Naval War College Review


Since the attacks of 11 September, a kind of conventional wisdom about counterterrorism has emerged. On one hand, the “new terrorism” involves the violent expression of a radical religious agenda, suicide attackers, and mass- casualty violence. It is, therefore, both harder to deter and more destructive than the old ideological and ethno- nationalist varieties of terrorism, whose practitioners, in Brian Michael Jenkins’s now classic (and obsolete) formulation, wanted a lot of people watching, not a lot of people dead. On the other hand, the takedown, led by the United States, of the Taliban regime in Afghanistan forced the operational core of al-Qa‘ida to disperse and the transnational terror- ism network to become even more flat and decentralized.