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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  July 10, 2015 7:00pm-9:01pm EDT

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in order to teach something different, to deliver a different message. now, for me, looking at -- back to afghanistan and looking at the region in itself,coming out is the fear crisis may conduct operations in the region, whether in india or afghanistan. recently yesterday we saw a drone strike that killed approximately eight isis members and the leader in that region right now. there is a concern among u.s. intelligence officials that i have had the privilege to speak to, as well as pakistani officials. mostly their government denies isis'presence. that is not what i'm hearing
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from the region. that is not what i am hearing from the people. we have seen isis encroach in india as well. indian officials have been monitoring that carefully trying to garner recruitment and establish some kind of presence there. i think for lawmakers as well as those in the academic field the focus is right now on iraq and syria, and north africa, but we should not forget south asia is going to play an enormous role, and it also plays an enormous role in the eschatology, because it looks at the islamic state the belief. if you look at the hadid, and those are the writings of mohammed, and all -- one of the things he focuses are the ones on the end times. that is his main focus. part of the final batter is a per cursor -- precursor that'll
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that takes place in south asia. we are not going to get the final battle until the precursor battle actually happens. however that happens, it is definitely in baghdadi's plants, and something i think should not be a ignored and an area we should pay attention to. to wrap it up, a lot of people think the taliban may never merge with isis, that they are two centric to their own area. i should go you that taste on the investigations i have been conducting an research i have been doing, isis is working day and night to move recruits into their fold. and there is this conception that isis and al qaeda which is true now, are continuously butting heads.
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what i found to be interesting through the research was that baghdadi is preaching among his group, al qaeda and the islamic state, we have different ways of achieving things. that does not make us enemies. that is allah's will. so now is the time to look at what we have accomplished and join us. and the message is reaching people in the five top -- fatah. we see that it has been reaching and people have been joining them. this message is holding true to that. i believe that there'd definitely needs to be more focused in the south asia area when it comes to isis. i would be surprised of isis' rise in iraq and their ability to take territory from them and
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us and what we have tried to put in the iraqi and syrian regime. we should have our eyes on southeast asia because they could surprise us once again if we are not paying attention. thank you. [applause] >> i think it is amazing how we end up being surprised by the growth of crisis and al qaeda groups because we are not paying attention to what they are doing at the local level. i do not to rehash policy. i want to put out differences between what isis is doing and al qaeda believes it is doing, because fundamentally we cannot feet the threats from radical islam without tackling at isis and al qaeda. it does not make sense to defeat out qaeda in -- al qaeda in iraq and syria.
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it is doing well in areas where it remains strong. at the same time, we found focusing on al qaeda is leading into 2013 2014, allow for isis to go back and research -- re surge in iraq. it looks for local insurgencies to educate them, correct them, to enable them to be more -- than they would be at the local level, and bring together what they see as the muslim world under a unified banner fighting for this. they key difference is al qaeda does not see governments and state building at the immediate level as the priority. we see this in al qaeda documents where leaders have been told do not call your self a. if people called yourself estate people will take away
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your advantage to provide water, food, keep electricity running. what you should do instead is be effective in areas where you can, provide security when it is not there. provide water, goods services, a do not call yourself a state because that built expectations, and we are not able to fulfill that now. you saw al qaeda fail at this in yemen, mali, somewhat in somalia, but whenever it tried to replace the state, it failed. it is much more of a long-term vision insurgency. the reverse of that is al qaeda is not directly attacking states day in the way we see isis looking to break the iraqi state . al qaeda is looking to break the west first. it sees the objective as forcing the united states and other western partners to retreat from the region, and i will argue some degree it has been somewhat successful.
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isis has helped that. i think the unwillingness to become engaged in the counterinsurgency fights in north africa and the rest of the middle east region and also growing in south asia has enabled both isis and al qaeda to do well in the past couple years. it is looking to call everyone to islam. when baghdadi declared the caliphate, you saw reaction from the al qaeda leadership from north africa into south asia that said we support an islamic caliphate. we do not support the current islamic caliphate is it was not brought about in the right way. they point out that reasons why. but the animosity with isis is not over the fact it is isis. it is over the fact that al qaeda sees isis as doing this
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the wrong way. isis is killing other muslims, sunni and doing it at a publicly. al qaeda will assassinate an official do it off-camera in general. al qaeda incorrect eating the major exception and -- al qaeda in iraq being the major exception. the al qaeda network, despite that challenge from isis, have remained cohesive. we have not seen mass leaders effecting from al qaeda. we still have a strong and somewhat resurgent al qaeda network in north africa coming back. al-shabaab remains loyal to al qaeda. there are rumors that our shabbat will move to isis because of finance and it has not been successful in somalia and kenya with what is doing. aqap is doing quite well in yemen without being a part of isis.
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there are rumors aqap might go to isis. we saw a leader we pledge the group's leadership. he has put aqap back in the al qaeda pile. why am i arguing al qaeda is still doing well? it is not most eminent threat to the united states. i think al qaeda is an enduring threat, and isis has raised the bar for intervention in a way it is dangerous long term for us. there is now a level at which al qaeda can operate with relative impunity, because it is not isis. i mentioned the al qaeda islamic system. that group has remained focused on france. what we see is the resurgence of attacks in mali. mali is not that important to the united states, but aqim has
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facilitated movement of fighters across the region . that is a major boon to any organization that is trying to enter europe. they're looking at libya, and isis has a presence there. it has suffered setbacks in an area which was a flagship city is held in libya. i would argue one of the challenges isis will face in libya is libya is 99% sunni. isis has thrived in environments where there is a sectarian differences in the population. most sunni do not like living under isis role and they would find a softer hand, and al qaeda has a softer hand in this because it is not looking to build up a state, more acceptable. let's look at east africa. our shabbat has been said to be
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on the run. -- our shabbat has been said be on the run. it was the defect state. that is nonexistent anymore. it has been a success in that sense. al-shabbab has not been defeated. it is still exploiting the challenges in somalia and also once in kenya and growing in that sense as an insurgency, and will be able to exist as a threat to the united states. over the july for weekend, all -shabbab took back a series of military bases right south of mogadishu. we're looking to see al-shabbab resurgent in southern somalia as groups try to deal with the new federal government that is finally recognized that has no actual sovereigntyl
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i will look as that is group that will continue to exist. it will not be able to attack the homeland that we see from isis but it is an enduring threat because it has that east african, horn of africa, that it can access. finally, at yemen. i have been looking at yemen for 5 1/2 years, and conditions are so different that we saw in 2011. aqap has not declared an emirate in the south but it is currently governing one of, the port cities in eastern yemen and there is no one fighting it. the al qaeda fighters are there. it is nine-day r there. it is known dairy influential in the governance of the city.
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they stay in the shadows, except for the times we have had successful drone strikes against them. the other place where al qaeda is successful right now in yemen is tapping into the mass mobilization of occurring against the presidential connection. for those unaware, there is a major war being fought in yemen between powerful actors as to who controls the state. hutis being a group that are not representative of all shia in yemen, currently control the capital, and i would say contest the entire state of human. they progress -- of yemen. they progress quickly southward until you reach the sunni population of yemen.
