U.S. Conflicts in the 21st Century
Afghanistan War, Iraq War, and the War on Terror
by Spencer C. Tucker, Editor Paul G. Pierpaoli Jr., Associate Editor
December 2015, 1228pp, 8 1/2x11
3 volumes, ABC-CLIO

Hardcover: 978-1-4408-3878-1
$358, £276, 312€, A491
eBook Available: 978-1-4408-3879-8
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

Just as the Cold War set the tone of global relations in the last half of the 20th century, developments in the Middle East and the proliferation of terrorism are coloring global relations during the early years of the 21st century.

This three-volume reference work provides an up-to-date presentation and analysis of the U.S. wars of the 21st century, addressing their backgrounds, causes, courses, and consequences. It serves as an indispensable resource for students seeking to understand the role of the United States in the world today.

Addressing the U.S. conflicts in Iraq, Afghanistan, and the Global War on Terror from the year 2001 to the present, this comprehensive, three-volume encyclopedia covers the significant individuals, key events, and important places involved in these recent military events. Beginning with the rise of Al Qaeda in the 1990s and the attacks on September 11, 2001, and covering events through ISIS’s dramatic surge in Iraq and Syria, the hundreds of detailed entries also examine historical trends; nations and ethnicities involved in the conflicts; influential figures and organizations; economic, political, diplomatic, and cultural influences; wars, campaigns, and battles; and important weapons systems.

The set’s A–Z organization makes it an easy-to-use ready reference for high school and college students. Perspective essays on several controversial topics—such as the use of torture and the effects of the Patriot Act—serve to inspire readers to apply critical thinking. A detailed chronology is provided to help students place all the important events that have occurred in the Afghanistan War, Iraq War, and War on Terror. Each of the chronologically arranged primary documents is introduced with a brief overview to provide important background information and context.


  • Provides up-to-date information on America's ongoing military conflicts and clear explanations of how these wars came about and the shifts in policy thereafter
  • Supplies comprehensive coverage detailing social, political, cultural, religious, ethnic, and military aspects of the 21st-century wars
  • Includes dozens of primary documents that are essential to understanding the events that have occurred, provide context to the text, and allow readers to examine the original sources of information directly
  • Identifies the key individuals and factors in strategic planning
  • Presents full information on the terror attacks visited on the United States and its key allies as well as the U.S. response to them
Spencer C. Tucker, PhD, retired in 2003 after 36 years of university teaching, the last six as holder of the John Biggs Chair in Military History at the Virginia Military Institute. Since 2003, he has been Senior Fellow in Military History at ABC-CLIO. Tucker has written or edited 54 books or encyclopedias treating military and naval history, a number of which have won important awards. Among his works are American Civil War: The Definitive Encyclopedia and Document Collection and World War I: The Definitive Encyclopedia and Document Collection.


"Although many of these [documents] are accessible relatively easily via Internet searches, their inclusion here provides highly relevant primary resources that allow users to make their own conclusions about what was said publicly at the time about crucial events and issues. Without this list, users may not even know these sources exist, or otherwise might not think of them. Overall, this is a timely and appropriate source useful for high school, academic, or public libraries."—Booklist, April 28, 2016
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