Since they are different from both traditional warriors and terrorists seeking national revolution or other domestic political changes, there is an identifiable gap in our treaties and international instruments (as well as the de jure belli itself) al Qaeda is slipping in between. We need the international community to remain with us in this international war, and the United States needs to be at the forefront of a revived diplomatic effort. Currently, it appears we are trying, on both sides of the issue, to jam a square peg into a round hole.
These four cornerstones of a new strategy are critical to moving the public debate forward and to fighting the war in which we are currently engaged. Instead of fighting over what has occurred, we need to be debating over what to do in the future as the al Qaeda threat continues to attack U.S. interests and to plan its next major attack upon the U.S. homeland.
Glenn Sulmasy is a professor of law and is a commentator on national security matters.