H-Diplo | Robert Jervis International Security Studies Forum
Roundtable Review 14-10
Michael A.K.G Innes. Streets Without Joy: A Political History of Sanctuary 1959-2009. London: Hurst Publishers, 2021. ISBN 9781787383173; and New York: Oxford University Press, 2021. ISBN 9780197567128.
30 January 2023 |PDF: https://issforum.org/to/jrt14-10 | Website: rjissf.org
Editor: Diane Labrosse | Commissioning Editor: Seth Offenbach | Production Editor: Christopher Ball
Introduction by R. Gerald Hughes, Aberystwyth University
Review by Peter Mancina, Stockholm University
Review by Anna Meier, University of Nottingham
Review by Katharine Petrich, Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey
Response by Michael A.K.G. Innes, King’s College London
We must act against the criminal menace of terrorism with the full weight of the law, both domestic and international. We will act to indict, apprehend, and prosecute those who commit the kind of atrocities the world has witnessed in recent weeks. We can act together as free peoples who wish not to see our citizens kidnaped or shot or blown out of the skies - just as we acted together to rid the seas of piracy at the turn of the last century. And incidentally, those of you who are legal scholars will note the law's description of pirates: “hostis humanis” the enemies of all mankind. There can be no place on Earth left where it is safe for these monsters to rest or train or practice their cruel and deadly skills. We must act together, or unilaterally if necessary, to ensure that terrorists have no sanctuary anywhere.
President Ronald Reagan, 8 July 1985.
This roundtable includes reviews of Michael A.K.G Innes’s important new book, Streets Without Joy: A Political History of Sanctuary 1959-2009, by Peter Mancina, Anna Meier, and Katharine Petrich. While the word ‘sanctuary’ naturally invokes many historical eras and debates amongst readers, this is a highly topical and valuable text. For successive US administrations, the notion that wrongdoers and terrorists are sheltered by weak or ‘rogue’ states has been repeatedly invoked to justify wars, sanctions, covert actions and even ‘executive measures’ (the latter including assassination). At one time the inclusion of political history in a book’s subtitle would have passed without comment but in today’s historical profession the preference of ‘political’—as opposed to ‘social’ or ‘cultural’—history, based on the maxim that “history is past politics; and politics present history,” no longer encapsulates the hegemonic position once occupied by political history. The author’s background as a scholar-practitioner gives a clue as to why this volume is a political history.
The quest for areas of ‘sanctuary’ has always played a role in the activities of groups or individuals who oppose the practices of the state, especially in regard to the claim to maintain a monopoly on the threat and use of violence. This truth contextualises Innes’s Streets Without Joy. At the outset of the book, Innes writes that in the wake of 9/11, “the keywords of sanctuary discourse were on the tips of everyone’s tongues and stood as shorthand for a complex of emergency issues ... It was the stuff of a moment in time when Afghanistan, Iraq and al-Qaeda preoccupied American foreign policy” (xiii-xiv). The concept of sanctuary is thus “worth further inquiry because it is a feature of political life that recurs on a regular basis” (xiv). It is this that leads Innes to identify just why his book is important. “After 9/11, what did wartime talk of sanctuary in Washington, and the transformation of that talk into legally enshrined findings and formal policy, mean for planning and operations at headquarters in Baghdad and Kabul, and units in the field? These are stories worth telling, and their lessons are worth learning” (278).
Innes’s analysis is informed by his career as a NATO advisor and utilises the academic disciplines of history and political science to construct a fifty-year retrospective of the concept of sanctuary within the national security discourses in US government policy. Seeking to utilise so-called ‘applied history’ with theory, the book examines the shifting notions of sanctuary in US national security discourse from President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s administration to the end of the George W. Bush presidency. Innes was inspired to do this by the events—in which he became an active participant—following the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001. The volume traces the challenges faced by US policymakers and the US military when hostile nation states, groups or individuals have sought to use international boundaries—or civilian populations—to gain sanctuary from US power. Innes’s use of applied history is no surprise. Armed forces have traditionally and consistently made use of applied history as an integral component in the preparation of their personnel for service in peace and war in institutions such as the USA’s West Point or the UK’s Sandhurst. Military failure, of course, often acts as a facilitator of reform.
In 1998, following attacks on the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, the threat from al- Qaeda and its leader, Osama bin Laden, who was then under the protection of the Taliban regime in Afghanistan, prompted President Bill Clinton to echo Reagan’s words from thirteen years earlier: “we will use our new integrated approach to intensify the fight against all forms of terrorism, to capture terrorists no matter where they hide, to work with other nations to eliminate terrorist sanctuaries overseas, to respond rapidly and effectively to protect Americans from terrorism at home and abroad.” Clinton’s senior counterterrorism adviser, Richard Clarke, proposed that the US undertake an operation to “immediately eliminate any significant threat to Americans” by eradicating al-Qaeda’s Afghan sanctuaries. In conscious imitation of the attitude of Rome’s Cato the Elder (234-149 BCE) towards Carthage, Clarke labelled his vision Political-Military Plan Delenda. This called for covert action to disrupt terrorist activities, the seizure of the senior personnel of al-Qaeda, the targeting of their sources of finance, and a commitment to follow-on military actions when deemed necessary. Clarke later recalled that when Under Secretary of State Tom Pickering saw the plan, he stated “You’re right, Al Qaeda must be destroyed.”
Clarke’s plan was problematic for a number of reasons. When he invoked the Punic Wars, for example, he might have recalled that certain of Cato’s contemporaries disliked the idea of destroying a (weakened) Carthage. This was because it was feared that, with no foreign enemy to fear, the Roman Republic would succumb to decadence and complacency. In 2016, the academic Dominic Tierney observed that the Roman historian Sallust (86-c.35 BCE) later wrote that the republic had descended into internal strife after the destruction of Carthage in the Third Punic War. It was the dread of the enemy (metus hostilis) that had maintained a cohesive society. Sallust observed that, prior to the Third Punic War (149-146 BCE),
the people and senate of Rome together governed the res publicia peacefully and with moderation. There was no strife among the citizens either for glory or for power; fear of the enemy preserved the good morals of the state. But when the minds of the people were relieved of that dread, wantonness and arrogance naturally arose, vices which are fostered by prosperity. Thus the peace for which they had longed in time of adversity, after they had gained it, proved to be more cruel and bitter than adversity itself. For the nobles began to abuse their position and the people their liberty, and every man for himself robbed, pillaged, and plundered. Thus the community was split into two parties, and between these the state was torn to pieces.
Tierney compared the situation of Rome after 146 BCE with the discord prevalent in the United States of 2016, noting that “[e]xternal threats can unify diverse populations.” From such perspectives one can see how the political theorist Karl Deutsch supposedly defined the nation as “a group of people united by a mistaken view about the past and a hatred of their neighbors.”
After Clinton’s departure from the White House in 2001, Clarke continued to advocate his solution to the problem of sanctuaries when he was retained by the new administration of President George W. Bush. For the senior figures in the US national security state, the 9/11 attacks represented a vindication of Clarke’s worldview—although the degree to which his proposals were accepted remains unclear since the document that he originally drafted remains classified. Following 9/11, the US launched a global effort to eliminate any sanctuary for those who wished to inflict death and destruction on the United States. This involved many thousands of individuals and saw billions of dollars of expended. The so-called ‘War on Terror’ saw conventional military units, special forces and intelligence assets deployed to destroy al-Qaeda, the Taliban regime in Afghanistan and, subsequently, the so-called Islamic State (ISIS). This was endorsed by the 9/11 Commission, which recommended a policy of ‘No Sanctuaries.’
To find sanctuary, terrorist organizations have fled to some of the least governed, most lawless places in the world. The intelligence community has prepared a world map that highlights possible terrorist havens, using no secret intelligence—just indicating areas that combine rugged terrain, weak governance, room to hide or receive supplies, and low population density with a town or city near enough to allow necessary interaction with the outside world. Large areas scattered around the world meet these criteria … The US government must identify and prioritize actual or potential terrorist sanctuaries. For each, it should have a realistic strategy to keep possible terrorists insecure and on the run, using all elements of national power. We should reach out, listen to, and work with other countries that can help.
Not every US president has uncritically accepted such advice. After ISIS killed 132 people in Paris in November 2015, President Barack Obama rejected the notion of eliminating the terror group’s sanctuaries.
[I]t is not just my view but the view of my closest military and civilian advisors that that would be a mistake—not because our military could not march into Mosul or Raqqa or Ramadi and temporarily clear out [ISIS], but because we would see a repetition of what we’ve seen before, which is, if you do not have local populations that are committed to inclusive governance and who are pushing back against ideological extremes, that they resurface—unless we’re prepared to have a permanent occupation of these countries ... [If we] were to send 50,000 troops into Syria. What happens when there’s a terrorist attack generated from Yemen? Do we then send more troops into there? Or Libya, perhaps? Or if there’s a terrorist network that’s operating anywhere else—in North Africa, or in Southeast Asia?
In certain quarters this was lauded as a realistic policy. The Republican politician Thomas Kean, former chair of the 9/11 Commission, told journalist Ryan Lizza that “Once you take ’em, you own ’em. Then you get called ‘the Crusaders’ and all that. We’ve put too much reliance on the military to the exclusion of other things. We have a whole realm of other tools at our disposal.” This gives one food for thought. As Lizza noted: “That kind of careful response can be emotionally unsatisfying.” Indeed, “anyone offering an easy plan to defeat ISIS fast and on the cheap should be met with extreme skepticism. But one lesson of Iraq (and Libya) is that wars are always more complicated than they sound and often create new sanctuaries—which then also, somehow, must be destroyed.”
The starting point for Innes’s research on Streets Without Joy lay in an “assumption that there is a sanctuary discourse stalking through the corridors of power [that] American policymakers have called forth versions of on numerous occasions.” That said, the “meanings associated with [sanctuary] vary significantly. Much of this has been taken for granted, with few questions asked—a policy logic taken as self-evident, a function of the unquestioned authority of presidential and cabinet-level decisions” (xiii). US governments thus often failed to achieve ambitious goals, not least through seeking to pursue a counter-terrorism strategy that rested on mistaken notions of what constitutes a ‘sanctuary.’ Issuing correctives to such errors prompted Innes to trace the evolution of understanding of the notion of sanctuary in the wars waged by the US since 1959 (with the conflict in Vietnam playing a prominent part in the narrative for the first fifteen years or so).
