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tv   Forum Explores U.S. Counterterrorism Policy Beyond Al- Qaeda and ISIS  CSPAN  August 9, 2017 12:12pm-1:16pm EDT

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medical science, in clinical applications, but for everything. we didn't talk too much about this, but it's also being very agriculture,ow in for animal husbandry, for -- >> all of this program, this discussion is
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in addition to our in-house work that we do in terms of oflications, in terms events, to be able to come on to to presentd be able the findings that we have, and also the findings of our friends. words about the american foreign policy counsel. i'm the senior vice president at afpc. we do a lot of work in a number geographical areas and topic including transactional and radical islam. component of what we do. we do periodic briefings, lunch-and-learns, if you will, related to radical islam where we talk about a complex topic underserved right
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now currently. everybody talks about the islamic state. al-qaeda.less about talk even less about other groups that sort of don't fall into that broad category. we also publish a twice monthly e-bulletin called the global islam monitor. interested, there's a sign-up sheet outside, free of youge, and sort of brings that type of information every on extremist islamic ideology, trends in ideology, of trends in terms movements, what's happening with beckko hiram in nigeria, the stateion of the islamic in the philippines, things like that had may be outside of your purviews. also a multimedia project. from now we'll have the 2017 edition, which hitting the newsstands.
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you can already access all the online. it is the first comprehensive a politicalm as foam globally. aspiration is to have it truly global where it covers all exists.where it it's still impressive, even though it's not completely global. look, sort to take a andoth geographically topically across various regions and activities across global ranging from the islamic state, al-qaeda, the look at wherelso these groups are active, where the threat is increasing, and mostg, importantly, particularly for policymakers here in congress, it'st's increasing, why decreasing, what can this tell us about whether counterterrorism policy that we're pursuing, the counterterrorism policies that other governments are pursuing, on the right track, wrong
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done better?an be in various ways we try hard to about islamicate extremism. so i'm delighted to be able to of -- to have asked, to have my offer accepted, to have katie zimmerman come brief us on her new report. she's particularly an expert on the activities of al-qaeda in north africa. from also, as you know personal experience, wonderful to travel with. we've had the opportunity to of fieldo a little bit
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work together. so i can tell you in all modesty, that katie is the best of the best to talk to us about globalad sweep of the islamist movement, how the groups interface with one and what u.s. policymakers should be thinking about as they move sort -- sort try to navigate this topic. i'm going to cede the floor to katie now. we'll let her get her presentation. we'll have times for questions and answers. one sort of preliminary request, if you ask a question, ask a question. where you'rentify from, sort of what organization or what office you're from, to contextualize the question. with that, let me turn it over to katie. thank you, ilon. this.ed to talk about
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lostst heard that isis has significant amounts of terrain in iraq. at iin syria, that we are been 40% of iraq has recovered, and we're working against the islamic state. we've heard we're in the final against thes fight islamic state, against al-qaeda yemen., in afghanistan, yet we still face a massive from these groups. we're facingeason that threat we've misdefined the enemy. we've defined the enemy to be various groups that have pointed their guns at us. gone after those
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groups that have chosen to shoot which means that as over time we've looked at this, are groups choosing not to us.t shooting we're defining al-qaeda as a threat, something to deal with this at the end of but putting off that fight puts us in a position where it's harder, much more difficult, and the united states is in greater danger. we goallenge is, even after al-qaeda, go after the islamic state across the world, are still going to face a threat. that's because these groups draw strongly on an ideology. competing to the vanguard for that ideological movement. it is the movement itself which enemy we must fight. now, that's challenging for poll policymakers. fight a movement?
