The counter-terrorism paradox: how local partners help and hinder international cooperation


7 June 2018


Egmont Institute, 1000 Brussels

Roundtable with Stephen Tankel, associate professor at American University and author of “With Us and Against Us” (Columbia University Press, 2018).

In today’s inter-connected world, practically every aspect of counter-terrorism depends in one way or another on international cooperation. Many countries, especially ones in the Middle East, Africa, and South Asia where al-Qaeda, ISIS, and their affiliates have a significant presence, both help and hinder effective counterterrorism.  In With Us and Against Us, Stephen Tankel analyses the factors that shape counter-terrorism cooperation, examining the ways partner nations aid international efforts, as well as the ways they encumber and impede effective action. The author focuses on the United States’ partnerships with Algeria, Egypt, Mali, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Yemen to draw universal lessons about what Western countries should expect from local partners. Tankel offers a theoretically rich and policy-relevant toolkit for assessing and improving counter-terrorism cooperation, devising strategies for mitigating risks, and getting the most out of difficult partnerships.