If the rise of Islamic State can overthrow powerful states in a matter of weeks, what kind of a secure future can the world expect? After more than a decade of the war on terror, security specialists thought that Islamist paramilitary movements were in decline; the threat from ISIS in Syria and Iraq, Boko Haram in Nigeria, al-Qaida in Yemen, the chaos in Libya and the return of the Taliban in Afghanistan have all shown that to be wishful thinking. Once again the West is at war in the Middle East. Paul Rogers, the distinguished global security specialist, provides a much-needed look at the rise of such global terrorist movements from the margins and presents a new argument as troubling as it is compelling. While Islamic State has taken root in the Middle East and North Africa and has increasing impact across the world as thousands of young men and women rally to its cause, Rogers argues that it should be seen not just as a threat in its own right but as a marker of a much more dangerous world riddled with irregular war.
Paul Rogers is Emeritus Professor of Peace Studies at Bradford University and International Security Editor for Open Democracy. He also writes a monthly briefing for the Oxford Research Group and is author of Why We're Losing the War on Terror, and Losing Control: Global Security in the 21st Century.
Introduction 1. World Order or Disorder - Islamic State and New Drivers of Conflict 2. Coming out of Nowhere 3. Conflicting Narratives and an Environment for Revolt 4. Weapons of Mass Destruction and Political Violence 5. Islamic State and its Future 6. Irregular War 7. A Possible Peace Afterword Notes