U.S. Losing the GWOT

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My last article for LRC stated bluntly that the U.S. was losing the global war on terror (GWOT) and gave a few reasons why this was the case. Major Bryan Groves, affiliated with the U.S. Army, says the same thing, but diplomatically and in academic journalese. His thoughts appear in Volume 36, Issue 1, 2013 of the journal Studies in Conflict and Terrorism. (I found this article today.) I quote him:

“Eleven years following the attacks on 9/11 the United States has a significant disconnect between its strategic and tactical efforts against violent global jihadists. Some American leaders and commanders are confusing effectiveness and success, improperly associating tactical disruption of enemy elements with strategic effect. While the country has won some important tactical victories, it is not clear that they are amounting to a strategic impact, or that the gains will last.

“Al Qaeda (AQ), its affiliate organizations, the Taliban, and most recently, AQ-inspired violent extremists, have demonstrated a tenacious resiliency. Their resiliency has primarily manifested itself through a unique ability to evolve and grow over time, enabling them to continue attacking U.S. interests abroad and at home. This resiliency is also evident through continued extremist recruitment, radicalization, mobilization, and funding. The frustrating aspect of this for U.S. counterterrorism officials is the enemy’s success in these areas despite tremendous American and Coalition efforts to disrupt, dismantle, and defeat these organizations.”

He goes on to say the same kind of thing I did. Again quoting him: “I argue that America remains stuck at the tactical and operational levels, largely falling short of making strategic progress because of its failure to address the long term drivers of the threat from global jihadis.”

His recommendations are in his article.

I’ve argued before that the GWOT was a huge strategic blunder from its inception. I’ll continue to buttress that view separately.

10:00 am on August 23, 2013