The report, “Are We Winning? Measuring Progress in the Struggle Against Violent Jihadism,” was released Wednesday by the bipartisan American Security Project, a non-profit founded by former Democratic Sen. Gary Hart.
In a statement, the group said the report "is the first to examine together the component pieces of the struggle against Islamist terrorism and to produce a series of metrics of success that are both as objective as possible and reproducible on an annual basis."
Authored by one of the group's senior fellows, Bernard Finel, the report uses 10 criteria to measure progress in the war on terror, evaluating each as positive, ambiguous or negative; and then ranks them in order of importance.
"The results paint a decidedly bleak picture," says the group in a statement. Negative and ambiguous trends outweigh positive ones in both number and their level of relative importance. Among the 10 metrics, five are assessed as negative, three are ambiguous and two show some progress. But among the top five indicators, three were negative, one ambiguous and one positive.
“A significant upward trend in the number of terrorist incidents worldwide, even excluding attacks in Iraq and Afghanistan and those related to the Israel-Palestinian conflict, combined with a change in the nature of those attacks, is the single most ominous indicator of the grave challenge facing the United States and its allies,” said Finel.