Counterterrorism
Strategy Initiative

Archives: Counterterrorism Strategy Initiative Articles and Op-Eds

How U.S. Can Once Again Define the Future

  • By
  • Patrick C. Doherty,
  • New America Foundation
November 27, 2012 |

Washington is all about the fiscal cliff these days. In Doha, Qatar, world leaders are negotiating over climate change. Federal debt and carbon emissions are indeed two big problems on the nation's front burner. But they are just the beginning.

As the fog of the election season lifts, America has a lot to worry about -- everything from competing economically with China to housing rapidly retiring baby boomers.

Tough Choice for Obama on Petraeus' Successor

  • By
  • Peter Bergen,
  • New America Foundation
November 13, 2012 |

 In choosing a new CIA director to replace David Petraeus, President Barack Obama has a range of well-qualified candidates to choose from, although some of the most qualified were in management roles at the CIA when controversial interrogation techniques were used by agency interrogators questioning al Qaeda prisoners and the CIA was maintaining secret prisons overseas to detain members of al Qaeda.

Michael Morell, a three-decade veteran of the CIA, is now the acting director of the agency and a leading contender to become the next director of central intelligence.

How Petraeus Changed the U.S. Military

  • By
  • Peter Bergen,
  • New America Foundation
November 11, 2012 |

Historians will likely judge David Petraeus to be the most effective American military commander since Eisenhower.

He was, after all, the person who, more than any other, brought Iraq back from the brink of total disaster after he assumed command of U.S. forces there in 2007.

To understand how daunting a task that was, recall that when Petraeus took over in Iraq, the country was embroiled in a civil war so vicious that civilians were dying at the rate of 90 a day.

Romney Endorses Obama's National Security Policies

  • By
  • Peter Bergen,
  • New America Foundation
October 23, 2012 |

Mitt Romney came to Monday night's debate with a choice.

He could run to the right of President Obama on national security issues and also differentiate himself on such tricky matters as what to do about Syria, or the United States' complicated alliance with Pakistan.

Or he could essentially endorse Obama's aggressive campaign against American enemies such as al Qaeda and the Iranian regime and his administration's approach to knotty problems such as Syria and Afghanistan.

Jihadi Terror Suspect Could Face Tough Odds in Court

  • By
  • Jennifer Rowland,
  • Peter Bergen,
  • New America Foundation
October 19, 2012 |

The man charged Wednesday with attempting to blow up the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, the latest alleged jihadist to be charged in a law enforcement sting, may or may not have had the capability to create a major terrorist incident. But if his case follows the pattern of other similar sting operations, what is clear is that he faces very long odds in court.

Quazi Mohammad Rezwanual Ahsan Nafis, a 21-year-old Bangladeshi from Queens, is accused of plotting to detonate a 1,000-pound bomb outside the Federal Reserve building in Manhattan.

Romney's Sorta-Kinda Call to Arms

  • By
  • Peter Bergen,
  • New America Foundation
October 10, 2012 |

On Monday, Mitt Romney delivered what his campaign billed as a major foreign policy address, in which he sought to distinguish himself from the man he called the "lead from behind" president.

The speech at the Virginia Military Institute, which largely focused on the Middle East, served as something of a warm-up for the two remaining debates between Romney and Obama to be held later this month, one of which will focus entirely on foreign policy, while the other will deal with both domestic and national security issues.

A Dangerous New World of Drones

  • By
  • Peter Bergen,
  • Jennifer Rowland,
  • New America Foundation
October 1, 2012 |

A decade ago, the United States had a virtual monopoly on drones.

Not anymore. According to data compiled by the New America Foundation, more than 70 countries now own some type of drone, though just a small number of those nations possess armed drone aircraft.

The explosion in drone technology promises to change the way nations conduct war and threatens to begin a new arms race as governments scramble to counterbalance their adversaries.

Go Army, Beat Navy

  • By
  • Douglas Ollivant,
  • New America Foundation
September 28, 2012 |

The conventional wisdom holds that the future of American conflict will be dominated by drones, SEALs, and a massive combined naval/air team in the Pacific. This scenario envisions little purpose for land power outside the limited but potent capabilities inherent in Special Operations. But there is an alternative view that believes the conventional wisdom to be utopian and unwilling to consider the most likely conflicts to occur in the future.

Extremists and Leaders Incite Violent Protests

  • By
  • Peter Bergen,
  • Jennifer Rowland,
  • New America Foundation
September 13, 2012 |

On November 2, 2004, Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh was bicycling to work in Amsterdam when he was shot eight times at close range. He died instantly, but in a fit of rage, his assailant, Dutch-Moroccan Mohammed Bouyeri, also attempted to cut off his head with a machete.

Bouyeri killed van Gogh because of a short film he had recently produced with Somali-born Dutch politician Ayaan Hirsi Ali that criticized Islam's treatment of women.

11 Years After 9/11: Who Are the Terrorists?

  • By
  • Peter Bergen,
  • Jennifer Rowland,
  • New America Foundation
September 11, 2012 |

On August 15, Floyd Lee Corkins allegedly walked into the Family Research Council in Washington, a conservative think tank, and shot the building manager Leo Johnson in the arm, saying something along the lines of, "I don't like your politics," as he did so.

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