The Roots of Our Children’s War: Identity and the War on Terrorism

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Deardorff, Brad. The Roots of Our Children’s War: Identity and the War on Terrorism. Agile Press (March 2013).

Drawing on sixteen years of experience in counterterrorism operations, Brad Deardorff brings a fresh approach to understanding, countering, and preventing terrorism. With a clear insight into the importance and implications of identity politics, Deardorff evaluates British and Dutch counterterrorism strategies from both an academic and a field practitioner’s perspective. His analysis, set within a Social Identity Theory framework, demonstrates how the need to mitigate the threat of home-grown terrorism, coupled with the risk involved in conflating political and religious identities, prompted these two governments to work “by, with, and through” local communities. On the basis of the successes and failures of past counterterrorism efforts, Deardorff offers a strategy for the United States that engages both community leaders and government officials in preventing homegrown terrorism. With an eye to the future, he offers a practical framework for change and points out of the dangers we all face if our nation’s current counterterrorism strategy fails to evolve.

Brad Deardorff is a graduate of the Master’s program at the Naval Postgraduate School Center for Homeland Defense and Security.

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