Will’s Take: Are We Defeating al-Qaeda or al-Qaeda’s ‘Core’ Leadership?

James Clapper, the director of national intelligence, testified on Wednesday that he can’t say that the threat from al-Qaeda “is any less” today than it was in 2001. However, only a year ago President Obama said that al-Qaeda was only “a shadow of its former self.”

“Listen to how the language has changed,” George Will said on Special Report. Whereas last year Obama described an al-Qaeda on the run, in Tuesday’s State of the Union the president said, “We put al-Qaeda’s core leadership on a path to defeat.” With al-Qaeda gaining in strength in much of the Middle East, Will questioned what exactly ‘core’ means.

“It turns out that the devil is in the adjective, ‘core’ leadership,” Will said, “and the more they use it the less informative this gets.”

NRO Staff — Members of the National Review Online editorial and operational teams are included under the umbrella “NR Staff.”

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