The approach adopted in Streets Without Joy is inspired by Bernard Fall (1926-1967), whose life and work prefigured Innes’s own path as a practitioner-scholar—indeed Streets Without Joy takes its name from one of Fall’s books. Fall himself defined sanctuary as “A territory contiguous to a rebellious area which, though ostensibly not involved in the conflict, provides the rebel side with shelter, training facilities, equipment and—if they can get away with it—troops.” Although Fall was more than aware of the existence of historic sanctuaries—such as was the case with France and Spain in the American Revolutionary War—he was insistent that the conditions prevailing in the bi-polar Cold War represented the ideal breeding ground for the proliferation of such sanctuaries. He argued that the concept of the “active sanctuary” was created because “the nations providing such services to a rebellion could always count upon one (or even both) of the super-powers to protect them from direct reprisals that would have their fate at almost any other moment of history.” Indeed, “the success or failure of all rebellions since World War II depended entirely on whether the active sanctuary was able to perform its expected role.”
Innes could hardly have chosen a more inspirational figure than Fall. By the time he was killed by a Viet Cong landmine in February 1967, the Austrian-born Fall had become universally acknowledged as the leading authority on the post-1945 French and US wars in Indochina. For Innes, the tragedy of Fall’s legacy is that, despite all the posthumous adulation he has attracted, the lessons that policymakers and others have drawn from his work has often been wrongheaded.
Innes is clear that he believes that a critical re-examination of the Fall’s thinking on Indochina resonates far beyond the Cold War, and can assist in providing the development of models to deal with such matters in the contemporary environment. Curiously, the book does not discuss the Ho Chi Minh Trail in any great depth. This trail, which achieved such infamy in the Vietnam War, was, coincidentally, operationalised in 1959 (i.e., the year in which Innes commences his narrative). In seeking to defy US power, the North Vietnamese ignored the existence of a frontier between Vietnam and Laos. Following on from this, the creation of areas of sanctuary, and the Ho Minh Trail through Laos and Cambodia, were the reasons for such territorial encroachments. In 1966-8 the US constructed, at immense cost, the so-called McNamara Line in Vietnam. This line was designed to prevent infiltration of South Vietnam by Communist forces from North Vietnam and Laos. It ran across South Vietnam from the South China Sea to the Laotian border along the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) between the two Vietnams. It was far from being completely successful. Nor was it uncontroversial. Senator Stuart Symington (D-MO), for instance, complained that “we are spending hundreds and hundreds of millions of dollars [constructing] in a Maginot line … to try to prevent the Ho Chi Minh [trail] being used.” The failure to address the problem of enemy sanctuaries and cut the Trail is oft highlighted in explanations of US failure to prevail in Vietnam. North Vietnam’s General Le Trong Tan stated that: “If they had been wise they should at a certain point in time have cut a specific section of the Trail and taken over that area. Then we would have been stuck. We would never have been able to fight and win as we did.”
When Innes discusses the concept of sanctuary in the Vietnam War in his book (e.g., 22-3, 109-25, 264-5, 278), he concludes that an examination of the historical record demonstrates that the orthodox view of the sanctuary politics is “belied by the discourses and decisions of the era.” This is because sanctuary politics under presidents Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon and Ford, tackled the issue with variable levels of “transparency and aplomb” (113). That said, public perceptions of sanctuary politics were not helped by the fact that press coverage of the subject was uneven and inconsistent, “frequently referring to any Viet Cong base area, inside or outside South Vietnam, as a sanctuary” (112). In his author’s response, Innes writes that,
The Vietnam sanctuary analogies of the post-9/11 period … were not Vietnam analogies at all. Or rather, they were not just the monolithic portraits that they were imagined to be after 9/11. They were, in a sense, reified variants of the discussions and lessons of that earlier period. Those original iterations of Vietnam-era sanctuary concerns, and the decisions surrounding them, were in their own historical contexts much more nuanced and sophisticated than later summoners appreciated. Indeed, with very little effort I was able to identify variants of sanctuary discourse—from conventional targeting exemptions in the 1960s to the emergency mass evacuation of Saigon in 1975—that force reappraisal of the post-9/11 emphasis on Vietnam as a lesson in the management of cross-border guerrilla sanctuaries.
Innes also notes that Anna Meier is correct in observing that the invocations of sanctuary in the Vietnam War were complicated by a number of factors, “not least of which is that pulling at historical threads inevitably requires decisions about what details to include or exclude in accounting for any particular issue.” Elsewhere, however, he opines that Meier is mistaken in deeming Vietnam the starting point of his analysis. That said, Innes concedes that it was nevertheless the case that the Vietnam War featured very prominently in the narratives constructed by policymakers and their advisers after 9/11.
So [Vietnam] became the jumping off point for my survey of Fall’s work and of the patterns of rhetoric that can be observed in even a hasty study of what was said and done during America’s war in Southeast Asia. A key point here, however, is that the major decisions of that earlier period, prominently shaped as they were by a particular understanding of territory and sanctuary, in turn relied almost axiomatically on the lessons of prior conflicts. Among specialists of the Vietnam war, it is a truism that during the 1959-1964 period the US advisory effort and the decisions to escalate American involvement drew heavily on comparison to yet earlier conflicts, to arrive at some semblance of a strategy.
Meier argues that Innes’s concept of sanctuary “has roots in a particular thread of sanctuary discourse that emerged first under the Ronald Reagan administration and strengthened under the presidency of Bill Clinton as a way of ordering global threats in the post-Cold War international landscape.” She further notes that scholars of anthropology and literature have long been familiar with the notion of sanctuary in the Middle Ages, and these have traditionally had “complicated associations with safety and security.” Meier notes that these concepts have an obvious contemporary resonance in debates on refugees and asylum seekers, writing, “Innes’s intervention is to bring the discursive analysis of sanctuary into terrorism studies, unsettling a taken-for-granted concept and unpacking its normative baggage.” Peter Mancina suggests that President Donald Trump’s “anti-sanctuary rhetoric” fitted in with a “deep-seated line of anti-sanctuary military discourse that the public has heard since the 1950’s.” Innes singles out Mancina’s review for highlighting the utility of Streets Without Joy for scholars of the politics of sanctuary in several academic disciplines—including religion, and refugee and immigration studies. Katharine Petrich writes that
Innes helpfully discusses how various terms are conflated into equivalence, bringing with them the baggage of the original term without its associated precision. In doing so, he has given me a new lens to consider the problem of illicit activity and conflict—not necessarily only as it relates to safe havens and ‘ungoverned spaces,’ but also in the way that certain frames and language can come to dominate the policymaker conversation, creating a path- dependent lens for understanding non-traditional threats.
Perhaps inevitably, Innes seeks to focus on policymaking by historical analogy—a common enough theme in this era of renewed interest in the scholarly sub-field of applied history, a term that has been defined by one interested institution as “the explicit attempt to illuminate current challenges and choices by analyzing historical precedents and analogues.” Innes is unambiguous in his assertion that policymakers “use historical lessons and analogies badly” (263). He asserts that the cases of Bernard Fall and the US experience in Vietnam suggest that the “sanctuary lessons” derived from the post-9/11 wars “were highly selective and historically inaccurate” (264). Petrich notes that, twenty years after 9/11, the junior and mid-level analysts of the early years of the twenty-first century now propagate “the linguistic familiarity with ‘sanctuary’ and ‘safe haven’ down to a new generation of the best and brightest. While I would like to think that my generation will be the ones who finally learn the lessons of history correctly, I am sure we will continue to see this same discourse and framing well into the next century.” In his author’s response, Innes states that Petrich incorrectly attributes to him the maxim—which is actually associated with Ernest May—that policymakers do not use analogies well. In fact, he asserts that the documentary record demonstrates that political thinking on sanctuary led to “a highly effective campaign to shape the 9/11 wars.” Innes accepts that this is neither “historically accurate” nor “factually aligned” with the case studies deployed in support of the 9/11 Wars. He writes,
The sanctuary talk of the post-9/11 period, with its vaguely defined concepts and language, was not about conveying historical detail accurately. It dragooned available terms and ideas to define the world in a particular way and sell an agenda. It ignored provenance and abused precedent, setting throughlines constructed of flimsy assumptions rather than robust evidence about the past. In telling the story of Afghanistan, Iraq, and the American sanctuary discourses that shaped wars fought there, analysts will have to wrestle with putative points of origin and make their own sense of them.
For his part, Mancina judges that the book’s “fidelity to source documents is commendable, and the attention to the historical production and power games from which these texts were created is fascinating.” Innes’s history of sanctuary is a model example of applied history, and the volume is nothing less than a manual demonstrating how a scholarly evaluation of a policy concept can aid policymakers in the formulation of policy in war and/or crises situations. Innes remains committed to his mission of instructing policymakers through history to the last, as evidenced by the final paragraph of Streets Without Joy.
At a UN compound in Maiduguri, a town on north-eastern Nigeria once home to Boko Haram, I saw, mounted on the wall of its generously stocked bar, a small set of floating bookshelves. There was a label fixed to it—“Maiduguri Book Club”—but it was practically empty. Later I stared across the desolate outskirts of the city in a vaguely north-easterly direction, toward Lake Chad—ISIS territory, where the town of Baga had recently fallen. I thought the Maiduguri Book Club was a fitting metaphor for the applied history of sanctuary decisions and discourses. So much knowledge, so little of it on the right shelves (282-3).
Mancina rightly notes that Innes’s book focuses “intently on the formation of sanctuary discourse in the context of war, the book for the first time places the history of sanctuary movements for immigrants and refugees into communication with the discourse on sanctuaries of enemies in war.” For Meier, Streets Without Joy
is a rich first effort at documenting how the contemporary focus on terrorist “sanctuaries” throughout the Middle East and Central/South Asia came to be. As first efforts should, it also implies several areas that are ripe for future research based on what it omits within the book’s limited space. Three are especially salient: the processes of racialization embedded in how sanctuary discourse is applied, the concept of “sanctuary” as it applies to far-right and white supremacist violence, and the work done by larger discourse of “terrorism” itself.
Petrich deems Innes’s case a “persuasive” one for the idea that sanctuary discourse—and the emphasis on safe havens—occurred by design and not by accident. Innes moreover “demonstrates how the long trajectory of the American obsession with evil doers plotting in stygian locales has impacted security and foreign policy over the course of several different conflicts, sometimes subtly and sometimes overtly.”
Innes notes that Petrich “quite rightly points out that the game is not yet over.” He goes on to say that sanctuaries, even when terrorist organisations use them, are generally assumed to be all about “safety and self-preservation.” So, when individuals like Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurayshi, the second caliph of the Islamic State (2019-20), his predecessor, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, or al-Qaeda’s Osama bin Laden, perform in an unpredictable fashion then one should take note. As Innes writes in Streets Without Joy, such instances are the exception and not the rule. Although a great deal has been written about safe havens and sanctuaries, too “little of this has attempted to distinguish between fact and fiction.” It is into this analytical space that mythologies are created and flourished. It was this that caused the notion of bin Laden and al-Qaeda “as the dragons that be here, there, and everywhere: primitive but quasi-mystical masters of space and time residing in cave complexes, globe-spanning revolutionaries in remote backcountry training camps, as streetwise urban infiltrators and disembodied online Svengalis.” This construction of reality bore little relation to the situation on the ground, “but like the best propaganda, frames are most effective when couched in truth (or partial truths).”
