How Well Should You Be Sleeping?

Five years after 9/11 the United States is not winning the inaptly named "war" on terrorism.

Issue: Sept-Oct 2006

Five years after 9/11 the United States is not winning the inaptly named "war" on terrorism. Individual victories have been won, and some enemy capabilities have been significantly degraded. But the larger struggle rages on, and seems likely to continue to do so for a very long time.

Al-Qaeda today has become an ideological movement rather than merely a single entity. Indeed, this transformation may constitute the greatest threat now posed by Al-Qaeda. Ideologies are much more difficult to destroy than organizations. While the strategic threat from what has been called "Al-Qaeda prime" may have lessened, the tactical threat posed by grassroots groups that now operate worldwide under its ideological umbrella has multiplied. As American complacency deepens and memories of 9/11 fade, Al-Qaeda, or its offshoots, wait. Unlike Americans, jihadists have a glacial sense of time.

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