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A nation must think before it acts.
One consequence of using labels such as the “global war on terrorism,” “the long war,” “the global struggle against violent extremism” or any name that dissociates the conflict from the Wahhabi/neo-Salafi movement is that Americans lack the necessary framework for assessing U.S. policies. Misconceptions concerning the war proliferate on both the Left and the Right because of the absence of an analytical framework to provide precise vocabulary identifying the origins and objectives of the enemy. The current war and the sources of Al Qaeda’s conduct can only be understood by examining the complex history of Arabia, the U.S.-Saudi alliance, and a particular historical cycle of corruption, decadence, violent purification, and moral restoration that characterizes the Wahhabi/neo-Salafi narrative.