All three reviewers are impressed with the originality and depth of Innes’s research. In sum, Innes’s book deserves the widest possible readership and the thoughtful, but not uncritical, reviews produced here all testify as to why this is the case. In responding to the reviews, Innes observes that, in the rhetoric of the policymaking elites, truth is not necessarily prioritised if it fails to serve policy. In truth the manipulation and utilisation of the politics of sanctuary are not limited to the enemy’s use of territory and international frontiers. Furthermore, “classic geopolitical manoeuvres and the evasions that enable them, or the risks of internationalized conflict that constrain the pursuit of irregular armed groups.” US discourses on sanctuary represent a long-standing “distinctive and recurring historical feature” of US foreign policy formulation. For Innes, this is “a gift that keeps on giving,” an enduring “rhetorical commonplace often mobilized as a carrier wave of sorts for all manner of ideas and agendas.” It is this truth that makes Streets Without Joy such an important book.
Michael A.K.G. Innes is a UN official in Iraq, and a Visiting Senior Research Fellow in the Dept. of War Studies, King’s College London, where he founded and directs the Conflict Records Unit of the Sir Michael Howard Centre for the History of War. He trained as an historian and political scientist, earned his Ph.D. in Politics at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, and has taught at University College London, the School of Oriental and African Studies, and King’s College London He previously served in the army, and as a civilian analyst and advisor with NATO.
R. Gerald Hughes (Ph.D.) is Reader in Military History and Director of the Centre for Intelligence and International Security Studies at Aberystwyth University. His publications include “Carl von Clausewitz and his Philosophy of War: The Evolution of a Reputation, 1831-2021,” History, 105/368 (2020); “‘First Gain the Victory and then Make the Best Use of it you can’: The Royal Navy in the Aftermath of the Falklands War,” International Journal of Military History and Historiography (forthcoming, 2023); (with Stephen Hanna), “Journeys back along the roads to Mandalay, Imphal and Kohima: recent contributions to the history of the Burma theatre in the Second World War,” Intelligence and National Security, 37/1 (2021); and (with Rhodri Jeffreys-Jones), “Timely memoirs and the ‘British invasion’: Two trends in the historiography of the CIA,” Journal of Intelligence History, https://doi.org/10.1080/16161262.2022.2051920 (2022). His books include The Postwar Legacy of Appeasement: British Foreign Policy since 1945 (Bloomsbury, 2014); Britain, Germany and the Cold War: The Search for a European Détente, 1949-1967 (Taylor and Francis, 2007/2014); and (as editor) The Cuban Missile Crisis: A Critical Reappraisal (Taylor and Francis, 2016). He is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society (FRHistS).
Dr. Peter Mancina is Researcher in the Department of Social Anthropology and the Global Foresight Project at Stockholm University. He is Visiting Scholar at Rutgers Law School Center for Immigration Law, Policy, and Justice, and Research Associate at the University of Oxford Centre for Criminology and Border Criminologies program. His work has examined the manner in which “sanctuary city” and “sanctuary state” policies in the United States operationalize local law enforcement protocols for assisting immigration enforcement authorities in deporting individuals convicted of crimes. Mancina is writing a book titled Governing Mobility: Sanctuary City and the Future of Municipal Government examining three decades of local experimentation with implementing sanctuary city policies in San Francisco, California.
Dr. Anna Meier is Assistant Professor in the School of Politics and International Relations at the University of Nottingham. Her research focuses on discursive constructions of “terrorism” and implications for institutional design.
Katharine Petrich is an incoming Visiting Assistant Professor at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies in Monterey, CA. She holds a Ph.D. in Political Science from Northeastern University, and specializes in insurgency, terrorism, and illicit activity, with geographic expertise is in the Horn of Africa and Latin America. Beyond her academic work, she is a Truman National Security Fellow and frequently engages in public-facing writing and commentary on non-traditional security issues.
“The Spiral Helix of Sanctuary Discourses”
In the summer of 2016, for the first time on the campaign trail, presidential candidate Donald Trump announced with triumphant determinism to an arena audience in Arizona that he would “end sanctuary cities” by defunding them of federal dollars, thereby putting an end to what he described as decades of Democratic Party corruption and immigrant violence that these cities allowed. This announcement followed the candidate’s hiring of Steve Bannon as his campaign’s new chief executive officer. Bannon was the Executive Chairman of far-right website Breitbart News, which had for years focused on vilifying sanctuary cities and their political leaders in articles highlighting the crimes committed by immigrants following their release from local jails in places like San Francisco. Trump, an avid viewer of Fox News, had over the years likely also seen one of Fox’s bombastic conservative news commentators, Bill O’Reilly, frame sanctuary cities as places that harbored waves of invading illegal immigrant criminals, shielded them from detection of the federal police, were complicit with crimes immigrants perpetrated against citizens, and ultimately threatened national security.
The idea of ending sanctuary cities by starving them of federal funding had pre-existed Trump’s declaration by a few years. The Center for Immigration Studies and various Republican Congressmembers had previously championed failed federal bills to do the same, and, in one case, a congressional committee had approved a modification to certain federal police grant requirements that would require local grant seekers to certify that they would cooperate with federal immigration enforcement requests if they were to receive the applied for funds.
Thanks to Michael Innes’s dogged work to provide a comprehensive genealogy of military sanctuary thinking in his book Streets Without Joy, we can see that Trump’s anti-sanctuary statements might not only have been about pulling on the anti-sanctuary city heart strings of an untapped right-wing voter base that routinely consumed Breitbart articles and watched The O’Reilly Factor.
Trump’s anti-sanctuary rhetoric also fit in another deep-seated line of anti-sanctuary military discourse that the public has heard since the 1950s. This discourse pertains to the identification of and attacks emanating from the sanctuaries of enemy insurgents, enemy states, and enemy terrorist networks in the context of war. This discourse includes statements in President George W. Bush’s “Address to a Joint Session of Congress and to the American People” made shortly after the 9/11 attacks in 2001 which are cited in Innes’ book. In this address, Bush stated, “We will starve terrorists of funding, turn them one against another, drive them from place to place, until there is no refuge or no rest” and continued stating that America would “pursue nations that provide aid or safe-haven to terrorism” (158).
President Trump’s first executive directives included one denying funding to sanctuary cities and requiring local law enforcement to comply with requests from federal immigration authorities to turn over immigrants for deportation. While this grandstanding and subsequent moves in the Department of Justice to defund sanctuary cities was ultimately defeated in the courts, it did lead many Republican states to create state laws requiring local cooperation with federal border control efforts, the creation of immigration enforcement deputization projects at the local level known as 287g agreements, and a massive increase in the use of the President’s talking points vilifying sanctuary cities in local and state-level Republican political campaigns.
In the wake of this flurry of political discourse on sanctuary cities at the federal level, journalists and scholars of sanctuary rushed to research, understand, and write about sanctuary city politics, their historical precedents, and their implications for federal politics. Most took account of the religious sanctuary movement and the immigrant rights movements in the 1980s and 1990s and the Central American wars that led to a massive influx of immigrants and refugees that led cities, counties, and states to pass sanctuary policies. Others extended the study of sanctuary to the sanctuary practices of the LGBTQ+ movement, to sanctuary practices towards immigrants in nations in the Global South, and to practices for extending sanctuary to all ethnic and minority groups and genders that are routinely targeted by local police.
Despite all of this work, until now none has taken account of the vast precedent provided by military sanctuary. Innes’s Streets Without Joy brilliantly does so. While focusing intently on the formation of sanctuary discourse in the context of war, the book for the first time places the history of sanctuary movements for immigrants and refugees into communication with the discourse on sanctuaries of enemies in war. The book does not expressly explain the parallels between the discourses of sanctuary movements and the discourses examining enemy military sanctuaries, but it does invite those of us who do think daily about immigrant sanctuary, sanctuary cities, and “sanctuary states,” or US states with sanctuary state laws, a new avenue for understanding what senior policy makers, military leaders, and conservative news outlets might be thinking about or meaning when they hear of and comment on immigrant-focused sanctuary movement practices and the city and state laws that they champion. It provides an additional prism through which we can also understand the affective attachment of so many right-wing voters to the anti-sanctuary city language of Republican candidates that heretofore have been only understood in terms of pro- or anti-immigrant sentiment, with no treatment of pro- and anti-war positions, involvement in wars that are focused on eradicating enemy combatant sanctuaries, or consumption of terrorism-focused news.
The first formulation of sanctuary that Innes documents reigned in the 1950s and 1960s and was developed primarily by Cold War nuclear strategists. For these thinkers, sanctuary referred to a place that was seen as a zone of protection from nuclear bombing, a place that a superpower restrained itself from bombing, such as a major political administrative city center, so as to not illicit a retaliatory response from their enemy. In this sense, it was the protection a superpower holding nuclear weapons could provide to its citizens, and the restraint of an enemy superpower with nuclear weapons from attacking that critical strategic space. Thus this form of sanctuary pertained to the maintenance of a certain kind of reasonable engagement in war so that it did not slip into a “total war.”
In the immigration realm, preventing escalating attacks and carving out a no-go zone of strikes to create a balance of power is mirrored in the manner in which local governments attempted to prevent all-out immigration dragnet raid campaigns and pass sanctuary ordinances to prohibit local authorities from participating in any such program. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) for its part lobbied for certain exceptions to these laws so that in certain circumstances local authorities could assist ICE in detaining individuals who, for instance, were convicted of certain crimes. In these sanctuary cities, ICE typically refrained from conducting raids and instead carried out more targeted arrests of individuals and local law enforcement handed over a relatively limited number of individuals it arrests. Therefore, the sanctuary that was created thwarted a total mass enforcement scenario and set the terms for engagement in immigration enforcement and kept lines of communication between local and federal agencies open. This, however, has not been inviolable, as was especially evident under the Trump Administration.
Innes further outlines a “second generation” of sanctuary thinkers in the 1960s and 1970s who became preoccupied with revolutionary insurgent guerilla warfare and focused on particular geographical sanctuary zones that were usually located outside of a core of principal sites of conflict (21). These zones offered insurgents concealed, effective, and clandestine movement of smaller groups of people and supplies to sustain their revolutionary war against a state that was less capable of moving in these often-rural terrains. These “privileged sanctuaries” or “liberated zones” included supply bases, infiltration routes, and safe zones, but also zones that were more dangerous for US troops to enter without being killed (96). These were places where the enemy could retreat and plan their attacks in core areas. While they also thought about “bombing sanctuaries” or enemy zones that the US should not bomb as in the previous generation of thinkers, dealing with “privileged sanctuaries” required “denying sanctuary” to the enemy by bombing these geographical areas that served as the life blood and infrastructure of the revolutionary enemy (271). In many cases these privileged sanctuaries were contained within the borders of a neighboring nation which the administration may have considered a “sanctuary state” or a state providing sanctuary to the revolutionary movement (66).
