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TransformationThroughTrainingIssueNo6December201423thatthecounter-terrorismmeasureshadnotbeengroundedinasufficientknowledgeofhistoryoranunderstandingofcontemporaryterrorism.InshortthatthenatureofAlQaedaisbetterassessedinitshistoricalcontextasopposedtothelargelyartificialandpoliticallychargedcategoriesthatabsorbedtheUnitedStatesintheaftermathof911.TherolesforexampleofQutbandAlZawahiricouldbearguedtobeasequallyinstrumentaltounderstandingthemotivationbehindtheoriginsandaspirationsofAlQaedaasthatofBinLaden.ThisisespeciallysowithregardstoitsreligiousdynamicsandportrayalofJihadasanunendingstateofwarQutb1964inaperpetualglobalstruggletoradicalizeandmobilizetheIslamicworldJasonBurke2005topromoteanideologythatunitedandmotivatedJihadistgroups.ThatQutbiscentraltounderstandingAlQaedasstrategicandpoliticalobjectivesisequallypoignantastooarethehistoriesoftheautonomousorganizationsandtribesandfamiliesintowhichthehierarchyofAlQaedasoughtsanctuaryandmarriedintoafterToraBora.Section2.TheEbbTideHoweverthisisnottosaythatafterToraBoraAlQaedadescendedintoamultitudeofinformallocalgroupstryingtoemulatetheirpredecessorsSageman2008northatthisassessmentisafundamentalmisreadingoftheAlQaedathreatHoffman2008bothstancesthatleadtohighstakeswhenitcomestocounter-terrorismBergman2011.ForexampleSagemansmodelpresumesAlQaedatohavealreadylostthewar-whichisclearlynotthecaseespeciallyfromtheperspectiveofAlQaedawhoseconceptoftimehaslittleappreciationforthenicetiesofseculardeadlines.ItalsopresumesAlQaedasonlygoalwastoattacktheWestandthatitnolongerhasanyfieldingoroverridinginfluenceovergroupslikeAQAPorashearguedwithGavrilloPrinciptheabilitytopulloffaminorincidentthatsparksaclashbetweenmajorpowers.WithHoffmanthehistoricalsignificanceislostandthepossibilityofthisperiodbeingbutoneofthethreephasesofaclassicinsurgencyaremissedandthatitisnotcounterterrorismresponsesthatarerequiredtoconstrainanddefeatAlQaedabutcounter-insurgencymeasuresfollowedbycounter-revolutionarywarfare.WhetherthethreatemanatesfromradicalizedWesternbasedconvertslonewolvesAlQaedaCentralAQAMIslamicStateortheLeaderlessJihadisinanycasebutamutepointforanyattackontheWestwouldbebutanothertemporarytacticinwhatisanongoingwaronamuchlargerbattlefieldthanthehomelandsorAfghanistanandonethatisshapedbyAlQaedaandnottheWest.Ifwereallywantittowalkonitsowntwofeetinaworldfullofenemieswaitingtopouncewemusteaseitsburdentakeitbythehandhelpitandsupportit...untilitstands.AbuMusabAbdulWadud2013Theabovequoteisarareindicationastonotwhatcounter-terrorismpractitionersoracademicsbelieveofAlQaedabutwhatAlQaedabelievesofatleastapartofitself-AlQaeda13yearsafter911andbyitsownadmissionyetunabletowalkonitsowntwofeet.IndeedfarfrombeingobsoletedbygroupsthatshareitsobjectivesatleastonemajorpartofitappearstohavebeendisabledbeyondanyrealcoordinatedactionorlikeISISacentralcontrol.WhetherornotthisisindicativethroughoutAlQaedahoweverremainsopentoquestionbutitdoessuggestthatanalysesofAlQaedaasafranchisedphenomenonhaveaccordeditunduecreditandledtocounter-terrorismmeasuresthathavefailedtocapitalizeontheAlQaedaof911slossesatToraBorathedegreeofbrandingforexamplethattookplaceonthemyriadofgroupsthatsharedSalafistdoctrineandmorphedtheacutedistinctionsbetweenthemintoholisticthreatsthesheersizeofthebureaucracylaunchedagainstAlQaedawhichdrownedoutanyeffectivemeansofmeasuringsuccesswelackthemetricstoknowifwearewinningorlosingtheglobalwaronterrorRumsfeld2003orthecompetinganalysesofAlQaedathathavehencenotonlyledtotheimplementationofdilutedcounter-terrorismmeasuresagainstthoseinspiredbyAlQaedasuchasAlShabaabbutthoseinanyaffiliatesunderitsdirectcommand.Section3.TheNeapTideIfanythingthegreatestlessonfromtheattacksonMumbaidemonstratethatwhilstcounter-terrorismmeasurescanforceterroristsfromtheirambitionstheyareoftentemporarysolutions.AlQaedawhilstlargelycurtailedintheWestasaresultofmilitaryinterventionintheEastremainsundefeated.FromMumbaitotheArabSpringalthoughforcedtowageadifferentwartotheoneithadinitiallysetouttofightadecadeagoithassincereturnedtoitsrootsandinforce-asapara-militarizednexusfightingwithemergingopportunitiesinaproxywarbetweenregionalsuper-powers-AlQaedatodayhasthecapabilitytoprojectitsforcesinMumbai-likeraidsaninternationallyestablishedphilosophyacrosstheWestaproximitytostateandstate-likeforcesanetworkofwellestablishedandfledglingaffiliatesandthepowertodestabilize.TheorganizationremainslethalandambitioustostrikeWesterntargets.HenryJacksonSociety2013Giventheabovehowfarcounter-terrorismmeasureswillbeofvalueuponanyresurgenceinattacksagainsttheWestisbasedlargelyonhowtheseaffiliationsareperceived.Withmorelandandpara-militarizedforcesunderthebannerofAlQaedathaneverbeforeshowsthatanalysesofAlQaedaasaterroristgroupfocusedonattackingtheWestorasaspentforceofredundantassociationshashadimportantramificationsinshortthat