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they are not seeing the fight today as sectarian. al qaeda is working alongside tribesmen facilitating the fight at an integrating themselves into the fight. this is similar to what -- did so successfully in syria, where now it is going to be near impossible to separate -- from the syrian opposition. al qaeda is trying to do that same thing in yemen. isis is probably strongest and yemen of all the places i mentioned, accepting what it is doing in libya. but is's capability is still limited. it is most -- it's most powerful demonstration of force is a campaign against al[-huti targets. it is trying to drive a sectarian war and the way it did in iraq. in many knees ---the involvement
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of the air campaign have created the conditions for saudi a arabian and around in proxy wars inside yemen, and it is being cast in sectarian trends and the region. here's a potential for isis to capitalize on it. i do not think that isis will find the same safe haven it has had in iraq and syria, but there is a potential. so rounding out, i want to underscore that in areas i have mentioned, we have forces fighting al qaeda, and they are not doing well, not wil nning. that is something we look to. this is something that we need to preprepared and fight for, a long-term more. thank you. [applause] >> thank you to all the
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panelists. i think that was an excellent discussion framing the terrorist threat we face and i am glad we have had this discussion because if you look at this on the face of it, you think al qaeda is competing with isis, is itt is good for u.s. policy. it is feeling them both to be more brutal and there, edition with each other. unfortunately, this is not playing to our favor at the moment. if there was a battle royale between both groups, showing off each other, that would be a benefit. right now what we see is more of a competition. if you look at the establishment of al qaeda in the indian subcontinent, which was announced last fall, it was an effort to directly compete with the message that was coming from
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isis. i notice that around 121 aqis were arrested this week. i would like panelists to address inroads in south asia. what sara said is really important. even the right now, they are competing. the taliban is clearly not happy with isis trying to set up camp in afghanistan. a leader issued a letter telling them to back off. i think crisis realizes it cannot replace the taliban as a major fighting force in afghanistan right now. the taliban is to established in the region. but will they try to make common cause with the taliban? will we see emerging together of the two?
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this would be very dangerous for the u.s. if speakers could address that issue, because i think what we heard from dr. gorka is isis is the graduate level. but does this hold up when you're looking at afghanistan? the taliban has been able to continue to fight there after 14 years. the taliban still has swa in thatay in that region. it will not be that easy for us is to make inroads. if you look at how the idea of peace talks lays into this. on tuesday the taliban engaged in peace talks with the afghan leadership in pakistan. what is their calculation? on the one hand, maybe the taliban would favor peace talks
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because the afghan security forces turned their guns on the isis camps in afghanistan. on the other hand, this could cause greater dissension in the taliban. those leaders who do not support talks will have more of a reason to defect to isis. we are in a state of flux with regard to isis and the taliban. i would like to hear the panelists comment, what they think, how they see this moving in the future. mr. gorka: the ladoieies are the experts on the ground. let me share a macro expecto perspective. think of soft drinks for the second. for 14 years, al qaeda was that readd can with the white logo.
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it was coca-cola. it dominated the jihadi brand. and then two years ago this little upstart breaks out, and it is a kind of tab cola. most of you are too young to remember tab cola, but it is a junior cook. in the space of less than two years, it is isis that has become coca-cola. that is what we are talking about. do not focus on individual groups. focus on who has successfully become the ideologically brand leader, because today it is the islamic state that dominates the narrative. i hate the narrative, but let's use it. it dominates the international narrative. today, al qaeda is relegated to being the offbeat coke of
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coca-cola. now they have the question of can they swallow the bigger pill of seeing their upstart cousin now being the brand leader him and him i going -- and am i going to say i'm going to stay outside, or tried to call my weight back? i do not have the social media capabilities, but i will do it anyway. will they say one day ok, if you cannot beat them, join in. that is the decision we are hearing them make. on the ground there will be competition, but right now the brand leader with that shiny red can is isis. >> i think you brought up a point. if you look at baghdadi, his relationship with with osama bin laden, he respected him. he exalted him. it was not that he looked at bin laden as a threat to what he was creating. they had disagreements.
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on how they were going to achieve kind of the same goal. it was really just in the first phase of the war against the west. i mean, everybody knows this line. zarkawi, the reason he never pledged to al qaeda because he was trained to, believe they got to take down the nation state those countries like saudi arabia and shorten who were working diligently with the west , and with israelis, and who have these relationships that were anti-muslim, that they were not connected. abaghdadi with say why do need a passport to travel to egypt if you are a muslim? we should be one state. so then, and you had bin laden who was, ok, this guy i respect
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him, he and i can work together. for some time until the passing and when the baton was passed, to zawahiri, i think and from what i have been learning, baghdadi was this guy is completely different. we do not need to deal with him. he does not allow us to go out to the shia. they are the heretics. if you look at the writings of faces, they do not even use the word shia. they use the word heretic. it's like they do not even exist. all of their writings already seemed like they won. they talk about this grand future in the sense in the present tense. not in the past, not any hopeful sense. so when you think about the message that he is delivering inside south asia, he is saying, look, i am not opposed -- in
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fact, he respected the taliban. if you do not delve into baghdadi he thought that taliban to the most marvelous job. they stood up against the west, the united states. the u.s. came in. osama fled from tora bora. and the taliban never back down not even to pakistan. so he delivered the message that is appealing to them. they do not want to give up their power. i believe likely the possibility of saying ok let us sustain our kingdom here. and then maybe we can work together. in the common purpose being to push the west out, to push nato outcome to reestablish and and merit in afghanistan -- an emira te in afghanistan and basically go after the peace talks, the
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pakistani government, which the taliban really has no time for. these peace talks are just to fill in a void, in my opinion for them to buy time. that is my opinion on this. lisa: i would like to open the floor to our audience. if you have a question, please raise your hand. if you could state your name and affiliation and then ask your question. he have somebody right here in the middle. -- we have somebody right here in the middle. >> hi. i am when in defense of christians. my question, you mentioned that the airstrikes are really doing nothing,. so in your opinion, how should the united states look to address the kurds who
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are the most effective in fighting isis? mr. gorka: i am impressed with the kurds. very impressive. they are not going to defeat isis. you hear a lot of -- there is a lot of clamoring on the hill to make the kurds the silver bullet. i have heard people tell me it is 100% sure that kurds will wipe out isis in non-kurdish territory. that is a fantasy, and under pipe. the kurds will fight to the death on kurdish territory or territory they think is kurdish. they are part of the solution, but not the solution. the only solution is that the various constituent elements of
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iraq is a be the whoever, have to really why into the idea of iraq -- buyuy into the id of correct. it is a political challenge. it is an attachment to their country, to the bit they stuck on the edge of the house. so we have to be part of the political solution that convinces them iraq has a future, and i do not think despite the sectarian history and the blood feud or revenge it is not a hard argument to make on one foundation. if you really take emotion out of the equation, there is not one actor in iraq who by themselves can defeat isis. it is a fact. i do not care who you are,
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whether you are a good sunni, a shia. \ by yourselves you will not defeat faces. and only by coming together and that happen. but it has to happen without troops embedded as advisors, because that is the reason that -- fell. 900,000 on paper. a couple of thousand guys took mosul. we had no embeds. we were there to shame them. shame and honor. if there is nobody there to be embarrassed about you running home, you will run home dear your try because that is the entity that has protected you best the last 200 years.
