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Fighting Terrorism: Lessons from the Cold War

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Like the Cold War, the war against terrorism will be a very long struggle in which ideological, political, and socioeconomic campaigns will be as important as military campaigns. Carnegie senior associate Anatol Lieven argues that, to achieve any kind of long-term success, the United States must combat not only the terrorist groups themselves, but also the wider movements that give them support and shelter. Furthermore, it is extremely important that U.S. policy makers learn the lessons of the Cold War. Above all, this means recognition of the ways in which various radical Islamist movements, like the communist movements of the past, are fueled by nationalism. Lieven writes that understanding this will help the United States to seek allies in the Muslim world and should also lead to new U.S. approaches to the Arab-Israeli peace process.