A Citizen's Guide to Terrorism and Counterterrorism: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

A Citizen's Guide to Terrorism and Counterterrorism

1st Edition

By Christopher C. Harmon


170 pages

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Paperback: 9780415709422
pub: 2013-12-17
Hardback: 9780415709415
pub: 2013-12-17
eBook (VitalSource) : 9781315884097
pub: 2013-12-17
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This Citizen’s Guide addresses the public policy issues of terrorism and counterterrorism in the United States after Bin Laden’s death. Written for the thinking citizen and student alike, this succinct and up-to-date book takes a "grand strategy" approach toward terrorism and uses examples and issues drawn from present-day perpetrators and actors.

Christopher Harmon, a veteran academic of military theory who has also instructed U.S. and foreign military officers, organizes his book into four sections. He first introduces the problem of America’s continued vulnerability to terrorist attack by reviewing the long line of recent attacks and attempts against the U.S., focusing specifically on New York City. Part II examines the varied ways in which the U.S. is already fighting terrorism, highlighting the labors of diverse experts, government offices, intelligence and military personnel, and foreign allies. The book outlines the various aspects of the U.S. strategy, including intelligence, diplomacy, public diplomacy, economic counterterrorism, and law and law-making. Next, Harmon sketches the prospects for further action, steering clear of simple partisanship and instead listing recommendations with pros and cons and also including factual stories of how individual citizens have made a difference in the national effort against terrorism.

This concise book will contribute to our understanding of the problems surrounding terrorism and counterterrorism—and the approaches the United States may take to meet them—in the early 21st century


"In this important book, a brilliant teacher-scholar explains the terrorism threat to the US and our nation's counterterrorism response. The engaging narrative and insights provided here will be useful to a wide audience. Highly recommended reading."

— James Forest, Professor and Director of Security Studies, University of Massachusetts Lowell, and Senior Fellow, Joint Special Operations University

"Professor Christopher Harmon has forgotten more about terrorism than most experts ever knew. This is an important book written by the best there is on the subject for the most important in our Republic – our fellow citizens. It admirably explains the essence of terrorism, why it is necessary for free peoples to fight it to the full measure, and what we as citizens can do to help. It is both timely and a tonic to the complacency of the Age."

—Amb. J.D. Crouch II, former Assistant to the President and Deputy National Security Advisor

"In an age when almost all commentary on how we should respond to terrorism is driven by partisan ideology, Chris Harmon presents a timely volume. He educates us about the changing nature of terrorism while simultaneously teasing out the unfolding lessons for developing effective counter-terrorism strategy. A sweeping, ambitious and superbly researched book that should be read by all counterterrorism strategists, armchair and otherwise."

—John Horgan, Professor and Director of the Center for Terrorism & Security Studies, University of Massachusetts Lowell

"[P]rovide[s] a concise, thorough, and well-considered analysis of the terrorist threat and factors that may limit US ability to respond to that threat geared to a nonacademic audience…Summing Up: Recommended. General readers, two-year program students, and lower-division undergraduate students." —C. W. Herrick, Muhlenberg College, CHOICE

Table of Contents

Part I: The Threat. 1. We Americans Remain Vulnerable to Terrorist Attack 2. The Nature of the Enemy Today. 3. Barriers to Our Own Defense. Part II: The Strategy. 4. Components of our Grand Strategy: Diplomacy, Intelligence, Economics, Law & Law-making, the Military. 5. The Current Published Counterterrorism Strategy. Part III: The Future. 6. What Needs to be Done. 7. What Citizens Can Do. 8. How Other Terrorist Groups Have Been Defeated. Additional Resources.

About the Author

Christopher C. Harmon is Horner Chair of Military Theory at Marine Corps University.

About the Series

Citizen Guides to Politics and Public Affairs

Each book in this series is framed around a significant but not well-understood subject that is integral to citizens'--both students and the general public--full understanding of politics and participation in public affairs. In accessible language, these titles provide readers with the tools for understanding the root issues in political life. Individual volumes are brief and engaging, written in short readable chapters without extensive citations or footnoting. Together they are part of an essential library to equip us all for fuller engagement with the issues of our times.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Freedom & Security / Terrorism