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Executive Protection

A large number of adversaries, both state and non-state sources, to the United States

The US is facing a lot of adversaries from the state and non-state sources. The US is paying a lot of attention to the state adversaries that have a lot of resources such as Russia, China Iran among others. Although its good to focus on these adversaries, it is important to note that terror groups such as Hezbollah and Al-Qaeda are also posing significant threats to the US. Over the years, the US has been attracting more focused adversaries from non-state groups but there has been lack of imagination on the damages that these adversaries can cause. The 9/11 attack shows that a focused adversary has the potential of causing more harm even with moderate or very few resources.

When Al-Qaida attacked US embassies in1998, Al-Qaida became a major adversary of the US. The US retaliated by bombing the Al-Qaida. Even without a lot of resources, Osama managed to plan one of the largest attacks in US history while operating in the US. No one could have expected that such a focused adversary could have caused such great damage.

It is evident that the issue of counterterrorism is not a front-seat issue in US national security. It has been argued that groups such as ISIS and Al-Qaida have been eliminated and crushed. Instead, the US has focused its efforts on these non-actors to the state actors such as China, and Russia among other large nations which are now posing competition to US interests. As America shifts its focus and priorities from terrorism, it faces enormous risks. The 9/11 attacks provide an important lesson to the US. Even though it focuses on adversaries from large nations with massive resources it should not ignore the eminent risk that arises from focused adversaries from small groups. The Al-Qaida group did not have a lot of resources but they relied on intelligence and they managed to exert strong control in its operating environment. The intelligence allowed the Al-Qaida to assess the environment in the most realistic way. They relied on a detailed knowledge of their adversaries by plagiarismcheck and mindsets to employ a counterintelligence strategy to launch the 9/11 attack. This deception was very effective.

A good example of a focused adversary that caused massive damage was the case of Germany in the First and Second World Wars. Even though Germany was a small country and it only had moderate resources it managed to cause the world war which caused massive damages and deaths of so many people. No one could have imagined that such an adversary could have culminated in such huge damage.

The most notable thing is that the US undermined the Al-Qaida threat and they did not even imagine the gravity of the threat. The terrorist threat from Osama was not a topic of discussion in the media and even in the US security hierarchy. The brand of terrorism that the Al-Qaida presented met unprepared US institutions. There was a lot of uncertainty on whether the Al-Qaida threat was just a normal threat that the US had lived with for years or it was a new threat that was beyond what the US had experienced. There was no imagination and all the federal bodies did not make any attempts to stop the threat. It is indisputable that the US had the resources to attack Afghanistan directly, but this did not stop the Al-Qaida attacks.


The 9/11 attack provides key lessons to the US that focused adversaries have the potential of cause more harm than expected even with low or moderate resources. The US has unmatched resources with its adversaries since it is a superpower, but it should not ignore imminent threats posed by foreign groups such as the Al Qaeda and Taliban. These groups are not dead and even with limited resources, they have the capacity to cause massive harm.

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