Shifting the Paradigm of America’s Fight With Extremism

U.S. soldiers engage Taliban forces during a halt to repair a disabled vehicle near the village of Allah Say, Afghanistan, Aug. 20, 2007 (DoD photo by Staff Sgt. Michael L. Casteel).
U.S. soldiers engage Taliban forces during a halt to repair a disabled vehicle near the village of Allah Say, Afghanistan, Aug. 20, 2007 (DoD photo by Staff Sgt. Michael L. Casteel).
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In the traumatic months after the Sept. 11 attacks, American policymakers decided that the conflict with transnational extremism demanded an aggressive response. This made perfect sense: To go on the offensive as soon as possible is the American way. In the new conflict with al-Qaida and other extremists, the United Stated intended to fight them over there to avoid having to fight them here, as then-President George W. Bush put it. However appealing this might have been to the angry American public, there were challenges putting it into practice. To undertake a global offensive against extremists, the United States needed […]

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