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Breaking Al-Qaeda: Psychological and Operational Techniques, Second Edition [Print Replica] [Format Kindle]

Elena Mastors

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  • ISBN-10 : 1482230119
  • ISBN-13 : 978-1482230116
  • Edition : 2
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Descriptions du produit

Présentation de l'éditeur

Despite the death of Osama bin Laden, the al-Qaeda network he inspired is still alive, and in some places, thriving. This book covers the background and history of al-Qaeda, developments in recent years, and how and where al-Qaeda is spreading. It examines the current state of the terrorist network and explains what groups in the network are doing to recruit, plan, and carry out attacks worldwide. It also investigates intelligence and counter-terror methods being used to to garner information on al-Qaeda.

Biographie de l'auteur

Elena Mastors, Ph.D., is the vice president and dean of Applied Research at the American Public University System (APUS). She is the former vice president and dean of the School of Security and Global Studies and program director of the Graduate Intelligence Studies and National Security programs.

Previous to her work with APUS, she was an associate professor in the National Decision Making Department of the Naval War College, and also held various senior intelligence and policy positions in the Office of Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence and the Defense Intelligence Agency.

Dr. Mastors is an expert on political psychology as it pertains to conflict, terrorism, and political leadership. She writes frequently on understanding leaders and group dynamics from a political–psychological perspective. She is also a frequent lecturer on the important role of individuals and group dynamics in armed groups.

Dr. Mastors is on the Board of Directors at the Institute for the Study of Intercommunal Conflict at Washington State University. Her professional affiliations include the International Association for Intelligence Education (IAFIE), the International Studies Association (ISA), the International Society for Political Psychology (ISPP), and Women in Security (WIS).

Dr. Mastors has published on the subjects of conflict and armed groups. Her coauthored books include Introduction to Political Psychology (Psychology Press, 2010) and The Lesser Jihad: Recruits and the Al-Qaida Network (Rowman & Littlefield, 2007).

Détails sur le produit

  • Format : Format Kindle
  • Taille du fichier : 8879 KB
  • Nombre de pages de l'édition imprimée : 241 pages
  • Editeur : CRC Press; Édition : 2 (13 juin 2014)
  • Vendu par : Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Langue : Anglais
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur (beta) 3.7 étoiles sur 5  10 commentaires
2 internautes sur 2 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
3.0 étoiles sur 5 Finishing it, I felt like I'd been shown a good trailer when I'd hoped for movie 31 octobre 2014
Par Kristi Gilleland - Publié sur
Format:Relié|Commentaire client Vine pour produit gratuit (De quoi s'agit-il?)
I'm pretty scared after reading this book. Why? I read a book by an author well noted as a thought leader on the subject of breaking Al-Qaeda, and I come away thinking I didn't learn much of ANYTHING, and that MY thoughts weren't even led on the subject- that's pretty scary. At the end she implores that Americans need to wake up from our post-911 slumber. OK, sure, but let me tell you, this book won't do it. If you can't convince me - of anything - in this book- well, that's kinda scary.

I am just an interested lay person on the subject, but mostly this book only convinced me of the short-comings of America's actions in fighting the war on terror. The torture, the psychological studies that HURT people- anyone that's ever given a passing NOD to conspiracy forums will already be familiar with all these things. Oh, the book documents the history of Al-Qaeda well enough, even if the author is selective and leaves a lot out. It meanders from the history of radical terrorist groups right into the threat of everyday people joining the terrorists (homegrown terrorism).

I found it interesting that she talks about how no one particular group really is likely to join the extremists. Ok, she says, they do all tend to be MEN. What about their psychological traits? Huh? While she lays out nice charts full of potential motivations and goals, she largely ignores behavioral traits like superstitiousness, gullibility, and sexism. How meritocratic are these networks? What gives merit? Oops, not touched. Oh, I could probably write a book in rebuttal, and I don't have ten thousand degrees in national security and intelligence.

I thought for a second she was actually going to link how socialist thinking, and some environmentalism, have historically been a strong factor on the side of some English language propagators of radical fundamentalism. (Left wing because of stances on capitalism) and environmentalists (Have you ever seen what a mess everyone's toxic dumping has caused for everyday people in Somalia?)) She said terrorists gave radical left wingers and environmentalists a nod. WELL, they weren't the ONLY one that just gave them nods, because she totally brushed all that right off as a minor causative factor. I suppose she did mention vengeance.

I would have liked more discussion on smart power. What? Are we not using it to fight terrorism? If not, why?

I thought, for a second, she might REALLY dive into memes and influence networks. I mean, that is REALLY important. She mentions it, then drops it like a rock. Maybe people that read this are supposed to....what? I don't know. Stand around and be scared? Surely anyone that is NOT a layperson is already familiar with how these networks are mapped and why. Everyday loyal citizens that are interested and active in the global community, could use really good leadership. Isn't leadership in fighting a propaganda war important? Oh, I don't think I saw that in this book, and that's why I find this book scary.

If you actually look at the numbers and statistics in this book, that's worth something. Israel wasn't in the top 10 list of countries with terrorists attacks? You don't say? Notice where the attacks are, and how few there are in relationship to the population of the WORLD. It's about the same number over a period of years as Ebola has killed these last few months, but the govt tells me not to be scared of that. Interesting.

I don't know who this book is for. Maybe it is for college students that need sources for papers of their own, or people that have NOT been thinking about, or studying the propaganda of jihad, but want to start. I actually think there are few Twitter accounts and blogs that one could learn more from though.

