Analysis

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

Testimony: An Unarguable Fact - American Security is Tied to Afghanistan and Pakistan
By Frederick W. Kagan, October 29, 2013

A strategic partnership with Afghanistan, underwritten with aid and with troops, along with continued engagement with Pakistan, is the only hope for securing American interests and the safety of Americans in this region.

Al Qaeda's African Surge Threatens the U.S.

On Tuesday, after a four-day siege by terrorists who murdered at least 67 people, the Westgate shopping mall in Nairobi, Kenya, still appeared not to have been secured by government forces.

We are Losing Fight Against al Shabaab

The Obama administration counts Somalia as a success story, but the rising death toll from al Shabaab’s bloody attack on Nairobi’s Westgate mall is a tragic reminder that U.S. strategy against al Qaeda, claims of success notwithstanding, is not working. 

Testimony: AQAP's Role in the al Qaeda Network
By Katherine Zimmerman, September 18, 2013

AQAP’s prominence in the al Qaeda network should not be interpreted to mean that AQAP has risen to replace the core group in Pakistan or that it is directing the network in some way. It must be interpreted within the broader context of the al Qaeda network. 

What to Do About Syria: Vital U.S. Interests are at Stake

Reasonable people can disagree about the extent to which President Obama’s proposed “limited strike” will secure American interests, but not about whether the interests are real or vital.

The al Qaeda Network: A New Framework for Defining the Enemy
By Katherine Zimmerman, September 10, 2013

This groundbreaking report describes the state of the al Qaeda network today, drawing on detailed and granular analysis not only of the core al Qaeda group, but also of the affiliates and the associates that have taken root around the world.

On Syria, a Weak Strike is Better than None

A weak strike is more in line with U.S. interests than a refusal to strike or, worse, congressional action blocking any attack. Not just U.S. credibility but also the will of the Syrian opposition is at stake.

Video: Al Qaeda's Critical Threat
By Katherine Zimmerman, AEIdeas, August 6, 2013

The recent al Qaeda threat is real, though little is known about the exact target of the attack, or where it will occur. A number of factors indicate that the attack initially expected on August 4 may have been planned for August 7. 

Al Qaeda Threat to American Interests
By Katherine Zimmerman, August 5, 2013

Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula may be in the final stages of preparing an attack on American interests in the Middle East and North Africa region on August 7, 2013.  A number of factors suggest that the attack widely expected for Sunday, August 4, may, in fact, be planned for Wednesday, August 7.

The Future of Pakistan: What to Expect from Nawaz Sharif's New Government
By Reza Jan, July 31, 2013

Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's party, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), made history on May 11, 2013 when it won Pakistan's general elections and completed the country's first constitutional transition of power from one democratically elected government to another. Sharif’s government inherited a country rife with problems, however.