ON-Lion Letter

"The threat posed by al-Qaeda, ISIS, and other terrorist groups with existing or potential global reach is a multi-generational problem for the United States and its allies," begin Gen. Michael Hayden and Jamil Jaffer in their chapter of the John Hay Initiative 's new book, Choosing to Lead:  American Foreign Policy for a Disordered World.

Hayden is a former director of both the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency and the National Security Agency and now a principal at The Chertoff Group.  Jaffer is a former chief counsel to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and now an adjunct professor of law and director of the Homeland and National Security Law program at George Mason University School of Law.

"[W]e find ourselves in a challenging environment, one that our own actions -- or lack thereof -- have helped create," according to Hayden and Jaffer.  "Al-Qaeda and its affiliates, particularly AQAP, pose a significant threat to the homeland today.  ISIS has established the beginnings of a terrorist superstate with control over significant territory and resources, and its message of jihad spreads worldwide.  Our traditional allies question our commitment to them and our willingness to act.  And our desire for a nuclear deal with Iran has led us to turn a relatively blind eye to its destabilizing activities and to its growing, outsized influence in places that matter.

"Yet hope remains," they conclude.  "Two U.S. Administrations into the global war on terrorism, we have established our position that America can and will take action to protect our nation at the times and places of our choosing.  Our nation and its people -- most importantly, our men and women in the military and the intelligence community -- are prepared to do what it takes.  What is now required is strong and resolute leadership in the White House to renew our longstanding commitment to countering these threats before they arrive on our shores by taking the fight to the enemy overseas."

The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation in Milwaukee substantially supports JHI's Choosing to Lead project.

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