Ten years after the attacks on the United States by al Qaeda, expert Stephen Grand, director of the Project on U.S. Relations with the Islamic World at Brookings, reflects on the progress the United States has made, and the continuing conduct of the war on terror. Grand says we have killed or captured key terrorist leaders, including Osama bin Laden, and significantly weakened al Qaeda while strengthening our own national security. However, U.S. retaliation has served to further alienate Muslim peoples across the globe, and ended U.S. naivety about its reputation in the world as a force for good.
[The resignation of assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs Wess Mitchell] is surprising news, which seems to have caught everyone off guard. He doesn’t appear to have shared this news with his ambassadors, who were in Washington last week for a global chiefs of mission conference. His deputy is also slated to retire soon, which raises question of near term leadership on European policy at a time of challenges there.
[Wess] Mitchell was a strong supporter of NATO, particularly in Eastern Europe where he will be sorely missed. His departure comes follows the resignation of senior Pentagon officials – Robert Karem and Tom Goffus – working on NATO along with Secretary Mattis. Without this pro-alliance caucus, NATO is now more vulnerable than at any time since the beginning of the Trump administration.