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Violent Islamism Has Failed

By Richard Dearlove, head of the British Secret Intelligence Service (MI6) from 1999 to 2004, and now the master of Pembroke College, Cambridge. This article is adapted from a talk he gave to the Henry Jackson Society (THE NEW YORK TIMES, 05/11/11): I am going to make a statement of the obvious, being one of the people heavily involved in the events of 9/11: We didn’t actually know what was going to happen next. We made a very good stab at trying to understand what might happen, but much that is said now is said with the benefit of hindsight. My own views have changed over the last 10 years, especially now that I have the time to reflect and read, which I didn’t necessarily have in my previous job. Unquestionably 9/11 was a defining moment, and by that I mean that it had a historical before and after. It caused a fundamental rethink of national security threats and a reordering of national security priorities in the United States, in Britain and elsewhere. It had a huge impact on security, defense and intelli...
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