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there's nothing tangible except for its ideology. you can't hit a ideology with a kinetic action. there's nothing to strike. there's not a leadership cell. is not a network to disrupt. there's not terrain to take back from a movement. pasto i would say over the 15, even longer, years we have defined the enemy as groups, as as individuals. we've confined ourselves by our policy definitions such that we go after an enemy that we've defined and use the policy tools that we've built to go after that enemy. when you think about that, then, actually fighting the movement at large. much stronger is today than it's ever been. it's escalated in strength over the past five years in an exponential fashion. it is not going to be set back of isis.feat
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it has the momentum and will to have that. so briefly looking at what this movement is, it's not all of islam, it's not all of sunni islam. there are sunni who are secular, sunni who practice, very devout, threat.ent us with no there is a sect within a trend line within islam, and not all to us.gerous salasi believe they should return to the end state of muhammad, but not all pursue it in a threatening manner to us. is accepted within islamic. some take no action. simply practice devoutly side. to the there are political salasiists
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using political means to pursue this end state. even though end state is contrary to what we would see as our own interest in the world, the fact they've existed for actually gained majority support in any of the exist, nothere they widely accepted by what we're calling mainstream muslims today means they are a minority group who exists within the political who have only gained power in one instance in egypt only opposition, the mubaraknter to the regime was the muslim brotherhood, and there was not a uprising when the muslim brotherhood fell in egypt, because there was not massive what the muslim brotherhood was representing on the ground. the part of the movement that us, theproblematic for
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group that pursues the end state are violence, that they religious obligated to pursue ofir end state by the use violence, not only through the use of violence, but that jihad, and fight, is incumbent required on all practicing belims, so that is going to a global insurgency they are granted salasi jihadism has been activated during the afghan-soviet war, and hasn't been a threat to the united states the way that it is today , becausees as well primarily it's been marginalized and society has isolated and imprisoned those who believe in it. a problemn do we have today with the movement? why is the ideological movement, salasi jihadi movement so strong? the strong because over
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course of its existence it's sought one singular objective, muslim society. it has focused on the people. it has used terrorism to cause the united states to retreat from muslim lands. to weakend terrorism governments. it has used terrorism to generate a sectarian war inside that creates conditions that enable the people to reach out to it. what you seeime, in the leadership discussions, support the popular base wants. how do we get into the minds of the people? thato we convince them this is our way? they haven't done a good job of convincing them, but the requirements facing most muslims on the ground today have driven support.ook for so the conditions on the ground, sunnis inside of syria, facing brutal conditions, there yemenpulations inside of
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that require assistance to fight, what they see as an enemy, a threat to their own survival. inside of somalia, mali, elsewhere, afghanistan in particular, where when these groups, communities, have faced where they've had -- where they have not access to where theyces, require water, diesel, fuel, the are providing it, that are right there in the sidelines, are al-qaeda and isis, and that is how these groups are moving into the population. are also providing defense. so they are fighting alongside the sunni in syria, fighting alongside one of the factions in the libyan civil war. they are building that relationship. over time they are changing how the society on the ground functions, because through the use of force, by coming in, with a military force, that al-qaeda been able then to
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secure a system of justice. so we saw sharia courts beginning to appear as the governance system on the ground inside of syria. syria, a secular state, with a revolution that started as a secular uprising now has significant portions of opposition-controlled territory under should re-based governments. that is because al-qaeda was able to transform that revolution. it's looking to the same thing in yemen, inside somalia. it's done part of that inside afghanistan. it is doing it in mali. that is why we're seeing this strengthening at large. it's not the fact that people are actively looking for the ideology. tolerantccepting and of the ideology, because of other requirements for the their livelihoods and their very lives. the united states is also somewhat fallen into al-qaeda's trap. to the scene.