Much like the response to “privileged sanctuaries,” in the arena of immigration control and sanctuary cities, a routine strategy not only of the Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush administrations, but also the Trump Administration, was to break the efficacy, symbolic power, and the will of the immigrant rights movement and sanctuary movement, committing greater numbers of militarized border patrol officers to the hinterlands of the US-Mexico border, building greater lengths of border wall, and by very publicly conducting large-scale raids in various sites throughout multiple sanctuary cities. The most recent campaign targeting sanctuary cities, “Operation Rise,” occurred in September 2020 when ICE flew officers from all over the country in to target the sanctuary cities Los Angeles, Chicago, Charlotte, and San Francisco, netting 128 immigrants in California alone. Such parachute-in and dragnet arrest actions were also taken with the aim of eradicating the projected image of the sanctuary city as a safe space for immigrants and to destabilize the support infrastructure of the immigrant community in these cities.
Innes notes that in the 1980s, military strategists shifted their attention to the Central American civil wars wherein the Soviet Union had been providing aid to guerrilla movements to gain new ground in the Cold War. During this period, these strategists re-theorized sanctuary in spatial terms as a territory from which terrorists could strike and where no governmental authority could adequately respond. Such sanctuaries might arise as a “grey area” near to an international border where the full facts of a rebel attack upon state forces could not be known. This type of discourse is echoed in Fox News talking points about sanctuary cities that state that the government has abdicated its responsibility to enforce the laws of the land—federal immigration laws—allowing for undocumented immigrants to live in the shadows and victimize citizens with impunity or conduct transnational gang activity in gangs like MS-13 without fear of local police and sheriffs turning them over for deportation.
Before moving on to an examination of military sanctuary rhetoric in the 1990s, Innes provides a brief glimpse into the federal response to the domestic sanctuary movement wherein religious and secular groups provided sanctuary to Vietnam War draft resisters and then later in the 1980s to refugees who were fleeing wars in Central America. Though these movements carried out humanitarian acts of providing aid and facilitating a form of civil disobedience even among soldiers, they were primarily communications platforms generating an anti-war messaging that movement leaders hoped would bring an end to the wars themselves. Movement organizations such as churches publicly “declare[d] sanctuary” in front of television cameras. They provided a platform from which masked refugees and war resisters could provide testimony about war atrocities they experienced to counter the narratives that mainstream news outlets were providing the public. The movements believed that this would persuade the public to pressure the government to oppose war. Just as President Richard Nixon sought to win the ‘hearts and minds’ of the public during the Vietnam War, the sanctuary movement counter-attacked, seeking to win the hearts and minds of the same people with the counter-testimonies they provided. While much ink has been spilled about the federal trials of sanctuary movement members who were arrested for harboring undocumented immigrants in the 1980s, to date no author has explored through the lens of military sanctuary thinking how the federal government may have targeted the movement. While there is little to critique about this book, Streets Without Joy could have explored in greater depth federal rhetoric about the sanctuary movements and how they might have been viewed by military sanctuary strategists. For instance, did they view the movement communications activities as merely humanitarian and political tactics, as other authors have, or did they see it as a tactic of war aimed at the US military?
In the 1990s, according to Innes, sanctuary thinking focused primarily on the wars in Iraq and on what US military strategists called “deceptive sanctuary” - the practices of the Iraqi government to shield its soldiers and its armaments from detection through the use of human shields, and off-limits sites such as mosques, schools, hospitals, and cultural institutions (246). What is interesting about this preoccupation is that these are the exact types of American institutions that the Department of Homeland Security during the Obama administration considered “sensitive locations” where ICE should use its discretion to not make immigration arrests. This begs the question as to whether military sanctuary discourse about addressing Iraqi deceptive sanctuary was ringing in the ears of military-minded officials as they heard of Obama’s DHS officials instructing immigration officers to take a hands-off approach to religious centers, schools, and hospitals on American soil. As could be expected, the Trump administration disregarded this “sensitive location” designation, and ICE was allowed, for instance, to pursue parents as they were dropping off their children at school.
Streets Without Joy finishes its historical trajectory with an examination of the post-9/11 military sanctuary thinking. One strain primarily located in the US Department of Defense argued that terrorist sanctuaries would flourish in “failed states” (52) where no rule of law existed and terrorism could flourish with little risk of detection due to porous borders and underdeveloped government, police, or security organizations. In these areas, terrorists constructed camps, cave bases, and networks that were more or less sanctioned or at least not significantly disturbed by the weak states in which they operated. To deny sanctuary in these areas of failed states, US programs of overwhelming military force (“shock and awe” campaigns), regime change, and state building were undertaken, especially in those cases where states took on a more active role in “harboring” terrorist organizations and providing either partnership or direct support for terrorist activities. As I read these later chapters in the book, I could not help but think about states like California which have passed “sanctuary state” laws which extend sanctuary city style “don’t ask, don’t cooperate with ICE” policy provisions to all localities throughout the state. While these states can hardly be deemed ‘failed’, some conservative media outlets employ colorful rhetoric to describe them as dysfunctional, corrupt, and disorderly states that harbor immigrants, provide them partnership and support, and that mishandle or fail to properly handle the issues of homelessness, forest fires, crime, and undocumented immigration.
The book closes with a final examination of the post-9/11 military sanctuary discourse developed in the US Department of State that focused on the more elusive forms of sanctuary that make geographical military targeting less effective. These include “virtual sanctuary” (59) or “cyber sanctuary” (234) wherein computer-networked communications and online social and legal structures could be clandestinely carried out in an encrypted and anonymous manner and which transcended borders. Sanctuary here is not about providing geographical space within a failed state but about creating a virtual global pseudo-state of jihadists. Second is the “ideological sanctuary” provided by Islamist leaders to adherents. With this form of sanctuary, leaders openly sanction terrorism and intimidate moderate clerics, making it more acceptable— “providing cover” —for followers to in turn openly promote terrorism themselves (240). Lastly, sanctuary thinkers were concerned with what they called “democratic sanctuary” wherein terrorists make use of democratic freedoms—for instance the right to privacy—within an open democratic society to elaborate and hide their plans (240). This section of the book is truly fascinating and provokes a mirrored analysis of how the sanctuary movement today is using online privacy tactics, networked movement organizing, and social media to protect its work from police surveillance and repression.
There is much to be praised in Streets Without Joy. The book will be especially exciting for those who work on sanctuary movements and sanctuary cities since it pushes us to rethink how these phenomena might be perceived by right-wing, war-minded opponents. Its fidelity to source documents is commendable, and the attention to the historical production and power games from which these texts were created is fascinating. The wide sweeping and accessible nature of the book provides an excellent introduction for those who are not proficient in studies of military strategy. It can be read across the social sciences with great interest.
Following the 9/11 attacks in 2001, US President George W. Bush declared that his administration would make “no distinction between the terrorists who committed these attacks and those who harbor them” (153). The harbor principle, and its focus on terrorist “safe havens” and “sanctuaries” as targets, became a hallmark of the US War on Terror. But despite its significance, as Michael Innes argues in his new book, the principle was neither a departure from past counterterrorism practices, nor a newfound focus on the places and people that enabled militants to operate. Rather, this “sanctuary discourse” reflects clear choices by the US policy establishment in portraying militancy and conducting international affairs. Innes painstakingly explores those choices, although with disappointingly little attention to the identity politics at work within this corner of the counterterrorism apparatus.
Considerable scholarly work on terrorism has dealt with the tangible stuff of terrorist “sanctuaries” without interrogating where the term came from—and why, specifically, a term historically associated with safe refuge is so often invoked by policymakers as a pejorative. Studies have investigated the importance of territorial control and secure bases of operation for militant actors, but such work approaches the topic from a strategic rather than a conceptual perspective. Meanwhile, scholars of English literature and anthropology have examined the idea of sanctuary in the Middle Ages, its complicated associations with safety and security, and its modern-day application in relation to refugees and asylum-seekers. Innes’s intervention is to bring the discursive analysis of sanctuary into terrorism studies, unsettling a taken-for-granted concept and unpacking its normative baggage.
Innes’s central contention is that discourses of “sanctuary” as related to war and conflict have existed in the United States since at least the Vietnam War. Starting with the works of historian and war correspondent Bernard Fall, including the volume from which Innes’s book takes its name (Street Without Joy), Innes traces a variety of meanings of the sanctuary concept, from sanctuary as a refuge among people to people as refugees needing sanctuary, from the nuclear umbrella providing sanctuary to countries under threat from the Soviet bloc to democratic societies providing sanctuary for dissent to flourish. Using this web of discursive threads, Innes makes clear that a hegemonic understanding of “sanctuaries” as enemy targets within a larger discourse of threat was not a predetermined outcome. Rather, this usage has roots in a particular thread of sanctuary discourse that emerged first under the Ronald Reagan administration and strengthened under the presidency of Bill Clinton as a way of ordering global threats in the post-Cold War international landscape.
Conceptually, Innes makes sense of sanctuary discourse as an “availability cascade” (29), a term he borrows from cognitive psychology that describes the process by which a perception of events becomes more and more plausible due to its increasing prevalence in public discourse. In this sense, the discourse of “sanctuary” as a framework for understanding al-Qaeda’s presence in Afghanistan after 9/11 already existed in the public sphere, and a campaign to concretize its usage created a cascade that made it a seemingly inextricable part of US counterterrorism and counterinsurgency policy. This framework underscores the continuity in the United States’ terrorism discourse, which 9/11 punctuated but did not fundamentally change. Subsequent conceptual discussions, which span two chapters, feel somewhat belabored, though perhaps such theoretical density is appropriate for a book concerned with rhetoric.
More powerful, especially with respect to driving home the importance of studying sanctuary discourse, are a series of illustrative examples that are sprinkled throughout the book. Instances like the dramatization of Afghanistan’s Tora Bora in the US media as a highly sophisticated network of underground caves help concretize the somewhat nebulous category of sanctuary discourse. Including US officials’ assumptions about terrorist sanctuaries (namely, that they would be located in Muslim-majority countries or European cities “with expatriate Muslim communities” ) highlights deep-seated assumptions about terrorism that are further cemented through discussion of sanctuary. One can imagine other examples which are not considered in the book, including the United States’ State Sponsors of Terrorism list, the longevity of which complicates Innes’s narrative of a through line from Vietnam to contemporary sanctuary discourse.
On the whole, Innes’ book is a rich first effort at documenting how the contemporary focus on terrorist “sanctuaries” throughout the Middle East and Central/South Asia came to be. As first efforts should, it also implies several areas that are ripe for future research based on what it omits within the book’s limited space. Three are especially salient: the processes of racialization embedded in how sanctuary discourse is applied, the concept of “sanctuary” as it applies to far-right and white supremacist violence, and the work done by larger discourse of “terrorism” itself.
