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The "War on Terror": One Year On

One year ago, Osama bin Laden was killed in a daring nighttime raid by Navy SEALs on his compound in a small military garrison town in Pakistan. Since then, how has the war on terror changed? Should we be looking at it more critically than we are? In this essay collection, we examine the war on terror from several angles not often found in the popular discourse.Read more...

Update to "Are We Winning?" Report

The American Security Project recently released the mid-year update to their annual “Are We Winning?” Report, which showed a marked decrease in Islamist terrorism in the last two quarters of 2009 outside of the on-going conflict theaters of Iraq and Afghanistan. Even though Islamist terrorist incidents still remain at historically high levels, the decrease at the end of 2009 was the largest since 2004, when National Counter Terrorism Center (NCTC) started tracking Islamist terrorist incidents. The report, authored by ASP Senior Fellow Bernard Finel and Researcher Germain Difo measures America’s progress in the fight against terrorism according to metrics that are designed to be both reproducible and objective. Click here to view the full report.Read more...

Are We Winning? (2009)

The American Security Project (ASP) announces the release of their annual report entitled: Are We Winning? Measuring Progress in the Struggle Against al Qaeda and Associate Movements. This year’s report, authored by Dr. Bernard Finel and Christine Bartolf, notes a dramatic increase in Islamist violence around the world, but also identifies several indicators that suggest al Qaeda is losing relevance. According to the report, overall Islamist terrorist violence has risen 20-30 percent since last year – which is the highest point it has ever been at. However, evidence also shows that the reach and power of al Qaeda has diminished significantly and become more focused on local political leaders, rather than at the United States and the West, coordinated through al Qaeda. Click Here to Download the Full Report >>Read more...

Are We Winning? Measuring Progress in the War on Terror: An Interim Update

An American Security Project mid-year update to their annual report on global terrorism trends today showed several trends that raise serious concerns about U.S. counterterrorism policy, including a dramatic increase in Islamic violence in the Middle East, a worsening situation in Afghanistan and Pakistan, new “hot spots” of violence in Somalia and Russia, as well as a dampening of the initial “Obama effect” in the Muslim world.

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Are We Winning? (2008)

The “war on terror” has morphed from an imprecise, but comprehensible, concept into little more than a cudgel to be wielded in American domestic political debates by both the left and the right. What ought to be a policy debate over threats and consequences, risks and capabilities, ends and means is instead, too often, an opportunistic weapon used without reference to logic or facts in order to gain political advantage. The result is a dizzying set of changing assessments that encourage skepticism and cynicism instead of consistency and clarity.

Ultimately, any approach to the challenge posed by violent jihadists must acknowledge several basic propositions:

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Are We Winning? Measuring Progress in the Struggle Against Violent Jihadism (2007)

Since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, U.S. foreign policy has focused largely on confronting the violent jihadist threat worldwide. There have been numerous successes and failures over the past six years in this so-called "war on terror."

The American Security Project has developed ten criteria to measure progress – or lack of progress – in the struggle against violent jihadism. These metrics are designed to be both reproducible and as objective as possible. They are intended to comprise a holistic approach, examining causes and processes associated with violent jihadism, in addition to outcomes.

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