cover image Deadly Connections: States That Sponsor Terrorism

Deadly Connections: States That Sponsor Terrorism

Daniel Byman. Cambridge University Press, $41.99 (369pp) ISBN 978-0-521-83973-0

Avoiding the sensationalism and politicizing that often accompany books on terrorism, Byman examines terrorist groups from the PLO to Al Qaeda to the Tamil Tigers and explains relationships between states and terrorist organizations, providing a fertile discussion ground for how to proceed against both terrorism and the countries that manipulate terrorist organizations for their own purposes. States use terrorism as a multifaceted tool, often to retain political and economic influence, and their patronage includes sanctuary, supplies, logistics, or, as is the case with Iran and Hizbollah, ideological support. The ongoing clashes over Kashmir shows how one country-Pakistan-uses terrorism to fight a proxy war against India, a country it would likely not want to confront in a conventional war. In the wake of the post-September 11 alliance between the United States and Pakistan, Kashmiri insurgents are tolerated in small doses so the government can avoid appearing as if it is capitulating to U.S. pressure. Such muddied situations make it impossible, according to the author, to develop a single strategy against terrorism. The author uses Libya as an example of how a country can, over time (in Libya's case, over 30 years), fold to various tactics and external pressures to give up terrorist connections. While the book answers a number of questions about why states sponsor terror, it asks just as many about how to effectively sever the ties between the two parties.