AQAM can be seen as a twenty-first-century version of the Cold War--era communist wars of national liberation backed by powers such as the Soviet Union or the People's Republic of China.
Though Iraq and Afghanistan are obvious cases, AQAM and al-Shabab are more representative examples of the asymmetric problems the United States may encounter, especially after the revolutions in the Middle East.
As the nation-state loses its monopoly on global influence and coercive diplomacy, transnational movements such as AQAM and its regional allies like al-Shabab become relevant to the evolution of hegemony in the international system.
AQAM on its own is not strong enough to impose revolutions from outside a nation.
AQAM wants the world to believe that Abu Mus'ab al-Zarqawi was a mujahedin, strategic genius who left Afghanistan after the fall of the Taliban regime to prepare for an anticipated insurgency in Iraq.
An indirect approach may offer some answers to defeat AQAM.
The National Strategy for Homeland Security designates AQAM as "America's most immediate and serious threat.
Prior to then, AQAM had a clear center of gravity that was vulnerable to conventional military means.
Supreme Court in Hamdan (20) concluded that the armed conflict between the United States and AQAM was of a noninternational nature.
23) In the context of the armed conflict between the United States and AQAM, this means that active members of AQAM are combatants and may be lawfully targeted at will.
in order to prevent any future acts of international terrorism against the United States," (32) would suffice to address any domestic legal concerns about a policy of targeted killing of AQAM operatives.
The United States is legally justified in taking military action against AQAM as a matter of self-defense.