First, sanctuary discourse is a profoundly racialized phenomenon. As the aforementioned example of officials’ assumptions about terrorist sanctuaries makes clear, “sanctuary” has become part of a larger pejorative discourse that constructs “terrorism” as a threat stemming from “over there” against which the US must take exceptional measures. As a justification for ‘shock and awe’ measures, “sanctuary” therefore has considerable power in drawing lines around an expansive enemy. The State Department’s pivot toward “safe haven” in its annual Country Reports on Terrorism, reportedly in response to concern about “sanctuary” as a Christian place of worship, further illustrates concerns about the effects of sanctuary discourse on one population (Christians) while simultaneously using that discourse to criminalize another (Muslims).
Equally interesting is where sanctuary discourse does not appear—namely, in conversations about far-right and white supremacist violence. Recent designations by Canada and the United Kingdom of multiple US-based white supremacist organizations as terrorist groups present us with a terrorist sanctuary of a very different sort, located within the borders of the chief architect of sanctuary discourse in the first place. Innes’s arguments about continuity within sanctuary discourse from the pre- to post-9/11 eras should also lead us to ask questions about larger patterns of exclusion from the discourse of “terrorism” and the ideas of existential threat embedded within that category.
This observation brings me to a final extension of Innes’s work. Implicit in much of his analysis is the expansion of the “terrorist” threat beyond individual people or organizations to entire geographies, which is then used to justify far-reaching and often disproportionate military action. Innes’s recounting of descriptions of airstrikes in Baghdad as “denial of sanctuary attacks” (249) is particularly evocative, in that officials used sanctuary discourse to legitimize the early destruction of possible sites where militant leaders could hide, with increasingly little regard for the killing of civilians. After determining where sanctuary discourse comes from, then, the next step is to analyze what it is doing—which could, in turn, shed additional light on is continued construction. In invoking “sanctuary,” US officials at once designate some actors as enemies, cast others as something short of that, and legitimize the United States’ own violence against the former group. The full work of this discourse within the larger project of counterterrorism, then, deserves further investigation.
The idea that terrorists and criminals are lurking behind borders of fragile or sympathetic states has been used by policymakers to justify actions ranging from extraordinary rendition and SEAL team raids to sanctions and wholesale armed intervention. Casual observers and readers of the news would be forgiven for thinking that Westphalian sovereignty is some sort of ‘new’ problem. Streets Without Joy challenges that dilettante understanding of the American safe-haven narrative. In his latest book, Michael Innes argues that the United States’ preoccupation with “sanctuary” originated with the Cold War. He walks his readers through the concept’s evolution in policymaker discourse and its impact on foreign policy between the 1950s and 2010s. The book makes the case that tracking the rise of sanctuary discourse is more than an academic exercise: the framing of safe havens as ubiquitous bolt holes undergirds the massive expansion of the United States Special Operations Command and the rise of American militarized policing abroad.
Innes’s point of departure is Bernard Fall’s work on Vietnam, from which this book’s title stems (Fall wrote Street without Joy: The French Debacle in Indochina in 1961 about the First Indochina War). I will put my hand up at the outset to declare my bias: living through 9/11 might have made me a political scientist, but reading Bernard Fall and T.E. Lawrence my first semester of college made me a history major first, and I went into this book with a level of excitement that is probably inappropriate for a reviewer. While Innes covers Fall’s wars, his focus is really on the ‘9/11 Wars’ and the uniquely American obsession with the ‘political myth’ of sanctuary and safe haven. He argues that terrorist sanctuary literature takes for granted the importance of sanctuaries without engaging with how the problem was framed in the first place and how it was driven by a combination of rhetoric, institutions, media, and historical experience. As it was used more frequently, sanctuary language took on a life of its own, snowballing into usage beyond Langley and Washington D.C. into media and international coalition meeting notes. Sanctuary discourse therefore made policy backwaters relevant to policymakers with limited time but big budgets, providing a common shortcut to understanding the constellation of terrorist networks that are woven through the globalized erosion of sovereignty. According to Innes, the root of this oversight is an erasure (or at least misunderstanding) of Fall’s work, and its consequences are the disastrous outcomes for this generation of wars. As a result, while Streets without Joy does not precisely disagree with the idea that violent non-state political actors enjoy the complexity of borders in a globalized world, it instead primarily focuses on how the concept became so central to American efforts abroad after 2001.
Innes is writing for more than just Afghanistan watchers. The challenges and opportunities of borders, the uneven distribution of sovereignty, and the people who exploit these blind spots is key in my work on non-state armed violence and illicit economies (often called the crime-terror nexus). Innes helpfully discusses how various terms are conflated into equivalence, bringing with them the baggage of the original term without its associated precision. In doing so, he has given me a new lens to consider the problem of illicit activity and conflict—not necessarily only as it relates to safe havens and ‘ungoverned spaces,’ but also in the way that certain frames and language can come to dominate the policymaker conversation, creating a path dependent lens for understanding nontraditional threats. The discourse around the ‘crime-terror nexus’ for example, is both ubiquitous and something of a running joke among those of us who work on it. The phrasing is simultaneously utterly inadequate to describe the dynamics at play, but also completely unavoidable if you want your work to be read. In non-specialist hands, all non-state groups who are engaged in a measure of conflict with at least nominal political goals, ranging from rebels to guerrillas to insurgents to gang members, are terrorists, while all (or nearly all) their activities are ‘criminal,’ regardless of scope, scale, or organizational impact. Innes identifies a comparable dynamic at play within sanctuary discourse and spends much of his second chapter unpicking the term’s evolution, synonyms, and varied use.
Beyond Fall’s work, Innes draws deeply on primary source material, official representative speeches, written presidential guidance, unclassified Congressional hearing notes and documents, and other publicly available governmental policy records, a deliberate choice which makes his findings feel more straightforward and intuitive than other case-study work drawn from archival materials.  He unfortunately relies on very few interviews; they would have added significant richness to the logic and intersectionality of his theory about how sanctuary discourse was shaped and the associated social processes. However, his chosen materials, particularly the focus on National Security Presidential Directive 9 in the early pages of the manuscript, work well for his purposes and provide sufficient convincing evidence for his argument. They also have the advantage of being easily available online: unlike some works based in archival methods, one can read the source material for this book for themselves with a few clicks.
Streets Without Joy is an interesting contribution because while it’s billed as a book that connects the Beltway to the Ivory Tower, it is an unapologetically academic book. It is best suited for doctoral level coursework and specialist scholars (the text’s repeated use of ‘parsimony’ transported me back to struggling through Research Design my first semester of graduate school). Any academic reader will be intimately familiar with the organizational layout of introduction, literature review (complete with debate about language), theory building, case study, case study, broader conclusion; indeed, though this is Innes’s fifth book project, it’s format means that it reads like a successful Ph.D. dissertation conversion. Beyond its subject, it will be a useful book for anyone who is interested but unfamiliar with discourse analysis and framing theory because Innes’s review of the literature is clear, readable, and comprehensive.
Innes could have credibly written a more ‘bridging the gap’ type of manuscript, leveraging his experience serving as both a uniformed officer and civilian advisor in contexts like the Balkans and Afghanistan. There are flashes of this lens throughout the book, and I can’t help being a little wistful for what Streets without Joy could have been if the language and framing had been a bit more accessible. The dense language and academic layout makes it less appealing to policymakers, meaning that they may miss a very important conversation about how we make security and foreign policy in the twenty-first century.
Innes seems to conclude that the era of ‘sanctuary obsessed discourse’ is behind policymakers, or at least has fallen dormant. While I am in reflexive agreement with him that policymakers “use historical lessons and analogies badly,” I think this assumption may be mistaken (263). Perhaps the focus has shifted away from safe havens for some, but the narrative continues to shape proposed policies and interventions, particularly in the context of terrorist and criminal groups. The initial modern framing may have been as ‘simple’ as the fact that senior policymakers in the 9/11 era came of age during the Vietnam War, and were deeply familiar with the language of the enemy ‘holing up’ or ‘hiding out.’ It’s very likely that some of the modern turn to sanctuary language is a function of junior and mid-level analysts trying to effectively communicate with their bosses—discourse driven by managing up. Now, after 20 years of 9/11 wars, those junior and mid-level analysts are the bosses they used to manage and are propagating the linguistic familiarity with ‘sanctuary’ and ‘safe haven’ down to a new generation of the best and brightest. While I would like to think that my generation will be the ones who finally learn the lessons of history correctly, I am sure we will continue to see this same discourse and framing well into the next century.
In sum, Innes makes a persuasive case for the idea that sanctuary discourse and the emphasis on safe havens did not happen accidentally. He demonstrates how the long trajectory of the American obsession with evil doers plotting in stygian locales has impacted security and foreign policy over the course of several different conflicts, sometimes subtly and sometimes overtly. Beyond his specific topic, Innes shows how one constructs a comprehensive discourse analysis using publicly available materials, which will be useful to graduate students who are working on their own projects. There are a few places where I wished for more, like an accounting of all the norm setting and language shaping that happens in corridors between meetings or on the range through direct interviews, but that would have perhaps taken Innes’s book from five hundred pages to well over a thousand.
“None of the Ordinary Categories”
In early February 2022, Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurayshi killed himself and his family to prevent their capture during a US raid. Al-Qurayshi was, at the time, caliph of the Islamic State (IS), and the Americans had found him at home in Atme, a town in Syria’s Idlib province, on the Turkish border. As the UK’s Guardian newspaper observed, he was just the latest in a series of IS leaders “to have been tracked down, captured or killed in Idlib province in the past two years,” suggesting “that a new generation of leaders is opting for sanctuary on the battlefields of Syria.” The idea that a site of bloodshed can simultaneously be a site of safety is somewhat jarring, but the dynamic has historical precedent. Tore Hamming, a scholar specializing in the Islamic State, commenting on the raid, noted that “A lot [has] been said about terrorist safe havens,” but high profile al-Qaeda and Islamic State leaders like al-Qurayshi have repeatedly chosen “to stay in enemy territory.”
The observation is based on a commonly held assumption that goes something like this: sanctuary, even when terrorist organizations and leaders make use of it, is generally presumed to be about safety and self-preservation, and is achieved by effecting some form of relative distance from frontline combat operations. So when leaders like al-Qurayshi, his predecessor Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, or al- Qaeda’s Osama bin Laden, do something different that appears contradictory or counterintuitive, it is worth taking note. As I point out in Streets Without Joy, however, such examples are variations on a theme rather than contradictory evidence. Much has indeed been written about sanctuaries and safe havens, but very little of this has attempted to distinguish between fact and fiction. To put it another way, much of this is simply taken as given, with no real effort expended to trace such claims or their source material.
