The War on Terror Is Back

(National Interest) Ilan Berman - The grisly success of Hamas' offensive against Israel on Oct. 7 has breathed new life and vitality into an array of extremist Islamic factions. "Both al-Qaeda and ISIS, inspired by the Hamas attack against Israel, have directed their supporters to conduct attacks against Israeli and U.S. interests," Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines informed the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence on Feb. 5. Furthermore, Hamas' actions are now "galvanizing individuals to leverage the Palestinian plight for recruitment and inspiration to conduct attacks." Gen. Michael Kurilla, head of U.S. Central Command, told the Senate Armed Services Committee on March 7 that regional threats like attacks on maritime commerce by Yemen's Houthi rebels and the targeting of U.S. forces in Iraq and Syria by Shia militias are part of a larger pattern, with the Islamic Republic at its center. Kurilla said the events of Oct. 7 "created the conditions for malign actors to sow instability throughout the region and beyond," and Iran's leaders have "exploited what they saw as a once-in-a-generation opportunity to reshape the Middle East to their advantage." All of this demands that Washington refocus in earnest on the counterterrorism fight without delay. The writer is Senior Vice President of the American Foreign Policy Council in Washington.

2024-03-18 00:00:00

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