The Future of Counterterrorism: Start By Defining the Threat
With the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, a broader debate has opened up about the ongoing struggle with militant Islamic movements. What is the threat today, and who is threatened? Is the United States committed to hunting down and killing every member of al Qaeda and ISIS-K who attack the Taliban government? Are we committed to killing the Taliban authorities themselves if they appear to be collaborating with more radical forces? Should U.S. counterterror efforts in Afghanistan be focused only on protecting against attacks on the Unites States and its outposts in the region, or should we be protecting friends and allies?
How might such questions apply to U.S. counterterrorism efforts in Somalia, Yemen, Niger, Mali, and other relatively remote locations? Which fights are insurgencies or civil wars versus anti-U.S. terrorism? And when it is our fight, what are the most effective approaches to countering terrorism against our people or interests “over the horizon”?
To address these questions, the Quincy Institute will convene a panel of distinguished experts in counterterrorism. The discussion will feature Paul R. Pillar, non-resident fellow at the Quincy Institute; Jytte Klausen, professor of international cooperation at Brandeis University; and Jacqueline Hazelton, associate professor at the U.S. Naval War College. Steven Simon, senior research analyst at the Quincy Institute, will moderate.