This event was broadcast live on CSPAN.org.
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The United States is at a pivotal moment in its fight against terrorism and violent extremism. As a result of international cooperation with its partners and the application of a “smart power” approach that integrates diplomacy, development and defense, the al-Qaida core has been degraded and is finding it more difficult to raise money, train recruits, and plan attacks. Yet, while great strides have been made, significant challenges remain. Recent events in the Middle East and Africa—the Arab Awakening, Syrian civil war, and the upheaval in Mali, among others – add additional dimensions to America’s counterterrorism challenges. How serious are the current array of threats? What will it take to meet them? What’s next in the country’s fight against international terrorists?
On December 18, the Saban Center for Middle East Policy at Brookings hosted Ambassador Daniel Benjamin, who after one term as Coordinator for Counterterrorism at the State Department presented a progress report on American counterterrorism. Brookings Senior Fellow Bruce Riedel offered his own thoughts on American counterterrorism efforts, and Senior Fellow Daniel L. Byman, research director of the Saban Center for Middle East Policy, moderated discussion.