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it conducted brutal mass executions inside of iraq and syria. it declared itself a caliphate, and became state, the number one enemy for the united states. was able that al-qaeda to operate under a policy radar actuallywas able to focus on its core objective, which was to win the hearts and the people. it has done so in parts of syria. in parts ofso yemen. we can keep going through this. it's not attacking the united states directly. it has not conducted a directed attack against the united states since we have conducted the war against isis. decision. it is not because al-qaeda does .ot have the capabilities al-qaeda's bomb-maker, known for printerrwear bomb, the cartridge bomb, the mastermind thatd the laptop bombs
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isis is trying to replicate, trainedll alive and others. there's no reason that al-qaeda does not pursue the capability to attack us. the question is when? and yet the way that we're fighting these groups is like going after the enemy. we're going after the groups, going after the leadership on the ground. diverge eated this huge divergence. so as al-qaeda is focusing on protection to the people, this is playing very true inside of syria. it's also playing true inside of yemen. the united states has taken leaders ofnst the al-qaeda. what the people see is that they've asked for support from states.ed we've said no. they've asked for support and al-qaeda says yes. al-qaeda moves in. deliversunited states bombs. and that is why there is some support now on the ground for because it's the only
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group that has fought in their defense. is actively transforming what is happening on the ground. the unitedblem for states that we're not fighting with governance, but fighting it with guns. it's a problem for the united that we're only focused on the leadership cells, because generatedas leadership. persistthe problem will beyond the leaders. there's an knowledge within jihadism that goes back to the days of prophet. knock one off can the line, another will rise in its place. why understanding the ideology is so important, but fighting it us anywhere, is that provides the military doctrine that enables these groups to persist. defeat isis and al-qaeda,
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we will still have a group rise up, because the ideology process the conditions that fed ideologynto the persist. we've also managed to align ourselves with bad partners. in some cases, it creates problems on the ground. it is one of the reasons why i look at, as we watch the fight against isis, particularly inside of syria, we have created a de facto alliance with the very enemies of the sunni, the very enemies of the population in which al qaeda's recruiting. we have aligned ourselves with the assad regime, with russia, iran against isis, and we empower that faction to seize ground inside of syria, strengthen itself against isis,
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it ist recognizing strengthening itself within the context of the syrian civil war. we aretalk about that, allowing military conditions to shape what the political resolution will look like, and it will not look like the resolution we advocated back in 2012. i guarantee that. us abandoning them. so we need to be very cognizant of how we are fighting this war, how we are operating on the ground, what partners we are choosing, what partners we are not choosing, and also how the enemy is spreading. delivery of basic goods and services is something we can do here at we not designed to do it. the usaid works behind the front line not in front of it. do thatt designed to militarily either. we have not resourced our state department properly to understand with conflict is and who the actors are and what their demands are.
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but we could. and this is a question not of nation-building, because i do not think the u.s. should be sending its resources everywhere, but leadership, recognizing that the conditions on the ground have gotten to a point where there needs to be a -- aical resolutionthat political resolution that leads to a legitimate and responsive government system. that is, of course, aligned with our own interests, and the united states could lead others in this fight. deliver the governance, to recognize the role that the conditions are playing and driving support for the salafi jihadi movement, particularly and two, frankly, reverse the tide we are seeing coming through. if it were easy, someone would have done it, but i think the u.s. is the only one capable of leading the fight.
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so i will leave it there and open it up to questions. mr. berman: thank you, katie. that was terrific. a lot of food for thought, and i will use my prerogative as moderator to sort of ask the first question. then we can open it up. we have a microphone, so just raise your hand if you want to ask a question. -- it goes back to your core point about scoping, about the need to sort of defined the adversary more broadly in order to understand what is possible and not possible. during the campaign season last year and into his administration , president trump has talked a great deal about radical islamic terrorism with not that much emphasis on ideology, the ideology that underpins it. so at the risk of being a little bit provocative, how would you redefine that terminology to
