The new secretary of defense's attempt to open negotiations with the Somalia-based al-Qaeda affiliate raises the question: Does the United States have conditions for negotiating with terrorist groups?
Latest in al-Qaeda
Emerging trends in terrorist attacks will present new challenges for agencies working to prevent them.
Are there opportunities to wind down fighting with some terrorist groups in the region?
How a Jamaican preacher now facing extradition to the United States rose through the extremist ranks.
Ten years later, the man who planned the attack is still at large and heading al-Qaeda.
Threats new and old, at home and from abroad.
Editor’s Note: Afghanistan is America’s longest war, and recent attempts to negotiate an end with the Taliban appear to have failed, at least for now. Many Americans are asking whether it is worth staying in Afghanistan as the war drags on. Carter Malkasian, one of America’s premier Afghanistan experts, examines the most important argument for staying—that Afghanistan might again be a haven for anti-American terrorist groups—and from there raises questions that should guide policymakers considering a withdrawal.
Editor’s Note: To the surprise of many observers, the al-Qaeda core under Ayman al-Zawahiri has not launched a major terrorist attack in the West for years, and the rise of the Islamic State seemed to signal the group’s further decline. Asfandyar Mir of Stanford argues that this lack of focus is a mistake. He contends that al-Qaeda remains resilient and that the group continues to pose a major terrorism threat.
Editor’s Note: This article originally appeared on Order from Chaos.
Over the past two decades, extremists have successfully exploited both intrastate politics and interstate relations to further their own state-building projects. In particular, they have targeted marginalized, peripheral regions of fragile states, where citizens are politically and economically excluded by their governments. Stopping the spread of extremism will require a broader strategy to address the often counterproductive role played by government actors, instead of focusing narrowly on potentially radicalizing individuals.