Professor, Georgetown University’s Walsh School of Foreign Service
While ISIS has dominated the headlines and preoccupied our attention for the past four years, al-Qaeda has been quietly rebuilding. The resurrection of al-Qaeda’s presence in both Afghanistan and Somalia and the solidification of its influence in Syria and Yemen, underscores the stubborn resiliency and continued vitality of America’s preeminent terrorist enemy. Indeed, with ISIS lamentably still active and al-Qaeda clearly resurgent, today we face the most parlous security environment since 2001—with serious threats emanating from not one but two terrorist movements who both have cultivated a myriad of branches and affiliates thereby enhancing their capabilities and ensuring their longevity. If al-Qaeda has not gone away and ISIS is here to stay (at least for the foreseeable), what must the U.S. do to effectively counter this and future terrorism threats?
Bruce Hoffman has been studying terrorism and insurgency for over four decades. He is a tenured professor in Georgetown University’s Walsh School of Foreign Service and until recently was director of its Center for Security Studies and Security Studies Program. Hoffman is also visiting Professor of Terrorism Studies at St Andrews University, Scotland. He previously held the Corporate Chair in Counterterrorism and Counterinsurgency at the RAND Corporation, where he was also director of RAND’s Washington Office and vice president for external affairs.
Hoffman was appointed by the U.S. Congress as a commissioner on the 9/11 Review Commission and has been Scholar-in-Residence for Counterterrorism at the Central Intelligence Agency; adviser on counterterrorism to the Coalition Provisional Authority, Baghdad, Iraq; and, an adviser on counterinsurgency to Multi-National Forces-Iraq Headquarters, Baghdad, Iraq. In November 1994, the Director of Central Intelligence awarded him the United States Intelligence Community Seal Medallion, the highest level of commendation given to a non-government employee, which recognizes sustained superior performance of high value that distinctly benefits the interests and national security of the United States.
Hoffman’s most recent books include The Evolution of the Global Terrorist Threat (2014); Anonymous Soldiers (2015), which was awarded the Washington Institute for Near East Studies’ Gold Medal for the best book on Middle Eastern politics, history and society published in 2015 and also named The Jewish Book of the Year for 2015 by the Jewish National Book Council; and, Inside Terrorism (3rd edition, 2017). Hoffman is currently a visiting senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations and a senior fellow at the U.S. Military Academy’s Combating Terrorism Center.