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more, sort of, comprehensive leak encompass what you are talking about? as you said, it is not just groups, it is also sort of the thought process that goes into supporting them. ms. zimmerman: i think the administration defined it to also encompass the shia side, which the salafi jihadi movement is unique to the sunni side. i think we need to split our definition of the enemies within islam, because they fight differently, and they are, in fact, different manifestations of an enemy. salafi jihadism has come straight to our shores and does not have a direct state sponsor. it is something that is within sunniism and has been rejected by nearly every major sunni institution at large. whereas, dishy a threat, the other half of the radical islamic threat, is a little bit sorted by iran as part of the
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export of the iranian revolution. it is very different, the support of has bought another groups, so i say we need to recognize that within islam, there are two different ways that the threat is coming to our shores and align our policy and strategy that way, rather than trying to cluster it into this idea that radical islam is the problem, and it is one of the reasons i push back hard when people talk about islam itself being a problem, because it is not all of islam. it is a very distinct, definable small minority part and has to do with the conditions on the ground. let's do a couple questions. i am with the pakistani -- my
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question is about the salafi movement not getting much external help. how do you know they are not getting from saudi billionaires -- [indiscernible] this fight has been in progress for the last 1400 or 1500 years. why should america get involved and doesprecious blood not precious dollars because we have enough dollars that we can afford, but these people do not respect precious life. isn't it good for america to stay out of this mess? this has been going on 14 hundred years, at least. thanks. ms. zimmerman: i think the u.s. needs to get involved because it is presenting a threat for the united states command i dismissed the argument that the fight has been ongoing in the
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violent terms for that long. frankly, it has not. with the salafi jihadi ideology, we can see it start to mobilize to thethe muslim world afghan, soviet jihad, and the idea that al qaeda had after the afghan jihad culminated, the idea was exporting it back to the arab world, the start of a grand fight. if you look at the 1990's, al qaeda felt miserably. you can look at the palestinian-israeli fight. it is something that did not mobilize support across the world for the palestinian cause. nothing has mobilized people except for what is happening today. and i think that the change is dramatic enough that we need to recognize that it is the conditions. it is not just salafi jihadism that is a threat for us. the breakdown of the international state system that is ongoing, the fact that we have six of failed states at
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least with the muslim world, weak states like tunisia and egypt, and these are all leaning against the pillars of stable states that we had to fight, so algeria, kenya, ethiopia, saudi is always at risk of falling and is under enormous pressure right now, so there is a reason beyond the salafi jihadi threat to get involved and start correcting the system to stabilize it, because it has never been this bad before. there is going to be followed for decades to come, i think. diplomat and an intelligence analyst. small correction -- the first salafist government in recent times was not egypt, it was early 1990's algeria.
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the question that bothers me is the elephant in the room, which is there are literally millions of muslims who believe it is ok to spread your religion by whatever means necessary, and there is no plan whatsoever by muslims or non-muslims to attack the problem, that particular problem. so my question is about three tools that could be used and why they are not being used. why are american diplomats not allowed to quote the koran? why are they not allowed to demarche the mosques? and wired we having a giant campaign in the oic to demand that the oic clean house? oic take thehe lead against this cancer, rather than the westerners? ms. zimmerman: it is a great question. tooink that we have been
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reticent to be involved in ideology because we attribute it to attacking a religion, and we should be echoing the criticism that actually comes from the muslim world against this religion because it is not as though we are denigrating a mainstream form. a muslimof having leader is one that we have propagated, and the challenge has been that there is not a united front. theytates themselves, as try to take action, our increasing the entropy on the ground and actually feeding the chaos that is driving support for the salafi jihadi movement, i would say. once they can stand and talk against the extremist group, but until there is actual change in what they do, it is going to persist, so saudi arabia is not a state sponsor, but saudi's do
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sponsor salafi jihadi ideologues, and that is a problem that saudi arabia must deal with, and we should be pressuring them to do so, the same way we are pressuring the qataris to. we should look at opportunities to exploit the idea that has surfaced over the past few months that there is a lot of pushback against funding for even political islam, but particularly the extremist and violent brands of salafi jihadi sm, and we are not. i find it more problematic that our dental mats for the key areas are not in country. is in saudior yemen arabia because of security reasons, but it is understaffed. our diplomats are not going around and meeting yemenis in cairo, beirut, oman, the emirates, and same with our libya embassy, which is in tunisia, not meeting with libyans on the ground.
