U.S. Counterterrorism: From Nixon to Trump – Key Challenges, Issues, and Responses

Michael B. Kraft, Edward Marks

December 12, 2017 by CRC Press
Reference - 216 Pages - 17 B/W Illustrations
ISBN 9781498706155 - CAT# K24814


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  • Provides cohesive description of numerous developments in the counterterrorism arena in the Obama administration and previous administrations
  • Enhances the understanding of the US counterterrorism efforts and the challenges of evolving threats
  • Provides a context for understanding recent actions and programs as well as a basis for developing potential new ones
  • Suggests lessons and recommendations for future "best practices"
  • Includes selected excerpts from and links to major documents and statements


"Writing with years of experience in government, Ambassador Edward Marks and Michael Kraft have produced a splendid history of America’s long campaign against terrorism. The book analyzes the recent changes in technology and tactics that have profoundly altered today’s terrorist challenge…to understand where we are and how we got there, start here."—Brian Michael Jenkins, The Rand Corporation

"…This book provides important perspective on where the United States has been in this fight and how that fight must evolve in the new administration. It is must reading for the Trump Administration and anyone else seriously concerned about the next steps in this long struggle." —Brig. Gen. Francis X Taylor, USAF (Rtd.), Former U.S. Coordinator for Counterterrorism and DHS Under Secretary for Intelligence and Analysis

"…an indispensable guide to U.S. counterterrorism efforts and policies spanning five decades and nine presidencies … (The book) fills a significant gap in the literature by providing an invaluable historical context to this unending struggle." —Professor Bruce Hoffman, Director, Security Studies, Georgetown University

"A clear and comprehensive survey of American policy toward terrorism over the past half century … it provides essential background for analysis of future policy." —Martha Crenshaw, Center for International Security and Cooperation, Stanford University

U.S. Counterterrorism: From Nixon to Trump - Key Challenges, Issues, and Responses examines the "war on modern terrorism," from the Nixon administration to the early stages of the Trump administration. The book describes the evolution of U.S. counterterrorism responses to the changing terrorist threats, from primarily secular groups, to those with broad-reaching fundamentalist religious goals such as ISIS. The authors highlight the accelerating rate of changes in the terrorism situation from modern technology; the internet, "lone wolf" terrorists, cyber threats, and armed drones.

The book describes the Bush Administration’s dealing with terrorism as an existential threat and a Global War on Terrorism following 9/11. It then discusses how the Obama administration both continued and modified previous policies. The book provides an extensive list of key documents for those interested in the original texts and a discussion of legal issues.

U.S. Counterterrorism provides insights and a useful backdrop for future decisions by the new administration and Congress.