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Adversary / Threat One man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter. Talk about (or with?) them.

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Old 02-17-2015   #201
Bob's World
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The greasegun is a super cheap .45 cal submachine gun developed by the US to arm revolutionary and resistance fighters with who's actions we thought would advance our interests. We did not radicalize those fighters, that had already been accomplished by the occupying powers and the illegitimate regimes established by those powers to support their agendas.

Point being, who gave this guy a weapon is interesting, but it doesn't have much to do with why he used it.
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"The modern COIN mindset is when one arrogantly goes to some foreign land and attempts to make those who live there a lesser version of one's self. The FID mindset is when one humbly goes to some foreign land and seeks first to understand, and then to help in some small way for those who live there to be the best version of their own self." Colonel Robert C. Jones, US Army Special Forces (Retired)
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Old 02-18-2015   #202
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The much-hyped White House CVE conference has led to many comments and one Tweet just saying it was a chaotic meeting!

Yassin Musharbash, a German-Jordanian, has a comment on an important aspect 'A few Thoughts on "Counter Narratives" and "Counter Messaging:
Quote:
....radicalization can be the result of frustration over not having been able to achieve anything through political activism. But that's not the case, apparently. What we see instead is that many of those who end up waging war in Syria have been radicalized at a dramatic speed. As if there had been a vacuum that needed to be filled as quickly as possible.

In fact, I think this is actually what happens. Many of those who radicalize do it because the ideology of Jihadism offers them simple and all-encompassing answers to all their questions and problems - and it instills them with a deep sense of purpose and meaning, something most other ideas on offer seem to be failing at.
Link:http://abususu.blogspot.de/2015/02/a...arratives.html

The official WH public statement:http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-...lent-extremism

Clint Watts asks 'What should we expect? More of the same or a new direction to counter ISIS?' and he ends asking for a few simple tools:
Quote:
... creativity, a credit card, and some film students.
Link:http://www.fpri.org/geopoliticus/201...7UfUE.linkedin

Two useful tables


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Old 02-19-2015   #203
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The ideology has been there for 15 years, but now suddenly 20,000 pack up and go.

Is it so hard to accept that it is the mission that is the draw, and not the message?

I think Western egos can accept that so many have been brainwashed, but can't accept that so many see the Sunni-Shia competition for influence as so incredibly vital with clear eyes and mind.

We need to wake up and clear our own eyes and minds as to the nature of the problem.
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"The modern COIN mindset is when one arrogantly goes to some foreign land and attempts to make those who live there a lesser version of one's self. The FID mindset is when one humbly goes to some foreign land and seeks first to understand, and then to help in some small way for those who live there to be the best version of their own self." Colonel Robert C. Jones, US Army Special Forces (Retired)
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Old 02-20-2015   #204
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob's World View Post
The ideology has been there for 15 years, but now suddenly 20,000 pack up and go.

Is it so hard to accept that it is the mission that is the draw, and not the message?

I think Western egos can accept that so many have been brainwashed, but can't accept that so many see the Sunni-Shia competition for influence as so incredibly vital with clear eyes and mind.

We need to wake up and clear our own eyes and minds as to the nature of the problem.
Bob,

The estimated 20,000 that have gone to Iraq / Syria to join the fighting and possibly many to Daesh (ISIS) should be compared to the flow of foreign fighters to Afghanistan in the Soviet era and to Bosnia-Herzogovina afterwards. I cannot now recall any reliable numbers.

A swift search found an article by Thomas Hegghammer. He estimated 5-20k in Afghanistan (1980-1992) and 1-2k in Bosnia (1992-1995). Another paper refers to 3-5k in Bosnia. See:http://belfercenter.ksg.harvard.edu/...n_Fighters.pdf

Personally I think many went in the early part of the Syrian civil war to defend fellow Muslims from a violent tyranny. Anecdote here is that the UK government's contradictory stance over Libya acted as a factor.

Is it the message that motivates the aspiring fighters to go, but after arrival it is the mission?

I have yet to read a study that estimates how many are with Daesh and non-Daesh groups.
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Old 02-20-2015   #205
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Default ICSR's Peter Neumann @ The White House Summit

ICSR have provided an abbreviated version of Peter R. Neumann remarks at the CVE Summit:http://icsr.info/2015/02/icsr-insigh...-house-summit/

He highlights three issues, cited in part:
Quote:
Parents are our strongest allies, they need to be helped and empowered.

The internet is the most powerful tool that ever existed for promoting ideas – good ideas and bad ideas. But right now, we’ve handed over that tool to the extremists.

There’s an uncomfortable truth for my European compatriots. However different the foreign fighters that my colleagues and I have found, what many, if not most of them, had in common is that they didn’t feel they had a stake in their societies. They sometimes felt that, because of who they are, how they look and where they come from, they weren’t part of us, that they’d never succeed.
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Old 02-21-2015   #206
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We need to appreciate the powerful effect of the identity-based populations that every person has. If a person identifies with some issue or cause, they become a member of a distributed population who also identify with that same issue. Each person is a member of literally thousands of these populations, and has their own priority for how they value these identities relative to each other.

