"According to the U.S. National Counter-Terrorism Center, there were over 5,700 Islamist terror attacks around the world in 2011, a total which remains near historic highs," Finel says. "Any claims to success, in other words, have to be muted. There have been successes, but we are not yet successful in our struggle against Islamist terror."
That view is also held at high levels of the U.S. intelligence community.
"It's hard to declare victory," says the senior intel official, "when the ideology lives, and the [jihadist] movement is alive and relatively healthy."
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John T. Bennett covers national security and foreign policy for U.S. News & World Report. You can contact him at JBennett@USNews.com or connect with him on Twitter.