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not meeting when we talk about this political resolution. we do not know the demands of the situation, and we do not know the actors, and we do not have leverage because we have chosen not to get leverage over the situation. to me, that is the first problem that needs to be solved by byble mats desk diplomats -- diplomats. moderator: any other questions? >> hi, i am from congressman pierce's office. you touched on the tribalism that influences so many of these groups. that in theckle largest geopolitical sense that many of these failed states should not have been states at was a process? you can start with the first world war or start with the 18th
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century, whichever, but they were creations of larger powers for various reasons. and should we be looking in some instances at trying to restart the clock on determining what should be a state and what should not be a state? you do not have to start with iraq. take any country you want where there is a problem. but in general, should this be a larger part of our strategic thinking on how to try and help the situation where what they are fighting for is their local interests? they're not really fighting for religion, a, b, c, or d. ms. zimmerman: good question. i do not think we should be re-drawing state boundaries. even though they did come from a very european, western drawing of the map, we see on the ground that people today identify by their nationality, and the idea
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of a nationstate is very foreign, but the idea of being syrian or yemeni or libyan or egypt and is actually an identity people latch onto. so you can look at the iraqi-syrian border. it is literally a line in the sand. yet, there are tribes that sit on both sides of the border, and they identify as iraqi or syrian , not first by their tribe. i think that is a signal to us that, is problematic as the state system has been in certain areas, it is actually something that can persevere. the challenge and the reason why we see local conflicts coming through is that we and others have supported governments that are not legitimate. we have supported authoritarian dictators who have consolidated power and have marginalized large groups of people in pursuit of their own interests. and we are at risk of doing that toin today as we try
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stabilize the region. looking at libya with a report that the general, who is the strong man, the leader of the strongest force inside of libya, he cannot secure the entire country. the way he is doing it is driving support for al qaeda and isis on the ground, particularly because of anti-islamists, meaning any islamist, political or not, is aligned against him, and that is projecting civil war. we need to secure the libyan territory, the sovereign state of libya, from al qaeda, which is what gaddafi never did either. al qaeda has been using the libyan state for a decade at least in the desert. what i am looking at is the fact that we have ignored the policies of some of our state partnerships that have exacerbated a lot of the local conflicts, and we continue to do so.
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inhave ignored the fact that yemen, we had former president solaa as our partner, and he consolidated power. when the new president can to reason my al qaeda was spreading his head of yemen was because of the grievances, which are hard and challenging. they touch on sensitive state infrastructure and power network spirit going after al qaeda military problem, so every time there was a choice between going after al qaeda are going after the hard problem when you have limited resources, the budget was put to the military, which meant the actual problems, three grievances -- the grievances, the governance problems went unaddressed. is, yes,igm shift there is a military component to defeating al qaeda, and we need to be taking back the terrain, but we also need to be making
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sure that the governance problem and what comes after the takeback of terrain is something that is sustainable and legitimate to the people. moderator: so sending struck me as you are sort of walking through the relative decline of isis and the relative rise of al this battlefield, this terrain, is shifting pretty significantly. if you can chalk up, up until this point, the islamic state's success as, simply, everybody loves a winner, so they look like they are expanding territory, naturally groups will gravitate to their cause. this is what happened to you have some thing like 34 different affiliates from boko haram to nigeria to the sinai that have joined forces with the islamic state. but with the sole exception of islamic state affiliates in
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syria, every one of these groups is a pre-existing entity. boko haram has an infrastructure and leadership, divided leadership now, but it has long ghdadi and his ideas up a caliphate. as isis declines and we are making notable gains in trimming islamic state finances and trimming the territory under islamic state control, what happens to these other guys? this is going to be driven in very large part by how they think about the ideology, but there will be a lot of free agents here. ms. zimmerman: and this is actually the challenge of finding your enemy of proof, because we can defeat a group and the network it has build will simply realign. said, isis had risen to the global stage and brought the
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idea of the caliphate, which is very detriment within those who believe in this, and i have been the that the nine isis -- boko haram leader recognizes the caliph. so there is a religious ideology, and it is not just the resourcing. isis was one of the richest affiliates to come up, meaning a lot of groups rapidly adhered to isis, and the branding isis was able to take -- we use this analogy -- a stabbing in a tanzanian cave, and everyone knew a soldier of the caliphate new he stabbed someone in a cave in tanzania. we did not have that in al qaeda. i think the next year or show whether isis is going to realign itself to actually add power to
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the branches, to add power to its branch in the philippines, and nigeria, to reconstitute in libya, build in the sinai and elsewhere, and whether it will go beyond the collapse of the core inside of iraq and syria. but the real challenge is that the threat of these groups remains, because the groups themselves are not being contested directly by the united states, and the partners we have used of not been affected -- effective, and they do not have the will to actually carry up the fight to the point where it culminates in a sustainable manner. the issue that i think we are will bes that al qaeda able to reconstitute itself as the global vanguard force, as it challenged briefly by isis, and it tried to contest that. we see al qaeda's leadership not paying attention to what is happening now within the islamic state. they see their role as , and they by alla
