Defeating ISIL

To defeat ISIL we (all of us) must defeat ISIL’s appeal. Defeating ISIL’s appeal will build antibodies and anti-viruses against those who, inevitably, will seek to succeed the defeated ISIL.

Military strategies will not defeat ISIL or its would-be successors. In fact, military strategies in a vacuum might forestall ISIL’s defeat and foster new successors. Conversely, military operations and tactics that support the civilian-led drive toward good governance, justice, and dignity for all citizens could contribute to sustainable stabilization of Syria and Iraq.

If I were an ISIL leader, I would see a new element of hope on the horizon.  I would do whatever I could to help the new US administration to abandon America’s long-standing international position on Israel, settlements, and a two-state solution.  I would use every deception, prevarication, “false news” I could muster to push America faster into the arms of the Israeli settler movement and those Israeli politicians who yearn to abandon the establishment a future Palestinian state.  Indeed, perceived Israeli occupation, aggression, and arrogance toward Palestinians is the one factor that could effectively reunite and turn the Arab Muslim world against America and its Western allies. A win for ISIL and its ilk, and a clear loss for everyone else, especially Israel.

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One Response to Defeating ISIL

  1. Riccardo Carioti says:

    I agree with you, but I’m not optimistic. As you say, it won’t be military strategy to defeat extremism in the middle-east, but the reconstruction of civilian institutions. This would mean having in these countries a strong middle-class with moderate values. The problem is that middle-class is becoming an endangered species even in the western world.
    I see with growing apprehension the Russian direct intervention in middle-east conflicts, and more recently its appearance on the Libyan scene. To complicate the matter the military policy of the new U.S. presidency for southern Mediterranean and middle-east seems a bit unclear and sometimes even contradictory. UE foreign and military policy is nearly inexistent. To defeat extremism in the middle-east, stronger military and economic cooperation among western countries is urgently needed.

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