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Understanding ISIS and the New Global War on Terror
A Primer
Phyllis Bennis

published 2015 • 5.25” x 8" • 224 pages
ISBN 9781566560948 • paperback • $15.00

“With her customary lucidity and talent for judicious interpretation, Phyllis Bennis provides an authoritative introduction to all that is now known about ISIS. It is more than a ‘primer,’ offering an indispensable account of the complex turmoil afflicting the Middle East.”
—Richard Falk, Professor Emeritus of International Law & Practice at Princeton University, and former UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in the Occupied Palestinian Territory

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"What this book does do in sixty-five concise chapters in just over two hundred pages is to present the current complicated tangle of issues behind these tragedies…. Beyond considerations of just the issue of ISIS, Bennis gives needed perspective on some of the related conflicts which are adding to the immense human suffering in the Middle East."  —The Catholic Worker


The US is back at war. A new version of what was once known as George W. Bush's “global war on terror” has become the central component of American foreign policy. The US/NATO assault on Libya in 2011, thousands of troops on the ground in Iraq, plans to keep combat troops in Afghanistan, drone wars rising in Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia and elsewhere—and now new air wars are underway against ISIS and others in Iraq, Syria and perhaps beyond.

In this newest addition to Interlink’s wide-ranging Understanding Global Issues series, Phyllis Bennis asks and answers the basic questions facing so many Americans:  What is ISIS? Why are they so violent? Should Obama have kept troops in Iraq?  Is ISIS the same as al-Qaeda? Can you really go to war against terror?  How should the US respond to ISIS violence? What dangers lie ahead?

Without jargon, in an easy-to-use Frequently Asked Questions format, Bennis sorts through the hype to get to the root of this newest edition of the continuing global war on terror.

Phyllis Bennis is a Fellow of the Institute for Policy Studies and of the Transnational Institute in Amsterdam.  She writes and speaks widely on US wars and foreign policy and is the author of numerous books including, Understanding the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict and Before & After: US Foreign Policy and the War on Terror. She plays a leading role in US and global movements against wars and occupation.

Media Reviews

“Bennis provides answers to important questions about ISIS and the war on terror.  The book is organized as a series of questions about ISIS and the war on terror, making it accessible to all levels of readership.  Bennis divides the book into seven sections, including ‘ISIS,’ ‘The Syrian War in the global War on Terror,’ and ‘The Arab Spring.’  Most significant, Bennis does a strong job of anticipating questions that the general reader might ask about ISIS and the war on terror.  The best section of the book is her discussion of ISIS, including its origins, its expansion, its function, and its ideology.”

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Of Related Interest:
Understanding the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict