CTC Sentinel. Volume 9, Issue 9
U.S. Military Academy -Combating Terrorism Center West Point United States
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This September marks the 15th anniversary of the 911 attacks. The terrible events of that day created an urgent need to better understand the threat of global terrorism. This was the founding mission of the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point, which was established by Brigadier General Ret Russ Howard in 2003, and its flagship publication CTC Sentinel, which was launched in 2007 with a mandate to publish the most illuminating research in the field of terrorism studies as well as gain insights from key figures combating terrorism. This 100th issue of CTC Sentinel focuses on the evolution of the terrorist threat since 911. It features an extensive interview with CIA Director John Brennan in which he outlines the spectrum of threats and counterterrorism challenges now facing the United States. In our feature article, Brian Michael Jenkins looks at what progress has been made in the war on terrorism. He argues that counterterrorism efforts have made the United States safer, but with Europe facing an acute threat and the Middle East roiling from the fallout from the failed Arab Spring, there is no end in sight to a war that has cost trillions of dollars and as many as 10,000 American lives. There may, however, be an expiration date on the Islamic States caliphate project. With the group under growing pressure in Iraq and Syria, Jacob Shapiro argues that the caliphates slow collapse was predictable from day one given its inability to generate sufficient economic output and revenue to sustain governance and being greatly outgunned by the coalition of states arrayed against it. While core al-Qaida has been degraded by counterterrorism operations, the broader network has shown resilience.