Therein lies a critical elision and the stuff of mythmaking. Bin Laden, for example, evaded capture by US forces in late 2001 and remained at large for almost a decade. He and al-Qaeda were often depicted in vaguely defined but colourfully inflected terms that emphasized their presumed locations. The lexicon varied but tended to privilege references to sanctuaries and safe havens, embedded in something akin to the cant of a medieval cartographer. It evoked images of bin Laden and al-Qaeda as the dragons that be here, there, and everywhere: primitive but quasi-mystical masters of space and time residing in cave complexes, globe-spanning revolutionaries in remote backcountry training camps, as streetwise urban infiltrators and disembodied online Svengalis. This latter-day warning that hic sunt dracones was rubbish, of course, but like the best propaganda, frames are most effective when couched in truth (or partial truths).
More importantly, it was fanciful talk broadcast from the corridors of power, where factual truths are less important than how facts and truths can be bent to particular ends. It was a peculiar form of discourse that was neither new nor restricted to the pursuit of faces featured in wanted posters. The politics of sanctuary is not limited to rebel use of territory and international boundaries, classic geopolitical manoeuvres and the evasions that enable them, or the risks of internationalized conflict that constrain the pursuit of irregular armed groups. As I show in Streets, talk of sanctuary and the politics associated with it has a long pedigree. It is a distinctive and recurring historical feature of the American foreign policy landscape. It is, as I have frequently noted to colleagues and interlocutors, a gift that keeps on giving—a rhetorical commonplace often mobilized as a carrier wave of sorts for all manner of ideas and agendas.
My thanks to Seth Offenbach for organizing this roundtable. As I write this from my quarters in Baghdad, I cannot think of a more desirable or appropriate venue for a discussion of Streets. I have been a long-time subscriber to various H-Net groups, and as a former contributor to H-Diplo’s editorial team, I feel especially privileged that my own book has been given the space for a public airing. I would also like to thank Peter Mancina, Katharine Petrich, and Anna Meier for their stimulating reviews. The book scratches at many surfaces, and it will appear hopelessly thin to specialists dealing with any one of several areas I cover. These three reviewers’ widely divergent research specialisms and the views they bring to this roundtable speak volumes, I hope, about the multidisciplinarity and potential reach of Streets.
The book, like one of its characters, Bernard Fall, fits “none of the ordinary categories.” Readers looking for a neat tie-in with one or another assumed strand of literature might, as a consequence, struggle to place its relevance. My views on its subject matter have changed dramatically since I began working on it. I was initially intrigued with the point that al-Qaeda leaders were alleged to be hiding in such a range of ways and locations– caves, camps, hinterlands, and networks—that generalizable observations, much less the political generalizations then being made about them, were unsupportable. This was most evident in the apparent friction between two concepts: al-Qaeda, which was framed at the time as a globally distributed network, and the very different world of organized territorial states. Much of this was set against the backdrop of two states in particular, Afghanistan and Iraq, where that network could be located and destroyed.
Working through the contradictions and complexities of this formula, I spent a lot more time than I am now comfortable admitting, trying to pin down what it was I wanted to say. Ultimately I had to force a separation, to pick apart one small slice of the issue, rather than attempt to account for all of it. Terrorists (and all manner of other actors) use sanctuary. The literature on this is topically parochial, historically contingent, and poorly synthesized and overlaid onto contemporary analyses of armed conflict. There was also an urgency associated with al-Qaeda sanctuaries, privately at first but then publicly as well, fuelled by the events of 9/11 and the desire to stymie real or imagined terrorist efforts to replicate the catastrophe. So it was perhaps natural that what was being said or claimed about such things was both taken for granted and taken quite seriously, even while much else that was said and promised at the time was met with a great deal of cynicism.
Streets is about the political talk after 9/11 that made the issue urgent, that helped drive and maintain the anxiety surrounding it, and that over time began to look, at least in hindsight, like an obsession. Even more compelling is that the political atmospherics of the time were heavy with the stuff of history. To help make sense of this I found myself looking to Yuen Foong Kong’s Analogies at War, Richard Neustadt’s and Ernest May’s Thinking in Time, and especially May’s “Lessons” of the Past: The Use and Misuse of History in American Foreign Policy. I was not the only one. As Francis J. Gavin put it, commenting on May’s book in a recent H-Diplo tribute to May’s scholarship, “the United States began to lose its collective mind after the al-Qaeda attacks on New York City and Washington DC,” and May’s work became an essential aid to deciphering the corpus of “terrible historical analogies” that policymakers had flung against the wall to see what would stick. 
Streets Without Joy is not a book about identity politics—but it could have been. The George W. Bush administration’s early years and the ideological predispositions of its principal actors have already been well covered, and I was certain that what I was not trying to do was draft another iteration of James Mann’s Rise of the Vulcans. Equally, just as I was interested in treating sanctuary talk on its own terms, and not as a subsidiary of a particular issue like insurgency and counterinsurgency, I was also interested in understanding its provenance, and precedent cases of its use. What these show, if anything, is that sanctuary ideas have been recurring features of American foreign policy and defense discourse for decades. They cut across ideological divides, though they hardly remain neutral or invariable in their meanings.
The right certainly made use of sanctuary discourse, but it did not invent it and does not retain exclusive rights to it. That the right—or at least Trump, in the guise of a representative of the right—recently and selectively invoked it again in his 2016-2017 attacks on Sanctuary Cities, highlights the historical persistence and availability of sanctuary as a topic of high political contention. That extremist actors of the right could make real-world use of sanctuary, just as other groups of other persuasions have done, similarly highlights the ubiquitous resonance and applicability of sanctuary politics as an analytical construct. Meier, a specialist on terrorism and right-wing politics, provides some excellent points on this, but her suggestions that Streets elided those same points is a classic example of faulting a book for not doing what it never claimed and was never meant to do.
Streets is also not a book about the US Sanctuary Movement or the domestic sanctuary politics that it engendered—but here too, it could have been. I touched on this aspect of American sanctuary discourses only very lightly, just enough to demonstrate the movement’s availability within a larger historical context and to suggest a connection between domestic influences and the shape of foreign policy. It is a connection that some other future scholar should investigate, and I am especially grateful for Mancina’s insights into what Streets can do for scholars of religion, refugee studies, and immigration policy who look much more closely at sanctuary politics. These are fields that in my view have long-standing and much richer theoretical and empirical explanations of sanctuary places, practices, and politics than any other disciplinary engagements with the subject. This is especially true of those elements of security studies—notably insurgency and terrorism studies—that have long paid lip service to the importance of sanctuary but only in relatively recent years expended any effort to dig a little deeper.
Finally, Streets is not a memoir… and it could not have ever been otherwise. I used a few personal experiences to help introduce and organize the book because it was those very experiences that prompted me to look more closely, and transparency about such influences is a healthy admission of the potential biases that I might have—that I almost certainly do—bring to the table. There are also very real and enduring legal constraints on what I was at liberty to reveal. What I can say, quite definitively, is that historians are, as ever, part of the portraits they seek to paint. In the case of this book, the muse that guided me and the canvas, brush, and oils that were readily available, are all still there waiting for anyone else who might be so inspired to use them and attempt to replicate, elaborate, or challenge my findings. My personal and professional experiences of that time were prosaic, but I am grateful to Petrich—to all the reviewers—for thinking there might be more to the story. There always is.
I have tried to synthesize some of these lessons and read them into the literature on terrorist sanctuaries that grew out of the 9/11 attacks. Hopefully what I have done with Streets can repay a debt owed to more sophisticated takes on sanctuary politics, and something more robust can come of it. Petrich quite rightly points out that the game is not yet over, and that future generations will undoubtedly continue to invoke the talk of the post-9/11 period—today’s case studies serving as tomorrow’s precedents. I began and ended Streets on this very point. I opened with the idea that there is no indication that the obsession has exhausted itself or that it will not manifest again, hence the need for a more granular understanding of Fall and his equivocations, Vietnam and its legacies, and all else that followed after 9/11. I closed with the idea that policymakers seeking to shape the world after 9/11 used the metaphors and analogies of sanctuary discourse not badly at all, but rather to good effect.
Here, Petrich misattributes to me the axiom among political scientists and historians, famously associated with the work of Ernest May, that policymakers do not use analogies well. I break with it in my assessment. In my view, the corpus of documents in which political ideas about sanctuary are now enshrined was the stuff of a highly effective campaign to shape the 9/11 wars. This is not to say that it was historically accurate or factually aligned with the manifest and latent examples that it summoned, for neither of these things was the point. The sanctuary talk of the post-9/11 period, with its vaguely defined concepts and language, was not about conveying historical detail accurately. It dragooned available terms and ideas to define the world in a particular way and sell an agenda. It ignored provenance and abused precedent, setting throughlines constructed of flimsy assumptions rather than robust evidence about the past. In telling the story of Afghanistan, Iraq, and the American sanctuary discourses that shaped wars fought there, analysts will have to wrestle with putative points of origin and make their own sense of them.
On one point, Meier is incorrect in pointing to Vietnam as my point of departure. Vietnam was a prominently and deeply embedded feature of what many analysts and policymakers had to say in the years after 9/11. So it became the jumping off point for my survey of Fall’s work and of the patterns of rhetoric that can be observed in even a hasty study of what was said and done during America’s war in Southeast Asia. A key point here, however, is that the major decisions of that earlier period, prominently shaped as they were by a particular understanding of territory and sanctuary, in turn relied almost axiomatically on the lessons of prior conflicts. Among specialists of the Vietnam war, it is a truism that during the 1959-1964 period the US advisory effort and the decisions to escalate American involvement drew heavily on comparison to yet earlier conflicts, to arrive at some semblance of a strategy. These earlier examples—of war and sanctuary in Greece, the Philippines, Korea, Malaya—were discussed openly and only became fixed once decisions had been made about which analogy was best suited to (then) current purposes.
Such discussions keep alive the possibility of an alternate counterfactual outcome in Vietnam, had a different analogy been selected to guide Washington’s Vietnam decisions. The Vietnam sanctuary analogies of the post-9/11 period, in other words, were not Vietnam analogies at all. Or rather, they were not just the monolithic portraits that they were imagined to be after 9/11. They were, in a sense, reified variants of the discussions and lessons of that earlier period. Those original iterations of Vietnam-era sanctuary concerns, and the decisions surrounding them, were in their own historical contexts much more nuanced and sophisticated than later summoners appreciated. Indeed, with very little effort I was able to identify variants of sanctuary discourse—from conventional targeting exemptions in the 1960s to the emergency mass evacuation of Saigon in 1975—that force reappraisal of the post-9/11 emphasis on Vietnam as a lesson in the management of cross-border guerrilla sanctuaries.
