Why revive an Al-Qaeda in decline?
Mohamed Amine Belarbi recently published a series of four articles titled ‘What reforms needed for an Al Qaeda in decline’. It certainly makes for very interesting reading, and for those of you would are so inclined, you can read the four part series (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4). While I find the analysis of Al-Qaeda’s current state and possible future direction intriguing, the series builds upon a worrying underlying presumption: that Al-Qaeda is something to be encouraged and furthered.
Things have changed since Al-Qaeda was created by Osama bin Laden. Active foreign intervention in the relevant states has declined dramatically. Consider the fact that part of Al-Qaeda’s strategy involves provoking the US into invading a Muslim country and thereby gaining grounds to attack the US. It seems apparent that Al-Qaeda’s military purpose just doesn’t exists, things have changed to the point that they now need to manufacture a reason for their own existence. Whether you think that reason is a good one or not is beside the point, the fact is that Al-Qaeda’s function is now largely non-existence. Ultimately, what is most concerning about an Al-Qaeda revival is it’s focus on military action. Putting the question of whether you support their ideology aside, their proven willingness to use violence to achieve their goals, against both foreign forces and local civilians is concern enough.
Al-Qaeda has long tied itself to the notion of armed Jihad, a notion that only is slowly loosing support. The idea that only violence and force can achieve change has been proven wrong time and again. And with it, goes Al-Qaeda. Rightly so.