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This study examines the U.S. response to Palestinian terror in the late 1960s-early 1970s in an effort to offer insights into why governments respond as they do to transnational terror, an issue of particular relevance in the wake of September 11, 2001. This study examines the factors affecting government policy, and particularly the relationship among terrorists’ strategy and tactics, elite decisionmakers’ international strategic perspective, critical features of the domestic political landscape, and policymakers’ efforts to manipulate counter-terror policies to pursue non-terror related objectives. Detailed examination of the archival record surrounding such key terrorist events as Black September, Munich, Khartoum, Ma’alot, and Entebbe, analysis of critical negotiations involving Israel, Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and the U.S., and consideration of significant domestic developments involving Watergate, the Vietnam War, and Ford’s pardon of Nixon shed light on the interplay among terrorist actions, strategic interests, and political concerns during the Nixon and Ford administrations and point to more general conclusions about the impact of transnational terrorism on government policy.


“In his analysis, the author focuses on the complex relationship between terrorists, American decisionmakers, and domestic public opinion. In this well-documented assessment of the formation, however slow and ill conceived, of American policy toward the Palestinians and the larger threat of terrorism, Hulme provides a new model for explaining both the resort to transnational terror and states’ clumsy response to new threats in a changing international context….The parallels between Hulme’s portrayal of Washington’s response to the Palestinians’ resort to transnational terrorism and the events of 9-11 are striking. Not only is Hulme’s model useful in studying the awkward and complex evolution of American policy in the aftermath of the 1967 and 1973 wars between Israel and her ineffectual Arab neighbors; the author also presents a model that applies readily to the Clinton and Bush Administrations’ failure to foresee the genesis of yet another extremist resort to transnational terror. Hulme’s analysis establishes the blindness of states to the emergence of a new type of strategic threat, and is painfully on target in predicting abuse of decisionmaking latitude followed 9-11, e. g. the Patriot Act and the war in Iraq. This cogent and insightful work moves forward not only our grasp of the struggle states face in combating non-state terrorism, but also how widely off the mark their policy responses often fall.” – Donna M. Schlagheck, Wright State University

"I srongly recommend [this book] to any scholar interested in American foreign policy in general and transnational terrorism mor especifically." - Prof. Chris McHorney, Southwest Minnesota State University

Table of Contents

Table of Contents:
Preface; Foreword
1. Introduction
2. US Mideast Policy, 1969-1974
3. Policy Influences – Palestinian Terror, 1969-1974
4. Policy Influences – International Strategic Considerations, 1969-1974
5. Policy Influences –Domestic Political Context, 1969-1974
6. Palestinian Terror and US Foreign Policy, 1969-1974
7. US Mideast Policy, 1974-1977
8. Policy Influences – Palestinian Terror, 1974-1977
9. Policy Influences – International Strategic Considerations, 1974-1977
10. Policy Influences –Domestic Political Context, 1974-1977
11. Palestinian Terror and US Foreign Policy, 1974-1977
12. Lessons
Notes, Select Bibliography; Index

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