Fighting terrorism in 'Brainstan'

In the fight against terror, strategists have completely neglected to treat or even address the ideological and psychological foundations in the mind.

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September 18, 2013 09:11
4 minute read.
Captured Taliban insurgents

captured Taliban 521. (photo credit: REUTERS/Mustafa Andalib)

 
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Albert Einstein defined inanity as repeating the same thing again and again and expecting different results. For more than a decade, the US and the West have fought Islamic terrorism predominantly on the military front. Strategists have completely neglected to treat or even address the ideological and psychological foundations in the mind—in “Brainstan.” The results of the war on terror thus far have been quite simply abominable. The West has failed utterly to defeat the phenomenon of Islamist terrorism. In fact, according to The Wall Street Journal, two recent studies have found that regional affiliate groups of al-Qaida are on the rise. By one estimate, al-Qaida now occupies twice as much territory as they did five years ago. It is becoming apparent that the military approach cannot work.

Human behavior and actions (such as terrorist acts, for example) are the result of a complex cognitive, psychological and neurological process. Fighting terrorism at this level is the key to preventing future terrorist acts.

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