Matthew Levitt is the Fromer-Wexler Fellow and director of the Reinhard Program on Counterterrorism and Intelligence at The Washington Institute.
Articles & Testimony
For all the talk of shifting America’s national security posture, the reality is that conducting CT efforts and competing with Russia and China can be mutually reinforcing with a modicum of strategic planning.
The defining characteristic of America’s post-9/11 counterterrorism approach has been an aggressive, forward defense global posture. As former defense secretary Robert Gates put it, “better to fight them on their 10-yard line than on our 10-yard line.” But there is growing consensus that this posture is neither financially sustainable nor strategically balanced against the resource needs of other national security threats. The past two administrations concurred that the United States should reduce its military presence around the world, invert the longstanding model of a U.S.-led and partner-enabled global counterterrorism model, and focus U.S. efforts on those groups most capable of targeting the homeland. But as the Biden administration begins to pull all U.S. forces out of Afghanistan, putting such ideas into practice has proved an elusive goal...