Rebalancing the United States Counterterrorism Strategy

  • Colonel Joseph G. Lock

After nearly fourteen years of continuous combat and a global campaign to defeat al-Qa’ida (AQ), the United States Military is more capable, agile, and lethal than ever before. However, this exceptional capability is insufficient to reverse the expanding threat presented by AQ and other similarly inspired Violent Extremist Organizations (VEOs) that exploit fragile governments and thrive in ungoverned spaces. In order to reverse this trend, the U.S. needs to rebalance the current counterterrorism strategy, with much greater emphasis and resources applied toward building partner capacity (BPC) to reduce ungoverned space and eliminate emerging threats before they can take root. Increasing partner nation capacity building efforts requires persistent presence, a more streamlined funding authority, and better Special Operations Forces / Conventional Forces integration to maximize available manpower.