TCS Daily – The State of the Enemy

My latest for TCS, “The State of the Enemy,” is up.

The hook:

As President Bush prepares to give his annual address on the State of the Union (I predict it will be “strong”) it is time to reflect on the state of our enemy.

My conclusion is that, while al Qaeda is still capable of killing lots of people, it is no closer to achieving its war aims than it was when then were announced in 1998. Much more at the link.

FILED UNDER: Published Elsewhere, Terrorism,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Bithead says:

    The issue was never will they win, but will they lose.

    Armies win by winning.
    Terrorists win by not losing.

  2. Anderson says:

    Concur w/ Bithead (don’t get to write that very often). Qaeda’s “war aims” are insane, to put it succinctly.

    I would add, as a debatable hypothesis, that people with rational aims usually can find better ways to advance them than terrorism.

  3. LJD says:

    So what is losing, then? Blowing yourself up only to find out that there are NO 69 virgins?