The Taliban, Al Qaeda, and the Rise of Terrorism

by William J. Topich


What happens in Pakistan is of enormous significance not only for the United States but also for global security.

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Cover image for Pakistan

June 2018


Pages 217
Volumes 1
Size 6 1/8x9 1/4
Topics Security Studies/Terrorism
  Security Studies/International and Transnational Security

This single-volume work documents Pakistan's troubled history, which has led to current global insecurities and created a breeding ground for radical insurgency and terrorism.

Why is the volatile political status of Pakistan so critical to world security? How did the tribal region of northwest Pakistan become home to numerous insurgent factions, including the Pakistani Taliban and Al Qaeda? Is the government of Pakistan actively combating or facilitating terrorism and the growth of extremism? Pakistan: The Taliban, Al Qaeda, and the Rise of Terrorism addresses and answers these questions and more, providing a current and comprehensive examination of the terrorist and insurgent groups that use Pakistan as their global base of operation.

Readers of this book will better understand how the activities of terrorist groups such as the Pakistan Taliban, Lashkar–e–Taiba, and Al Qaeda in Pakistan threaten the future of the state and why the situation in Pakistan is considered by many to be more vital to American interests than Afghanistan. Author William J. Topich evaluates the changing nature of U.S. policy in the region, including analysis of policy regarding drone strikes that target various radical groups, of state stabilization options, and of ongoing United States-Pakistan relations. His assessment of Pakistan's key role in global security accounts for the country's longstanding conflict with India, the Afghanistan wars, and the impact of the attacks of September 11, 2001, and identifies possible future scenarios for Pakistan and the accompanying implications for security.


  • Offers a comprehensive look at the broad range of terrorist and insurgent groups operating in Pakistan
  • Examines the nature of Pakistan's response to combating these groups from within and addresses complex questions regarding whether its policies facilitate or obstruct the violence
  • Covers heated issues such as U.S. drone strikes in the region that target various radical groups as well as relations between the United States and Pakistan
  • Considers Pakistan's future prospects in terms of the growth of radicalized activity, the nation's internal political struggles, and the survival of the state
Series Description

Praeger Security International

As the world gets "smaller" through technology and globalization, the security risks we face grow and multiply.

International security in the 21st century is not a topic that can be adequately addressed in nightly news soundbites or online articles intended to be relevant for 24 hours or less. Comprehending these complex issues requires insight from foreign policy specialists, diplomats, military officials, peace scholars, historians, and security experts—participants and observers on all sides of each conflict. This series provides the tools for understanding security issues in our uncertain, unstable world.

Written by subject experts and well-known researchers, the books in the Praeger Security International series give readers access to carefully considered and highly informed viewpoints on the critical security issues that threaten to destabilize our world. With titles authored by diplomats, first responders, economists, journalists, civil servants, military leaders and combatants, legal experts, psychologists, and other knowledgeable specialists, these books offer in-depth reflections, thorough analysis, and international perspectives that are unavailable in mass media. These titles represent an invaluable resource for students and researchers as well as anyone who seeks a deeper understanding of the complex issues that affect our lives and future.


  • Provides reliable, comprehensive information on all matters relating to security that is ideal for students, teachers, researchers, and professionals
  • Offers insightful commentaries written by a diverse group of scholars and experts who provide interdisciplinary treatments of newsworthy events and important historical occurrences
Author Info

William J. Topich is chair of the Department of Social Science at Pulaski Academy, a college preparatory school in Little Rock, AR. He is also adjunct professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. His courses include politics of developing areas, world cultures, and global issues. His published work includes Greenwood's The History of Myanmar and contributions to Greenwood's The Vietnam War: Handbook of the Literature and Research. Topich conducted research in Cambodia in the late 1990s and most recently in Pakistan in 2010.



"This is an excellent and up-to-date account of the latest developments in Pakistan, focusing in particular on the impact of religiously extremist terrorism presented by groups such as al Qaida, Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and the Taliban on the country's political trajectory."Perspectives on Terrorism

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