The most important identities are those a person is willing to kill or die for. If I identify as a Sunni and prioritize identity I would reasonably see joining ISIS as a way to help preserve and advance issues critical to that identity. If I return home to perceived discrimination by my nation because i am a member of that Sunni population i have an internal crisis i must resolve. I will reasonably come to value my Sunni identity over my national identity (as most religious people of any ilk do).

This isn't voodoo magic or mass brainwashing - it is just common sense and human nature. None of that validates acts of terrorism, but when legal and less drastic approaches are either denied or ineffective in addressing the perceived grievances, people of every culture historically will ultimately act out.
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"The modern COIN mindset is when one arrogantly goes to some foreign land and attempts to make those who live there a lesser version of one's self. The FID mindset is when one humbly goes to some foreign land and seeks first to understand, and then to help in some small way for those who live there to be the best version of their own self." Colonel Robert C. Jones, US Army Special Forces (Retired)
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Old 02-22-2015   #207
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Default Nonsense about terrorism's 'root causes'

Well The White House CVE summit has set off a host of comments, Peter Bergen's piece for CNN for example:http://edition.cnn.com/2015/02/19/op...ses/index.html

Quote:
Indeed, New America has studied the backgrounds of some 250 U.S.-based militants since 9/11 who have been indicted in or convicted of some kind of jihadist terrorist crime. They are on average middle class, reasonably well-educated family men with kids. They are, in short, ordinary Americans....Post-9/11 research demonstrating that Islamist terrorism is mostly a pursuit of the middle class.

So if it's clearly not deprivation that is driving much Islamist terrorism, what is?
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Old 02-22-2015   #208
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The US founders were not deprived either, but they burned at the disrespect levied against them their fellow British citizens who officially and in practice deemed Colonists inferior due merely for where they were born.

They came to not recognize the right of a distant King and his Governors the Colonists had no say in the selection of to govern them.

This is not about money or religion, this is a fundamental human nature response to injustice and disrespect. Everyone needs to stop looking for ways to fix those who are acting out against governance, and instead ask what it is about that governance that is so provocative to the identity-based populations they are emerging from.
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"The modern COIN mindset is when one arrogantly goes to some foreign land and attempts to make those who live there a lesser version of one's self. The FID mindset is when one humbly goes to some foreign land and seeks first to understand, and then to help in some small way for those who live there to be the best version of their own self." Colonel Robert C. Jones, US Army Special Forces (Retired)
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Old 02-22-2015   #209
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davidbfpo View Post
Well The White House CVE summit has set off a host of comments, Peter Bergen's piece for CNN for example:
David,

We have perpetuated this myth to the point it is widely perceived as fact. We have done this for terrorists and insurgents by cherry picking comments from selected detainees or interviews with others, while ignoring the overwhelming evidence that people for fight the reasons Bob points too.

When we deceive ourselves and develop strategies to counter so called radicalization we end up developing plans based on false assumptions.

Providing jobs may or may not be a humanitarian act (it has been demonstrated our aid programs in the past have stunted economic growth in some countries) we want to pursue, of course we seem to forget that people want jobs that provide personal satisfaction, not working for pennies a day developing a road we're paying for.

Economic development is important for a lot of reasons, but we need to stop confusing it with the sole reason people take up arms.
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Old 03-14-2015   #210
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Default Two ladies in a Lebanese jail

Unusual report from the Lebanon:
Quote:
Armed with their black veils, open ears and expertise in forensic psychology, two young Saudi-raised Lebanese sisters spend hours each week tapping deep into the lives and minds of terrorists of the Islamic State (IS), al-Qaeda and other groups imprisoned in Lebanon's notorious Roumieh prison.
Link:http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/orig...h-prison.html?
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Old 04-08-2015   #211
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Default Is Flawed Terrorism Research Driving Flawed CT Policies?

A provocative article, which opens with:
Quote:
More than thirteen years after the U.S. intelligence community named the prevention of terrorism its number one goal, it seems to have little understanding of what drives terrorism, or how to counter it. And, if the recently increasing criticism is correct, the government’s investment in academic terrorism research isn’t helping. It may be because the government is continuing to fund research supporting discredited theories of terrorist radicalization, rather than objective empirical analyses.
Link:http://justsecurity.org/21823/flawed...rism-policies/

This is not a problem confined to the USA.

The short podcast with Arun Kundani is worth listening to.
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Old 04-26-2015   #212
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Default Here's What the Social Science Says About Countering Violent Extremism

This week the UN Security Council held an open session on radicalisation, amidst the official and academic speakers was Scott Atran, whose work has been cited on SWC before.

Link:http://www.huffingtonpost.com/scott-...b_7142604.html
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #213
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A new post about the :Myth of Radicalisation" (comment on article from Spike)

http://brownpundits.blogspot.com/201...alisation.html
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #214
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Earlier today I read a parallel article by Yahya Birt, a British Muslim convert, admittedly the catalyst being a recent, un-seen TV programme:https://yahyabirt1.wordpress.com/201...d-documentary/

Two passages:
Quote:
Former extremists dramatize their personal stories to overshadow all of our community’s multifarious and untold human stories to feed a dominant meme of the post-9/11 world: namely, that this complex geopolitical crisis is really all about maladjusted Muslim men.

(Ends with) We all really need to step back and have a more honest and searching debate if we are to have any chance of getting purchase on the perplexing and frightening problem of ISIS’s current success and appeal.
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