1st Edition

Global Security and the War on Terror Elite Power and the Illusion of Control

By Paul Rogers Copyright 2007
    240 Pages
    by Routledge

    240 Pages
    by Routledge

    As the ‘War on Terror’ evolves into the ‘Long War’ against Islamo-fascism, it demands an enduring commitment to ensuring the security of the United States and its allies. This policy is based on the requirement to maintain control in a fractured and unpredictable global environment, while paying little attention to the underlying issues that lead to insecurity. It is an approach that is manifestly failing, as the continuing problems in Afghanistan and Iraq demonstrate.

    Moreover, ‘control’ implies the maintenance of a global order that focuses on power remaining in the hands of a transnational elite community, principally focused on North America and Western Europe, but extending worldwide. This elite largely ignores socio-economic divisions and environmental constraints, and sees continuing stability as being best achieved by the maintenance of the status quo, using force when necessary.

    This collection of essays by Professor Paul Rogers argues that this post-Cold War security paradigm is fundamentally misguided and unsustainable. It concludes with two new essays on the need for a new conception of global security rooted in justice and emancipation.

    Global Security and the War on Terror will be essential reading for students and scholars of security studies, the Cold War, international relations and development studies.

    General Introduction (3,000 words)

    Sets the scene and gives an overview of the arguments.

    PART I. Resource Politics and Security

    Examines the North-South world order of the 1970s and the manner in which trading relations maintained the economic power of a small cluster of states, yet did so while failing to recognise the potential for an axis of confrontation focused, not least on the energy resources of the Gulf.

    Introduction (1,500 words)

    1. Prospects for Food (1975)
    Analysis of the world food crisis of the early 1970s and its implications for North/South relations.   Suggested inadequate responses and probability of further crises, as later happened in the 1980s.  
    Paper in The Month. (3,000 words)

    2. The Less Developed Countries and Resource Use (1976)
    This set out the role of third world states in a fundamentally unequal international trading system. 
    Chapter in Future Resources and World Development, Paul Rogers (Ed), Plenum Press.  (5,500 words)

    3. Resources, Producer Power and International Relations (1976)
    Analysed the prospects for "producer power" bargaining by third world stats and also identified the security significance of the first oil price hike. 
    Chapter in Future Resources and World Development.   (9,500 words, co-authored with Robert Dickson)

    PART II: Cold War and Old War

    Analyses the manner in which security mind-sets made the Cold War a particularly dangerous era, how one particular war demonstrated the failure of political decision-making to rise above military irrelevances and how alternative military options existed but were largely ignored.

    Introduction (1,500 words)

    4. The Falklands War and British Defence Policy (1992)
    Attempts to explain why a war was fought that cost 1,000 lives, resulted in a prohibitively expensive garrison and warped Britain's defence policy at the height of the Cold War, in order to safeguard the life-styles of 1,800 islanders.  
    Chapter in: Alex Danchev (Ed),  International Perspectives on the Falklands Conflict, Macmillan, 1992.  (5,000 words)

    5. Alternative Military Options in Europe (1990)
    As the Cold War was starting to deflate, this paper looked at alternative military options for Europe, with an emphasis on non-offensive postures.  
    Chapter in: Michael Randle and Paul Rogers (Eds), Alternatives in European Security, Dartmouth.  (5,500 words)

    6. Learning from the Cold War Nuclear Confrontation (1999)
    Examines the nuclear history of the Cold War and identifies the problems of instability and crisis behaviour, combined with a rigid security paradigm, that made the period particularly dangerous.
    Chapter in: Alan P Dobson (Ed), Deconstructing and Reconstructing the Cold War, Ashgate.  (9,500 words)

    PART III. The Jungle Full of Snakes

    The Cold War transition was described by Clinton’s first CIA Director, James Woolsey as one of slaying the dragon but now living in a jungle full of poisonous snakes.   This cluster of publications charts that change, analyses the significance of oil in US security thinking and the manner in which western forces were configured to meet new threats.   It then challenges the assumptions by arguing the need for a new paradigm.

    Introduction (1,500 words)

    7. Military Force Projection and the New World Order (1992)
    The gearing of military forces in the early 1990s to “keep the violent peace”.
    Chapter in: Paul Rogers and Malcolm Dando, A Violent Peace, Brassey’s. (7,000 words)

    8. Oil and US Security (1992)
    The growing importance of oil location and trading patterns for US security and their military implications.
    Chapter in A Violent Peace. (4,500 words)

    9. Taming the Jungle (2000)
    The transition through the 1990s to forces and strategies configured to maintaining power.
    Chapter in: Paul Rogers, Losing Control: Global Security in the 21st Century, Pluto.  (8,500 words)

    10. The New Security Paradigm (2000)
    Argues for a security paradigm that recognises socio-economic divisions, marginalisation and environmental constraints as the main drivers of insecurity and acknowledges that maintaining elite power, by force if need be, is not viable.
    Chapter in Losing Control.  (9,000 words)

    PART IV: After 9/11

    This final part combines three articles with two specially written essays, in order to review the impact of 9/11 in reinforcing the old paradigm.   Subsequent events have supported the requirement for a new security paradigm outlined in the previous essay, and this part argues against the inadequacy of current approaches and the need for the further development of a security outlook appropriate to the 21st century.

    Introduction (1,500 words)

    11. 11 September and the New American Century (2002)
    Reviews the initial response of the Bush administration to the 9/11 attacks, the development of the war on terror and the identification of an axis of evil.
    Second edition of Losing Control  (7,000 words)

    12. Iraq and the War on Terror – Year 2  (2005)
    Analyses the second year of the Iraq War with the transition from unrest to a deeply embedded and persistent insurgency, undermining the US posture in Iraq and the wider region.
    Chapter in: Paul Rogers, Iraq and the War on Terror: 12 months of insurgency, I.B.Tauris, (6,000 words)

    13. Iran: Consequences of a War, (2006)
    Assesses the probability, and likely consequences, of a military confrontation with Iran.
    Briefing Paper, Oxford Research Group.  (6,000 words)

    14. The War on Terror – the first five years (new essay – to be written)
    An overview and critical analysis of the first five years of the war, examining the impact of regime terminations in Iraq and Afghanistan, the evolution of al-Qaida and the wider jihadist movements and the evolving nature of US and coalition responses.  (7,500 words)

    15. The Long War and the Illusion of Control (new essay - to be written)
    An essay drawing together the themes of thirty years of contributions but concentrating on the implications of post-9/11 policies for the evolution of a more stable and peaceful world order.  (10,000 words)


    Paul Rogers is Professor of Peace Studies at Bradford University and Global Security Consultant to the Oxford Research Group. He is author/editor of 23 books, including Losing Control: Global Security in the 21st Century.