From Benghazi to Boston: The state of the jihad
July 16th, 2013
12:58 PM ET

From Benghazi to Boston: The state of the jihad

By Peter Bergen

Editor's note: This is one in a series of stories and opinion pieces previewing the upcoming Aspen Security Forum. Security Clearance is a media sponsor of the event, which is taking place from July 17 to 20 in Aspen, Colorado. Peter Bergen is CNN's national security analyst and the author of "Manhunt: The Ten-Year Search for bin Laden, from 9/11 to Abbottabad."

Every July in the lush, green mountains of Aspen, Colorado, many of the top present and former U.S. national security officials and other experts gather to discuss how the war against al Qaeda and its allies is going.

Ahead of last year's Aspen conference, I wrote a piece for CNN provocatively titled "Time to declare victory: Al Qaeda is defeated." And I then spoke on a panel at Aspen where I tried to make the case for this position.

I'm not sure too many of the folks in Aspen were convinced. (If they had been, it would hardly seem necessary to travel back to Aspen again this year!)

Since last year's Aspen conference, a group of men only very loosely aligned with al Qaeda attacked the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, killing four U.S. diplomats and CIA contractors.

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Filed under: Aspen Security Forum • Benghazi • Boston Bombing • Terrorism
Former official sees "challenge" ahead pursuing terrorists
Jeh Johnson, former Pentagon General Counsel
July 11th, 2013
06:00 AM ET

Former official sees "challenge" ahead pursuing terrorists

EDITOR'S NOTE: This is the latest in a series of stories and opinion pieces previewing the upcoming Aspen Security Forum. Security Clearance is a media sponsor of the event which is taking place from July 17-20 in Aspen, Colorado.  Follow the event on Twitter under @aspeninstitute and @natlsecuritycnn  #AspenSecurity.

By Larry Shaughnessy

Jeh Johnson recently stepped down as the Pentagon’s top attorney. Now in private practice as a partner at PaulWeiss law firm in Washington, Johnson recently spoke to CNN about some of the issues he faced overseeing the Defense Department’s 10,000 uniformed and civilian lawyers, issues he may be asked about when he speaks at the Aspen Security Forum.

CNN: What is the biggest legal hurdle the Defense Department and Intelligence community face?

Johnson: “I would say that the biggest legal challenge that DoD and the intelligence community face right now is to settle upon a new legal architecture for, what I perceive to be, the next phase of our counterterrorism efforts against al Qaeda and other terrorism efforts.

“We’ve been through 12 years of what some people would characterize as conventional armed conflict. And most intelligence experts would agree that core al Qaeda has been decimated and we’re at an inflection point now. And it is most likely the case that the traditional approach to armed conflict is no longer the best approach and so we need, in my view, to develop a legal architecture and a legal strategy that is a whole of government approach that deals with the new terrorist threats in forms that are not necessarily al Qaeda and it’s affiliates.”
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June 21st, 2013
06:00 AM ET

Wounded soldiers help Boston Marathon bombing victim

By Greg Clary and Barbara Starr

"I'm getting there," said Boston Marathon bombing victim J.P. Norden to Sgt. Luis Remache, a U.S. Marine and a double leg amputee.

"You'll get there, it's not that bad," Remache said.

It's not always common that a grizzled military veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan can relate with a civilian, but that's exactly what happened time and again on Wednesday at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center just outside Washington.
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May 28th, 2013
11:55 AM ET

Troops support Boston victims

CNN's Barbara Starr reports on a group of military veterans who as amputees have a message of support for the victims of the Boston Marathon bombings.  They created a video to raise money for the Boston victims, survivors and their families.