Al Qaeda: How Great a Threat to the United States?
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Victory over Al Qaeda has been declared more than once, and still it lives and thrives. Though Al Qaeda is not what it was 25 years ago – having undergone several transformations – it appears to have spread throughout North Africa, the Middle East, and South Asia, emerging whenever opportunities like civil wars or failing states present themselves. The question remains: how great a threat is Al Qaeda to the United States? We are pleased to feature Seth Jones, associate director of the International Security and Defense Policy Center at the RAND Corporation, as well as an adjunct professor at Johns Hopkins University’s School for Advanced International Studies (SAIS). He served as the representative for the commander, U.S. Special Operations Command, to the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations. Before that, he served as a plans officer and advisor to the commanding general, U.S. Special Operations Forces, in Afghanistan. He is the author of Hunting in the Shadows: The Pursuit of al Qa’ida after 9/11 (W.W. Norton, 2012) and In the Graveyard of Empires: America’s War in Afghanistan (W. W. Norton), which won the 2010 Council on Foreign Relations Silver Medal for Best Book of the Year.