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This photo released by a militant website shows a flag of the Islamic State group placed on a damaged helicopter, Tadmur military airbase, Palmyra, Syria, May 31, 2015 (Militant website via AP).

Why the U.S. Is Losing the War of Ideas Against Transnational Extremism

Friday, Jan. 15, 2016

Once again the Obama administration is revising its programs to counter and defeat the self-styled Islamic State, particularly on the battlefield of ideas. With no apparent decline in supporters flocking to the movement nor any shortage of unhinged murderers inspired by it, State Department officials announced that they were creating a new “Global Engagement Center” to combat the Islamic State online. Meanwhile, President Barack Obama met with social media-savvy representatives from Facebook, Twitter and YouTube to convince them to join the effort.

This is simply the latest episode of a series now deep into reruns: The United States fiddles with the way it deals with the Islamic State and other transnational extremist movements, rearranging organizations and changing things at the margins, then calls it a “new strategy.” Like past adjustments, this one is inadequate and unlikely to have any major effect. ...

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