JHI on the Issues 2016: Intervention in Libya

JHI on the Issues 2016:  Intervention in Libya

Libya today is not much more stable than Syria because of poor planning and execution following the removal of Muammar Gaddafi. From the outset, the Obama administration repeatedly stressed the limits of American involvement in Libya, “leading from behind.”  Intervention would establish a no-fly zone, deliver humanitarian aid, and let the Libyans sort out the rest, but would be coupled with calls for Gaddafi to step down.  The failure to stabilize Libya following Gaddafi’s removal created an environment where revolutionary militias that had yet to demobilize, disarm, and reintegrate into Libyan society turned against one other, which drove civil war and provided an opening for ISIS to establish a significant foothold in the country.  Because Libya has become a failed state, terrorists will continue to establish safe havens, control Libya’s vast potential wealth, and contribute to regional insecurity.

JHI on the Issues 2016: The Need for an “Intelligence Surge”

JHI on the Issues 2016:  The Need for an “Intelligence Surge”

It is encouraging to hear both candidates speak of reequipping the Intelligence Community (IC)—weakened by restrictive policies, diminished resources, and a climate of distrust surrounding IC organizations and personnel—to effectively confront the multiplying challenges and threats to U.S. national security. Both candidates, however, could go further in laying out specifics. Clinton’s “intelligence surge” in response to international and domestic acts of terrorism sounds appealing but falters on some specifics. An “intelligence surge” must necessarily include a mission to persuade Congress to restore and stabilize statutory authorities, funding, broad support for the intelligence community, and investment into the technologies and personnel that will serve as the nation’s first line of defense. It must also lean more “offensive” in nature by expanding the collection of human intelligence and revitalizing covert action as a foreign policy tool.

JHI on the Issues 2016: What is Radical Islam?

JHI on the Issues 2016:  What is Radical Islam?

Islam is a faith of over one billion people worldwide, including over three million in the United States, the vast majority of whom reject the radical worldviews and tactics of Sunni groups like al Qaeda and ISIS and Shi’a groups like Hezbollah.  At the same time, it is fair to say that the ideology that motivates and inspires groups like al-Qaeda and ISIS has deep roots in longstanding radical Islamist theology, as does the ideology that underpins the Iranian revolutionary state and its terrorist proxies.  It is these extremist interpretations of Islam that create, for their adherents, a narrative of unrelenting hostility between Islam and the West. 

Some radical Islamist groups—like the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas—utilize existing Western institutions like elections to advance their ambition of making Islam the sole source of governance and political power.  But even these groups do so with the aim of creating a global order defined by an extreme vision of their own faith.