Counterterrorism
Strategy Initiative

Archives: Counterterrorism Strategy Initiative Articles and Op-Eds

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.

Drone Is Obama's Weapon of Choice

  • By
  • Peter Bergen,
  • Megan Braun,
  • New America Foundation
September 6, 2012 |

Covert drone strikes are one of Obama's key national security policies. He has already authorized 283 strikes in Pakistan, six times more than the number during President George W. Bush's eight years in office.

As a result, the number of estimated deaths from the Obama administration's drone strikes is more than four times what it was during the Bush administration -- somewhere between 1,494 and 2,618.

Book review: ‘No Easy Day: The Firsthand Account of the Mission That Killed Osama bin Laden’

  • By
  • Peter Bergen,
  • New America Foundation
August 30, 2012 |

Even before the book went on sale, the announcement by the publisher Dutton that the pseudonymous Mark Owen, one of the SEALs on the mission that killed Osama bin Laden, would be publishing an account of his role in the raid quickly propelled “No Easy Day” to the No. 1 slot on Amazon, displacing “Fifty Shades of Grey.”

Sense and Nonsense About Obama and Osama

  • By
  • Peter Bergen,
  • New America Foundation
August 29, 2012 |

On Wednesday some media outlets obtained copies of the heavily embargoed book "No Easy Day" by Mark Owen, the pseudonym of one of the Navy SEALs who was part of the mission that killed Osama bin Laden.

Black and White Paradigm

  • By
  • Shamila Chaudhary,
  • New America Foundation
August 26, 2012 |

Those of us in Washington watch with especially pointed curiosity — what will the elections’ outcome mean for the United States? Surely some in Pakistan have the same question. A healthy debate on the future of relations is a good thing, especially given recent efforts by both countries to get things back on track.

However, analysts on either side of the divide are not even in a position to answer those questions because both sides are trapped in a paradigm that views the relationship in stark black and white terms.

Are 'Swift Boat' Attacks on Obama Bogus?

  • By
  • Peter Bergen,
  • New America Foundation
August 17, 2012 |

Kabul, Afghanistan (CNN) -- A group of former U.S. military and intelligence officers, including retired Navy SEALs, appear in a 22-minute documentary that was released on Wednesday asserting that the Obama administration has leaked considerable classified intelligence about the raid that killed Osama bin Laden for political gain.

Right-Wing Extremist Terrorism as Deadly a Threat as al Qaeda?

  • By
  • Peter Bergen,
  • Jennifer Rowland,
  • New America Foundation
August 7, 2012 |

The word "terrorism" in the United States usually brings to mind plots linked in some way to al Qaeda, while the danger posed to the public by white supremacists, anti-abortion extremists and other right-wing militants is often overlooked.

A Clean Slate

  • By
  • Shamila Chaudhary,
  • New America Foundation
August 5, 2012 |

It is hard to imagine a truly clean slate for the two countries given the preponderance of differences on national security. But Corker probably did not mean as much. Rather, he likely meant that being perceived as too forward-leaning on Pakistan during an election year would lead to more opposition attacks on the Obama administration’s foreign policy. A similar dynamic exists in Pakistan for the incumbent Pakistan People’s Party government as it heads into national elections. Without the threat of being kicked out of office, both governments may finally be able to figure it out.

The Limits of Drone Warfare

  • By
  • Philip Mudd,
  • New America Foundation
August 3, 2012 |

The impact of drones in the counterterror campaign is hard to overstate:  terror groups, like many organizations, develop into global threats not because they can recruit suicide bombers but because they have leaders with vision, capability, commitment, and experience.  Tactical leaders might view a local government as their primary adversary; strategic leaders, from Osama bin Laden to Abu Musab al-Zarqawi in Iraq to Anwar al-Awlaki in Yemen, have broader horizons.

Kill or Capture

  • By
  • Steve Coll,
  • New America Foundation
August 2, 2012 |

On September 30, 2011, in a northern province of Yemen, Anwar al-Awlaki, an American citizen and a senior figure in Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, finished his breakfast and walked with several companions to vehicles parked nearby. Before he could drive away, a missile fired from a drone operated by the Central Intelligence Agency struck the group and killed Awlaki, as well as a second American citizen, of Pakistani origin, whom the drone operators did not realize was present.

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