Al Qaeda isn’t near defeat, it’s winning: Author


Rome : Even after the killing of Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, the terror outfit is not going away, in fact it is winning, says Daveed Gartenstein-Ross, the author of “Bin Laden”s Legacy”.

Support TwoCircles

“Al Qaeda isn’t anywhere near defeat. For all our triumphalism, it appears to be winning,” the author writes in The Atlantic magazine.

Despite his analysis, Gartenstein-Ross warns against increasing spending to defeat the enemy, as aggressive spending is fulfilling the late Bin Laden’s wishes.

“Overspending on homeland defence, as I argue in my recent book, has been one of our key errors over the post-September 11 decade. So insufficient spending isn’t the problem, nor is the problem that we’re not sufficiently worried about terrorism,” he said.

“Rather, if we’re losing, it’s because many analysts seem to massively misdiagnose the nature of Al Qaeda’s threat, and because the policies that derive from that misunderstanding have made things worse,” he said.

Trillions of dollars have been spent to wage wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. The US has a $14 trillion debt load. Al Qaeda’s attack Sep 11, 2001 sparked a spending spree in the name of security that has weakened the US, he said.

“If this continues, we won’t be able to maintain our current security apparatus and our ability to project power – both seriously expensive enterprises – forever,” Gartenstein-Ross writes in his book.

“A decade ago, American safety came in part from the fact that we had the capacity, if needed, to ramp up resources to devote to the problem. In the coming decade, fewer resources will be available to devote to counter-terrorism and to other problems the country faces — just look at the political scuffle over finding federal money to deal with the aftermath of Hurricane Irene.”

He argues that the terror group has not been defeated and the ability to hold it at bay can decrease, as the US depletes its power along with its resources.

“As fewer resources are available to maintain this containment, the threat could rise as our capabilities for policing against terrorism and for absorbing major attacks could fall.”

A “small and weak actor” Al Qaeda has been able to turn American power on itself, he said.

“The group has managed to put the US in a position where many of its offensive and defensive measures – armies deployed in far away and hostile places, travel and commerce slowed by cumbersome security theatre – do in fact make the US more vulnerable by exhausting it.”

“That might not be an assault of the sort we experienced on September 11, but it is still, unfortunately, all too effective,” he said.