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have this mandate to do what they are doing. but the problem is it is not just the realignment of these groups. they are going to bring back the tactics that isis has taught them, so isis has actually delivered capabilities to groups that al qaeda was courting and had not developed a relationship with, but now isis has sent in the bomb makers and the leadership, the ability to organize as small franchises that can conduct coordinated attacks and know how to target the populations and generate the uprisings we have seen. that is going to have some knock-on effect stress we simply have not planned for. any other questions? pc, and youk at af were saying that the u.s. government might be served by
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investing in leadership and support more than specific military action. so i was wondering if you saw that as the united states redefining how it thinks about humanitarian aid or something else? ms. zimmerman: it is across the board. we talk about having a whole of government approach to the problem, and we really have not had that because the rest of the military, iss the not operating in the terrain where it needs to be operating, and that is a problem for us. i talk about not relying on military -- of course there is a role for the military when we are looking to secure terrain. in order to put our double nats on the ground, they should be afforded the protection of the u.s. military -- in order to put our diplomats on the ground. but the problem is using only the military to fight the group speared the leadership needs to
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come from developing a global, comprehensive strategy that recognizes the salafi jihadi movement as the enemy, recognizes that there are networks on the ground, that salafi jihadi, whether it is isis or al qaeda, actually a singular network or a network that will cohere as isis weakens and al qaeda strengthens, vice versa, and goes after the vulnerabilities that these groups have and how they are operating, which is usually not a military targeting. the vulnerabilities of breaking the ties that the salafi jihadi network has been able to establish with the local populations, the support of delivering to local communities, whether it is defense, water, school, or justice. we can counter that, and we can help our partners counter that. but we have not set the framework for them to do so. we have only set a military framework, so that is why think we need to change our entire approach to the problem.
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hi, just one point here. of dollars inons afghanistan and iraq building schools, roads, hospitals, utility systems, what appear fixation, etc. so we have not just done a military approach to it we have done a military and humanitarian approach, which seems to be wasted. maybe you can comment on that. ms. zimmerman: it has been wasted a lot, and i think it was misdirected when it started. the idea to not do nationbuilding, not to re-create the world in the image of the united states, but it is to remove the grievances. if the grievances that the avernment has not delivered school and al qaeda has delivered a school -- i can give you a case study at the village level -- we should be programming such that we compel
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the government of the state to deliver the school or to provide a substate actor with the ability to provide an education that is different from a madrasa -based education. this is not giving every afghan a cell phone. it is reducing the grievances, reducing the governance problems that are driving it. to do so and a stable fashion, it is the idea that one of the reasons why our aid in afghanistan was wasted is that we were not recognizing that we were building things that the afghans did not want or need, that they had fun a mental other asks on the table. -- they had fundamental other asks on the table. if we do not understand with the locals need, we do not have a grass-roots concept of what is on the ground, the grassroots concept that al qaeda has generated because it is on the ground, we will be putting in something they do not really want. spoke, what is very best
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very targeted assistance that we need to learn how to do, not just become better at. hello, my question is, you know, you talked about how saudi arabia does not sponsor terrorism as a country, but a lot of saudis do. my question is, these countries, are they turning a blind eye to their citizens or are they indirectly happy their citizens are doing what they cannot do themselves? ms. zimmerman: i think it is actually a makes, and i say that because certain interests -- i would say it is a mix, and that is because certain national interests are filled by the strengthening groups. the fact that saudi citizens were sending money to the syrian opposition was good for saudi arabia because it actually fed support to an opposition group aligned against iran.
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the problem is that saudi arabia, isis is an enemy for saudi arabia. al qaeda is a long-term enemy, although it seems to be an idea from al qaeda that if it is not attacked the kingdom directly, the kingdom will not attack it directly. saudi arabia is in a different position though, because they draw some legitimacy from a partnership with the wahabi doctrine, so there should be pressure on saturday be a as a goes through these reforms, as we are looking at the rise of a new regime in saudi arabia under the crown prince to started dressing the real problems that saudi arabia, as a partner, presents with the united states. wish and not give them a blind pass for what they are doing it we need to apply equal pressure on it to change, as the saudis
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apply pressure on the qataris to change. moderator: was go to the back first and then move up here. sectorrk in the private but have an interest in this subject. i came in late, so you might have discussed this. how do you make the argument to the country when we're in an environment with stretched resources, an environment where the country basically elected a president who campaigned on shutting off the border, specially people from that part of the country you are talking about, and they do not want to spend money on overseas efforts and want to focus resources on america it what is your argument to that group? resourcerman: our constraints are self-made. we spend a lot of money on domestic issues, welfare, etc., and we spend very little of that budget on the defense and our external operations. >> that is what people want.
