This study from the USAF Institute for National Security Studies poses the following research questions to determine if a global Salafi Jihad insurgency is underway. "Is a diverse confederation of armed groups, linked together by a common ideology (or narrative) and strengthened by new power enhancers, conducting a global insurgency against the United States and its allies? Is this global insurgency being carried out by a radical Salafi Jihad movement (and its al Qaeda vanguard) and does it have as its goals a) to foster regime change locally in apostate Muslim states and b) international system transformation globally? Is the strategy adopted by the Salafi Jihad movement a hybrid or an adaptation of the insurgency strategy that revolutionary movements employed against states during the latter half of the 20th century? If so, what does it have in common with them and how does it differ? To answer these core research questions, a series of corollary issues will first be examined as a prelude to conceptualizing a set of requirements or model of a hypothetical global insurgency. These requirements will then be tested against existing open source information on the actions, activities, and operations of the Salafi Jihad movement and its al-Qaeda vanguard. The objective will be to determine whether preliminary evidence supports the proposition that those actions, activities, and operations, when seen through the lens of the proposed requirements, can be described, at minimum, as a global insurgency in its incipient stage of development. While these findings can only serve as preliminary indicators, the study will provide the basis for further analysis."
INSS Occasional Paper 66
U.S. Air Force Academy: http://www.usafa.af.mil/