The rise of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria is vivid proof that al Qaeda, which began the “long war” even before that terrible day in September 2001, is still vigorously pursuing its goals. The Islamic State is officially separate from al Qaeda (which has denounced it as too vicious), but for all practical purposes the two are part of the same threat. Our strategy of destroying al Qaeda leaders has had some effect, but it has not yet been decisive. We may be tired of fighting in the Middle East, but it now seems clear that we cannot leave.
World Naval Developments - The 'Long War' Continues
By Norman Friedman