Monday, May 12, 2008
GWOT - An End in Sight?
Two years ago, the Bush administration started characterizing the ‘global war on terror” as the “Long War.” Bush himself made direct comparisons between the GWOT and the Cold War in a series of speeches. The message was clear: the defeat of Al Qaeda was a long-term project. It would be many decades before OBL and his followers were gone for good.
So it’s a bit of a shock when FBI boss Robert Mueller says that AQ will be defeated “on my watch.” The remark came at an event in London last month in response to a question from the audience. There’s a suggestion he might have misspoken and meant to say “in my lifetime.” Even if it wasn’t a slip of the tongue, it’s quite possible that Mueller was referring only to the core of Al Qaeda rather than all those inspired by it. You can watch the clip here.
But whichever way you want to slice or dice this particular remark, I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say that those fighting jihadi terrorism have a bit of a spring in their step at the moment. As one member of Britain’s intelligence community says, “there are green shoots of hope.”
He points to a poor showing from Islamists in the recent Pakistani elections, as well as his belief they’ve suffered a setback in Iraq and sustained severe and unforeseen blows in Indonesia and Malaysia.
He still puts a timeframe on the defeat of jihadi terrorism in the region of fifteen to twenty years but adds: “The problem probably won’t be sustained as long as I had originally thought.”
By Andrew Carey
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