New York Times Reporters to Discuss U.S. Counterstrike Against Al Qaeda

Journalists to Share National Security Insights at Free Feb. 7 Event at Ohio Wesleyan University

CounterstrikeDELAWARE, Ohio – New York Times correspondents Thom Shanker and Eric Schmitt will discuss their critically acclaimed book, “Counterstrike: The Untold Story of America’s Secret Campaign Against Al Qaeda,” Feb. 7 at Ohio Wesleyan University.

Shanker, a Pentagon correspondent, routinely spends time embedded with troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, and Schmitt, a Pulitzer Prize-winning terrorism correspondent, has embedded with troops in Iraq, Somalia, and Pakistan.

The journalists will speak at 4 p.m. Feb. 7 in Benes Room C inside Ohio Wesleyan’s Hamilton-Williams Campus Center, 40 Rowland Ave., Delaware. Their presentation is sponsored by the university’s International Studies Program and Department of Politics and Government.

“In the years following the 9/11 attacks, the United States waged a ‘war on terror’ that sought to defeat Al Qaeda through brute force,” according to their book. “But it soon became clear that this strategy was not working, and by 2005 the Pentagon began looking for a new way. … Filled with startling revelations about how our national security is being managed, ‘Counterstrike’ will change the way Americans think about the ongoing struggle with violent radical extremism.”

Former U.S. Rep. Lee H. Hamilton, co-chair of the 9/11 Commission, has said the book “scores a direct hit” and provides “pathbreaking reporting on and incisive analysis of the secret war against Al Qaeda after 9/11. This cogent history of America’s elusive search for a strategy – essential reading for specialists and concerned citizens alike – should inform our national debate on how best to counter this most urgent threat.”

In his review, Joshua Sinai of The Washington Times writes that “This eye-opening account of how the U.S. government has vastly upgraded its counterterrorism efforts since Sept. 11 reminds readers that while the threat from al Qaeda and its affiliates persists, so does the American will to strike back.”

Read more about Schmitt and Shanker’s Ohio Wesleyan visit and additional upcoming International Studies events at

Founded in 1842, Ohio Wesleyan University is one of the nation’s premier small, private universities. Ohio Wesleyan offers more than 90 undergraduate majors, sequences, and courses of study, and 23 NCAA Division III varsity sports. OWU combines an internationally focused curriculum with off-campus learning and leadership opportunities that connect classroom theory with real-world practice. Located in Delaware, Ohio, OWU’s 1,850 students represent 41 states and 45 countries. The university is featured in the book “Colleges That Change Lives,” listed on the 2012 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll with distinction, and included on the “best colleges” lists of U.S. News & World Report and The Princeton Review. Learn more at

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