Analysis

Is The “War on Terror Over?”
The Abbottabad, Pakistan compound of al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden being torn down in February 2012. (AAMIR QURESHI/AFP/Getty Images)
April 30, 2012
| Security
| Middle East and North Africa
Summary
Last week, a senior State Department official told the National Journal that “the war on terror is over,” a remark that has since triggered a fierce response from some pundits and members of Congress who believe such a declaration by a representative of the Obama administration is not only inaccurate, but foolish. There are good points to be made on both sides of this debate, but only one is right.

The threat from radical Islamists intent on killing Americans and Europeans still hangs very much over our collective heads, so it is absurd to suggest that we no longer have to worry about it.  The Arab Spring has brought tremendous change to the Middle East since early 2010, giving Arabs a new voice in shaping their political future.  While this movement is democratic in nature at the moment, there are troubling signs that it may be slowly promoting many of the values of bin Laden and radical Islam.

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