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we have to sell the concept of the functioning iraq. we have to jettison once and for all -- i know it is apocryphal lly an arab, but the idea that my enemy is my friend is complete hogwash when it comes to iraq. the idea that karen, because they are killing sunni extremists are our friends, you have to be smoking some become and is not tobacco to believe that. lisa: ok, we have a question over here. >> yes. i'm with the 21st century wilberforce initiative. i am wondering if the panel could speak to understanding this i delay knowledge be here indr. gorka you mentioned how the narrative of information for wharf where we are putting out is completely insufficient to combat what isis is doing on
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social media. how can the narrative be better influenced to counteract that? is it going to require educating people any very secure context that cosmology teleology eschatology are still important and they are important in this situation? mr. gorka: buy the book. how many theologians does the pentagon have? i do not mean chaplains. i mean theologians who understand the enemy threat doctrine of groups like isis. it is about the same number of the number of insurgents defeated by our power alone. how do we address it? you really hit a crucial question. with the political elite on both aisles, both sides of the house that sees itself as a modern, postmodern, secular, and sophisticated, it is hard to take religion seriously. and one thing i have learned
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working with people who have had multiple tours in theater is if you do not have religion i do not care what it is, i do not care if it is his own seventh-day adventists, if you do not have religion, you will never understand this. you will not be able to absorb the concept of suicide bombing the logic of suicide bombing. we have to take political distortion out of the intelligence cycle, tug about the enemy as they took about themselves. cannot win a war of ideas of as you begin to understand how the enemy thinks about themselves. and if they say i am a holy warrior, realizing the sovereignty of my -- on this earth, if you say he is a disenfranchised person who needs a job, you will never get a
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strategy out of it. let's start by reading what the enemy says. the most important writer in the muslim -- read abdullah azam, the real creator of al qaeda the man who issued a fatwa who said jihad is an obligation of all believers, because we have no longer a caliphate, you must the company holy warrior. if we do not read these things we will not win this war. and allowing politics to get interact understanding of the enemy is and can -- akin to in 1944, as we were about to deploy on omaha beach, the normandy grannies, the generals in
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england having the troops getting on the transports, do not say the word nazi. you must understand what mobilizes the enemy. let's take politics out of it. let's talk about religion. we do not have to go declare war against islam. we have to be honest. who are the majority of victims of isis? is not christians and jews. in many theaters ist is sunnis. the lieutenant that what religion was he? he was a sunni burnt to death. let's start about -- and i will close -- the most amazing chapter in this book ulph, a walking genius on ideology. it is a tough chapter to read. he identified what is the key
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vulnerability of everybody we face today. it is not matter whether it is hamas isis. the key is their claim to authenticity. their statement that they are the best muslims and their fighting to protect islam. if they are the best museums you do not emulate jordanian fighter pilots. on what basis? the local sunnis have to destroy it with our assistance, but we have to start. the 15th year of the war might be a good time to start. lisa: thank you. write down here in the front. -- right down here in the front. >> i would like to draw my question out of three books rul ers of evil, operation --and an
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authoritative comic book that speaks about the history of islam. to draw on yourr analogy if we look at a broad historical context, leaving christianity aside, the roman church and islam is equivalent to coke and pepsi, it is good to have an enemy. argument can be made that the papacy was very much involved in the creation of islam and that the trying of arabs to mohammed 1500 years, it was good for each side to have an enemy than everyone gravitates toward one side and another. lisa: question? >> can anyone speak to the relationship between the papacy and the development of islam expansion and contraction and the entering into of -- between the vatican and islamic
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interests? lisa: i would take the privilege. one of the things that both al qaeda and cases is trying to do is make this into a religious war. i think the best thing we can do to counter that narrative is make sure we are not blaming the entire religion of islam for what is happening. i think what is happening in terms of the violence and terrorism we are seeing, these people see themselves as muslims and they are using religion of islam. it would be a mistake if we would equate the one billion-plus muslims in the world as equivalent as to what is being represented by ounces and al qaeda. i will stop. does anyone want to comment? mr. gorka: i will not address
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this. lisa: do we have another question? right in the back. >> i want to take a moment to thank our great panel speakers. i specialized in radicalization and looking at what other countries have been successfully or not so successfully. overall, our penalty stressed issues ideology and strategy. if you could serve as an advisor, what are three points you would suggest for u.s. strategic responses when it comes to u.s. ideology and threats? when we look at other countries have addressed issues of extremism, countering violent extremism, radicalization, where countries have used counterterrorism and methods successfully. thank you.
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lisa: katherine, you have anything to say in terms of what is happening in africa, whether african governments are supporting the u.s. in terms of radicalization efforts in these countries? ms. zimmerman: we have outsourced for decision-making to partners who may not have the same of vision as to what a successful outcome is. here i am thinking about the case in somalia where we rely heavily on kenya. saudi arabia, whose actions in yemen could be said to be in flaming the conflicts there and algeria, who's interested in protecting its borders and only its borders and the terrorist threat that resides inside its borders. those of the first challenges, taking ownership of the problems
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these countries base and helping them understand their actions are driving the issues. the second is recognizing the al qaeda threat, isis threat, they are insurgencies. we are hearing them described as terrorist relations. terrorism is only a tactic they use. the american partnership directly with the central state which is sometimes driving the grievances, is not always the most beneficial one. it is hard to work around. we cannot be going around a governing state within a sovereign territory. it is something we need to become this of of as we pursue our partners and pursue that counterterrorism counterinsurgency relationship. we need to recognize our action inside and outside different theaters they concretely to these -- play concretely to
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these in individuals. as we moved to protect the yazi dis. we have set ourselves up to say we are trying to fight isis , but we are only coming to the rescue of certain individuals and that is not playing well in a sight that is sectarian in the middle east, and we are seen as fighting only the sunni and not protecting the moderate sunni that would otherwise look to the united states for support. the three major changes i would like to see compound of the discussions we have seen going on for the past couple months. >> i think katherine has such a great point there. if you state the issue of the
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radicalization, or the ideal edgy that you could -- ideology that you could turn into coca-cola right before your eyes. nobody is focused what is happening on the ground, nobody has been able to exploit what baghdadi is doing, because in all honesty we ignored it. in all honesty, nobody knew who to talk with in syria, who are the right players. we were fumbling around, trying to figure things out. as badghdadi was on the rise. you see the disenfranchised sunni reaching across their hearts, it grabbed them, and we ignored it. just cannot happen again, you know? they were the j.v. team.
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nobody wanted to pay attention to what was happening on the ground. and u.s. intelligence, as well as european intelligence officials, as well as iraqis who were on the ground, were warning over and over again that something was coming, and nobody wanted to listen. it did not fit the narrative. it does most of us are exhausted of us did not want to see another 10 years in the region. and i think you cannot ignore ba that narrative anymore. the reality is we are in, for my own expressed on the ground and from what i am seeing, we are not going to be stuck in a long drawnout battle, and it is not just one that is going to be a military battle. it is an ideological war, that is going to require us reaching out to not just specific players, not just hoping we can find a quick solution to wrap this up, but reaching out to everyone, including sunnis.
