Losing the fight
The New York Times reports on a soon to be published book, Imperial Hubris, by a senior (and current) CIA officer,
"U.S. leaders refuse to accept the obvious," the officer writes. "We are fighting a worldwide Islamic insurgency — not criminality or terrorism — and our policy and procedures have failed to make more than a modest dent in enemy forces."
I agree with the thrust of this analysis and the book is probably rather incisive in this regard. However, a review of a previous book by the same author raises some questions. Purportedly, that book, Through Our Enemies' Eyes has some bizarre analogies comparing Osama bin Laden with Thomas Jefferson and Tom Paine,
[B]in Laden’s character, religious certainty, moral absolutism, military ferocity, integrity, and all-or-nothing goals are not much different from those of individuals whom we in the United States have long identified and honored as religious, political, or military heroes, men such as John Brown, John Bunyan, Thomas Jefferson, Patrick Henry, and Thomas Paine.
The review does credit the author for his perspicacity in the overall sense though,
UPDATE: I’ve gone back and revisited the remainder of TOEE—the part which details the historical evolution of bin Ladin and his network—and would commend that portion to you. It’s easily the best one-volume treatment that I’ve seen on that account and does a superb job of crystalizing the nature of the threat we face, in a way that is still not grasped by most analysts even two years later. While Anonymous’ cutesy historical analogies and word games early in the book are annoying, he gets the threat analysis right.
The review is highly recommended, as is this interview of the author on Talking Points Memo by Spencer Ackerman.