Scholars debate how to fight terrorism

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Mr. Rubin’s “expose” is flawed for two other reasons. First, he is so determined to expose Syrian nefariousness (and my critique is not intended to suggest that such expose is not warranted) that he omits certain new developments in Syria that may bring about constructive change. The most important of these dynamics, which is not mentioned by Mr. Rubin, is the influx of more than one million Iraqi refugees into Syria and the severe strain that this is causing to Syrian society. Will Syria, as a result, moderate its regional policy and turn to the West and America to seek much needed economic assistance?

Second, I found at least 28 undocumented and insufficiently explained claims by Mr. Rubin, some of them sensationalistic. Examples include the single sentence assertions that “Iraqi unconventional weapons materiel” were given safe haven in Syria (what sort of weapons?) and that “hundreds of Syrians went to Iran for religious studies” (what did they study and what became of them?).

Mr. Rubin’s book on Syria is worth reading, but readers should beware of its flaws.

Joshua Sinai is a program manager for counterterrorism studies at The Analysis Corporation, McLean, Va.

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