A RQ-7B Shadow unmanned aerial vehicle launches into the sky from the flight line at Combat Outpost Xio Haq in Afghanistan.

The war on terror is not over.

Counterterrorism after bin Laden

July 2012, Number 03.03

“For Jamie Shea, deputy assistant secretary general for NATO’s emerging security challenges division, the success of unmanned drones in suppressing terrorism has been obvious. “If you’re al-Qaida, you’re filling the No. 2 and No. 3 spots every week,” Shea said without much exaggeration at the Global Counter Terrorism Conference in London in April 2012.

The changing nature of security threats after the death of bin Laden has encouraged some analysts to proclaim the cessation of the “global war on terror.” But more cautious observers, well represented at the London conference, suggested the threat has merely morphed from a conspiracy, centrally controlled in Afghanistan and Pakistan, to a loose confederation of independent operators motivated more by regional grievances than a violent attachment to global jihad. “It’s terrorism inspired by al-Qaida but not directed by it,” said Charles Farr, director of the United Kingdom’s Office for Security and Counter-Terrorism.

Violent extremists have failed so far to co-opt the Arab Spring, the mass uprisings that forced leaders of Tunisia, Libya and Egypt from power. But all is not well in a part of the world where Islamist movements are gaining democratic strength...”

Excerpt from per Concordiam Staff, “Counterterrorism after bin Laden,” per Concordiam: Journal of European Security Defense Issues 3, No. 3, 2012: 50-53.

This article reflects the views of the author and are not necessarily the official policy of the United States, Germany, or any other governments.