Confronting Al Qaeda
Confronting Al-Qaeda asserts that Al-Qaeda is primarily a political threat, not a military one. This is because terrorists subvert legitimate political processes to achieve political ends. Al-Qaeda challenges not only specific U.S. policy decisions, but also the very nature of the U.S. political system and the U.S.-lead international order created after World War II. Therefore the character of the U.S. political response to the threat from Al-Qaeda is critical.
Al-Qaeda’s capacity for violence is the direct source of its power. This must be reduced, and coercive means, such as the military, intelligence, and law enforcement, are necessary, for they alone directly degrade Al-Qaeda’s potential. A singularly coercive approach, however, is insufficient. As the leader of the international system, the United States is in a position to politically undercut Al-Qaeda. The United States can do so by adhering to globally revered traditional US political values and foreign policy