The Islamic State, or ISIS, is the first terrorist group to hold both physical and digital territory: in addition to the swaths of land it controls in Iraq and Syria, it dominates pockets of the Internet with relative impunity. But it will hardly be the last.
What used to be known as the Global War on Terrorism seems to be lurching from one defeat after another. In the Middle East, ISIS has taken control of cities from Palmyra to Mosul. Libya and Yemen and Syria and large swathes of Iraq have no effective governance, leaving their territory to be fought over between competing terrorist groups.
U.S. President Barack Obama came into office determined to end a seemingly endless war on terrorism. Obama pledged to make his counterterrorism policies more nimble, more transparent, and more ethical than the ones pursued by the George W. Bush administration. Obama wanted to get away from the overreliance on force that characterized the Bush era, which led to the disastrous U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003.
CNN correspondent Barbara Starr interviewed Defense Secretary Ash Carter on May 24, 2015. Secretary Carter stated that the reason the self-proclaimed Islamic State gained territory in Iraq is that "Iraqi forces just showed no will to fight."
There has been a recent shift in America’s counterterrorism ideology, argues Micah Zenko, which accepts the idea that the United States is in a perpetual war with terrorism and fails to recognize that the U.S. counterterrorism policy is failing. “The only ideology that the United States can influence or control is its own.”
Osama bin Laden's messages reached his followers and his opponents through multiple media channels. Research Links aims to provide researchers with a more comprehensive timeline of statements made by bin Laden between 1994 to 2011, as well as additional background information. Updated May 2015 to include Office of the Director of National Intelligence's release of documents found at the compound where Osama Bin Laden was found in Pakistan.
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