The Legacy of 9/11 and the “War on Terror”: A Special Series
The Legacy of 9/11 and the “War on Terror”: A Special Series
Special Coverage 3 minutes

The Legacy of 9/11 and the “War on Terror”: A Special Series

Crisis Group experts contribute their views on how the 9/11 attacks and the subsequent “war on terror” shaped the conflicts and crises they work on.

In September 2021, we launched a special series of articles, reports, videos and podcasts by Crisis Group experts on the impact of al-Qaeda’s 9/11 attacks and the U.S.-led “war on terror”. These cover how Islamist militancy and the military operations aimed at defeating militant groups have both reverberated in Washington and shaped peace and security across different regions, especially in South Asia, the Middle East and Africa.

For more work on the aftermath of 9/11 please see our global issue page Jihad in Modern Conflict.

Our ongoing work on Afghanistan can be found here.

COMMENTARY | How Islamist Militants Elsewhere View the Taliban’s Victory in Afghanistan

While Islamist insurgents around the world are inspired by the Taliban’s return to power in Afghanistan, the question of whether and how they will benefit as a result is more complicated, as Crisis Group experts explain in this 360-degree view.

Published 27 October 2021. Available here

ONLINE EVENT | The War on Terror: Twenty More Years?

As the debate over U.S. Presidential War Powers heated in Washington, we presented an online pannel discussion and Q&A, jointly organized with Just Security: "The War on Terror: Twenty More Years?". 

In an effort to assess 20 years of the United States's so-called War on Terror, the International Crisis Group recently released a report, Overkill: Reforming the Legal Basis for the U.S. War on Terror, which charts how the executive branch expanded the use of military force over the last two decades.

Online Event 22 October 2021. 

ONLINE EVENT | How will the Taliban Victory Impact Other Conflicts Involving Jihadist Militants?

Could the seizure of Afghanistan by the Taliban just before the twentieth anniversary of al-Qaeda’s 9/11 attacks be a turning point for jihadist militancy worldwide? Two decades after those attacks, the U.S. administration withdrew its forces from Afghanistan and the Taliban quickly took control of the country. This followed direct talks between the U.S. and the Taliban and an agreement they reached in February 2020 for the U.S. to pull out troops from Afghanistan in exchange for – amongst other things – guarantees the Taliban would not allow transnational militants to use Afghan soil for plotting attacks abroad.

This online event explored the impact of the Taliban takeover on other wars involving al-Qaeda and ISIS-linked groups. Crisis Group analysts discussed the perceptions of jihadists and their enemies in the Sahel, Somalia and Syria of the dramatic events in Afghanistan and what they might mean for those conflicts in which they are fighting.

Online Event 28 September 2021. 

COMMENTARY | Misunderstanding Yemen

U.S. efforts to uproot al-Qaeda’s Yemeni franchise often overlooked the country’s mercurial politics. As part of our series The Legacy of 9/11 and the “War on Terror”, Peter Salisbury explains that the sectarianism the group espoused is still rife on all sides of Yemen’s war.

Published 20 September 2021. Available here

REPORT | Overkill: Reforming the Legal Basis for the U.S. War on Terror

After the 9/11 attacks, the U.S. Congress passed a use of force authorisation that successive presidents have used to expand military action ever further. As part of our series The Legacy of 9/11 and the “War on Terror”, we argue that Washington should enact a new statute that promotes transparency and narrows the war’s scope.

Published 17 September 2021. Available here.

PODCAST | License to Kill: Lawyering in the War on Terror

In this episode of Hold Your Fire!, Richard Atwood and Naz Modirzadeh talk with Stephen Pomper, Crisis Group’s Interim Chief of Policy, about the legal basis for the “war on terror” and how successive American administrations have used sweeping 2001 legislation for an ever-expanding war against jihadist militants.

Published 16 September 2021. Available here.

COMMENTARY | The Anxiety Effect: How 9/11 and Its Aftermath Changed Gulf Arab States’ Relations with the U.S.

Post-9/11 events have shaken Riyadh’s and Abu Dhabi’s faith in the durability of Washington’s support. As part of our series, The Legacy of 9/11 and the “War on Terror”, Dina Esfandiary says U.S.-Gulf ties will likely not regain the strength they had twenty years ago.

Published 15 September 2021. Available here.

COMMENTARY | How the Counter-terrorism Imperative Has Warped U.S.-Egyptian Ties

The conflict in Egypt’s Sinai offers insights into U.S. foreign policy priorities. As part of our series The Legacy of 9/11 and the “War on Terror”, Michael Hanna argues Cairo has used the jihadist spectre to scare off critics and keep U.S. military aid flowing.

Published 13 September 2021. Available here.

PODCAST | Al-Qaeda and ISIS twenty years after 9/11

In this episode of Hold Your Fire! – the first in a series looking at the legacy of the 9/11 attacks – Richard Atwood and Naz Modirzadeh discuss the ebbs and flows of Islamist militancy over two decades of the “global war on terror” and the threat posed by al-Qaeda and ISIS today.

Published 10 September 2021. Available here.

COMMENTARY | Africa: Escaping 9/11's Long Shadow

In many African countries, jihadists are making gains. As part of our series The Legacy of 9/11 and the “War on Terror”, Comfort Ero and Murithi Mutiga say options for stemming the tide should include opening lines of communication to those militants pursuing local goals.

Published 10 September 2021. Available here

PODCAST | Eastern Africa’s Jihadis: The “War on Terror”

In the final episode of a mini-series of The Horn exploring jihadism in East Africa, Alan Boswell speaks with Murithi Mutiga, Mary Harper and Michael Woldemariam about how the post-9/11 global “war on terror” changed the Horn of Africa, and what comes next.

Published 8 September 2021. Available here.

COMMENTARY | Al-Qaeda’s Virulent Strain in Iraq

As part of our series The Legacy of 9/11 and the “War on Terror”, Joost Hiltermann argues that the U.S. invasion of Iraq gave rise to a fierce variety of Sunni Islamist militancy, one just as intent on killing Shiite Muslims as on fighting the U.S. occupation.

Published 7 September 2021. Available here.

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