Published On: Thu, Jun 26th, 2014

Is al-Qaeda in Iraq?

As an analyst in the CIA’s Counterterrorism Center, I spent four years as one of the agency’s leading experts on al-Qaeda’s affiliate in Iraq. Thus, the debate on Just Security and elsewhere regarding how we characterize the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) as “al-Qaeda-linked” provides me with a sad sense of déjà vu. I know many national security practitioners who cut their teeth on the Iraq conflict have been feeling the same in recent weeks. I am writing here to provide some historical context to this discussion that may help understand any “al-Qaeda” threat in Iraq today. While these comments might inform a discussion about executive branch legal authorities, they primarily pertain to the broader policy considerations regarding ISIS.

Guest Post: Is al-Qaeda in Iraq? | Just Security.

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