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ms. zimmerman: yeah, well, as they rewards,aps of course, but it takes leadership to actually allocate it correctly. the other side of this is i think that the investments we make today in starting to stabilize and shape some of the world -- we cannot reset the clock and cannot bring it back to what it was in 2010 or even 2011, but we can shape it going forward. i think that investment today is going to be much less expensive than the military investment that we will face of the world order starts to collapse the way that it is, because our enemies are the only ones gaining at this point. russia has grown much stronger. putin has been an opportunist across the middle east. iran has been an powered. the iranian state is incredibly
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empowered with hezbollah inside of the assad regime, the fact that there are regular iranian military officers and units deployed to syria in a way they have never been deployed before. tactics from the russian military and building a force in the region. that is something we are looking at. of course, the substate actors, al qaeda and isis, are empowered by the conflicts going on. as americans, we face this those historically, too, it was a problem over there. we did not want to invest in hit was a problem over there. we did not want to invest in it. [no audio] and now we are addressing it. represent the public that a and you mentioned
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large part of the muslim world does not have to do anything with those organizations, but this large part stays relevant they do not take any action towards the extremist to stop so wecondemned them, mention ideology, but the book motivates people to kill, to raid, so don't you see that this is something we need to deal with to reform islam? to do something with that is back,created 1400 years and we keep saying it is ideology created -- no. isis, al qaeda and others, they are implementing the law exactly
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as it is written in the books, by theirs interpreted ,octrines, by their scientists so we need to look at this problem from different perspective, not only we need to deal with isis and al qaeda militarily. movementle, there is a that has been built over 200 schools and they are trying to spread islam in a different way, not by the horse or weapon of something -- not by the force or weapon of something, so how can we deal with this problem largely? thank you. ms. zimmerman: we can deal with the problem by setting the conditions where people are not looking for a violent solution. sharia, alat the qaeda and isis on forcing is the sharia is wrong. there are different
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interpretations of the koran that are legitimate. they are mainstream, and the sharia they are enforcing is hard to contest because of the what in the koran and calls out humankind for not being able to interpret what a because if youys do so, you are taking that divine authority under yourself. the real question to ask is why is that the problem? we have radical conservative christians who pursue a very similar line of effort. they, too, are minority and we don't look at christianity as a problem. all of these mainstream -- not mainstream -- all of the main religions have justification for the use of violence within them, but all of them, including islam, those individuals who
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believe violence is justified have been marginalized in minority over the years. their challenge today is ensuring that the popular base does not expand, that the base of support received today, which is not along ideological lines but along the offensive lines along the idea that if i permit al qaeda to use my territory, al qaeda will not attack. it might provide me with food or water or assistance, and that is why al qaeda -- that is why that minority group is becoming stronger. i think this is -- yes, the contest within islam to a degree, but it is manifesting itself in secular terms and conditions that state to state engagement can address. >> let's go -- question over here and then i have want to wrap it up. said that there
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is radical christians that use a religion from a violence, can you give an example? it sounds like you would directly comparing the fact that there are some percentage of christians embracing the same .ind of ideology we know the horrific things this part of islam is doing. thank you. ms. zimmerman: you can look at christians who went to africa to convert africans and they did so through violence. we can look at the united states where we do not brand them the same way. part of it is because i think we understand christianity here and islam seems foreign. i think this idea that it is all of the religion, it is not true because part of it is justified the religion and the root of the problem is within the doctrine, groups strength of these
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has not actually grown because of the ideology. it has grown because [no audio] >> if anybody would like to state and chat with some more her, you can do so, but historical context -- less than a year after the start of the iraq war in 2003, osama bin laden issued a missive to his lieutenants, where he talked about recognizing the media war was more than half of the fight in terms of hearts and minds and understanding how to spread the appeal of his organization' is ideology -- organization's ideology. you can make the case that the osama bin laden organization never did well in that.
