Streets Without Joy: A Political History of Sanctuary and War, 1959-2009

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‘Michael Innes perceptively illuminates a construct that shaped the last twenty years of war, with tragic implications for millions of people, but which few have ever heard of. If you want to understand how the War on Terror went so awry, read this book.’ — David Kilcullen, author of The Dragons and the Snakes: How the Rest Learned to Fight the West, Out of the Mountains: The Coming Age of the Urban Guerrilla, Blood Year: Islamic State and the Failures of the War on Terror, and The Accidental Guerilla: Fighting Small Wars in the Midst of a Big One.

‘Michael Innes writes with great clarity and insight about how the concept of “sanctuary” has evolved from the era of the Vietnam War to the era of the post-9/11 wars. Innes draws upon a large scholarly literature and also his own experiences in the field and has produced an immensely readable and stimulating account of how the framing of “sanctuary” has shaped Western policymakers’ thinking.’ — Peter Bergen, author of The Rise and Fall of Osama bin Laden, Manhunt: The Ten-Year Search for Bin Laden-from 9/11 to Abbottabad, The Longest War: The Enduring Conflict between America and Al-Qaeda, and Holy War, Inc.: Inside the Secret World of Osama bin Laden

‘A masterful account of how streets without joy are bordered by offices where thought is locally instrumental, language elides, and truth is elsewhere.  In demonstrating problems endemic to bureaucracies (including universities), Innes suggests how the US can fight so long and so aimlessly.  Quite literally surreal, illuminating, and depressing.’ David A. Westbrook, author of Getting Through Security: Counterterrorism, Bureaucracy, and a Sense of the Modern (with Mark Maguire), and Deploying Ourselves: Islamist Violence and the Responsible Projection of US Force

‘Soldier-scholar Michael Innes’ Streets Without Joy is an especially timely and important contribution to the literature. His first-hand experience coupled with his grasp and analysis of the historical salience of this issue as well as its relevance to contemporary conflicts, is as original as it is insightful.’  Professor Bruce Hoffman, Georgetown University and author of Inside Terrorism

’In Streets Without Joy, Michael Innes combines applied history and theory to explore how the dominant discourses of rebel ‘sanctuaries’ and terrorist ‘safe havens’ shaped the way in which the US waged war in the 911 era. The writing is compelling, and the author’s constant attention to methodology and sense of time and place are deeply impressive. Not only is this intellectually ambitious book a fitting tribute to Bernard Fall, whose life and work inspired the author’s own journey from practitioner to scholar; it is a singular achievement in its own right, one that demands the attention of every scholar of modern warfare.’ – Professor Joe Maiolo, King’s College London and author of Cry Havoc: The Arms Race and the Second World War, 1931-41

‘A timely, policy-relevant work that performs a tremendous service by arguing that rhetoric matters when it comes to war. In a series of insightful case studies, Innes perceptively examines how policymakers and military leaders define ‘terrorist sanctuaries’ and ‘safe havens,’ often in ways that undermine their own national security objectives.’ Gregory A. Daddis, USS Midway Chair in Modern US Military History, San Diego State University, and author of Pulp Vietnam: War and Gender in Cold War Men’s Adventure Magazines, Withdrawal: Reassessing America’s Final Years in Vietnam, and Westmoreland’s War: Reassessing American Strategy in Vietnam.

‘Michael Innes provides an authoritative investigation into the origins, multiple meanings, use and abuse of America´s post-9/11 sanctuary discourse. Original and compelling, this book provokes numerous trains of thought that will serve to fertilise many new fields of War on Terrorism scholarship.’  – Dr Jeffrey Michaels, Senior Fellow, Barcelona Institute of International Studies, and author of The Discourse Trap and the US Military: From the War on Terror to the Surge

 ‘Extremely readable, lucidly stated and focused, Innes’ analysis is enhanced by a sharp eye for concrete situations and an ear for the voices of people he has met up with in the course of his career. This book not only traces the history of sanctuaries since the Second World War it also offers a penetrating analysis of our own world of frontlines, “back alleys” and “safe” and not so safe spaces that defy sovereign jurisdiction.’ – Professor Christopher Coker, author of, inter alia, Why War?

‘Despite their critical importance in armed conflicts, wartime sanctuaries rarely receive the scholarly scrutiny the topic deserves. In this highly readable book, Innes connects the dots with his fine analysis of half a century of US wartime sanctuary discourses, offering much new insight into a highly policy-relevant theme.’ Professor Brynjar Lia, Professor of Middle East Studies, University of Oslo

‘Michael Innes’ book on sanctuaries is an indispensable guide to an issue that has been central to the wars and security debates of the past generation – and will continue to be in future.’ Professor Anatol Lieven, author of Pakistan: A Hard Country

‘In the aftermath of 9/11, the US military and CIA launched an unprecedented, 20 year “sanctuary denial” campaign that saw hundreds of thousands of troops and operatives deployed across the globe. But, even as CIA drone fleets wiped out Al Qaeda and Special Forces hunted ISIS insurgents in the “ungoverned spaces” of distant deserts, islands, and mountains, it became apparent to political scientist Michael Innes that the Pentagon had not begun to truly understand the underlying basis for America’s entire war and counter-terrorism effort; the concept of sanctuary. It is with the aim of chronicling, for the first time, the fundamental notion of sanctuary in America’s wars that Innes takes readers on a truly ground-breaking and riveting journey into the history of this concept that launched the superpower’s longest conflict. This story begins unexpectedly in the jungles of Vietnam in the 1960s and extends all the way to the hallways of power in Trump’s Washington, DC’ — Brian Glyn Williams, Professor of History, University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth, former CIA Counter-Terrorism Centre analyst, and author of Counter Jihad: America’s Military Experience in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria and Afghanistan Declassified. A Guide to America’s Longest War

‘Innes’ important book explores an understudied element of American foreign policy discourse. The author illustrates that the post-9/11 rhetoric about enemy sanctuaries in Afghanistan and Iraq was far from new; instead it drew on a long history that was both deeply embedded in and had a significant impact on policymaking.’  – Dr. Andrew Priest, Department of History, University of Essex and author of Kennedy, Johnson and NATO: Britain, America and the dynamics of alliance, 1962-68