No matter how many plots we uncover and disrupt, no matter how many terrorist organizations we degrade or destroy, another individual or group will rise to take their place.
The plan we developed to deal with al Qaeda depended on developing sources of human and technical intelligence that could give us insights into his plans at the tactical level. This is easy to say but hard to accomplish.
Al Qaeda is not the organization now that it was before. It is under stress organizationally. Its leadership spends more time trying to figure out how to keep from getting caught than they do trying to launch operations.
The only way to address terrorism is to deal with the issues that create terrorism, to resolve them where possible, and where that's not possible to ensure that there is an alternative to violence.
I was an intelligence officer, not a policy-maker.