Trump, ISIS and Einstein
The president is about to get the same results
– – Wednesday, March 8, 2017
Bruce M. Lawlor, a retired U.S. Army major general, is a former member of the Homeland Security Advisory Council and chief of staff of the Department of Homeland Security. Kevin McCarty is a former naval officer and strategist who served under two presidents as a member of the National Security Council staff.
EXCERPT FROM THIS ARTICLE: THE NEW WAY
There needs to be an information component in the new ISIS strategy, one that meets head-on the issue of Islam being used to justify terrorist violence. The vast majority of Muslims are already with us in condemning hatred in the name of Islam, but there are still many who aren’t because a small percentage of 1.6 billion Muslims is still a lot of people. We need a political campaign to influence their ideas, to convince them that suicide vests and beheadings on the beach are not part of an answer to their problems.
The Pentagon can’t run such a campaign because it doesn’t know how, as it has proved time and time again. Ironically, it was George C. Marshall, one of our greatest generals, who understood that sometimes firepower is not the best option, and that solutions can be found outside of government, if one is willing to accept a different conceptual approach. That is what is needed here. The people who know most about how to change minds are not found in the federal government. They live in political campaigns, think tanks, advocacy groups, academia, and yes — Hollywood and the media. If you want to change people’s thinking, that’s where you go to find the men and women who can do it.
Julius Caesar went to Pontus (now Turkey) in 47 B.C. to make war on the king, and proclaimed “I came, I saw, I conquered.” President Trump went to Washington to make war on ISIS and met Albert Einstein.
Like Caesar, Mr. Trump wants to put a quick, decisive end to the barbaric “dirty rats” of ISIS, shorthand for the Islamic State. Unlike Caesar, he has to rely on others to devise a strategy that will kill his enemy. To do that, he’s ordered the Pentagon to come up with a new strategy.
It’s undeniably true that the United States needs a new approach to defeat ISIS. While President Obama issued press releases about drone attacks against individual ISIS leaders, the organization expanded into 31 countries and carried out or inspired terrorist attacks in Europe, the Middle East and the United States. Mr. Trump has wisely said we need to do something different. That’s where Albert Einstein comes in.