Articles

Nov 02, 2010

First review of the Longest War

The Longest War: America and al-Qaeda Since 9/11

Peter L. Bergen, Free Press, $27 (480p) ISBN 978-0-7432-7893-5

Bergen (The Osama bin Laden I Know), CNN’s national security analyst, revisits the personality and career of the al-Qaeda leader and his immediate circle, while delving into the conflict between al-Qaeda and associates and the U.S. and its coalition. Much of the narrative conforms in outline to other recent books on the conflict, but Bergen adds much detail and contour to his analyses. He finds serious miscalculations on the part of the terrorist organization, and sees the “surge” in Iraq signaling a larger decline in al-Qaeda’s potency. At the same time, he argues that the widespread backlash in the Middle East against the September 11 attacks confirms it is mainstream Islam that poses the greatest “ideological threat” to al-Qaeda. The U.S., meanwhile, has let incompetence and a misguided obsession with Iraq undermine its efforts to extinguish al-Qaeda and the enduring influence of bin Laden, who, Bergen argues, is still alive. Drawing on vast firsthand knowledge of the region and mining a huge stock of primary and secondary material, including his own interviews with combatants, the book’s depth of detail and breadth of insight make it one of the more useful analyses of the ongoing conflict. (Jan.)

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UPCOMING EVENTS

Thursday, June, 21, 2018 “Why Terrorist Groups Form International Alliances.” New America DC

Tuesday, June, 26, 2018 The Beltway and the Ivory Tower: Bridging the Gap, New America DC

Wednesday, July, 18, 2018 Aspen Security Forum, Aspen, CO

Tuesday, August, 21, 2018 Modern Warfare Symposium, Global SOF, Ft. Bragg, N.C.

Friday, September, 07, 2018 DARPA D60 Symposium, Washington DC

Tuesday, September, 25, 2018 Global SOF Symposium, Madrid, Spain

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RECENT FILMS

2017

LEGION OF BROTHERS, CNN Films

2016

"We Got Him": President Obama, Bin Laden, and the Future of the War on Terror, CNN

2016

Homegrown: The Counter-Terror Dilemma, HBO

ALL FILMS »