New Works from the U.S. Army War College: Rivalries, Resurgence and Security Implications in the Middle East

September 28, 2015

Several publications published by the U.S. Army War College, Strategic Studies Institute address issues relating to regional security, international relations, political science, and foreign policy in the Middle East and Central Asia.

008-000-01116-8The Resurgence of Al-Qaeda in Syria and Iraq by Azeem Ibrahim

This text takes a look at Al-Qaeda’s loss of leadership and prominence as it pivoted from Afghanistan to Syria as well as the origins of ISIS in Syria. With ISIS holding strong in Syria, Al-Qaeda moved to Iraq for a resurgence in power until it met ISIS forces.

ISIS forces emerged in April 2013 under the leadership of Al-Baghdadi, who played a key role in establishing the Al NusrahFront and converging it with what later became the Islamic State in Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS).  Al-Baghadadi, who claims to be a descendent of the Prophet Muhammad, has been described as a “philosopher jihadi”—something quite different from other al-Qaeda leaders.

The Saudi-Iranian Rivalry and the Future of Middle East Security by W. Andrew Terrill

008-000-01076-5Our allies within Saudi Arabia play a key role to the stability of the Gulf states and the Middle East writ large.  In this effort, Saudi Arabia has its challenges with neighboring Iran.  Saudi Arabia is a conservative Sunni Muslim Arab state while Iran is the leading Shi’ite state. The rivalry between Riyadh and Tehran is reflected in how the two powers exercise political influence and defend their interests in Iraq, Lebanon, Syria, Egypt, Bahrain, and beyond. The 2011 wave of pro-democracy and anti-regime protests, known as the “Arab Spring,” introduced new considerations for both Saudi Arabia and Iran within the framework of their regional priorities. The Saudi-Iranian rivalry therefore is likely to intensify as a central feature in the Middle Eastern security landscape, expanding into both the Gulf region and the Arab-Israeli theater.

Turkey’s New Regional Security Role: Implications for the United States by Richard Weitz

008-000-01120-6This book provides a historical view of the U.S.-Turkey bilateral relationship.  America keeps a watchful eye on Turkey and its dealings in Iran’s nuclear position, Israeli-Palestine relations, and trade agreements between both countries.

All of these books may appeal to political scientists, and students writing research papers for public policy, history, military science, international relations, and global studies classes at the high-school level and above.



How do I obtain these publications?

Shop Online Anytime: You can buy eBooks or print publications —with FREE Standard Shipping worldwide— from the U.S. Government Online Bookstore at

Shop our Retail Store: Buy a copy of any print editions from this collection at GPO’s retail bookstore at 710 North Capitol Street NW, Washington, DC 20401, open Monday–Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., except Federal holidays, Call (202) 512-0132 for information or to arrange in-store pick-up.

Order by Phone: Call our Customer Contact Center Monday through Friday, 8 am to 5:30 pm Eastern (except US Federal holidays). From US and Canada, call toll-free 1.866.512.1800. DC or International customers call +1.202.512.1800.

Visit a Federal depository library: Search for U.S. Government publications in a nearby Federal depository library. You can find the records for most titles in GPO’s Catalog of U.S. Government Publications.

About the author: This week’s blog contributor is Maureen Whelan, Senior Marketing Team Leader for GPO’s Publication and Information Sales program office in Washington, DC. Maureen oversees print and digital content dissemination strategy and manages third party free and paid content distribution through platforms and vendors, such as Apple iBookstore, Barnes and, Google Play eBookstore, Ebscohost databases, Overdrive, and more.

Social Security Facts and Figures

September 10, 2012

Guest blogger, GPO Public Relations Specialist Emma Wojtowicz, reviews a new publication giving the “Fast Facts & Figures” about the U.S. Social Security System.

The Federal Government offers many publications to educate and inform the public. If there is a topic that interests you or that you want to learn more about, Government publications are a great resource. Not all publications are long, dense and written as legal briefs.

Fast Facts & Figures About Social Security, 2011 is a 36-page booklet that accomplishes what the title suggests – providing readers with fast facts and figures about Social Security.

Social Security is always a hot topic with election-year fact checkers, and this annual publication does a good job breaking down the information so the reader can understand and better grasp this important topic.

The introduction describes the publication as a “chartbook” which it is with at least one chart, graph, or table on each page. This is a smart way to present the information because it allows the reader to gain a lot of knowledge from just scanning each page.

Like most Government-related publications there are many acronyms that readers are not familiar with, luckily, this publication includes a list of abbreviations and acronyms on the second page which is helpful for understanding the content, such as OASI which stands for Old-Age and Survivors Insurance.

The data focuses on Social Security programs for retired workers and their dependents, disabled workers and their dependents, and survivors of a deceased worker, which benefits or assists over 59.2 million Americans.

Here are some of noteworthy Social Security facts and figures for 2011:

  • Of all adults receiving monthly Social Security benefits, 44% are men and 56% are women.
  • The recipients of Social Security benefits are  64% retired workers, 15% disabled workers, 12% survivors of decreased workers, and 9% dependents of a retired or disabled worker.
  • The average Social Security benefit for a worker who retires at full retirement age is $1,176 per month, and the maximum Social Security benefit a worker who retired at full retirement age can receive is $2,366 per month.
  • The average Social Security benefit for the children of a deceased worker is $750 per month.
  • Social Security is financed from three sources: 82% from payroll taxes, 15% from interest earned on Government bonds held by trust funds, and 3% from income taxes on Social Security benefits.
  • For 73% of single elderly (nonmarried aged) beneficiaries (and 54% of elderly couples receiving benefits) in 2011, Social Security provided at least 50% of their total income. Social Security benefits make up over 90% of the total income for 43% of single elderly recipients (and 22% of elderly couples), making Social Security benefits a critical source of monthly income for them to live on (See image below).

The one downside to this publication is that is does not thoroughly explain how Social Security benefits are calculated for recipients; there is a benefit formula, but it is not easy to understand. Despite that negative, the publication provides thorough data in an easy to read format that helps familiarize readers with Social Security.

HOW MAY I OBTAIN “Fast Facts & Figures About Social Security, 2011”?

  • Buy it online 24/7 at GPO’s US Government Online Bookstore.
  • Buy it at GPO’s retail bookstore at 710 North Capitol Street NW, Washington, DC 20401, open Monday-Friday, 9am to 4pm, except Federal holidays, (202) 512-0132.
  • Find it in a library.


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