It took a quarter-century of bad strategy, including more than a dozen years of Western air attacks and invasions in the Middle East, to bring the so-called "Islamic State" into existence. Can we somehow manage to avoid the well-trodden path of overreacting to the provocations of Islamist extremists?
With the rise of ISIS, a new style of terrorism that publicly gloats over acts of extreme cruelty has reawakened the fears of the global audience. But in Don't Panic, Gwynne Dyer argues that the advent of "Islamic State" and its clones does not substantially raise the risk of major terrorist attacks in Western countries. It does, however, pose a grave threat to the Arab countries of the Middle East.
In Don't Panic, Dyer first explains why the Middle East has become the global capital of terrorism. He then examines how terrorist organisations in the Arab world have evolved over time, with particular emphasis on the events of the past fifteen years and the current situation in Syria and Iraq. And in the end Dyer departs from his long-standing position that foreign interventions always make matters worse to argue that a little military intervention of the right kind may avert a genocide in Syria.
"When my information changes, I alter my conclusions," said John Maynard Keynes. "What do you do, sir?"