking is in order. Global Alert starts us in a new direction. -- Mr. Brian Jenkins, Senior Advisor to the President, RAND Corporation When it comes to outstanding informed, analytical and policy-oriented scholarship on counterterrorism in the context of open societies, the work of professor Boaz Ganor is plainly and simply inescapable for academics, politicians, security pratitioners and concerned citizens. -- Fernando Reinares, Professor of Politics and Security Studies at Universidad Rey Juan Carlos, and Senior Analyst on International Terrorism at Elcano Royal Institute, Madrid It is difficult to explain to a person who is used to 21st century liberal-democratic Western values the rationale derived from the desert-nomadic society of the 7th century AD, out of which grew a new religion; a religion that became, in part, extremist and radical over the years in its aim to impose Islam on the world by force, its rejection of coexistence and its sanctification of suicide. In his book, Dr. Boaz Ganor, who has dealt with the phenomenon of Islamic terrorism for over 20 years and is rightly considered an international authority on the subject, deals with the fundamental issues of radical Islam, clarifies them and translates them for the Western conceptual world of the 21st century. Dr. Ganor analyzes the asymmetry between Fundamentalist Islamist society and Western society, between sovereign states and non-state actors, and between opposing normative systems and a society with self-imposed moral restrictions in terms of what is permitted and prohibited, which opposes a society wherein the end justifies the means. There is no doubt that this book will serve as a significant contribution to a better understanding of the conflict that will continue to accompany human society for many years to come -- Shabtai Shavit, Former Director of the Mossad In Global Alert, Dr. Boaz Ganor, a true expert in the field of terrorism and counter-terrorism, enlightens readers of the Israeli-Palestinian reality, which he understands flawlessly. Dr. Ganor presents a new realist, global, and enlightened vision of modern terrorism. He discusses hybrid terrorist organizations, such as Hamas and Hezbollah, as well as addresses the decentralized Global Jihadist structure post-Osama bin Laden. Dr. Ganor engages the reader through his new approaches towards this complex new phenomenon, which is often misunderstood and erroneously examined through a prism full of Western misperceptions of terrorist motivations and their networks. In addition, Dr. Ganor emphasizes the need to create a proactive counter-terrorism policy, while simultaneously protecting fundamental democratic and liberal values, which terrorist organizations continuously try to manipulate and destroy. This book is a must read for researchers, academics, practioners, and decision-makers who will find a comprehensive strategic doctrine and operational approach to counter this plague of modern times. -- Judge Jean-Louis Bruguiere, Former Vice-president of the Paris Court of Serious Claims