SEPTEMBER 2020, VOLUME 13, ISSUE 9 Combating Terrorism West Point Abstract: Many senior officials believe that emphasis on counterterrorism for the past two decades has compromised the ability of the U.S. armed forces to perform other critical military missions and that strategic competition, not terrorism, must now be the primary concern. This essay provides observations on the future role of the armed forces in counterterrorism and the future role of counterterrorism forces in great power competition. It notes that it will be difficult to demote counterterrorism while terrorists still remain a threat. However, there will be a further shift to counterterrorism without counterinsurgency. Dividing the military into near-peer warfare and counterterrorism camps makes little sense.