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so the people like baghdadi, there will be something else -- someone else who will rise who will not have the kind of power to do what he has already done again. mr. gorka: i am a child of the cold war, so that is my socialization, and i miss it immensely. and i think we can learn a lot from the cold war. the first thing we have to do is we have to really aggressively support all those very brave sunni reformers that we are not helping at all. there are some very brave people in the middle east and north africa who they in and they ar out who are writing they are distorting muslims, how
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democracy and jihadi cannot function together. these are the people that america does not touch because we do not deal with this because it is not a religious war. in the cold war, we supported dissidents aggressively. we have to do this now because they are on the front lines and we need to do this well. we do push back against propaganda. i write to now, the state department has 11,000 followers. there is one turkish woman who has 1.3 million followers. that is one woman. so we have to be tedious about our response, and i recommend an incredible model from the end of the cold war called the active users working groups, a tiny organization with congressional staff, the active measures
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working group that targeted soviet propaganda and do it out of the water. national defense university has a good online's dougie. go -- a good online study. lastly, we need to ditch complete irrelevant concepts such as counter radicalization. it is a band-aid on a chest wound. counter radicalization is the equivalent to denazification. when can you do that? when we won. counter radicalization is a small activity that does not address the ideological force of the enemy you are facing. we need to support people like king abdullah ii, president
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sisi. president sisi is the number one target. how many people in this room know on january 1 this man walked into the vatican of sunni islam. it has a vatican. you walk in there with all the important a lot jens of islam in there, and he said gentlemen you have got to help me execute a religious revolution to take down the jihadis, because they are stealing our religion. what happened in d.c. when he said that? crickets. that is the only way we will win but, by supporting local reformers at the grassroots level and national level and not treat them like pariahs because they used to wear uniform. lisa: i hope what sarah has said
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about iraq and how we were not paying attention i can only hope it is a lesson for afghanistan and that the white house will get away from this idea that we have to put timelines on withdrawal and drop the timelines, keep residual forces in afghanistan and as long as we need to. so hopefully, there has been something learned by the fact that we have pulled all forces out of iraq, perhaps a little more quickly than we should have. i'm not saying we need to be fighting everywhere on all fronts, but we certainly can afford to keep u.s. forces embedded in countries where the threat is greatest and were the partners need our advice training equipment and those issues. there is a question in the back. >> hi.
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conversations in afghanistan are really great. thank you very much. i have a point, coming from afghanistan and being a witness of what has been happening i believe there is a big difference between two generations. as sara said, american people are exhausted of the war. afghan people are also exhausted of two decades of war. we need to find the right people to build strong relationships so that we can defend against terrorist groups that are rising. there are so many people who will work toward supporting democracy and human rights and
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workers rights. my question is, how can the united states and the international community in general can cope with the right people on the local level to fight or to stand against the growing extremists? sara: i am so happy you are here. she is an example of a strong afghan woman, which we never see in the united states. we see the stories that afghan women who have been maimed or harmed or forced into their -- to never see the outside world. she stood up and fought for the rights of afghan women during karzai's passage of the sharia laws and she is quite someone. she is an example -- she is not
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an anomaly. she is an example of muslim women and muslim men all across the world that i have met who i believe we have ignored, and we're not reached out to. and who can make the greatest difference for our nation and who can help find and establish peace. and i think her point -- i think you are right, you have to question that, whether we do. i think we need to make thou onion efforts as people -- to make valiant efforts as people, academics, to reach out to our muslim friends overseas, the families the people, especially women and children, and build those relationships so we do not end up the way we have ended up today, in battles and the kind of slaughter that she has had to
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witness and many people around the world are dealing with every day. lisa: i think the u.s. will have to engage with the civil societies of these nations. that is the key for moving forward. anymore? -- any more? ok over here. >> i was a student in the soviet union, and i recalled one of the soviet students once praising stalin. i asked her, didn't he also kill a lot of people? she replied what do you do with people who are opposed to revolution? of course, you kill them. i objected to british students who have not been exposed to that alternative idea. i can understand the struggle, presenting an alternative idea, where people have not been exposed to the other idea. with regard to the islamic state, even zawahiri denounced
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the islamic state. and yet people are choosing to go with the more savage.you mentioned the mastery of savagery. they are choosing to go even though they know the alternative. that is what i have difficulty understanding. mr. gorka: we have to be careful. one of our biggest sins should tediously is when we mirror image. i was asked by an audience recently, how can this be going on? how can the people who are putting up with decapitation, cause they are shot in the head because they are not wearing a face veil? do not impose your categories upon the population that may not share those categories. remember to say i would love to live a thousand years under dictatorship under a year -- instead of a year under a
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democracy. that is a phrase i heard in afghanistan while i was there. it may make us qualified, but we have to understand what is the context of that savagery? is it like the person you met in the soviet being? they do not count. that is the only way you can kill 8 million ukrainians, by saying they are not human. we have to start with the very essentials. what are the categories of that culture? what are they used to? what are the motivations? we get ignored if the wifi in our hotel is not fast. that is not the definition of governance in the fatah region, and we think it should be. maybe an hour a day would be
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impressive. it is shocking to us, but let's step back, take off our skins try to understand it in their contacts, and then we will see why savaging worse because not to be human, if i would not even use the word shia, anything is possible, but that does not we cannot degrade their message. what gives baghdadi the right to be a caliph? we do not know if he is a -- it is a requirement to be a caliph. that would hurt him a lot. you are not a -- you have declared yourself a caliph? most people do not know that they have to be a -- i'm not a social scientist.
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lisa: we have time for one more question. let's see here. this is your first question, right? right here in the middle. i am sorry, the rest of you can ask afterwards. >> i am from george washington university. to continue the discussion on the ideological mother is an article calling ideational balancing. he writes the islamic state's effort to project this power triggered defensive reactions from threatened regimes that play out in the religious public space. the risk is that you are attending to out-islam islamists. these regimes will move the terms of combat further and more deeply into the islamic state's preferred that a foothold. if you look at saudi arabia, where they have an extreme form
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of islam that is essential to the identity of the regime. if you look at sisi trying to revolutionize islam, places like georgia where they are changing their flank. how do you win the battle of ideas without moving the terms of debate on the battlefield but that is preferred by the atomic state? -- by the islamic state? mr. gorka: a superlative question. you cannot win this war -- because the ideology of global jihadistsm is tied to the texts and is tied to the printable of application. the violent passages of the koran, from the later periods that were revealed by mohamed. it is a contradiction in the koran must abrogate the
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earlier ones. this plays into the jihaadidi hands. what do we know about his life? it was violent at the end. the principle of application will always it if it jihadis. that is why i mentioned sisi and abdullah. it has to be a politically driven thing. we need the aptitude model. whatever you think of turkey today, the turkish state was muslim and stable and functional. the way we understand this for turks. -your president and i will second lori's politics. -- and i will secularize politics. i will segregate like the
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founding fathers segregated america. it is a battle that has to be fought on the political arena, saying islam is compatible with your vanity, but you have got to separate religion from politics as the west has done. that is the only way we are going to binwin lisa: that will focus on each individual nationstate. it be each individual nation. lisa: i think that is a great note to end and i hope you will join me and applauding a very excellent panel. thank you. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2015] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute,
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which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] announcer: this week we learned about lucretia garfield. lucretia garfield was an educated woman and a believer in women's rights. her husband was assassinated, she returned to ohio and in short his legacy by making their home into a version of a presidential library. chester author becomes president, and his sister fills the role of first lady. she establishes one social etiquette. this sunday night at 8:00 eastern on "first ladies:
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influence and image," from martha washington to michelle obama, sunday at 8:00 p.m. eastern on >> next, the ceremony in south carolina removing the confederate flag from the statehouse grounds. then a discussion on islamic extremism. after that, josh earnest talks with reporters about the resignation of the office of personnel management director and other news of the day. >> with the crowd chanting usa south carolina highway patrol officers removed the confederate h carolina statehouse. governor nikki haley was in attendance. she signed the bill into law on thursday to remove the flag. with her work family members of the nine people shot and killed inside the historic african-american church last month in charleston.
