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International Terrorism And American Foreign Relations, 1945-1976
Robert Kumamoto

Northeastern University Press
1999 • 240 pp. 5 1/2 x 9"
American History / History / International Relations

$45.00 Hardcover, 978-1-55553-389-2

A study of three major terrorist movements in the Middle East and North Africa.

Almost daily one reads about terrorists taking hostages, murdering innocent civilians, or bombing embassies. The rise of terrorism since World War II has put a new spin on international relations while media coverage gives terrorists the public exposure they seek. Although international terrorism has been studied by many social scientists, this book is the first to examine its impact on U.S. foreign policy.

Robert Kumamoto focuses on terrorist movements that are related politically, regionally, and chronologically: Jewish extremists against the British Mandatory Government in Palestine, 1945-1948; the revolt of Algerian nationals against French rule, 1954-1962; and the Holy War of the Palestinian fedayeen against Israeli and American interests, 1968-1976. Demonstrating how these campaigns influenced American diplomacy, Kumamoto considers the global and domestic circumstances surrounding terrorist activities and motives, addresses policies developed by the United States to combat terrorism, and examines how public perceptions shaped government action. He argues that U.S. response to terrorism between 1945 and 1976 was based not on the terrorist acts themselves but on several underlying factors: the Cold War, Middle East peace initiatives, humanitarian concerns, anti-colonialism, domestic politics, and relations with Great Britain and France. According to Kumamoto, these ancillary issues often precluded hard-line strategies and led to flexible and moderate approaches. While condemning violence and showing concern for victims of terrorism, U.S. foreign policy remained ever sensitive to broader international and domestic interests.

This work offers a balanced perspective and refreshingly dispassionate approach to a subject often given to bias and emotion. It lends new insight to these specific terrorist campaigns and establishes important parameters for considering future terrorist incidents.

Fri, 8 Aug 2014 11:55:57 -0500