Terrorism

The Osama bin Laden I Know

January 9, 2006

Osama bin Laden has haunted the popular psyche and stymied the world's mightiest military for the last five years. Despite President Bush's declaration that he wanted bin Laden "dead or alive," despite being one of the world's most notorious men, and despite the barrage of coverage surrounding him, Osama bin Laden remains at large -- and shrouded in a fog of anecdote and myth, rumor and fact.

Blowback Revisited

  • By
  • Peter Bergen,
  • New America Foundation
  • and Alec Reynolds
November 1, 2005 |

When the United States started sending guns and money to the Afghan mujahideen in the 1980s, it had a clearly defined Cold War purpose: helping expel the Soviet army, which had invaded Afghanistan in 1979. And so it made sense that once the Afghan jihad forced a Soviet withdrawal a decade later, Washington would lose interest in the rebels. For the international mujahideen drawn to the Afghan conflict, however, the fight was just beginning. They opened new fronts in the name of global jihad and became the spearhead of Islamist terrorism.

Beyond Bullets

Wednesday, September 21, 2005 - 12:00pm

Four years after the tragic 9/11 terrorist attacks, the economic dimension in the fight against terrorism has received little attention in comparison to the ongoing focus of policy makers and the public on military responses and democracy promotion as a bulwark against continuing threats. Nevertheless, economic strategies and tools are critical as we work to help nations gird themselves against terrorist groups that seek a foothold in their societies or followers among their citizens.

Reading Al Qaeda

  • By
  • Peter Bergen,
  • New America Foundation
September 11, 2005 |

Al Qaeda, which means "the base" in Arabic, lost its physical base in Afghanistan after Sept. 11, 2001, so now its ideological base can be found not in the training camps of the Hindu Kush but on the Internet and in the books that leaders of the movement serialize in Arabic newspapers. These Web sites and publications are aimed at reaching a wide audience in the Muslim world.

If You Can't Lick 'em, Try Diplomacy

  • By
  • Anatol Lieven,
  • New America Foundation
September 10, 2005 |

Since 9/11, American policy has focused far too much on changing other countries, and far too little on getting along with them. Too much talk of democracy, and not enough of diplomacy. This wouldn't matter if the United States were powerful enough to impose its will, but the war in Iraq has cruelly exposed the limits to U.S. military power, and the next phase in America's approach to global terror and national security must start by acknowledging these limits.

Terrorism, Security and America's Purpose

Tuesday, September 6, 2005 - 12:00pm

On September 6-7, 2005, just days before the fourth anniversary of the 9-11 terrorist attacks on the United States, the New America Foundation convened a major national policy forum to examine the challenge of international terrorism and how best to confront it.

The forum brought together national and international public leaders, policymakers and scholars, security and intelligence officials, media, and citizens from diverse viewpoints to discuss a comprehensive plan of action for addressing the threat of terrorism around the world.

The Tragic Costs of Bush's Iraq Obsession

  • By
  • Michael Lind,
  • New America Foundation
September 6, 2005 |

Samuel Huntington has called it the Lippmann Gap, echoing the American journalist Walter Lippmann in 1943: "Foreign policy consists in bringing into balance, with a comfortable surplus of power in reserve, the nation's commitments and the nation's power." The historian Paul Kennedy has another name for it: "Imperial overextension." Whatever you call this dangerous disease, the symptoms are clear in the US.

The Dangers of Tolerance

  • By
  • Peter Bergen,
  • New America Foundation
  • and Paul Cruickshank
August 8, 2005 |

It has become trite to say that, on September 11, 2001, Americans realized anew that it was important to pay attention to what was happening on distant shores, that developments taking place half a world away could suddenly and devastatingly threaten the lives of people here at home. This realization was important, but it cemented a view of Islamist terrorism as an external threat.

The Search is on for Safer Subways

  • By
  • James Pinkerton,
  • New America Foundation
July 26, 2005 |

On Friday afternoon, on the first day of the new random-inspection-of-bags policy on New York City's mass transit, I thought I'd see for myself how it was working. What I found reveals something about counterterrorism--and also about journalism.

I am standing in the main concourse at Grand Central Terminal. I figure that if I were an al-Qaida terrorist, this would be a pretty good place to strike. But although I saw a few cops standing around--when have I not seen cops at Grand Central?--it was pretty much the usual rush hour crowd, rushing around uninspected.

Our Ally, Our Problem

  • By
  • Peter Bergen,
  • New America Foundation
July 8, 2005 |

As the shock waves from yesterday's terrorist attacks in London -- which seem to be the work of jihadist militants -- reverberate across the Atlantic, a grim truth should become increasingly clear: one of the greatest terrorist threats to the United States emanates not from domestic sleeper cells or, as is popularly imagined, from the graduates of Middle Eastern madrassas, but from some of the citizens of its closest ally, Britain.

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