Considering the way some people have been arguing points in other threads I think it is a question that isn't clearly understood. I get the feeling people haven't really defined what a victory consists of for either side. What is the objective of the parties involved? On one side we have the United States. On the other we have Al-Qaeda and like minded groups. What are the objectives of the United States? Well here are some that I see: To protect Americans. To wipe out the terrorists. To make the world, and thus Americans, a safer place. Feel free to include any other objectives you see. Now a question given little consideration: What are the objectives of Al-Qaeda? Here are some of the things I can think of: To hurt Israel and bring it down. To hurt the United States and bring it down. To expose the United States as a bunch of hypocrites and destroy its reputation. Any way I look at it, killing Americans seems more like a means to an end and not the end itself. Although I get the feeling from the way people argue about the issue many Americans think that's their goal. If the goals of the two groups are as I have laid them out. Then clearly the US is losing. What has the US to show for its actions? No major terrorist attack in the US in the time since 9/11? That's it? Saying no American lives have been lost on American soil due to a major terrorist attack since the "War on Terror" started is a very very low threshold for success. It could be argued 9/11 was an isolated incident. A major terrorist attack on the US was in the grand scheme of things a low grade threat. On the other hand what has Al-Qaeda achieved? It got its enemy into a quagmire in Iraq that has led a lot of people to question and doubt the United States' virtue and reputation destroying the former world order. The United States has spent vast amounts of its political as well as economic capital not to mention the blood of its soldiers on an unclear goal. Has Al-Qaeda weakened the US? Yes. To say otherwise one must make an argument that the benefits of going into Iraq have outweighed not only the resources spent to do so but also the collapse of the former world order. I'd like to see some of you try. Has Al-Qaeda cast doubt on the US's reputation? Undoubtedly. Of course one can counter that Al-Qaeda the organization has been hurt just as much if not more. But that really misses the point. Al-Qaeda is an insect next to the whale of the United States. Al-Qaeda had zero chance on its own of bringing down the United States. It's best chance was to get the United States to shoot or poison itself and the troubling thing is that Al-Qaeda has succeeded at that and is continuing to succeed at it.