In February 2016, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper testified to the Senate Armed Services Committee that “Al-Qa’ida’s affiliates have proven resilient and are positioned to make gains in 2016, despite counterterrorism pressure that has largely degraded the network’s leadership in Afghanistan and Pakistan.” This assessment, coming after nearly 15 years of global counterterrorism efforts led by the United States, was surely disheartening to many who heard it. Yet Barak Mendelsohn, in the conclusion to his penetrating analysis, published just a month before Clapper’s testimony, argues that “Al-Qaeda’s position is weaker than anytime since it became a household name worldwide, synonymous with non-state terrorism” (p. 211).
How to resolve this seeming paradox? Mendelsohn offers a powerful explanation by combining a theoretical framework for considering the strategic choices of a terrorist group seeking to expand with careful empirical examinations of al Qaeda’s expansion. Mendelsohn observes that groups seeking to expand generally seek to do so by drawing on available resources to grow organically “by forming cells and carrying out attacks in new locations” (p. 35). Yet in some instances, terrorist groups seek to expand by developing relationships with other terrorist groups. Expa
To continue reading, see options above.
Combating Jihadism: American Hegemony and Interstate Cooperation in the War on Terrorism, Barak Mendelsohn Reviewed by Austin Long
Join the Academy of Political Science and automatically receive Political Science Quarterly.
North Korea and the West
Publishing since 1886, PSQ is the most widely read and accessible scholarly journal with distinguished contributors such as: Lisa Anderson, Robert A. Dahl, Samuel P. Huntington, Robert Jervis, Joseph S. Nye, Jr., Theda Skocpol, Woodrow Wilsonview additional issues
CONTINUING ISSUES IN U.S. NATIONAL SECURITY POLICY
Articles | Book reviews
The Academy of Political Science, promotes objective, scholarly analyses of political, social, and economic issues. Through its conferences and publications APS provides analysis and insight into both domestic and foreign policy issues.
With neither an ideological nor a partisan bias, PSQ looks at facts and analyzes data objectively to help readers understand what is really going on in national and world affairs.