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this is about 10 minutes. [cheering]
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>> [all] usa! usa! usa! usa! usa! usa! usa! usa! [cheering]
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>> [all] hey hey goodbye. na-na-na na-na-na, hey hey hey goodbye. na-na-na na-na-na, hey hey hey, goodbye. [cheering] [applause]
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[cheering] >> [all[] usa usa usa usa usa, usa usa usa usa usa!
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[cheering] >> on the next washington journal, usa today alan gomez talks about u.s. immigration policy and the so-called sanctuary cities. the president of the foundation for defense of democracies and matthew spence, cofounder of the truman national security project, examine several of the foreign policy situations facing the obama administration, including iran and efforts to defeat the islamic state.
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as always, we will take your calls and you can join the conversation on facebook and twitter. washington journal live every day at 7 a.m. eastern on c-span. now a discussion on the ideologies and expanding threats of isis, al qaeda and other terrorist groups in the middle east, africa and asia. and u.s. and global efforts to counter these groups. from the heritage foundation this is about 90 minutes. john: good afternoon. welcome to the heritage foundation. of course, welcome those who join us on our heritage.org website as well as the c-span network. ite as well as the c-span network. we remind everyone online and on the network that questions or comments can be sent to us at any time, simply emailing
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speaker@heritage.org. we will of course post the program on the heritage home page following today's activities. and the last task for those in-house is to please check that cell phones have been silent as a courtesy to our speakers as well as those recording the event. hosting our discussion today is lisa, who is our senior research fellow for south asia and our asian studies center. she focuses on america's economic security and political relationships, specifically with pakistan, india afghanistan and the other nations of south asia. she's served on the senate foreign relations committee and been a senior advisor in the state department south asia bureau, served at the central intelligence agency as a political analyst on south asia and for a period of four years was also in the political officer to the beamsies in islam bad and new delhi -- islamabad and new delhi. please join me in welcoming
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lisa curtis. lisa. [applause] lisa: thank you, john, and thank you all for joining us today for the program. a view from the front lines of islamist u.s. is, perspectives on terrorism -- insurgency, perspectives on terrorism and the middle east and asia. terrorists massacred 3 tourists in tunisia, attacked a factory in southern france, beheading the owner, and conducted a suicide attack at a kuwaiti shi'ite mosque, killing 25. while these event mace not have been directly connected they're indicative of the pervasiveness of the terror threat that we face today. the most immediate threat stems from the rise of the islamic state in iraq and syria. and the phenomena of foreign fighters in which muslims from around the world are flocking to syria to fight with the islamic state. the state department terrorism report that was released in april highlighted the fact that
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there were 16,000 foreign fighters from over 90 countries that had joined in the fight in syria. exceeding the rate of foreign fighters that had gone to afghanistan, pakistan, iraq, yemen and somalia in the last 20 years. and although the u.s. has degraded core al qaeda leadership in pakistan's tribal areas, we still face an al qaeda threat. it has evolved, we face more of a threat from al qaeda affiliates throughout the middle east and north africa. and here i would like to note a heritage foundation publication from four years ago titled "a counterterrorism strategy for the next wave" which drew attention to this evolution of al qaeda. and this report came out at a time when the white house was trying to down play the global terrorist threat and diverting resources from that fight. so in that report we call on
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the administration to step up the fight, to be proactive and develop a strategy that matched the evolving strategy of the terrorists. one major question is what does the rise of isis mean for the future of al qaeda? what is the impact on u.s. policy given that these groups share the same deadly anti-west ideology? for now they're competing for ideological influence and financial resources. but is it possible that they might merge in the future? or will one subsume the other? so the answer -- to answer these questions and discuss other important issues, we have a very distinguished panel of experts with us today. first, we have dr. sebastian. he currently serves as the major general matthew c. horner distinguished chair of military theory at the marine corps university. previously, he was a associate
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dean of congressional affairs in relation to the special operations community at the national defense university. a graduate of the university of london and former fellow at harvard's kennedy school of government he's an associate fellow with so com's joint university and an adjunct professor with georgetown university. he's also a regular instructer with the special warfare center and school in fort bragg and for the f.b.i.'s counterterrorism division as well. he's tested before congress and he's also briefed on several occasions the c.i.a., odni and nctc. then we have ms. sara carter. sara's an award-winning investigative reporter whose storied have ranged from national security and terrorism to ground breaking immigration coverage. formerly with the los angeles news group the wyoming and the washington examiner, she spent the past year working along the southwest border covering national security for the hit tv documentary "for the record." she's now a senior reporter
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with american media institute. sara spent more than seven months in afghanistan and pakistan since 2008. she has won awards for her work on afghan women and children addicted to opium in afghanistan and she's also imbeded with u.s. troops on afghanistan's border with pakistan as well as traveled to pakistan's tribal areas with the pakistan army. she's the recipient of two national headliner awards, one for a story on a child born into the mexican mafia, and another for a multiple part series called beyond borders that involves ground breaking investigations on immigration and national security. our third panelist, last but not least ms. catherine zimmerman. catherine's a research fellow at the american enterprise institute and she's the lead analyst on al qaeda for a.e.i.'s critical threats project. her work is focused on the al qaeda network, particularly al qaeda in the arabian peninsula
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and al-shabab, which is al qaeda's affiliate in somalia. ms. zimmer-mass -- ms. zimmerman has testified before congress about the threats emanating from al qaeda and she's briefed members of congress, their staff and members of the defense community. so with that i'm going to turn the floor over to our first speaker, dr. gorka. [applause] dr. gorka: good morning ladies and gentlemen, or good afternoon. it's a real pleasure to be back here at heritage, an institution that's always a real pleasure to speak at. today, for truth in lending, i'm not going to address the topic. because i'm not coming back from the front lines. this was advertised as an assessment from the front lines. i'm going to tell you what the people who have been to the front lines have told me. i work very closely, as you heard, with our green berets,
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members of the intelligence community and our marines. and i'm going to report to you a very abbreviated summary of special -- especially of the work that we've been doing for uusoc. in the last two years we've supported commanding general charles cleveland whose just retired as the commander of the green berets, and we've compiled two reports on the use of irregular warfare by groups like isis, but also a nation state actor such as iran and russia. and also a very in depth study on the central gravity of isis. i'm going to talk to you very briefly about those reports and also the doctrine, the strategy that isis is following on the ground today. so what is the current threat environment? the current threat environment is a very, very ugly one. whether you are a christian
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girl in nigeria, kidnapped against your will because of what you believe whether you are aia zitty hounded up a mountain topped by isis or someone somewhere in syria and iraq who got on the wrong side of isis and had to be crucified or whether you're one of these poor wretches who was decapitated recently or the unfortunate lieutenant of the royal air force. this is your reality. and it isn't just, of course, a reality thousands of miles away with all the current cases that the f.b.i. director has admitted we are investigating in america. this is very much a threat to the united states as well. so, let's go straight to the analysis of isis. this is the report that we have compiled for general cleveland. if you want to have a copy, we have permission to release this now. you will see my email at the end of my presentation and