In summary, it read OK- the writing was good, but it was too shallow. One might like it if they are a very linear thinker that is interested in the subject, and new to it.
1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
3.0 étoiles sur 5 Academic. Not for the Casual Reader 25 octobre 2014
Par Lita Perna - Publié sur
Format:Relié|Commentaire client Vine pour produit gratuit (De quoi s'agit-il?)
Breaking-Al-Qaeda is a $60.00 text book published by CRC Press which publishes scientific, technical and medical books for professionals and students. Author, Elena Mastors is Dean of the School of Security and Global Studies at American Military University, an online University.

This extensively researched academic text will not appeal to the casual reader who may find it dry and dull. The book suffers from lack of editorial discipline and is bogged down by an excess of words. The author uses whole paragraphs when a sentence or two would suffice. Concepts take a plethora of complicated and convoluted chapters to develop and main points are diluted by too much information.

Dr. Mastors editorializes from the start. The book begins with a judgmental and arrogant posture in which she criticizes Americans for not facing reality and who, " not take interest in anything outside their little slice of life." She says many Americans watch television news to keep up, and if it is not a "quick blip," it will not hold their attention.

This made me initially wonder for whom this book was written.

The author states the damage done by Edward Snowden to the National Security Agency is irreparable yet she does not address the damage done to Americans' privacy BY the NSA.

There's a discussion about whether or not terrorists are sociopaths who are attracted to violence. The author cites the ideas of Sigmund Freud, Albert Bandura, Fathali Moghaddam, Simon Cottee and Keith Hayward and others who have different ideas about the development and motivation of the terrorist mentality. There's an interesting chart which gives personal, social, economic, and political motivations which may impact the creation of a terrorist. But this chart is not specific to terrorists. The chart lists many factors which incorporate the standard development/causal/motivation, theories of illegal acting out behavior. The author believes it is not possible to identify a typical terrorist recruit and there is no typical profile.

Breaking Al-Qaeda is rich with historical information and may be valuable to academic researchers or to students enrolled in courses offered by Security and Global Studies or Intelligence studies departments.

I am fascinated by the subject matter of this book but unfortunately, after numerous attempts to penetrate it and get past all the words to the heart of the matter, this book didn't hold my attention.
1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Interesting history and current state of dealing with al-Qaeda 21 octobre 2014
Par Geoff Martin - Publié sur
Format:Relié|Commentaire client Vine pour produit gratuit (De quoi s'agit-il?)
I liked this book. Being a history buff, I enjoyed the al-Qaeda historical background presented by the author as well as the current analysis of the present environment and operating characteristics of the organization.

I also enjoyed the discussion of counter-intelligence and counter-terrorism activities employed to counter this threat, including psychological gamesmanship in fracturing their networks. I was watching Homeland Season 3 as I was reading this book so my interest was heightened even more by comparing fictional vs. real-world approaches.
2 internautes sur 3 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
3.0 étoiles sur 5 Having a great deal of trouble reading this 4 octobre 2014
Par Diane Kistner - Publié sur
Format:Relié|Commentaire client Vine pour produit gratuit (De quoi s'agit-il?)
The reason this book is hard to read is not because the material is complex; it's because the editing is very poor. I am not reading an advance review copy; this is the way-overpriced, printed-on-cheap-paper hardback book that's being sold at retail. I understand that niche books tend to be more costly than those with greater mass-market appeal, but this is ridiculous.

I thought when I first requested this book for review that it would afford a layperson such as myself an interesting perspective on what's going on now in the Middle East, that it would help me better understand what the U.S. is dealing with with ISIL and other terrorist groups and why we're embroiled in yet another war. Armchair peace- or warmongering and punditry is too easy and ill-informed, and I don't want to form a "leftwing" or "rightwing" opinion without knowing more. Alas, the first half of the book, which is more historical in nature, borders at times on incoherently written. The second half, which is more technically oriented, is better, but it does not include anything I'd recognize as training for psychologists.

This book seems written for an audience that has been taught to read between the lines, with anything of substance merely hinted at and not explicated. If I were to be generous, I'd say that it's as if the most basic words are given code-level meaning that nobody but a trained operative would recognize as significant—kind of like "hidden codes of the Bible" or something. I suspect, however, it's just bad writing or meant to supplement more informative material in a training setting.

Although the historical material seems pretty up-to-date based on what we hear on the news and through online media sources, it contradicts to a degree the idea that there has been a split between Al Qaeda and ISIL. According to Mastors, we are indeed dealing with a many-headed hydra, and these terrorist groups collaborate with each other to a far greater degree than we'd like to think. Mastors maintains that, rather than military operations, we can use psyop techniques at the individual, group, and group-to-group levels to dislodge the radical Islamism that has taken hold in the wake of destabilization of Arab countries. That's a fine thought, and it's reassuring if techniques are being taught that indeed allow for this level of activity. I have to say, though, that if this book is the text for that training, I do not feel at all reassured of a positive outcome. Maybe this book is, itself, a psyop?
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Political and Cultural Studies 5 novembre 2014
Par MussSyke - Publié sur
Format:Relié|Commentaire client Vine pour produit gratuit (De quoi s'agit-il?)
This is a surprisingly comprehensive and in-depth "textbook-type" experience. I wouldn't be surprised if they were using this at a textbook in a newly founded political science course or a Government studies course of some sort. It's really very interesting, because you get a lot of reasoning and psychology behind the whole mess, something that I've been interested in as part of my recent fascination with the Middle East. That whole region proves so complex (in many ways, both good and bad), but you can't get around Al-Qaeda and other such "political" groups.

This has a lot of overlapping info with CRCs Terrorism Reader. The writing is good: it's mostly serious and to the point as you would expect out of a referenced text, but with some vernacular thrown in you might sometimes expect out of a law enforcement person (not really a positive or negative, I'm just saying...)

It's an interesting book. And probably more serious than you were expecting.
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