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Events

Is Al-Qaeda Dead? An Experts Debate

15th October 2012 - 10:15 PM

In Collaboration with the New America Foundation

While some counterterrorism analysts and officials say that U.S. military efforts over the past 11 years have resulted in the defeat of al-Qaeda, others argue that the terrorist organization is more durable than that. The successes won by the CIA drone program in Pakistan’s tribal regions and the symbolic killing of Osama bin Laden might be tempered by the growing strength of al-Qaeda's affiliates in countries such as Yemen, Somalia, and Libya. On the other hand, many point out that al-Qaeda has failed to carry out a large-scale terrorist attack in the United States since 9/11.

With the Taliban toppled in Afghanistan, hundreds of militants killed in U.S. drone strikes in Pakistan, and the death of bin Laden last year, has the United States come to the end of the “War on Terror”? The New America Foundation’s National Security Studies Program and the Foundation for Defense of Democracies invite you to a lively debate on whether or not we have seen the defeat of al-Qaeda. Peter Bergen, the director of New America’s National Security Studies Program, and Col. Thomas Lynch III, a Distinguished Fellow at National Defense University, will argue for the motion that al-Qaeda is defeated. Foundation for Defense of Democracies Senior Fellows Thomas Joscelyn and Bill Roggio will argue against the motion.

Debate Results:
A very close race! The results favor Peter Bergen and Col. Thomas Lynch III, who argued that al-Qaeda has been defeated.
For the motion “Al-Qaeda is defeated”
     - Swayed five voting audience members
Against the motion “Al-Qaeda is defeated”
     - Swayed four voting audience members

PARTICIPANTS

For the Motion “Al-Qaeda is Defeated”
Peter Bergen
Director, National Security Studies Program, New America Foundation

Col. Thomas Lynch III
Colonel-Retired, U.S. Army
Distinguished Research Fellow, National Defense University

Against the Motion “Al-Qaeda is Defeated”
Thomas Joscelyn
Senior Fellow, Foundation for Defense of Democracies

Bill Roggio
Senior Fellow, Foundation for Defense of Democracies
Editor, Long War Journal

Moderator
Reuel Gerecht
Senior Fellow, Foundation for Defense of Democracies