On Security

How Do You Measure Success Against Jihadists?

Scott Stewart
VP of Tactical Analysis, Stratfor
Jun 12, 2018 | 08:00 GMT
A picture taken on April 29, 2018, shows Syrian army forces running for cover from sniper fire from Islamic State positions in Yarmuk, a Palestinian refugee camp on the edge of Damascus.

A picture taken on April 29, 2018, shows Syrian army forces running from sniper fire from Islamic State group positions in Yarmuk, a Palestinian refugee camp on the edge of the capital. There is no iron rule to measuring success in the battle against jihadists, but some factors can indicate whether counterterrorism efforts are working.

(LOUAI BESHARA/AFP/Getty Images)

How do you actually measure success against jihadist groups? As operations the world over have shown, simply destroying a high number of Toyota Hiluxes driven by militants isn't necessarily the defining mark of success in the "war on terrorism," and a tally of terrorist attacks doesn’t necessarily signal failure. As it turns out, there's more to assessing a jihadist group's strength than straight numbers....

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