Strategic Horizons: Al-Qaida’s Resurgence, Like Its Demise, Is Greatly Exaggerated

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In 1897, Mark Twain famously advised the New York Journal that its report of his death was an exaggeration. Recent years have seen a number of reports of al-Qaida’s death. These too have been exaggerations but, unfortunately, dangerous rather than witty ones. Claims of al-Qaida’s demise began in July 2011 when then-Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta said the defeat of al-Qaida is “within reach.” In a May 2013 speech at the National Defense University in Washington, President Barack Obama said, “The core of al-Qaida in Afghanistan and Pakistan is on the path to defeat.” In an August address at Camp […]

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