End Game: Rethinking the War on Terror
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The United States is currently engaged in one the longest and costliest wars in its history. In the thirteen years since the devastating attacks on 9/11, the United States has waged war against al Qaeda and ideology of global violent jihad. The U.S. military has sought to confront and destroy terrorist organizations wherever they may exist. This open-ended strategy has led to the implementation of a wide range of controversial military programs, most prominent of which are lethal drone strikes. Although the U.S. military has eliminated thousands of suspected terrorists, including most of the original al Qaeda leadership, this militarized and aggressive strategy has radicalized an entire generation of young Muslims and exacerbated the problem. If the United States continues to respond to terrorist threats with unregulated and legally questionable lethal military force, violent extremist ideologies like al Qaeda’s will only continue to rapidly metastasize. What is needed is a paradigm shift in the way the United States fights terrorism — both at home and abroad. The end of the current conflict will look like the adoption of a completely different counterterrorism strategy.
- SIS 495 Task Force