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.
Lee Hamilton, former representative from Indiana, is president and director of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. He served as vice chair of the 9/11 Commission and is co-chair, along with James A. Baker, of the Iraq Study Group. Bruce Hoffman is a professor of security studies at Georgetown University's Edmund A.Walsh School of Foreign Service. Brian Michael Jenkins is senior advisor to the president of the RAND Corporation. Paul Pillar, who spent 28 years in the U.S. intelligence community, is now a visiting professor at Georgetown University. Xavier Raufer is director of studies and research in the Research Department on the Contemporary Criminal Menace and a professor at the Paris Institute of Criminology, University of Paris II. Walter Reich is the Yitzhak Rabin Memorial Professor of International Affairs, Ethics and Human Behavior and a professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at George Washington University. Fernando Reinares is a professor of political science and security studies at the Universidad Rey Juan Carlos, Madrid, and a senior analyst on international terrorism at the Elcano Royal Institute for International and Strategic Studies.