9781597979504 cover

Hearts, Minds and Hydras

Fighting Terrorism in Afghanistan, Pakistan, America, and Beyond--Dilemmas and Lessons

By William Nester

150 x 230 mm, 320 pages, 17 b&w photographs & 5 maps, 9781597979504, £18.99, Hardback, Potomac Books, Inc.
15 September 2012

Currently in stock.

  • An analysis of the nature of insurgency and the all-too-real dilemmas faced by American policymakers struggling to succeed in Afghanistan

    Insurgencies are like hydras. Once an insurgency begins, the measures a government takes to eliminate militants can provoke countless others to join the enemy ranks. Tactical victories often breed strategic defeats. Traditional “search, destroy, and withdraw” missions that rely on firepower to wipe out rebels frequently destroy the livelihoods and loved ones of innocent people caught in the cross fire. U.S. troops have seen the pattern repeated as their initially successful offensives toppled enemy regimes in Afghanistan and Iraq but soon transformed into grueling guerrilla wars.

    Hearts, Minds, and Hydras outlines the reasons for these worsening situations. The most crucial were self-defeating decisions made by the George W. Bush administration, whose neoconservatism and hubris rather than a careful analysis of genuine threats, American interests, and reasonable options shaped its policies. Although the Americans were eventually able to contain and diminish the insurgency in Iraq, the one in Afghanistan not only steadily intensified but also spread into neighboring Pakistan. The near abandonment of the war in Afghanistan and the neoconservative campaign in Iraq were godsends for al Qaeda and all other enemies of the United States. Then, as America’s position deteriorated in both wars, the neoconservatives became even more determined to stay the course.

    William Nester analyses some of the more prominent dilemmas haunting American policymakers now struggling to win in Afghanistan, fight terrorism in the United States, and reshape their relationship with Pakistan. In doing so, he reveals the nature of that all-too-real beast of insurgency and terrorism, the hydra; what feeds it; and how to starve it.

    Also By This Author

    Haunted Victory The American Crusade to Destroy Saddam and Impose Democracy on Iraq

    Haunted Victory: The American Crusade to Destroy Saddam and Impose Democracy on Iraq explores the dynamic trajectory of beliefs, actions, and their consequences in what will forever be debated as among the most controversial and costly operations in U.S. history in terms of security, power, wealth, and honor.


    The Age of Jackson 1815-1848 The Art of American Power During the Early Republic

    As William Nester asserts in The Age of Jackson, it takes quite a leader to personify an age. A political titan for thirty-three years (1815–1848), Andrew Jackson possessed character, beliefs, and acts that dominated American politics.


    The Age of Lincoln and the Art of American Power 1848-1876

    Although Abraham Lincoln was among seven presidents who served during the tumultuous years between the end of the Mexican War and the end of the Reconstruction era, history has not been kind to the others: Zachary Taylor, Millard Fillmore, Franklin Pierce, James Buchanan, Andrew Johnson, and Ulysses Grant.


    The Hamiltonian Vision, 1789–1800 The Art of American Power During the Early Republic

    From 1789 to 1800, the Federalist and Republican parties held opposing visions for America’s future.


    The Jeffersonian Vision, 1801-1815 The Art of American Power During the Early Republic

    The Jeffersonian Vision, 1801–1815, reveals how the nation’s leaders understood and asserted power during those fifteen crucial years from when Thomas Jefferson took the oath as the nation’s third president to the last shots fired at the Battle of New Orleans in January 1815.


    The Revolutionary Years, 1775-1789 The Art of American Power During the Early Republic

    The Revolutionary Years, 1775–1789, reveals how the nation’s leaders asserted power during the fourteen crucial years from the Revolution’s first shots at Lexington in April 1775 to the adoption of the Constitution in 1789.


Recommended Titles

£15.99, Hardback

Unlikely LIberal
£15.99, Hardback

Third Man in the Ring
£16.99, Hardback

Sign up for our Email Newsletter

Autumn 2015 Catalogue

Download the Free Autumn 2015 Catalogue Here (PDF)

Read our Latest Newsletter Here

Come and visit us at:

Frankfurt Book Fair, Frankfurt, Germany, 14 - 18 October 2015

IPMS, Telford International Centre, Telford, 7 & 8 November 2015

Casemate UK, 10 Hythe Bridge St., Oxford OX1 2EW
(p)+44 (01865) 241249, (f)+44 (01865) 794449, casemate-uk@casematepublishers.co.uk ©2010
Privacy Policy

[Download Casemate Datasheet]