By rushing into Iraq instead of finishing off the hunt for Osama bin Laden, Washington has unwittingly helped its enemies: al Qaeda has more bases, more partners, and more followers today than it did on the eve of 9/11. Now the group is working to set up networks in the Middle East and Africa -- and may even try to lure the United States into a war with Iran. Washington must focus on attacking al Qaeda's leaders and ideas and altering the local conditions in which they thrive.
Authors: Max Boot, Frederick W. Kagan, and Kimberly Kagan Weekly Standard
After visiting Afghanistan at the invitation of General David Petraeus, Max Boot, Frederick Kagan, and Kimberly Kagan discuss their observations of the conflict in the region and contend that while there is cause for concern, the situation is likely to improve.
Pakistan has emerged as a sanctuary for some of the world's most violent groups, including al-Qaeda, the Taliban, and homegrown militants, that threaten the stability of Pakistan as well as the region.
India's growing economic and political influence in Afghanistan has angered Pakistan, the traditional power there, and has experts worried that Afghanistan could become another battleground in the long-standing rivalry between South Asia's two giants.
Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf is under increasing pressure from NATO and the United States to clamp down on Taliban militants, but internal resistance from Pakistani Islamists is preventing him from acting more forcefully.
The United States lists Somalia as a haven for terrorists, and indeed, evidence suggests terrorists are using the fractured state as an operational hub. Yet Somalia's current links to terrorism are tiny in comparison to the potential problem the country poses.
The authors argue that the United States has responded inadequately to the rise of Chinese power and recommend placing less strategic emphasis on the goal of integrating China into the international system and more on balancing China's rise.
Campbell evaluates the implications of the Boko Haram insurgency and recommends that the United States support Nigerian efforts to address the drivers of Boko Haram, such as poverty and corruption, and to foster stronger ties with Nigerian civil society.
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