Accession Number : ADA562433


Title :   Shift Focus on the Al Qaeda Network: A More Comprehensive Approach to Defeating Al Qaeda


Descriptive Note : Master's thesis


Corporate Author : NATIONAL DEFENSE UNIV NORFOLK VA JOINT ADVANCED WARFIGHTING SCHOOL


Personal Author(s) : Wetherbee, Don


Full Text : https://apps.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/a562433.pdf


Report Date : 15 Jun 2012


Pagination or Media Count : 111


Abstract : The Al Qaeda Network is a global insurgency. However, the United States and much of the western world continue to identify it as a global terrorist organization. This improper label misleads planners at both the strategy development level and the operational level. As a result, the national strategy and operational approach are not properly focused. The nation must recognize Al Qaeda as a global insurgency and adjust both the national strategy and the accompanying operational approach accordingly. The country has failed to adhere to one of Clausewitz's first maxims; it has not properly defined the war in which it is involved. To accomplish the goal of defeating Al Qaeda and its associated movements, the U.S. strategy towards them must change from a counterterrorism-centric to a counterinsurgency-centric approach. Terrorism is a tactic, not a strategy. So who or what is the nation fighting? And how should we be doing it? By ignoring the fact that the Al Qaeda Network is a global insurgency using terrorist tactics, the United States limits its ability to develop a holistic solution to defeat and destroy, rather than simply disrupt, the network. The new approach must be centered on indirect methods, focus on Al Qaeda's ideology, employ more aggressive diplomacy, increase diplomatic and developmental capacity, and establish a clear comprehensive strategy. This paper defines the nature of Al Qaeda, assesses the drawbacks of the current strategy against it, and proposes methods to improve the United States' approach to defeating this network.


Descriptors :   *COUNTERINSURGENCY , *DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE , *DEPARTMENT OF STATE , *DIPLOMACY , *ENEMY , *IDEOLOGY , *NETWORKS , *STRATEGY , CASE STUDIES , CIVIL AFFAIRS , COLD WAR , COUNTERTERRORISM , CUBA , FOREIGN AID , FOREIGN POLICY , INFRASTRUCTURE , INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS , ISLAM , LEADERSHIP , LESSONS LEARNED , SECURITY , THESES


Subject Categories : Government and Political Science
      Military Forces and Organizations
      Unconventional Warfare


Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE