Thursday, January 21, 2016

Quotable: Choksy and Choksy on media portals and internet outreach

Jamsheed K. Choksy image from

Carol E. B. Choksy image from

Tuesday, January 19th 2016
“The basic problem, which the White House’s communication spin cannot surmount, is that Islamic terrorism is growing in scope rather than being tamped down.  So it’s time for a comprehensive strategy against those who resort to violence allegedly for Islam,” wrote Jamsheed K. Choksy and Carol E. B. Choksy in an article, “Time for a Comprehensive Strategy Against Islamic Terrorism in 2016,” posted on the Small Wars Journal website on January 11, 2016.  Jamsheed Choksy is Distinguished Professor of Central Eurasian Studies at Indiana Univesity.  Carol Choksy is adjunct lecturer in Strategic Intelligence and Information Management at IU.

According to the authors, the pillars of a “revised approach” include: 
--  “the war on terror must stop focusing upon one group at a time,”
--  “military actions should be expanded,”
--  “cash flows within terrorist-controlled areas must be shut down too,”
--  focus on “emerging” troublemakers,
--  “the countries that contributed most ideologically, fiscally, and socio-politically to the rise and spread of Islamic fanaticism must become central to ending it,”
--  “persuade Middle East rivals Saudi Arabia and Iran that inflaming sectarian tensions for religio-political goals is detrimental,”
--  “solutions to civil wars in the Middle East must tackle not only military dimensions but religious ones in order to endure.” 

Also, “the non-military counter-offensive against Islamic extremism needs to be taken worldwide.”  Here are a few bullets on the last point:

  • Reasonable compromises, balancing privacy rights and security concerns, could find solutions to the communication and application encryption which law enforcement agencies fear.

  • Extremist-affiliated media portals providing attack techniques should be taken down as soon as they appear.

  • Internet sites portraying Islamic terror organizations as principled should be taken over and redeployed with vivid images of how they distort Islam’s doctrines and practices to achieve radical goals.

  • Susceptible populations need to be ideologically inoculated via internet outreach against Islamist propaganda being trendy and Islamic terrorism being appropriate.

  • The dissemination of Islamic terrorism from its original repositories and its taking hold within new populations can be compared to the spread of diseases, with rates of transfer increasing exponentially due to the very same modern technologies—like air travel and the internet—that bolster positive aspects of globalization.

  • Both hard and soft power have to be deployed consistently from the air, on the ground, and through physical and virtual networks to take out terrorist hotbeds and remove pro-terrorist sympathies. The strategy must be multifaceted, adaptable, involve Muslims as fully-contributive partners alongside non-Muslims, and demonstrate unambiguous clarity of goals and premeditated allocation of resources.

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