Date of Graduation

Spring 2011


Master of Science in Defense and Strategic Studies


Defense and Strategic Studies

Committee Chair

Robert Joseph


terrorism, al Qaeda, global war on terror, long war, overseas contingency operations

Subject Categories

Defense and Security Studies


This thesis is an analysis of the Global War on Terrorism. It focuses mainly on how the United States is failing in this war and offers solutions so that the U.S. can begin to succeed. I chose this topic because throughout my graduate career I have never received a definitive answer regarding our success in this war and whether or not we are winning or losing. My thesis focuses only on the al Qaeda terrorist group and its relation to this war. I think it is important to focus on al Qaeda because it is the culprit for starting this war. It is important to find out the reasons why the U.S. has yet to rid the world of al Qaeda terrorism. In my paper, I will show that the U.S. is failing in this war. The evidence for this proposition can be seen through a number of case studies and facts from various government and non-government sources. The first piece of evidence I show is that the beginning of this war lacked a definition of the enemy, which is vital to any war. I then show evidence of how al Qaeda has transformed into multiple entities making it far more difficult to target this group. By the end of my thesis, I will provide the reader with essential background knowledge of the Global War on Terrorism, reasons why the U.S. is failing in this war and viable solutions to succeed.


© Lisa Marie Allen

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