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Impact x2 Qais

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How can we work together to promote better cultural understanding worldwide?

Qais Akbar Omar (GRS’16), a graduate student in the Creative Writing Program, has published a much-praised memoir, A Fort of Nine Towers: An Afghan Family Story. He recalls how the violence and tumult of civil war jolted his family, who, despite losing relatives, their home, and possessions, continued to nurture his wish to attend a university.

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Counterstrike: The Untold Story of America's Secret Campaign Against Al Qaeda

4:00 pm on Thursday, April 4, 2013
5:30 pm on Thursday, April 4, 2013
725 Commonwealth Avenue, Room 522 (CAS 522)
Contact Name:
Victoria Lorraine Puyat
In the years following the 9/11 attacks, the United States waged a "war on terror" that sought to defeat Al Qaeda through brute force. But it soon became clear that this strategy was not working, and by 2005 the Pentagon began looking for a new way. In Counterstrike, Eric Schmitt and Thom Shanker of The New York Times tell the story of how a group of analysts within the military, at spy agencies, and in law enforcement has fashioned an innovative and effective new strategy to fight terrorism, unbeknownst to most Americans and in sharp contrast to the cowboy slogans that characterized the U.S. government's public posture. Adapting themes from classic Cold War deterrence theory, these strategists have expanded the field of battle in order to disrupt jihadist networks in ever more creative ways.

The lecture explores how U.S. counterterrorism tactics and strategies have evolved and improved over the past decade. The speakers will also address many of the hot foreign policy and national security topics of the day, including Syria, Iran, cyber threats and the enduring threat from Al Qaeda's franchises in places like Yemen, North Africa and Iraq.

About the Speakers Eric Schmitt is a senior writer who covers terrorism and national security issues for The New York Times. He is a terrorism correspondent for The New York Times, and has embedded with troops in Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia, and Pakistan. Schmitt has twice been a member of Times reporting teams that were awarded the Pulitzer Prize. Thomas Shanker is a Pentagon correspondent for The New York Times and routinely spends time embedded with troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. Shanker was formerly a foreign editor and correspondent for the Chicago Tribune, based in Moscow, Berlin, and Sarajevo.