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Asfandyar Mir
Commentary

Al Qaeda’s Leader Is Old, Bumbling—and a Terrorist Mastermind

Asfandyar Mir, Asfandyar Mir, Colin P. Clarke
Foreign Policy , 2020

Nineteen years after 9/11, al Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahiri has yet to achieve the household notoriety evoked by his immediate predecessor, Osama bin Laden. In part that’s because the United States hasn’t cared enough to focus attention on him. Aside from massive financial overtures for intelligence on his whereabouts—there’s currently a $25 million bounty offered for his head, higher than the reward for any other terrorist in the world—the U.S. government has been relatively blasé about al Qaeda since Zawahiri took over in 2011.

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Journal Articles

Al Qaeda’s Franchise Reboot

Asfandyar Mir, Asfandyar Mir, Colin P. Clarke
Foreign Affairs , 2020

Nineteen years after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, does al Qaeda still pose a significant threat to U.S. national security? Among researchers, military and intelligence officials, and policymakers who study the group, there is little consensus. But very few experts on Salafi-jihadi movements would dismiss the group outright. So when U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo confidently declared in a March interview on Fox & Friends that “al Qaeda is a shadow of its former self,” we were startled and concerned.

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Commentary

Why didn’t the U.S. rebuke Russia for its Taliban bounty deal? Four things to know.

Asfandyar Mir, Asfandyar Mir
Washington Post , 2020

President Trump is in the middle of another controversy involving Russia. A New York Times article on June 26 revealed Trump was informed in March that Russia offered bounties to the Taliban to kill U.S.

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Commentary

The U.S. may be close to a peace deal in Afghanistan. Here are 3 big takeaways.

Asfandyar Mir, Asfandyar Mir
The Washington Post , 2020

Last Friday, the U.S. government announced a two-step peace deal with the insurgent Afghan Taliban. In the first step, the United States and the Afghan Taliban will substantially “reduce violence” against each other across Afghanistan for seven days.

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Journal Articles

What Explains Counterterrorism Effectiveness? Evidence from the U.S. Drone War in Pakistan

Asfandyar Mir, Asfandyar Mir
International Security , 2018
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Journal Articles

What Explains Counterterrorism Effectiveness? Evidence from the U.S. Drone War in Pakistan

Asfandyar Mir,
International Security , 2018

For years, the U.S. government has been waging counterterrorism campaigns against al-Qaida and other armed groups in safe havens and weak states. What explains the effectiveness of such campaigns? The variation in effectiveness may result from differences in select tactical, organizational, and technological capabilities of the counterterrorism state and its local partner, captured by the concept of the Legibility and Speed-of-Exploitation System (L&S).

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