Is al-Qaeda Weakened Because of Zawahiri's Ambition?

Back in February, I wrote about the transformation of al-Qaeda and whether or not the new look is dangerous or a fleeting threat. There is an excellent article on Foreign Affairs today by William McCants that discusses how Zawahiri's ambition has hurt the organization. 

The combination of the death of bin Laden and the Arab Spring, which left certain places more vulnerable than others, allowed Zawahiri to try to advance his vision to more regions. He expanded the brand, even aligning with the militant Al Shabaab in Somalia. This has proved to be disastrous thus far. In-fighting between individuals and groups and overextending its reach, al-Qaeda as a whole has weakened. 

It is definitely worth a read. 

"How Zawahiri Lost Al Qaeda."Foreign Affairs. 19 Nov. 2013. Web. 19 Nov. 2013. <>.