Foreign Policy Research Institute A Nation Must Think Before it Acts Battling al Qaeda: Is the United State Winning?

VENUE:American Enterprise Institute

Battling al Qaeda: Is the United State Winning?

| Center for the Study of Terrorism

About the Event

A Panel Discussion in Washington, D.C. and on the Web

Sponsored by
The American Enterprise Institute

The Foreign Policy Research Institute



Since Osama bin Laden’s death in 2011, the Obama administration has maintained that al Qaeda is “on the run.” But al Qaeda and related groups are increasingly spreading violence in Syria, Iraq, Libya, and elsewhere in the Muslim world. Some experts point to the splintering of al Qaeda groups as the key to dismantling the larger network and as a sign of success in the broader effort against Islamist extremism; others doubt that intraterrorist friction signals any real change in the strength and reach of the global organization.

Please join AEI and the Foreign Policy Research Institute as they cohost a discussion unraveling different perspectives on the al Qaeda challenge, assessing the success of current policies, and, in particular, focusing on the implications of growing factionalism among groups.

Clint WattsClint Watts is an FPRI Senior Fellow with the Program on National Security and President of Miburo Solutions, Inc. His research focuses on analyzing transnational threat groups operating in local environments on a global scale. Before starting Miburo Solutions, he served as a U.S. Army infantry officer, a FBI Special Agent on a Joint Terrorism Task Force, and as the Executive Officer of the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point (CTC). He is editor of the blog and the author of "Smarter Counterterrorism," a five part series on the FPRI Website.

Mary HabeckMary Habeck is a visiting scholar at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) and a senior fellow with the Foreign Policy Research Institute. Previously, she was an associate professor in strategic studies at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), where she taught courses on military history and strategic thought. From 2008 to 2009, she was the special advisor for strategic planning on the National Security Council staff. Before joining SAIS, Habeck taught American and European military history in Yale University’s history department. Her latest essay, "Getting it Right: US National Security Policy and al Qaeda Since 2011," is now available on the AEI Website.

Katherine ZimmermanKatherine Zimmerman is a senior analyst and the al Qaeda and Associated Movements Team Lead for the American Enterprise Institute’s Critical Threats Project. Her work has focused on al Qaeda’s affiliates in the Gulf of Aden region and associated movements in western and northern Africa. She has testified in front of Congress and briefed Members and congressional staff, as well as members of the defense community. She has written analyses of U.S. national security interests related to the threat from the al Qaeda network for the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, CNN Global Public Square, and the Huffington Post, among others.


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Clint Watts

Clint Watts - Clint Watts is the author of Messing with The Enemy: Surviving in a Social Media World of Hackers, Terrorists, Russians and Fake News. He served as a Distinguished Research Fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute.

Mary Habeck

Mary Habeck - Mary Habeck is a member of the Editorial Board of Orbis: FPRI's Journal of World Affairs. She is a strategic planner and an expert on military matters, Islam, and extremism. She teaches on al-Qa’ida and ISIS at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) and at Georgetown, while running her consulting firm, Applied Grand Strategies (

Katherine Zimmerman

Katherine Zimmerman - Katherine Zimmerman is a senior analyst and the al Qaeda and Associated Movements Team Lead for the American Enterprise Institute’s Critical Threats Project. Her work has focused on al Qaeda... ; Moderator