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we'll be glad to share this with you. what's the baseline analysis? the baseline analysis, this is all unclassified, is very simply based upon four metrics, isis is much more dangerous than al qaeda. i am not going to tell you a.q. is dead. far from it. far from it. i'm very glad we have somebody here to talk about a.q. but isis is a graduate-level threat. this is far more dangerous than al qaeda for four reasons. number one it is its own self-generated fully fledged transnational insurgency. al qaeda, in all the places where it existed in the last 14 years, was a parasitic terrorist organization that attached it self to indigenous insurgencies, whether it was al-shabab in somalia or whether it was the taliban in afghanistan, it did not generate its own mass base of mobilization as a true mooist insurgency should or one that follows mao's rule book for mobilization. isis is different. isis is its own self-generated insurgency. and of course the big difference between a terrorist group and an insurgency is that
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an insurgency holds territory in daylight. and this we know now, isis holds more territory than the territorial expanse of the united kingdom. it is a graduate threat. more importantly, what we don't talk about, it is the world's first transnational insurgency. not just international all insurgencies are to a lesser or greater extent international with foreign support or foreign fighters this is one that operates and holds territory in at least three countries. in the 20th century, insurgencies were always about one thing. taking control of the country within which the insurgent group was established. whether you're mao in china or in colombia. this is different. isis has much greater -- grander ambitions. it wishes to create a global caliphate. next will be jordan and saudi arabia and on and on and on. with boko haram's act of feelty -- feelity now boko haram territory in nigeria is
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also under the control of the caliph. this is stunning that we have one insurgency that controls territory in more than one nation in the middle east and now also west africa. second, completely open source, it is the richest threat group of its type in human history. let's just leave out the elicit oil sale through turkey, the sale of antiquities, the kidnapping and everything else. just look at two events in the last year. after the second raid by isis on the iraqi national bank, isis netted $823 million in cash. $823 million. if we look at the 9/11 commission report which did the financial forensics of that attack 9/11, the whole operation, from safe houses to student visas, to flight school training, cost $500,000. that means that isis has the equivalent at least in cash of 1,600 9/11's. should they wish to do that, that is a very large threat.
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thirdly, as c.j. cleveland -- c.g. cleveland has used the word staggering, which i agree, the recruiting capacity of high sis is mind boggling. you just heard that we have figures that if in historic perspective, we have never seen before. 19,000 foo foreign fighters in nine months. these are the kind of figures that al qaeda had wet dreams about. and isis made it a reality and they're keeping on this drive to recruit. lastly, most important of all, in the macro of strategic context, is the declared caliphate successfully. al qaeda never did. the taliban's pathetic little caliphate was never a caliphate. this is a real caliphate. for 90 years, since the disillusionment of the ottoman empire, they've been demanding a rere-establishment of the caliphate, whether muslim brotherhood, this is the only group that has successfully done it. this puts it at the pinnacle of
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the extremist islamist threat. lastly, unfortunately, it has no peer competitor. unfortunately everybody in this room knows it's very easy to estimate, the number of insurgencies defeated by air power alone since the invention of air power is exactly zero. thank you. air power prepares the ground for ground troop wloss take back the territory. therefore we will never defeat isis. with air strikes. somebody has to take the ground back. i'm not saying the 82nd airborne has to deploy tomorrow, but somebody has to. egypt, jordan, the iraqis themselves, the kurds. but somebody has to contest that soil. so why is isis so successful? well, a lot of it has to do with its name. in d.c. we have a childish argument is the islamic state of iraq in syria or the levant? both of those are wrong. when you do your intelligence preparation of a battlefield,
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you start with what the enemy calls themselves. you're not permitted to make up your own labels. we wouldn't call the soviet union, you know, misguided democrats. now would we? [laughter] all right. so what did isis call itself? before declared caliphate? the islamic state of iraq and alsham. hugely important. why? because alsham, as every good muslim knows, is a very powerful term in islam. it relates to the story of end times, of judgment day. just like in christianity, the plains are expected to see the final war between the anti-christ forces and the true believers, well, guess what? al-sham is that of islam. it is explicit. the final holy war before the end of the world and all humans are judged by allah will occur on that territory in al-sham.
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the final holy war. think about what that name says. as an information operations the tool to all those hormone-laden 17-year-old muslims around the world looking for some meaning. not only did he name his threat group after al-sham, he captured al-sham. and his message is, you want to claim your soul in jihad, the clock is ticking, gentlemen. come on down. this is the only way to explain more than 20,000 foreign fighters recruited in less than a year because of the significance of the territory that has been captured and the name of the threat group. and of course the problem's a little bit bigger than iraq and syria. this is from the isis twitter feed. this is the visual that was splashed all over the internet after the declaration last june of the caliphate. as you can see, their game plan is a little bit larger than iraq and syria and it's not about just assad or maliki's
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corruption. it is a global caliphate. the last thing i want to do is get you inside the mind of isis today. i want to give you that you are playbook. -- i want to give you their playbook. unless you're looking for the g.p.s. coordinates of a high value target, everything you need to know at the strategic level about the global jihadist movement is available on that super classified system called google. [laughter] it really is stunning. there is no polygraph at the strategic level for isis. if you want to know what they're doing right now in syria, iraq, libya and elsewhere, you need to read this book. this is an egyptian that we killed a few years ago or rather the pakistanies killed a few years ago. the book is called the mastery of savagery. if you know your u.s. military doctrine this is the
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anti-petrino manual. this is the antidote to our f.m.-324. and this is exactly what they are using today to run their operations. if you're interested in the book, send me an email and i will send you an unclassified english language translation. but to summarize it, the operations undergoing now in the middle east and north africa are in three phases. he said that to beat the infidel, you must break your operations down into phase one. vexation operations, classic warfare where you do dramatic irregular warfare attacks. not the scale of 9/11 but dramatic attacks. that prepare the ground for phase two. phase two is the spreading of savagery phase. this is where you coordinate your irregular warfare attacks with the goal of dislocating the local government from its capacity to govern. so you're challenging the syrian government, the iraqi
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government next, the saudi or jordanian government from actually being able to govern its territories. and if it's true if the reports i have received that on day ramadi fell they were in excess of 200 vehicle-born i.e.d.'s detonated on that one day, we are in phase two. coordinating that means they are following this textbook and they are on phase two. and lastly, the most important phase, is the administer savagery the consolidate and expand. here we want to stabilize held areas. just like we did with our coin manual. but here the purpose is to unite the populations of the fighting force, to implement shari'a law, to provide services and here is the real value added. what he's doing here in the final phase, and don't think of this as a phase that ends in a few months or years. this can last for a century in this phase what they are create something a giant f.o.b. a giant forward operating base. which can be used as the platform from whence to deploy
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more phase one or phase two operations into neighboring territory. this is what i call the hybrid caliphate. the big difference with this is that prior jihadi strategists were purists. use violence to achieve the goal of the caliphate. he says, yes of course, we want to achieve the caliphate, but you can't just click your fingers with violence and then create a caliphate. there has to be a transitional phase. his transitional phase is this phase three, where you act like a quasi-state, you don't reject the west failing model, you just could opt it as a transitory face toward caliphate and this unfortunately, ladies and gentlemen, this works. as we have seen. so, most important question, so what? what does this all mean? to conclude, number one. isis is far more successful and deadly than al qaeda for very identifiable reasons. it's not magic. there's no voodoo involved. number one it understands irregular warfare. it's read the right books.
