Countering Al Qaeda : An Appreciation of the Situation and by Brian Michael Jenkins

By Brian Michael Jenkins

This monograph experiences occasions because the terrorist assaults of September eleven, 2001, and discussess the present kingdom of al Qaeda constitutes the main critical instant hazard to the protection of the USA, so the crusade opposed to terrorism needs to be concentrated. The monograph describes the significant components that has to be emphasised within the subsequent, extra advanced section of that crusade.

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Deterrence regulated the conflict; it did not end the struggle. Deterring terrorism is an entirely different matter. Here, there are diverse foes, not a single enemy with different goals and values. Terrorist leaders are not always in complete control, and they often have difficulty constraining their own followers. Coexistence is not a goal, on either side. Would the United States accept the existence of al Qaeda and any form of freedom for its current leaders, even with credible promises that they will suspend operations against this country?

Al Qaeda may be reluctant to kill fellow Arabs; or if attacked, the ruling Saudi family might push its Wahabi religious allies to denounce bin Laden—and the Saudi government does have clout in the worldwide Islamic community. Moreover, al Qaeda may deem attacking an Arab country to be inconsistent with its vision of focusing its violence on the United States. If any of these speculations is correct, then Saudi Arabia has achieved a level of deterrence. The United States may not be able (or may not want) to duplicate this situation with al Qaeda.

President Bush has correctly portrayed the war on terrorism as likely to be a long war, but it has finite aims: the removal of the Taliban government; the destruction of al Qaeda’s training bases in Afghanistan; putting Osama bin Laden and his associates on the run; and rounding up al Qaeda’s operatives around the world. The United States is not going to destroy every terrorist group or pursue every terrorist in the world, but as a matter of self-defense, it will wage war against terrorists capable of causing casualties on the scale of September 11.

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