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Having achieved its initial goals in the war on terrorism, the United States is now in a second, more complex phase of the campaign. This monograph reviews events since the attacks of September 11, 2001, and discusses the current state of the al Qaeda organization and the kinds of actions that can be expected of it in the foreseeable future. Because al Qaeda constitutes the most serious immediate threat to the security of the United States, it is imperative that the campaign against terrorism remain focused and pragmatic. This monograph outlines and describes the essential, central elements that must be emphasized in this campaign, the ultimate aim of which is the destruction of a terrorist enterprise that threatens American security and, by extension, the security of the world.

This research in the public interest was supported by RAND, using discretionary funds made possible by the generosity of RAND's donors and the fees earned on client-funded research.

This report is part of the RAND monograph report series. The monograph/report was a product of RAND from 1993 to 2003. RAND monograph/reports presented major research findings that addressed the challenges facing the public and private sectors. They included executive summaries, technical documentation, and synthesis pieces.

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