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u.b.l. and a.q. followed the gavaris model of irregular warfare which is wrong and ended up with him dead at the age of 39. this threat group has read their mao. they understand that to win you have to outgovern the government. right now they're advertising for less jihadists online and more engineers and nurses. that tells you they've read their mao. secondly they have a very expective exploitation of a mobilizational ideology of global jihadism across the internet and social media. everybody in this room knows the facts right? we are having our lunch eaten every day by isis on social media. we aren't even scratching the surface of what they are doing in terms of information warfare. second, the caliphate will continue to grow unless it is challenged on the ground and in the ideological domain.
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to deny the relevance of ideology as this administration does, to say it's all about economics and jobs for jihadis well, it's like a bad "s.n.l." skit. i'm very glad the president made some noises in this direction this week, but i want to see some proof that we are prepared to talk truly about the ideology that is being used to mobilize. lastly the enemy threat doctrine of isis and the global jihadist movement must be better integrated, i put it in better because i don't think it's integrated at all must be integrated into the strategic response or we will be condemned to w whmbings ack-a-mole. your children, my grandchildren will be killing jihadis 100 years from now. if you want to go deeper, i wrote an article on the central gravity of the jihaddest movement -- jihadist movement. if you want the real graduate level analysis, an organization my wife was affiliated with, the westminster institute
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published this book recently called fighting the ideological war. this is a book that ali said is the only book president obama needs to read to defeat isis. in "the new york times." we took the very best strategists from the cold war that worked for the reagan administration and undermined the soviet union and we put them in a room with the very best experts of jihad and asked for a game plan. this is the book that came out of it. if you'd like more of the information or any of the books, you can contact me by email. everything i do that's for public consumption is on my website. all my lecture, my videos and my articles are commercial sites that support the government and music. and lastmy my wife has a not for profit that maps the growth of the jihadi ideology which is council on global security dworling. toes may be of use. i'd like to say thank you to heritage, to jim.
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it's been a real pleasure. [applause] lisa sara. i think she'll dress us from her seat. sara: yes. i'm not going to go over what seb just spoke about. my focus has been mainly south asia and isis, for this discussion. and the potential that isis will encroach in this region is growing daily. i have -- i'd like to read something to you. a document that i obtained in the region, an isis document. i'm going to read just one portion of that and i think it will fit into what seb spoke about. al-baghdadi is very focused on the end times. his focus is on -- his mindset is to launch this final battle
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with the west, with the rest of the world, to see a fundamental change between, not necessarily in the way a christian might see armageddon but a change and shift in the world powers and system. that is his ultimate goal. here is a little piece of what's been floating around in the fattah recently. talking about al-baghdadi. his blessed brilliance shines through his practical life. he's filled with the honor of god and his informed approach to matters of faith is unparalleled. before the u.s. attacked iraq, he had acted as a sermonizer and a scholer in various mosques. he was also highly regarded in academic circles. the purpose of life was to purify one self 6 6 -- one
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self, follow prayer, establish the caliphate and wage jihad and warfare until all faith is oriented to allah. this is the important part. although he was primarily focused on inciting slaughter. this isis document is so significant because it gives us a look into the mind of baghdadi and what his intentions are. and you would say, well south asia, what is he trying to do there? he's looking for more recruits. he's looking to gain and spread the caliphate wide enough that it spreaded us -- spreads us so thin that we'll be incapable of tackling on all these fronts. it's a brilliant stage. he built up his financial base, he got his recruits, and if you believe what they're saying,
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16,000, i think that's even minimal. i think it was 20,000-plus foreign fighters that have gone into syria. and in ramadan alone, according to some of my sources last year more than 6,000 and from the documents that i've seen from the united states from chechnya from europe across north africa, in the month of ramadan alone 6,000 fighters. in afghanistan the situation is obviously very tenuous. you have fractured taliban groups, you have certainly the united states and pakistan in a geopolitical situation that is seemingly never-ending. but you also have pockets inside the region that isis is now encroaching on. and this isn't just a
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hypothetical. this is a fact. it may not be widespread yet, but they do have a plan. and if i can just go back really quickly and just read one more thing that i think is important. when he talks about -- you talked about the -- seb, the name and how important that is, for him islamic state caliphate, you know, the islamic state caliphate was the transformation, i mean, on june 29 last year, when al-baghdadi walked on those steps, and i've been talking to specialists, you know, about his mannerisms and how he moved and what he did, i mean, he was very methodical. he knew what he was doing. he knew what he was doing as far as reaching the muslim population those disenfranchised sunnis who feel that there's no place for them to turn to. that the world is kind of somehow working against them. and he uses that to his benefit
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and to the benefit of his movement. and like seb said and i'm sure like you'll be talking about, you know, the war, and this is coming from a reporter who's been on the ground in the war zone quite a bit and who spent some time in pakistan and had an -- been able to experience the region it's not something that you can win with drone strikes alone. i mean, the commanders on the ground, even when you talk to old mujaheddin fighters, and i've had that opportunity to speak with them, would say, you know, you're not going to win this with a drone strike. you're not going to win this battle by trying to build a state at the same time you're fighting a war. this is a never-ending battle that's going to evolve. and a lot of people didn't listen to them. we thought, oh, we're going to wraup the war, we're going to -- wrap up the war, we're going to leave afghanistan, we're going to tie a bow on iraq, we're going to walk away.
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this is about an ideology. and unless we understand this ideology and this leader and those leaders underneath him, we will never be able to defeat him. because you can't defeat an ideology unless you're able to exploit it, right? you have to understand where he's coming from in order to teach something different, to deliver a different message. now, for me, looking at -- back to afghanistan and looking at the region in itself,coming out is the fear crisis may conduct operations in the region, whether in india or afghanistan. recently yesterday we saw a drone strike that killed approximately eight isis members and the leader in that region right now.
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there is a concern among u.s. intelligence officials that i have had the privilege to speak to, as well as pakistani officials. mostly their government denies isis'presence. that is not what i'm hearing from the region. that is not what i am hearing from the people. we have seen isis encroach in india as well. indian officials have been monitoring that carefully trying to garner recruitment and establish some kind of presence there. i think for lawmakers as well as those in the academic field the focus is right now on iraq and syria, and north africa, but we should not forget south asia is going to play an enormous role, and it also plays an enormous role in the eschatology, because it looks at the islamic state
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the belief. if you look at the hadid, and those are the writings of mohammed, and all -- one of the things he focuses are the ones on the end times. that is his main focus. part of the final batter is a per cursor -- precursor that'll that takes place in south asia. we are not going to get the final battle until the precursor battle actually happens. however that happens, it is definitely in baghdadi's plants, and something i think should not be a ignored and an area we should pay attention to. to wrap it up, a lot of people think the taliban may never merge with isis, that they are two centric to their own area. i should go you that taste on
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the investigations i have been conducting an research i have been doing, isis is working day and night to move recruits into their fold. and there is this conception that isis and al qaeda which is true now, are continuously butting heads. what i found to be interesting through the research was that baghdadi is preaching among his group, al qaeda and the islamic state, we have different ways of achieving things. that does not make us enemies. that is allah's will. so now is the time to look at what we have accomplished and join us. and the message is reaching people in the five top -- fatah. we see that it has been reaching
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and people have been joining them. this message is holding true to that. i believe that there'd definitely needs to be more focused in the south asia area when it comes to isis. i would be surprised of isis' rise in iraq and their ability to take territory from them and us and what we have tried to put in the iraqi and syrian regime. we should have our eyes on southeast asia because they could surprise us once again if we are not paying attention. thank you. [applause] >> i think it is amazing how we end up being surprised by the growth of crisis and al qaeda groups because we are not paying attention to what they are doing at the local level. i do not to rehash policy. i want to put out differences
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between what isis is doing and al qaeda believes it is doing, because fundamentally we cannot feet the threats from radical islam without tackling at isis and al qaeda. it does not make sense to defeat out qaeda in -- al qaeda in iraq and syria. it is doing well in areas where it remains strong. at the same time, we found focusing on al qaeda is leading into 2013 2014, allow for isis to go back and research -- re surge in iraq. it looks for local insurgencies to educate them, correct them, to enable them to be more -- than they would be at the local level, and bring together what they see as the muslim world under a unified banner fighting for this.
