PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Gary R’Nel spoke with La Salle Professor of Political Science, Dr. Michael Boyle on Talk Radio 1210 WPHT about the wide ranging summit in Washington DC focused on countering violent extremism both in the Middle East and at home in the United States.
Boyle said a key element of the summit to develop a communication strategy against ISIS and to limit the spread of their ideology.
“The Obama Administration is trying to figure out how to message and to tailor the US Government’s message to deal with the threat of ISIS. The reason why is because they’re beginning to see that ISIS is growing a foothold in places like Libya and Egypt, even in some places like in South Asia like Afghanistan and Pakistan that they didn’t originally think that it did. They’re trying to figure out how essentially you win the war of ideas. The countering violence extremism summit is about trying to figure out the language that you use to approach a group that calls itself Islamic but is, in fact, actually a virulent and usually violent strain of Islam that doesn’t represent a lot of other Muslims.”
He stated that another important topic of the summit is to identify and stop any potential ISIS followers from carrying out attacks in the US.
“We know the template of someone who is radicalized. They tend, generally, to be educated but under-employed. They tend, in many cases, to be politically and socially marginalized. They tend, in many cases, to be involved or near mosques or other institutions that have a kind of radicalizing element. They often have someone who has a bridge to these organizations. I think what they’re trying to do, in terms of bringing in people from the communities into the White House, is their trying to figure out what kind of message you do to boost political inclusion to make sure that people have job opportunities and to blunt the impact of this. What the White House is really worried about is that the message of ISIS will travel to domestic groups.”
Regarding confronting ISIS militarily in the Middle East, Boyle believes occupying and holding territory taken from ISIS is a question yet to be resolved.
“The bigger question is what do you externally to hold the territory. That’s where the Obama Administration needs to give Congress better answers. Let’s say you use air strikes against ISIS members in places like Iraq and Syria, who holds the territory? The Kurds? The Assad government? The new Iraqi government? That’s where they’re on weaker ground.”