In Empire of Terror Mark D. Silinsky argues that Iran is one of the United States’ deadliest enemies. The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, known as the Guards, bring Iran’s sway over much of the greater Middle East and pose a growing existential threat to Western security.
Providing insights gained from his thirty-eight years as an analyst in the U.S. defense intelligence community, Silinsky argues that Iran’s political leaders and Guards are animated by aggressive, unforgiving, and totalitarian principles. He draws historical parallels to the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany to compare the intelligence and security services of states with totalitarian aspirations and to illustrate ideological points of intersection—a collectivist mindset, intolerance for political deviation, strongly defined sex roles and hypermasculinity, and a ruthless determination to ferret out and destroy their enemies.
Silinsky offers biographies and explanations of the ideology that propels some of Iran’s leaders, with global implications. Profiling the perpetrators, victims, heroes, villains, and dupes, Silinsky shines light on the human and inhumane elements in this distinctly Iranian drama. Although the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany have been defeated and belong to history, the Iranian threat is very much alive.
About the Author
Mark D. Silinsky is a senior intelligence analyst for the U.S. Department of Defense, where he has worked for thirty-eight years, and is an affiliated professor at Haifa University. He is the author of Jihad and the West: Black Flag over Babylon and The Taliban: Afghanistan’s Most Lethal Insurgent Group and coauthor of The Manager’s Guide to Terrorism, Risk, and Insurance: Essentials for Today’s Business.
“Insightful, important, and timely. . . . A virtual state within a state, [the Guards] have exerted tremendous influence on Iran’s politics, foreign policy, and economy. This is essential reading for all those who are interested in how the regime has managed to destabilize the Middle East and carve out an arc of domination known as the ‘Shiite Crescent’ from Lebanon to Yemen.”—Ofira Seliktar, professor emerita at Gratz College and coauthor of Iran, Revolution, and Proxy Wars
“Mark Silinsky has the knowledge and the imagination to place the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, a key Iranian institution, in the context of other totalitarian regimes, specifically the Soviet and Nazi regimes. The result—ever so timely in the aftermath of the Qasem Soleimani execution—is a compelling guide.”—Daniel Pipes, president of the Middle East Forum and publisher of Middle East Quarterly
“Mark Silinsky combines a deep and broad knowledge of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps with a deep understanding of what is going on in today’s Iran. He makes a powerful case for greater understanding of contemporary Iranian politics in helping the West to manage a seemingly intractable problem . . . and he does so with prose that is informal and engaging.”—Christopher Coker, director of LSE IDEAS, a think tank at the London School of Economics and Political Science
“Mark Silinsky has expertly exposed the depraved and fanatical practices of the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, giving us valuable insight into their roles in international terrorism and the oppression of the Iranian people.”—Christine Sixta Rinehart, associate professor of political science at the University of South Carolina and author of Sexual Jihad: The Role of Islam in Female Terrorism
“Like Nazi Germany and the USSR, the Islamic Republic of Iran is founded on an ideology that is both imperialistic and totalitarian. Mark Silinsky skillfully demonstrates the disturbing parallels between these three toxic regimes, showing how Shiite millenarian thinking makes the Iranian regime’s ideology especially dangerous. All who wish to deepen their understanding of the Iranian threat to the civilized world should read this book.”—Joseph S. Spoerl, professor of philosophy at Saint Anselm College