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In terms of trends, the criteria might include

  • the number of governments that do not embrace appeasement policies

  • the number of defectors from the terrorist ranks

  • the terrorist’s level of Internet activity, including the number of Web sites and use

  • the amount of media coverage they receive

  • the number of supporters and recruits they gain

A related issue here is how our policies affect popular support and recruiting. For example, we entered Iraq, anti-U.S. sentiment skyrocketed; when we rescued tsunami victims, pro-U.S. sentiment jumped in Indonesia.

The issue of momentum is important as well. Is there a point at which an ideological movement loses momentum and falls apart? Is this the bottom line we aim for?

In conclusion, let us ask: Are we making progress? What is progress, and equally important, what is not progress? How do you suggest we define progress or the lack thereof? I look forward to your questions and comments.3


Since the delivery of this presentation, the author has completed a more detailed study on this topic. See Combating Terrorism: The Challenge of Measuring Effectiveness. Congressional Research Service report RL33160, available on the U.S. Department of State Web site at

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