Campaign Without End? The Future of Western Overseas Counter-Terrorism Intervention

Since the tragic events of 9/11, Western armies and security forces, alongside numerous allies, have been conducting sustained efforts, including interventions into more localised and regional conflicts, in the name of overseas counter-terrorism.  Starting against Al-Qaeda and then to include the newer Islamic State, such international efforts against these two trans-national groups have enjoyed mixed results.  This talk will consider the balance sheet as it stands today – including a view on current strengths and weaknesses of AQ and IS, the merits of Western strategy and operations, and a sense of what challenges lie ahead.  We might frame our conversation on what reasonable ‘success’ for overseas CT  could look like going forward.

William Evans studied History at Durham and York universities. He joined the British Foreign Office in 1994 having worked as research assistant to the late Lord (Sir Geoffrey) Howe of Aberavon. In the Foreign Office, he was posted several times to Eastern Europe as well as to Afghanistan. Most recently, he served in Paris as the Embassy’s political counsellor and, on return, headed up global counter-terrorism policy in London. William’s research interest lies in identifying both ‘intervention criteria’ for overseas CT pursue efforts and what the ‘success criteria’ might look like for such interventions. As a secondary theme, he will be exploring the Anglo-French security partnership during recent years through a CT lens. William is currently a Visiting Research Fellow at CCW.