Date of Graduation

Spring 2009


Master of Science in Defense and Strategic Studies


Defense and Strategic Studies

Committee Chair

Bradley Thayer


ideological, warfare, strategy, al Qaeda, counterterrorism

Subject Categories

Defense and Security Studies


Al Qaeda is waging an ideological war to which the United States has not fully committed. This is the case because the United States has not developed a strategy that is specifically tailored to the ideological strategy al Qaeda is implementing. In order to adequately respond to this threat, the ideological strategy imposed by al Qaeda must be fully understood. Once al Qaeda's strategy is understood, a strategy can be developed for the United States that utilizes its primary instruments of power and that balances action against physical and non-physical targets. This analysis utilizes this format in order to make recommendations to the current presidential administration for achieving victory in the battle against terrorism. The conclusion recommends a more integrated and pragmatic approach to the problem utilizing a strategy involving containment, defense, diplomacy and delegitimization.


© Joel David Branaman

Campus Only