Photo by: Peter Bergen About the Show After the United States successfully mounted a covert mission to eliminate America’s number one terrorist target, celebration turned to mounting questions. How did the terrorist mastermind elude capture for nearly a decade, only to be discovered hiding in plain sight just yards away from Pakistan’s most […]

BOOK REVIEW: Fumbles, yes, but still a threat By Joshua Sinai – The Washington Times 6:13 p.m., Tuesday, January 11, 2011 Print Email View 0 Comment(s) Enlarge Text|Shrink Click-2-Listen Share Social Networks Facebook Twitter Question of the Day Do you think gas prices will hit $4 a gallon in 2011? Yes No Undecided Other Login […]

The Economist January 8, 2011U.S. Edition History of an unfinished fight; The war on terror SECTION: BOOKS & ART LENGTH: 633 words HIGHLIGHT: How America got it wrong HISTORIANS may well wonder one day at the fuss America’s rulers made over a few thousand Islamist fanatics. They will certainly look unkindly on some of the […]

Peter Bergen blows away the political fog surrounding our war against al-Qaeda. By Christian Caryl The Longest War: The Enduring Conflict Between America and and Al-Qaeda by Peter Bergen emember the Battle of Tora Bora? That was the one, back in December 2001, where Osama bin Laden got away. U.S. special forces and CIA paramilitaries, […]

The Longest War: The Enduring Conflict between America and Al-Qaeda by Peter L. Bergen At nearly a decade and counting, and with tens of thousands of American troops still at war in Afghanistan and Iraq–and with Osama bin Laden still at large–we remain well within the post-9/11 era, almost to the point where we take […]

Thursday, Dec 30, 2010 Another review The Longest War

CNN reporter Bergen (The Osama bin Laden I Know), one of the foremost Western experts on al-Qaeda, presents a compelling narrative of the history of the battle against al-Qaeda since 9/11. Relying on a variety of sources, including the jihadists and U.S. government documents, interviews with al-Qaeda operatives and senior Washington officials, and his own extensive field experience, the author describes success and failure in the “war on terror.”

(CNN) — The much-touted July 2011 date for the beginning of a withdrawal of U.S. combat troops from Afghanistan, a center piece of the administration’s “AfPak” strategy announced by President Obama in December 2009, now seems unlikely to amount to much.

Thursday, Dec 16, 2010 Holbrooke: Astride the Khyber Pass

The job offer was suitably Holbrookean: I was standing in my kitchen in DuPont Circle about a year and half ago and the cell rang. On the other end an unmistakable voice boomed, “I’m calling from a plane flying from Riyadh to Washington. I want you to work for me. I land at Dulles in four hours. I need your answer by then.” I mumbled something about needing to speak to my wife and my various bosses at CNN and the New America Foundation, and Ambassador Holbrooke quickly hung up. In the end the job offer never panned out, but I felt honored that Holbrooke had even considered it.

Thursday, Dec 16, 2010 The Generals’ Victory

The arrival of a Bob Woodward book is attended with rituals as solemn and predictable as those of the annual Congress of the Communist Party in North Korea—there are the three days of excerpts in The Washington Post; a few days before that the obligatory spoiler piece in The New York Times where an enterprising reporter has obtained a copy of the heavily-embargoed tome; Woodward appearing for the full hour with Larry King; the defensive comments from the institutions that have something to defend—when asked to comment on Obama’s Wars, Pentagon press secretary Geoff Morrell demurred, explaining “We don’t do literary criticism;” the quotable insider disses, the best being General Tommy Franks on the senior Bush Pentagon official Douglas Feith—”the fucking stupidest guy on the face of the earth”; and the telling anecdotes about key players in the narrative, such as the one about the intensely focused General Petraeus electing to stay in Iraq rather than attend the funeral of his father.

Sunday, Dec 12, 2010 Bin Laden’s Lonely Crusade

Exactly 10 years ago this month, just days after the inauguration of George W. Bush as president, Richard Clarke, the top counterterrorism aide in the White House, wrote a now famous memo warning the administration of the challenge posed by al-Qaeda. He “urgently” requested a high-level review of American efforts to deal with Osama bin Laden and his terrorist organization. The warning was not heeded—and, even if it had been, there is no way of knowing whether the 9/11 attacks could have been prevented. The attacks came, and in their aftermath, encouraged by political leaders and national-security experts, a particular view of terrorism and of al-Qaeda took hold, and remains entrenched to this day. The idea, simply put, is that Islamist terrorism, spearheaded by al-Qaeda, poses an “existential” threat to America and the West. That sentiment was repeatedly voiced by Dick Cheney, Condoleezza Rice, Tony Blair, and many others. We continue to hear it today.