As a new century dawned, a newly elected U.S. president was forced to confront a grave threat to the nation-an escalating series of unprovoked attacks on Americans by Muslim terrorists sworn to carry out jihad against all Western powers. Worse still, these fanatics operated under the protection and sponsorship of rogue states ruled by ruthless and cunning dictators. As timely and familiar as these events may seem, they occurred more than two centuries ago. The president was Thomas Jefferson, and the terrorists were the Barbary pirates of Algiers, Tunis, and Tripoli. Victory in Tripoli recounts the untold story of one of the defining challenges overcome by the young U.S. republic. This fast-moving and dramatic tale examines the events that gave birth to the Navy and the Marines, recounting the harrowing experiences of U.S. seamen held as slaves in North Africa for more than a decade and re-creating the startling political, diplomatic, and military battles that were central to the conflict. The story begins with humiliation: a U.S. warship-the first ever in the Mediterranean Sea-sailing into the harbor of Algiers to pay protection money to Algerine ruler Dey Bobba Mustafa. This custom of paying pirates not to attack merchant vessels, long practiced by the European powers, rankled the ship's captain, William Bainbridge, as well as U.S. consuls Richard O'Brien and William Eaton. Over the next five years, these men, along with a handful of others, would do everything in their power to end this policy of appeasement and bring U.S. power to bear against the Barbary pirates. Standing alone against the pirates, the United States resorted to naval blockades, covert operations and night raids, amphibious assaults, brute force, attempted regime change through a coup d'etat, employment of mercenary forces, and, finally, the betrayal of a trusted ally in its quest for victory. The young nation would learn valuable lessons in cross-cultural diplomacy, diplomatic maneuvering, and the projection of military might as an extension of public policy. Victory in Tripoli examines every aspect of the first U.S. military campaign through foreign lands-from the spectacular naval heroics of the legendary Stephen Decatur to Eaton's perilous march across the Sahara, from Jefferson's flip-flopping on the use of force to petty squabbles among diplomats that produced dire consequences for the United States. This highly interesting and informative history offers deep insight into issues that remain fundamental to U.S. foreign policy decisions to this day. Book jacket.