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State of the Struggle

Report on the Battle against Global Terrorism

By LEE HAMILTON, Bruce Hoffman, Brian Michael Jenkins, Pillar, Paul R., Xavier Raufer, Walter Reich, and Fernando Reinares

The West is in a worsening, eroding position in the struggle against global terrorism. While we have experienced some tactical success and thus far managed to protect the U.S. homeland, the growing tide of radicalization will create an increasingly volatile and dangerous environment. Taking the form of a report card, State of the Struggle assesses the West’s progress across a wide array of counterterrorism imperatives. From ethical questions of balancing security and core values to the problems of creating viable counterterrorism coalitions to the likelihood of terrorist use of biological, chemical, and nuclear weapons, the report examines a wide swath of issues necessary to create workable counterterrorism strategies. This distinguished group of international terrorist experts, including former congressman Lee Hamilton, explains how the West successfully shut down Afghanistan as a terrorist sanctuary only to face new dangers as that beleaguered nation moves again toward anarchy. The authors explain why Iraq may well become not only a breeding ground for terrorists but a base from which trained operatives will boomerang back to the European continent. The book examines such trends as the rise in suicide terrorism, the effects of al-Qaeda’s self-perceived triumph, and the potential for new recruits and new technologies to replenish and advance faster than the West can respond to these challenges. These factors inform the report’s predictions about future terrorist threats. The authors call for a new long-term strategy, with all that implies in terms of allocating resources, maintaining public support, and reversing the swell in terrorist ranks. The current emphasis on military action needs to be shifted. The failure to shape viable longterm policy solutions thus far makes for a bleak outlook.

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