Bruce Riedel’s Search for al-Qaeda receives critical acclaim
In The Search for al Qaeda: Its Leadership, Ideology, and Future, Middle East expert and former CIA officer Bruce Riedel argues that the past Administration was mistaken to declare a “war on terror” rather than a war against al Qaeda. In the book, he reviews how al Qaeda was created and developed, presenting authoritative and chilling background on "The Manhattan Raid," and focuses closely on what has happened to the movement since 9/11. He outlines al Qaeda’s ultimate goals and with a comprehensive analysis, reveals the origins, leadership, ideology, and strategy of the terrorist network. The book ends with innovative recommendations on how this movement can be stopped.
Critics maintain that The Search for al Qaeda “promotes, and provokes, fresh thinking and polemics.” Even in that sense alone, it is a valuable contribution to the public debate. Amir Taheri of AlSharq AlAwsat adds, “With the Obama administration apparently adopting Riedel’s analysis, we should soon know whether these recommendations would produce the desired effects.”
If the first rule of war is to "know your enemy," then we have a long way to go in winning this war against terror. As Riedel advises, it begins with the search for al Qaeda.
Bruce Riedel was a senior advisor to three U.S. presidents on Middle East and South Asian issues. He is currently a senior fellow with Brookings' Saban Center for Middle East Policy. At the request of President Obama, he chaired an interagency review of policy toward Afghanistan and Pakistan for the White House that was completed in March 2009.