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The state of al Qaeda

Long War Journal Senior Editor Thomas Joscelyn discusses the state of the war with al Qaeda on Fox News.

READER COMMENTS: "The state of al Qaeda"

Posted by Mark L at August 17, 2012 11:55 PM ET:

Terrific interview. A real shame that it won't run in prime time on every network. Mr Joscelyn articluated the situation very acurrately. One thing I am curious about and I'm not sure if it simply isn't known or just wasn't mentioned in the interview - is part of the weapons being funnelled into Syria by the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood some of the multitude of missing surface-to-air missiles from Libya?

Posted by Ghost Soldier at August 18, 2012 12:31 AM ET:

Analysts need to stop seeing the largess of the Islamic fundamentalist terrorist threat as a single, monolithic organism. 'Al Qaeda' metastasized during the post-Afghan invasion and the subsequent war in Iraq. It went from an 'organization' to a 'federation'. Previously, the group found common enough purpose and motivation for the cooperation between disparate groups of nationalistic separatists in places like Pakistan to focus solely on US personnel in places like Afghanistan. Fast forward.. the former Al Qaeda is now an inspirational brand rather than an organizational one. Since the diffusing of Al Qaeda as an 'organizational' element, groups of ex-pats in places like Europe and the US have found new motivations to target their host governments while nationalistic groups in Pakistan and Africa continue to undermine the legitimacy of governments in their home countries.

'Al Qaeda' the former was an organizational brand. 'Al Qaeda' the present is inspirational; it provides the direction for the rage and less of the financing. The recruitment is now on cruise control via geo-political events. The US is the focus of the anger while the targets are now local. Exactly the opposite of what Bin Laden initially intended when he imagined the US as the 'head of the snake' and the local governments subsequently falling. Now, the Al Qaeda ideal is to, one-by-one, eliminate the US-supported regional powers in places like Libya. Continuing unrest and instability serves AQ's interests... and prevents a US-friendly government from ruling what will eventually be a failed state.