Editor's Note: The United States cannot fight terrorism without allies, but these alliances bring with them new problems and at times make counterterrorism far more complicated, to put it gently. Clint Watts, a leading terrorism analyst and fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute, argues that many of these relationships are more trouble than they're worth. The U.S. relationship with Egypt, Pakistan, and Saudi Arabia in particular, he contends, needs to be reevaluated, while the United States should double down on relationships with countries like Jordan and Tunisia.
Clint Watts is a Robert A. Fox Fellow for the Foreign Policy Research Institute and a Senior Fellow at the George Washington University’s Center for Cyber & Homeland Security. Prior to these positions, Clint served as a U.S. Army officer, an FBI Special Agent, and with the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point.
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Editor’s Note: No one wants to give terrorists even a shred of legitimacy through negotiations, but even hardline counterterrorist countries like Israel have at times recognized the need to cut a deal with their enemies. This issue has come up again and again for the United States, particularly as it searches for allies in Syria: Some of the most effective forces against the Assad regime and the Islamic State are those of the Nusra Front (Jabhat al-Nusra), an al-Qaida affiliate.