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their spawn in many ways has been much, much better in terms of indicating their message, not only communicating horrific images we see on television, of the stoning of adulterers, or whoever, but have had a large and mostly unexplored positive message that has been indicated through youtube, twitter, to disenfranchise places about the need to join in with them to build a rightfully guided caliphate. we did not tackle this seriously in the last administration. we now have the opportunity, we are now -- part in the race -- kicking the tires on how to do counter messaging under the trump ministrations. what would your advice be?
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how would you incorporate a narrative about the broader movement into the messaging efforts the administration is trying to the together? i think that we need to be cognizant of the strategy isis is using against us now. what isis has talked about for the last three years is eliminating the gray space. isis wants to eliminate the idea you can be islam and stand by and watch. al qaeda did that, this goes back to small differences between al qaeda and isis' ideol ogy. isis believes itself to be the state, which means it must have the infrastructure to be the source of authority and colors population on the ground to recognize its authority. al qaeda was, is the small covert and guard and its vision was to always empower and facilitate the local movements.
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but coming back to what isis is doing, it is trying, particularly in europe, to create a sentiment where there is distrust among muslims and non-muslims, where muslims have to choose whether they're going to identify as a muslim or not. i think the fact that we are seeing attacks on mosques in response to isis-directed and inspired attacks is a worrisome sign, especially as it is coming over here. the counter messaging -- there is a lot the obama administration could have done in terms of counter messaging. mosulc state life in was terrible. it was nothing like what they had experienced and they had been living under this government for three years. it destroyed the city. it means we should have had a convoy to rebuild the city after
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the fall of mosul to deliver to the people at the islamic state had taken away from them. we are looking at counter messaging. the residence, i think, here today, in reference of joining the islamic state, the number of the global community, to send muslims worldwide, do with the united states is not doing for your people. here, thethe concept idea that there is a community that allah has united under his faith that he sees as a unified block that every muslim must work together to protect, and the fact that it is under attack, written large as a community inside of syria, suffering gross human rights violations, with little more than a consummation from the international community, if that, the fact that it is disrupted inside of yemen and
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elsewhere, that we are for the contest of what the future is worldwide is not clear to our politicians. and the reason why we are seeing individuals radicalizing, one of the reasons is the of given a call. they called to defend and an action to take, and isis as pushed it down to such where you can take an action, stab someone and tweet it in the name of isis. the isis, massive virtual community, will take it up. it will take it up and make you a monitor -- martyr. it is something that has made isis resident and something al qaeda number was because al qaeda did not want to to operate under its name without its authority because if you conducted an attack that isolated it from the population, if you killed a civilian, so the backlash we have seen against isis in terms of totality,
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targeting, treatment of individuals, al qaeda has tried to protect itself by not with that violence, recognizing that it will redefine who is fighting based on the situation. i think that the point of the message actually needs to be that the united states stands for something. we are not anti-isis. we stand for legitimate governance, the protection of human rights, we are against genocide, we are for the protection of the people, and god is the message that would -- and that is the message to use to counter isis. until we stand for something, there's nothing to rally people to our cause. >> guide is i think an excellent place to stop. -- that is an excellent place to stop. thank you for an enormously rich discussion about a topic that needs more elucidation in congress and discussion in the
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public sphere. joining me in thanking her. [applause] for those of you that are interested, can you report on this topic, which she was kind enough to bring me a copy, apparently in short supply, you can get it on the american enterprise institute website. as i said, for those of you onerested in following our radical islam, feel free to sign up on the sheets outside. we are happy to share with you our original publications and our future events. with that, thank you. the meeting is adjourned.
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>> in washington and elsewhere, more administration reaction to north korean military threats. jim mattis saying in part the dprk, north korea should cease in the series of actions that would be to the end of its regime and destruction of its people. north korea is expected to be the focus'todays state department briefing -- focus of today's state department briefing. we will have that live on c-span. north korea threatened u.s. bases in guam after president trump stated the u.s. would respond with "fire and fury." >> good morning the people of guam. i


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