"The Fevered Crescent is an original and exceptionally well written analysis of what the authors rightly describe as the central challenge of our time: the problem of depopulating rural areas and mega cities that no one governs. This is the proverbial swamp that stretches in a crescent from Lagos to Jakarta and must be drained if we are to win the war on terror, as well as cope with challenges ranging from pandemics and organized crime to drug smuggling and migration. Liotta and Miskel convincingly demonstrate that governments are largely clueless about the nature of the problem and that much of current analysis, both in the policy and academic community, is way off base. This ground breaking book also discusses policies that developed countries might pursue in meeting the challenge from the fevered crescent. There are no panaceas but at least Liotta and Miskel point us in plausible directions."--Ambassador Peter W. Galbraith, author of "The End of Iraq: How American Incompetence Created a War Without End"
"Miskel and Liotta offer a vital strategic assessment of emerging security challenges confronting both the international community and the United States. They have shown how a range of emerging nontraditional security challenges can have as important an effect as traditional threats. This book is a must-read for policy makers and students alike."--Sean Kay, Ohio Wesleyan University
A Fevered Crescent succinctly defines the international security issues at stake in the countries of the Greater Near East, arguing that major obstacles to stability in this region could impact the United States. Focusing on the areas of Asia and Africa, the authors' primary concerns are complex, interdependent factors--demographic change (especially rapid urbanization), conflict, and resource depletion--that are redrawing the global security map from Africa to the Indonesian archipelago. Miskel and Liotta also outline the disturbing emergence of mega-urban areas that only exist because they are propped up by international support and "pockets of darkness" in remote areas where terrorists and criminal organizations flourish.
Offering suggestions for improving conditions in these developing nations, the book specifically recommends a new international "covenant" that would mobilize and marshal efforts to better govern cities and prevent remote areas from being overcome by destabilizing forces. The authors argue that changes cannot be made unilaterally or in a hegemonic manner; they must come from the combined efforts of not only international governments, but also nongovernmental organizations and civilian grassroots organizations in each country.
James F. Miskel is a consultant at Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation and Alidade Incorporated. He served on the National Security Council during two presidential administrations and was a professor and associate dean at the Naval War College. P. H. Liotta is professor of humanities and executive director of the Pell Center for International Relations and Public Policy at Salve Regina University.
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