Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Six Years after September 11: A 9-11 Commission Progress Report

by Michael Hurley and Chris Kojm from The Washington Institute for Near East Policy

Hurley: Since September 11, al-Qaeda has changed considerably. Control is now decentralized, but the group's core is resilient. It is able to recruit many new members every year, especially through the estimated 5,500 websites worldwide urging violent jihad. Al-Qaeda has transformed both its organization and its membership by recruiting more women and members of the educated elite (e.g., doctors). This means that the West no longer has a workable profile of an al-Qaeda operative. The United States is not adapting quickly enough to react to al-Qaeda's changing face. For example, the bulk of the U.S. defense budget goes to items such as aircraft carriers, which are not tactically useful in the war on terror. The United States should spend more on intelligence and programs that are aimed at reducing radicalization in the Middle East.

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