Biden needs a new counterterrorism approach - Ali

February 10, 2023

Since the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan, the attention towards counterterrorism has withered. However, in a new op-ed for The Hill, national security expert Javed Ali argues that the Biden administration must still prioritize counterterrorism. 

"In large part due to the U.S. military’s shift to great power competition and other national priorities (encapsulated first with the Trump administration’s 2017 National Security Strategy and further reinforced by Biden’s strategy last October), counterterrorism will face further pressure to get leaner, more flexible and less reliant on the budgeting largesse of the post-9/11 era," Ali writes. "Counterterrorism going forward will involve small U.S. military teams backstopped by intelligence, surveillance and airstrike capabilities, and cultivated partnerships with local units (like Danab in Somalia or the Counterterrorism Service in Iraq) that will likely conduct the large majority of counterterrorism operations."

With this shift in counterterrorism strategy, Ali argues, the Biden administration must outline specific policies and goals in this arena. Currently, the administration has no explicit counterterrorism strategy, despite the changing landscape.

"A new strategy on counterterrorism must describe in broad strokes the ways in which the U.S. will design and implement an enduring framework against international terrorist threats like ISIS and al Qaeda in 2023 and beyond," Ali concludes. "By doing so, a new strategy should help Congress in its budgeting and resourcing decisions — and the military and national security enterprise in making the hard choices about shifting resources and capabilities."

Read Ali's entire op-ed in The Hill.