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they key difference is al qaeda does not see governments and state building at the immediate level as the priority. we see this in al qaeda documents where leaders have been told do not call your self a. if people called yourself estate people will take away your advantage to provide water, food, keep electricity running. what you should do instead is be effective in areas where you can, provide security when it is not there. provide water, goods services, a do not call yourself a state because that built expectations, and we are not able to fulfill that now. you saw al qaeda fail at this in yemen, mali, somewhat in somalia, but whenever it tried to replace the state, it failed. it is much more of a long-term vision insurgency. the reverse of that is al qaeda
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is not directly attacking states day in the way we see isis looking to break the iraqi state . al qaeda is looking to break the west first. it sees the objective as forcing the united states and other western partners to retreat from the region, and i will argue some degree it has been somewhat successful. isis has helped that. i think the unwillingness to become engaged in the counterinsurgency fights in north africa and the rest of the middle east region and also growing in south asia has enabled both isis and al qaeda to do well in the past couple years. it is looking to call everyone to islam. when baghdadi declared the caliphate, you saw reaction from the al qaeda leadership from north africa into south asia that said we support an islamic
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caliphate. we do not support the current islamic caliphate is it was not brought about in the right way. they point out that reasons why. but the animosity with isis is not over the fact it is isis. it is over the fact that al qaeda sees isis as doing this the wrong way. isis is killing other muslims, sunni and doing it at a publicly. al qaeda will assassinate an official do it off-camera in general. al qaeda incorrect eating the major exception and -- al qaeda in iraq being the major exception. the al qaeda network, despite that challenge from isis, have remained cohesive. we have not seen mass leaders effecting from al qaeda. we still have a strong and somewhat resurgent al qaeda network in north africa coming
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back. al-shabaab remains loyal to al qaeda. there are rumors that our shabbat will move to isis because of finance and it has not been successful in somalia and kenya with what is doing. aqap is doing quite well in yemen without being a part of isis. there are rumors aqap might go to isis. we saw a leader we pledge the group's leadership. he has put aqap back in the al qaeda pile. why am i arguing al qaeda is still doing well? it is not most eminent threat to the united states. i think al qaeda is an enduring threat, and isis has raised the bar for intervention in a way it is dangerous long term for us. there is now a level at which al qaeda can operate with relative
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impunity, because it is not isis. i mentioned the al qaeda islamic system. that group has remained focused on france. what we see is the resurgence of attacks in mali. mali is not that important to the united states, but aqim has facilitated movement of fighters across the region . that is a major boon to any organization that is trying to enter europe. they're looking at libya, and isis has a presence there. it has suffered setbacks in an area which was a flagship city is held in libya. i would argue one of the challenges isis will face in libya is libya is 99% sunni. isis has thrived in environments where there is a sectarian
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differences in the population. most sunni do not like living under isis role and they would find a softer hand, and al qaeda has a softer hand in this because it is not looking to build up a state, more acceptable. let's look at east africa. our shabbat has been said to be on the run. -- our shabbat has been said be on the run. it was the defect state. that is nonexistent anymore. it has been a success in that sense. al-shabbab has not been defeated. it is still exploiting the challenges in somalia and also once in kenya and growing in that sense as an insurgency, and will be able to exist as a threat to the united states. over the july for weekend, all
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-shabbab took back a series of military bases right south of mogadishu. we're looking to see al-shabbab resurgent in southern somalia as groups try to deal with the new federal government that is finally recognized that has no actual sovereigntyl i will look as that is group that will continue to exist. it will not be able to attack the homeland that we see from isis but it is an enduring threat because it has that east african, horn of africa, that it can access. finally, at yemen. i have been looking at yemen for 5 1/2 years, and conditions are so different that we saw in
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2011. aqap has not declared an emirate in the south but it is currently governing one of, the port cities in eastern yemen and there is no one fighting it. the al qaeda fighters are there. it is nine-day r there. it is known dairy influential in the governance of the city. they stay in the shadows, except for the times we have had successful drone strikes against them. the other place where al qaeda is successful right now in yemen is tapping into the mass mobilization of occurring against the presidential connection. for those unaware, there is a major war being fought in yemen between powerful actors as to who controls the state. hutis being a group that are not representative of all shia in
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yemen, currently control the capital, and i would say contest the entire state of human. they progress -- of yemen. they progress quickly southward until you reach the sunni population of yemen. they are not seeing the fight today as sectarian. al qaeda is working alongside tribesmen facilitating the fight at an integrating themselves into the fight. this is similar to what -- did so successfully in syria, where now it is going to be near impossible to separate -- from the syrian opposition. al qaeda is trying to do that same thing in yemen. isis is probably strongest and yemen of all the places i mentioned, accepting what it is doing in libya. but is's capability is still limited.
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it is most -- it's most powerful demonstration of force is a campaign against al[-huti targets. it is trying to drive a sectarian war and the way it did in iraq. in many knees ---the involvement of the air campaign have created the conditions for saudi a arabian and around in proxy wars inside yemen, and it is being cast in sectarian trends and the region. here's a potential for isis to capitalize on it. i do not think that isis will find the same safe haven it has had in iraq and syria, but there is a potential. so rounding out, i want to underscore that in areas i have mentioned, we have forces
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fighting al qaeda, and they are not doing well, not wil nning. that is something we look to. this is something that we need to preprepared and fight for, a long-term more. thank you. [applause] >> thank you to all the panelists. i think that was an excellent discussion framing the terrorist threat we face and i am glad we have had this discussion because if you look at this on the face of it, you think al qaeda is competing with isis, is itt is good for u.s. policy. it is feeling them both to be more brutal and there, edition with each other. unfortunately, this is not playing to our favor at the moment. if there was a battle royale
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between both groups, showing off each right now what we see is more of a competition. if you look at the establishment of al qaeda in the indian subcontinent, which was announced last fall -- this was probably an effort to directly compete with the message that was coming from isis. noticed that around 121 aqis -- i noticed that around 121 aqis were arrested this week. i would like panelists to address isis inroads into south asia. i think what sara said is really important. even though right now they are competing, the taliban is clearly not happy with isis trying to set up camp in

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