Vietnam was thus not the only available historical example. It was, however, perhaps somewhat more available than others, in part because it, by virtue of the war’s duration and impact on all aspects of American society, became such an enduring object of popular, political, and scholarly attention. The point is arguable, especially if we take Gavin’s point to mean that analogies flung and analogies that stick are two different things. Policymakers were not just thinking of Vietnam. A full generation of experiences filled the gap between the end of the American war in Vietnam and the eve of 9/11. Vietnam was threaded through all of this, but it would be a mistake to reduce sanctuary politics and discourse that followed the war to mere inheritances or variants.
Indeed, understanding which ideas policymakers drew on requires an appreciation of the recency of some experiences and the more deeply held resonance of earlier influences. Both matter, but I think it’s a toss-up as to which matters more. The events of the 1990s, for example, are rich with problems of sanctuary that helped set the later response to al-Qaeda and the eventual approach to President Saddam Hussein’s Iraq. The American experience in Iraq at the beginning of the 1990s was one of these (but not the only one, as Mancina suggests). That war generated shelf-ready reference material that was quite literally abducted and pressganged directly into the sanctuary-wrapped sales pitch for regime change in 2002 and 2003. In another example, it was Pearl Harbor, not Vietnam, that was the Big Idea circulating in the 48 hours after 9/11, and lingered until the fall of Kandahar in December 2001.
History is clearly a Rorschach test when its invocation is entrusted to decisionmakers inclined to use it. Meier raises an important point, and on this we are in full agreement: the throughline implied by post-9/11 invocations of Vietnam as sanctuary is complicated by many things, not least of which is that pulling at historical threads inevitably requires decisions about what details to include or exclude in accounting for any particular issue. Other ideas about sanctuary and safe haven are readily observable prior to the instances I discuss in Streets. These were not the points raised after 9/11. One of the reasons for this, and a central feature of how Streets was conceived, is that my focus was on the generation of post-9/11 senior American leaders for whom Vietnam was one formative experience among many—an influential referent, but part of a much larger, longer-term context that preceded the fateful events of 11 September 2001.
 Ronald Reagan, “Remarks at the Annual Convention of the American Bar Association,” 8 July 1985. Reagan Library, https://www.reaganlibrary.gov/archives/speech/remarks-annual-convention-american-bar-assoc... (accessed 10 October 2022).
 This phrase has often been attributed to Sir John Seeley, 1834-95; see, for example, Donald R. Kelley, ed., “Introduction: Looking Backward,” in Versions of History from Antiquity to the Enlightenment (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1991), 8. In fact, it was coined by Edward Augustus Freeman. Oded Y. Steinberg, Race, Nation, History: Anglo-German Thought in the Victorian Era (Philadelphia, PA: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2019), 129.
 Adolfo Gatti, “Urban Terrorist Sanctuaries in Europe,” in Serafettin Pektas and Johan Leman, eds., Militant Jihadism: Today and Tomorrow (Leuven: Leuven University Press), 151. Max Weber famously discussed the state as being a political institution that successfully claims a monopoly on the threat and use of violence. On this, see Andreas Anter, “The Modern State and its Monopoly on Violence,” in Edith Hanke, Lawrence A. Scaff, and Sam Whimster, eds., The Oxford Handbook of Max Weber (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2019), 226-36.
 On this, see Gregory C. Kennedy and Keith Neilson, eds., Military Education: Past, Present, and Future (Westport, CT: Praeger, 2002).
 On this, see Tod Hoffman, Al Qaeda Declares War: The African Embassy Bombings and America’s Search for Justice (Lebanon, NH: University Press of New England, 2014).
 The 9/11 Commission Report: Final Report of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States (Washington DC: US Government Printing Office, 2004), 101-2.
 Clarke quoted in Ryan Lizza, “ISIS, Terrorist Sanctuaries, and the Lessons of 9/11,” The New Yorker, 19 November 2015.
 "Carthago delenda est” (“Carthage must be destroyed”) is traditionally believed to be the phrase that Cato the Elder used to conclude his speeches to the Senate in the years prior to the outbreak of the Third Punic War in 149 BCE. Although Cato’s aphorism is a later invention, his speeches to the Senate nevertheless demanded that Carthage must be smashed. Richard Miles, Carthage Must be Destroyed: The Rise and Fall of an Ancient Civilization (London: Allen Lane, 2010), 336. See also F.E. Adcock, “Delenda est Carthago,” Cambridge Historical Journal, 8/3 (1946): 117–28; Charles E. Little, “The Authenticity and Form of Cato’s Saying ‘Carthago Delenda Est’,” Classical Journal, 29/6 (1934): 429–35.
 The 9/11 Commission Report, 120. For Clarke’s recollection of the plan, see Richard A. Clarke, Against All Enemies: Inside America's War on Terror (New York: Free Press, 2004), 181-204. Clarke claims that Cato ended every speech with "Carthago delenda est” in 201 BCE. Clarke, Against All Enemies, 197. In fact, Cato continued to agitate against Carthage long after this date. When Carthage ceased paying its indemnity for the Second Punic War (218-201 BCE) in 151 BCE, Cato increased the vehemence of his attacks on Rome’s north African rival. Robin Lane, The Classical World: An Epic History from Homer to Hadrian (London: Allen Lane, 2005), 330.
 Clarke, Against All Enemies, 197.
 Fox, The Classical World, 330.
 Dominic Tierney, “Does America need an Enemy?,” The National Interest, 146 (2016), 53.
 Sallust quoted in Carsten Hjort Lange, “Cassius Dio on Sextus Pompeius and Late Republican Civil War,” in Josiah Osgood and Christopher Baron, eds., Cassius Dio and the Late Roman Republic (Leiden: Brill, 2019), 241.
 Tierney, “Does America need an Enemy?,” 53.
 The 9/11 Commission Report, 366, 368.
 Michael Weiss and Hassan, ISIS: Inside the Army of Terror (New York; Regan Arts, 2016), 329.
 The White House Office of the Press Secretary, “Press Conference by President Obama - Antalya, Turkey”, 16 November 2015. https://obamawhitehouse.archives.gov/the-press-office/2015/11/16/press-conference-presiden... (accessed 9 October 2022).
 Lizza, “ISIS, Terrorist Sanctuaries, and the Lessons of 9/11”.
 Bernard B. Fall, Street Without Joy (Mechanicsburg, PA: Stackpole, 1994 ), 375.
 Christopher A. Lawrence, America's Modern Wars: Understanding Iraq, Afghanistan, and Vietnam (Philadelphia, PA: Casemate, 2015), 101
 Fall, Street Without Joy, 375-6.
 For a new study of Fall, see Nathaniel L. Moir, Number One Realist: Bernard Fall and Vietnamese Revolutionary Warfare (London: Hurst, 2022).
 In addition to Street without Joy, Fall published several books on the subject. See the following: The Viet-Minh Regime: Government and Administration in the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (New York: Institute of Pacific Relations, 1956); Street Without Joy: Indochina at War, 1946-54 (Harrisburg, PA: Stackpole. 1961); The Two Vietnams: A Political and Military Analysis (New York: Praeger, 1963); Hell in a Very Small Place: The Siege of Dien Bien Phu (New York: Lippincott. 1966); Viet-Nam Witness, 1953-66 (New York: Frederick A. Praeger, 1966); Last Reflections on a War (Garden City, NY: Doubleday,1967); Anatomy of a Crisis: The Laotian Crisis of 1960-1961 (Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1969); and, as editor, Ho Chi Minh on Revolution: Selected Writings 1920-66 (New York: Prager, 1967).
 Moir, Number One Realist, 321.
 Lawrence, America's Modern Wars, 101. On the McNamara Line, see Christopher P. Twomey, “The McNamara Line and the Turning Point for Civilian Scientist-Advisers in American Defence Policy, 1966-1968,” Minerva, 37/3 (1999): 235-58.
 US Senate, Committee on Foreign Relations, “Briefing on the Laos Situation,” 19 January 1968. Executive Sessions of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee (Historical Series), Volume XX, Ninetieth Congress, 2nd session, 1968 (Washington DC: US Government Printing Office, 2010), 34. Elsewhere, Symington remarked that, “I do not know how McNamara’s Maginot Line is working south of the DMZ, but I am pretty sure it is not working too well in Saigon, and we have got this tremendous investment there.” “Briefing on Iran, Pakistan and Greece,” 15 May 1968. Volume XX, 613. Given its ineffectiveness against the German invasion of May 1940, Symington’s references to France’s Maginot Line were obviously not designed to flatter the proponents of the McNamara Line.
 Stephen Tanner, Epic Retreats: From 1776 to the Evacuation of Saigon (London: Greenhill, 2000), 290.
 On this, see R. J. Macrides, “Killing, Asylum, and the Law in Byzantium,” Speculum., 63/3 (1988): 509-538; Gerhard Franke, Das Kirchenasyl im Kontext sakraler Zufluchtnahmen der Antike: Historische Erscheinungsformen und theologische Implikationen in patristischer Zeit (Berlin: Peter Lang, 2003); Karl Shoemaker, Sanctuary and Crime in the Middle Ages 400–1500 (New. York: Fordham University Press, 2010); T.B. Lambert, “The Evolution of Sanctuary in Medieval England,” in Paul Dresch and Hannah Skoda, eds., Legalism: Anthropology and History (Oxford/New York: Oxford University Press, 2012), 115-44; and Elizabeth Allen, Uncertain Refuge: Sanctuary in the Literature of Medieval England (Philadelphia, PA: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2021).
 Mancina observes that, “In the summer of 2016, for the first time on the campaign trail, presidential candidate Donald Trump announced with triumphant determinism to an arena audience in Arizona that he would “end sanctuary cities” by defunding them of federal dollars, thereby putting an end to what he described as decades of Democratic Party corruption and immigrant violence that these cities allowed.”
 The term was coined in 1909 by Benjamin Shambaugh (1871-1940). Rebecca Conard, Benjamin Shambaugh and the Intellectual Foundations of Public History (Iowa City, IA: Iowa University Press, 2002), 33.
 Applied History Project | Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs https://www.belfercenter.org/project/applied-history-project (accessed 28 September 2022). See also the recently founded Journal of Applied History, https://brill.com/view/journals/joah/joah-overview.xml (assessed 3 September 2022)
 Petrich writes that “Innes seems to conclude that the era of ‘sanctuary obsessed discourse’ is behind policymakers, or at least has fallen dormant. While I am in reflexive agreement with him that policymakers “use historical lessons and analogies badly,” I think this assumption may be mistaken (263).”
 Al-Qurayshi killed himself, and members of his family, by triggering a large bomb during a raid by the US Joint Special Operations Command on 3 February 2022. Biden stated that “US military forces in the northwest Syria successfully undertook a counterterrorism operation to protect the American people and our Allies and make the world a safer place. Thanks to the skill and bravery of our Armed Forces, we have taken off the battlefield Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurayshi - the leader of ISIS.” President Joe Biden statement, the White House, 3 February 2022, https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/statements-releases/2022/02/03/statement-by-presi... (accessed 25 October 2022).
