Al-Qaeda and ISIL have not only posed serious

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Last updated: September 29, 2019

Al-Qaeda and ISIL have not only posed seriousthreats on the lives of people not only in the Middle East but the world over,it has also seriously impacted on the global economy. Last year, according to the 2017 GlobalTerrorism Index, the costs still reached $84 billion. Since the 9/11 attacks,economic losses from terrorism reached $41 billion in 2007, primarily as aresult of violence in Iraq. With the rise of ISIS, losses reached a peak of$104 billion in 2014. (Global Terrorism Index, 2016) In OECD-member countries,deaths resulting from terrorism accordingly increased in 2015 as compared to2014. There was at least one terrorist attack in 21 of 34 OECD countries, themajority of these taking place in Turkey and France. Twenty-three countriesalso said terrorist attacks caused more deaths in 2015. (Global Terrorism Index,2016) Yet responses have not been adequate.

The US government hasfocused on the military solution to the problem. During the time of PresidentObama, the US had conducted 150 airstrikes in Iraq. These were intended toprotect American personnel and facilities, but still harming thesecommunities/homes and let’s not forgot killing innocent civilians in theseareas of airstrikes. So in the end, what makes us any different than theseterrorists if we know these airstrikes might cause some casualties but still proceedwith them anyway? We’re not doing any good but destroying their hotspots, they’llgo and find another territory to liberate sooner then we can make an appropriatepolicy decision. President Donald Trump has likewise committed theadministration to denying terrorists of their territories and cutting offfunding sources (Trump, 2017).

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He has committed to break their will, stop theirrecruitment and keep them from crossing borders. Safe havens will likewise bedestroyed, he said. He has also promised to integrate all diplomatic, economicand military means and pursue economic assistance and development. He said Americawill no longer use its military to construct democracies or rebuild countries,promising to spend many billions of dollars to be spent on the US military,including the build-up of nuclear arsenal and missile defense.

(Trump, 2017)However, such approaches do not seem to hit core of theterrorism problem. They are more so a distraction to the people to making themthink the issue is being solved. We need to have stronger relationships withour international security, and not let go completely of our trusted allies.One example, the Kurdish Peshmerga forces have saved back countless citieswhere these terrorists initially liberated. Providing to the Kurds withoutphysically having troops on the ground is also a better resolution than gainlessairstrikes. Another strategy to think about is that these terrorist groups wantsocial control, why don’t we concentrate immensely on our country first,decreasing attacks within our own Americans, by Americans. Showing how we cansucessfully reduce that, I believe international threats would decline as well.The war against global terrorism will always be a challenge toEuropean and American policy makers as well as Muslim governments.

Military andeconomic means should not be used exclusively but reforms must be made in publicdiplomacy. The military may be able to kill, capture and contain terrorists,but these did not lessen their growth. Terrorism has to be marginalized, wehave to win the minds and hearts requires fundamental foreign policy reforms.

As(Muller, 2005) say, these risks are real, and we have to use policy in order toreduce it (p.496). The primary causes and motivations of terrorism are thepolitical and economic conditions that give rise to grievances and rage must beaddressed. Governments must address political and ideological factors, and thuscontain the fuel that feed theologies of hate reinforcing global terrorism(Epsosito, 2006).Also Muslim religious leaders must play a critical role inthe ideological war against Muslim extremism and terrorism, which is thestruggle for the soul of Islam. They are the ones who carry religious authorityand interpretation of Islam that discredit theologies of hate and violence.

Iftheir roles in Muslim communities can be brought to use in the fight againstIslam extremism, the war against terrorism may not fare too badly.  

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