Analysis

Please find below the most recent in-depth analysis pieces from CriticalThreats.org.

What to Do in Iraq

Now is not the time to re-litigate either the decision to invade Iraq in 2003 or the decision to withdraw from it in 2011. The crisis is urgent, and it would be useful to focus on a path ahead rather than indulge in recriminations. All paths are now fraught with difficulties, including the path we recommend. But the alternatives of permitting a victory for al Qaeda and/or strengthening Iran would be disastrous.

Put Out This Fire: Why the U.S must stop Iraq from falling to radical jihadist terrorists

We face a simple choice: We can either rejoin our demoralized Iraqi partners in the fight against ISIS or we can watch as this al Qaeda franchise solidifies its control over several million Iraqis and Syrians, completes its plundering of military bases and continues to build up, train and equip an honest-to-goodness military.

Al Qaeda Isn't 'On Its Heels'
By Reza Jan, May 27, 2014

The Obama administration frequently touts the progress it has made in neutering al Qaeda’s senior leadership in Pakistan — but that is only true using a narrow definition and outdated information.

Be Prepared For Conventional War, Even If It’s Unconventional
By Frederick W. Kagan, Strategika, May 27, 2014

Conventional warfare is in our future as much as it is in our past. The only question is: will we be ready?

Getting it Right: U.S. National Security Policy and al Qaeda Since 2011
By Mary Habeck, April 24, 2014

Current national security policy is failing to stop the advancement of al Qaeda and its affiliates throughout the Muslim-majority world. While there are many reasons for this failure, three key issues stand out.

Snatching Failure from Victory in Afghanistan

The military commander in Afghanistan, General Joe Dunford, has said that he needs 10,000 US troops to accomplish the missions the president has said he wants to accomplish after this year. That number is probably half of what is actually required, by our estimates, but enough to keep options open for the next president.

Testimony: Missing the Target - Why the U.S. Has Not Defeated al Qaeda
By Frederick W. Kagan, April 8, 2014

The problem of al Qaeda cannot be separated from the other crises of our age, nor can it be quarantined or rendered harmless through targeted therapies that ignore the larger problems.

When Two Sharifs Fight, Musharraf Gets Trampled
By Reza Jan, Foreign Policy, April 3, 2014

Pakistan finally indicted former president and army chief Gen. Pervez Musharraf for high treason for abrogating the country's constitution in 2007. The indictment is likely to increase the strife between Pakistan's powerful military and relatively new civilian government.

Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb: Leaders and their Networks
By Andreas Hagen, March 27, 2014

Degrading al Qaeda leadership is central to American counterterrorism strategy, but the leaders today are not the same as they were in 2001. Al Qaeda leaders are no longer necessarily connected by formal networks and many operate outside of any formal affiliation to the al Qaeda network.

Yemen's Pivotal Moment
By Katherine Zimmerman, February 12, 2014

Yemen is at a pivotal moment today, three years after the outbreak of popular protests, and the future of America’s strategy against al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) is on the line.