 Baghdadi killed himself, along with two children, when he detonated a suicide belt during an attack by US forces on 30 October 2019. President Trump commented that “He was a sick and depraved man and now he’s gone … He died like a dog. He died like a coward. The world is a much safer place.” Ben Hoyle (Los Angeles), “Isis leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi blows himself up after being cornered by US forces,” The Times (London), 27 October 2019.
 August 31, 2016, “Full Text: Donald Trump Immigration Speech in Arizona.” Politico, available online at https://www.politico.com/story/2016/08/donald-trump-immigration-address-transcript-227614.
 Tal Kopan, “What are sanctuary cities, and can they be defunded?” CNN Politics, March 26, 2018, https://edition.cnn.com/2017/01/25/politics/sanctuary-cities-explained/index.html
 Caroline Ghisolfi, “The Search for Sanctuary, Immigrants Look Ahead to Uncertain Future After 30 Years of Changing City Policy.” The San Francisco Examiner, January 4, 2020, https://www.sfexaminer.com/news/the-search-for-sanctuary/
 Andrea J. Ritchie and Monique W. Morris, “Centering Black Women, Girls, Gender Nonconforming People and Fem(me)s in Campaigns for Expanded Sanctuary and Freedom Cities: A Policy Brief.” National Black Women’s Justice Institute, 2017. Available online at https://forwomen.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/Centering-Black-women-final-draft6.pdf
 US Department of Homeland Security, 2020. “Remarks as Prepared by Acting Secretary Chad F. Wolf for ICE Operation Rise Announcement.” October 7. https://www.dhs.gov/news/2020/10/07/remarks-prepared-acting-secretary-chad-f-wolf-ice-oper...
 Susan Bibler-Coutin, The Culture of Protest: Religious Activism and the US Sanctuary Movement (Boulder: Westview Press, 1993).
 Ann Crittenden, Sanctuary: A Story of American Conscience and Law in Collision (New York: Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1998).
 John Morton, “Enforcement Actions at or Focused on Sensitive Locations”, US Department of Homeland Security October 24, 2011.
 See, for example, Cristiana C. Brafman Kittner (2007), “The Role of Safe Havens in Islamist Terrorism,” Terrorism and Political Violence 19:3 (2007): 307–29; Luis de la Calle and Ignacio Sánchez-Cuenca (2015), “How Armed Groups Fight: Territorial Control and Violent Tactics,” Studies in Conflict & Terrorism 38:10 (2015): 795–813; Elizabeth Grimm Arsenault and Tricia Bacon, “Disaggregating and Defeating Terrorist Safe Havens,” Studies in Conflict & Terrorism 38:2 (2105): 85–112.
 Elizabeth Allen, Uncertain Refuge: Sanctuary in the Literature of Medieval England (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2021); Linda Rabben, Sanctuary and Asylum: A Social and Political History (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2016).
 Bernard Fall (1961), Street Without Joy: Indochina at War, 1946–54 (Mechanicsburg, PA: Stackpole Books, 1961); Fall (1966), Hell in a Very Small Place: The Siege of Dien Bien Phu (Philadelphia: Lippincott, 1961).
 On availability cascades, and the idea of cognitive availability more generally, see Cass R. Sunstein and Timur Kuran, “Availability Cascades and Risk Regulation,” 51 Stanford Law Review (1999), 683–768; Amos Tversky and Daniel Kahneman, “Judgment under Uncertainty: Heuristics and Biases,” Science 185: 4157 (1974): 1124–1131.
 See, for example, Renée De Nevers (2007), “Sovereignty and Ethical Argument in the Struggle against State Sponsors of Terrorism,” Journal of Military Ethics 6:1 (2007): 1–18.
 See, for example, Anna A. Meier, “The Idea of Terror: Institutional Reproduction in Government Responses to Political Violence,” International Studies Quarterly 64:3 (2020): 499–509.
 Bernard B. Fall, Street without Joy: The French Debacle in Indochina, Second (Guilford, Connecticut: Stackpole Books, 2018); Bernard B. Fall, Hell in a Very Small Place: The Siege of Dien Bien Phu, First Edition (Philadelphia: Lippincott, 1966); Bernard B. Fall and Dorothy Fall, Last Reflections On a War: Last Comments on Viet-Nam, 1st edition (New York: Doubleday & Co., 1967).
 T. E. Lawrence, Seven Pillars of Wisdom, New edition (Ware: Wordsworth Editions Ltd, 1999).
 Katharine Petrich, “Cows, Charcoal, and Cocaine: Al-Shabaab’s Criminal Activities in the Horn of Africa,” Studies in Conflict & Terrorism, October 17, 2019, 1–22, https://doi.org/10.1080/1057610X.2019.1678873; Petrich, “The Crime–Terror Nexus,” in Oxford Research Encyclopedia of International Studies (Oxford University Press, 2021), https://doi.org/10.1093/acrefore/9780190846626.013.608; Petrich, “Al-Shabaab’s Mata Hari Network,” War on the Rocks (blog), August 14, 2018, https://warontherocks.com/2018/08/al-shabaabs-mata-hari-network/.
 Vanda Felbab-Brown, “The Crime–Terror Nexus and Its Fallacies,” in The Oxford Handbook of Terrorism, ed. Erica Chenoweth et al. (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2019), 365–82, https://doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780198732914.013.22.
 A short list of the archives Innes consulted includes: “The American Presidency Project” (Archive, University of California, Santa Barbara), accessed July 19, 2021, https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/; “National Security Archive” (Archive, George Washington University), accessed July 19, 2021, https://nsarchive.gwu.edu/; “National Archives” (Archive, Washington, D.C.), accessed July 19, 2021, https://www.archives.gov/; The 9/11 Commission Report : Final Report of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks upon the United States (Washington, D.C.: US Government Printing Office, 2004), https://www.9-11commission.gov/report/911Report.pdf; “Reagan Library Archives” (Archive, Simi Valley, CA), accessed July 19, 2021, https://www.reaganlibrary.gov/archives; “Richard Nixon Museum and Library Holdings” (Archive, Yorba Linda, CA), accessed July 19, 2021, https://www.nixonlibrary.gov/research/guide-holdings; “New York Times Article Archive” (Archive, New York), accessed July 19, 2021, https://www.nytimes.com/ref/membercenter/nytarchive.html; Lee H. Hamilton, “Lee H. Hamilton 9/11 Commission Papers, 2003-2005” (Archive, Bloomington, IN), accessed July 19, 2021, http://webapp1.dlib.indiana.edu/findingaids/view?doc.view=entire_text&docId=VAB8595; Donald Rumsfeld, “The Rumsfeld Papers” (Archive, New York, 2012), https://papers.rumsfeld.com/.
 George W. Bush, “Defeating the Terrorist Threat to the United States,” National Security Presidential Directive-9” (Washington, D.C.: White House, October 25, 2001), https://fas.org/irp/offdocs/nspd/nspd-9.pdf.
 Michael A. Innes, ed., Bosnian Security after Dayton: New Perspectives. (Abingdon, UK: Routledge, 2006); Innes, ed., Denial of Sanctuary: Understanding Terrorist Safe Havens (Westport, Conn: Praeger Security International, 2007); Innes, ed., Making Sense of Proxy Wars: States, Surrogates & the Use of Force, 1st ed (Washington, D.C: Potomac Books, 2012).
 “Islamic State names new leader, confirming US raid killed predecessor,” The Guardian (11 March 2022). URL: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/mar/11/islamic-state-names-new-leader-confirming-us-raid-killed-predecessor.
 Tore Hamming (@ToreRHamming): “[Thread] Two thoughts on what the killing of IS caliph Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurayshi tells us.” (4 February 2022). URL: https://twitter.com/ToreRHamming/status/1489520399071260672.
 The phrase originally appears in a 1963 review of Bernard Fall’s work in Pacific Affairs, by the British scholar P.J. Honey. Honey was referring to Fall’s Street Without Joy, but I found it to be an equally apt descriptor for Fall as an historical figure, and I use it as a chapter heading in Streets Without Joy. See P.J. Honey, Review of Street Without Joy. By Bernard B. Fall. Harrisburg, PA: The Stackpole Company, 1961. Pacific Affairs 36:4 (Winter, 1963-1964), 443-444.
 Yuen Foong Khong, Analogies at War: Korea, Munich, Dien Bien Phu, and the Vietnam Decisions of 1965 (Princeton University Press, 1992); Richard Neustadt and Ernest May, Thinking in Time: The Uses Of History For Decision Makers (New York: The Free Press, 1986); Ernest R. May, “Lessons” of the Past: The Use and Misuse of History in American Foreign Policy (New York: Oxford University Press, 1973).
 Francis J. Gavin, “A Late Appreciation,” essay in On the Importance of the Scholarship of Ernest May, https://networks.h-net.org/node/28443/discussions/9275673/h-diploissf-forum-31-importance-scholarship-ernest-may
 James Mann, Rise of the Vulcans: The History of Bush’s War Cabinet (New York: Viking Penguin, 2004).
 Anna A Meier, “Terror as Justice, Justice as Terror: Counterterrorism and Anti-Black Racism in the United States,” Critical Studies on Terrorism 15:1 (2022): 83–101; Meier, “The Idea of Terror: Institutional Reproduction in Government Responses to Political Violence.” International Studies Quarterly 64:3 (2020): 499–509.
 Mancina’s own scholarship is worth noting. See Peter A. Mancina, "Investigating and (Not) Disciplining Violations of Sanctuary City Laws." Southern California Interdisciplinary Law Journal 78:3 (2019): 641-660; Mancina, "Sanctuary Cities and Sanctuary Power." Chapter in Open Borders: In Defense of Free Movement. Ed. Reece Jone (University of Georgia Press, 2019), 250-264; Mancina, “The Birth of a Sanctuary City: A History of Governmental Sanctuary in San Francisco,” in Randy K. Lippert and Sean Rehaag, eds., Sanctuary Practices in International Perspectives: Migration, Citizenship, and Social Movements (Milton Park and New York: Routledge, 2012), 205-218.
 Petrich’s research on the longevity, durability, and evolution of terrorist organizations reinforces the point. See for example Katharine Petrich, “Cows, Charcoal, and Cocaine: Al Shabaab’s Criminal Activities in the Horn of Africa,” Studies in Conflict & Terrorism 45:5-6 (2022), 479-500.
 See, for example, Bruce Kuklick, Blind Oracles: Intellectuals and War from Kennan to Kissinger (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2006), 159-161.
 Khong, Analogies at War, 91-94.
 For much broader and in-depth treatments of Vietnam decisions, see for example, Mark Philip Bradly and Marylin B. Young, eds., Making Sense of the Vietnam Wars: Local, National, and Transnational Perspectives (New York: Oxford University Press, 2008), and Fredrik Logevall, Choosing War: The Lost Chance for Peace and the Escalation of War in Vietnam (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1999).