From the thesis abstract: "The United States is now in the eighth year of the Global War on Terror (GWOT). For America, the war began with the surprise attacks against targets in Washington D.C. and New York City on September 11, 2001. For al Qaeda, the war began centuries ago. Since the attacks of September 11th, the United States has failed to win a decisive strategic victory over al Qaeda. This monograph asks why. It contributes to the body of knowledge needed to understand the enemy and the operational environment of the Arab Muslim world, with the aim of increasing the effectiveness of America's future wartime efforts against global jihadist movements in general and al Qaeda in particular. The monograph explores aspects of the Arab Muslim world which al Qaeda exploits and depends upon for their survival, and then examines al Qaeda itself. The research includes text, speeches, and analysis of Islamic thinkers such as Seyyed Qutb, and key jihadist leaders such as Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri. While not the only threat to American national security, al Qaeda is the threat that has proven capable of conducting complex and horrific attacks on a global scale. Therefore, the United States and its allies must decisively defeat al Qaeda in order to dissuade the further expansion of the global jihadist movement."
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