Fighting Cosmic Warriors: Lessons from the First Seven Years of the Global War on Terror
Studies in Conflict & Terrorism
This article argues that a successful strategy for fighting the Global War on Terror (GWOT) requires actions aimed not only at defeating the Al Qaeda network and denying its operatives sanctuary, but also efforts to delegitimize Al Qaeda's ideology; the United States has focused on the former at the expense of the latter. The GWOT requires a new strategy, one that continues to target Al Qaeda operatives and their assets, while undermining Al Qaeda's message. This requires a better understanding of Al Qaeda's ideology, how U.S. foreign policy may fuel that ideology, and a strategy for undermining militant Islam's worldview.