The War on Terror

About this Episode

Guests
John Mueller, Andrew Bacevich, Peter Mansoor

This month, John Mueller, Andrew Bacevich, and Peter Mansoor discuss the War on Terror (a.k.a. the war formerly known as the War on Terror), the US response to terrorism following 9/11.  In separate interviews, our guests address the origins of the war on terror and how it has developed over time; how the campaign against terror fits into broader historical patterns of US statecraft; and how public perceptions of terrorism have changed (or haven't changed) since the events of Sept. 11, 2001.  Join us for three wide-ranging discussions about some of the biggest questions facing American society and the international community in these uncertain times.

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Cite this Site

Patrick R. Potyondy , "The War on Terror" , Origins: Current Events in Historical Perspective
April, 2016
https://origins.osu.edu/historytalk/war-terror?language_content_entity=en.
April, 2016

Transcript

Patrick Potyondy 

Welcome to History Talk the podcast that brings together a panel of experts to examine current events in historical perspective. I'm your host Patrick Potyondy. On today's show, we bring you three interviews to analyze the American led Global War on Terror. History Talk hosts Mark Sokolsky tracked down three experts on the topic to explore its roots, and how this controversial campaign has changed since the early 2000s. First, John Mueller discusses public fears about terrorism and how these compare to the actual threats facing the United States. The next two guests examine the war on terror in the context of long-term shifts in US security policy, Andrew Bacevich situates the war on terror within a decades long attempt to stabilize the Middle East, a campaign that he characterizes as a kind of American imperialism. Lastly, your host Mark Sokolsky speaks with Peter Mansoor, who notes that while the US made a poor choice by invading Iraq in 2003, the way forward is, nonetheless through unremitting pressure on terrorist group. So stay tuned for three great discussions on History Talk.

 

Mark Sokolsky  

Joining us now in History Talk is John Mueller, Woody Hayes, chair of national security studies at the Mershon Center for International Security Studies and adjunct professor of political science. Dr. Mueller specializes in the study of terrorism and particularly on public perceptions of terrorism. Dr. Mueller, thank you for joining us today.

 

Dr. John Mueller   

Thanks. Nice to be here.

 

Mark Sokolsky  

So just to start, how would you define the war on terror? And how would you say that understandings of the war on terror in the broader public and among policymakers have changed over the last 15 years or so?

 

Dr. John Mueller   

Yeah, the Global War on Terror is basically a debt disastrous, militarized response to 9/11, resulting in the destabilization of the Middle East and several catastrophic wars or that killed twice as many Americans who died in 9/11 and well over 100,000 Muslims in the Middle East. It doesn't, I don't see that it's really changed all that much. It's basically growing increasingly solidified, solidified, though there is a considerable interest in not doing more Iraqs, but I think the general support for going after terrorists remains about as high as it was before, but I think there's been a considerable drop in the enthusiasm for doing using one tactic, which is the putting of boots on the ground to fight them.

 

Mark Sokolsky  

And how would you say that public perceptions of terror, have they stayed more or less the same since 9/11? Or have those changed as well?

 

Dr. John Mueller   

Yes, it's on to a nice rise, there's been almost no erosion. So currently, right after you, by the end of the, at least since the end of 2001, the end of 2001, about 40% said that they were worried that they or a member of their family might be harmed by a terrorist, since their chance of being killed by terrorists is about one in 4 million per year, or if we only deal with the period since 9/11 is one in 80 million per year. That's spectacularly high. Worrying, 40% say they worry about that. Similarly, shortly after 9/11, the question is asked, "Do you expect there to be another attack in the United States killing large numbers of Americans in the near future?" And shortly after 9/11, that stood at about 72% said they thought that it was likely or very likely and essentially, there's been some bumps up and down as events have transpired, but basically, at the present time, it stands pretty much at that same level.

 

Mark Sokolsky  

And why do you think that is? Why do you think perceptions have not changed that much?

 

Dr. John Mueller   

The main reason, probably a couple of reasons. Some reason, obviously, 9/11 was a big trauma, and so forth. Pretty obvious. But I think there's the fact that people are constantly being reminded of it, because all these little arrests and so forth and they many of these don't capture the headlines for more than a day or so, but there's continuous sort of pointillistic reminders of it in various ways and the other is that it's related to this vast over some says, some spooky, overseas enemy. Somewhere out there. There's somebody directing these guys, and they're among us, and we can't tell them from other people pretty much and there isn't any real center and it's hard to see how they can be extinguished. So it's, it's a little bit like the concerned about domestic communists during the Cold War. They too, were people among us who were up to no good it seemed, and they're related to this vast overseas communist conspiracy focused either in Moscow or in Beijing, or both or someplace else. So it was an international movement that could however, expire eventually and it did. The other comparison is with witches, who are associated with indeed copulated with according to the testimony, the ultimate spook which is the devil. So they are the devil's handmaidens according to the argument of in meeting in Europe, between 1480 and 1680 and they were, it was the argument to these witches were the working for the devil and so several hundred several, several 10s of thousands of them were executed mostly by being burned at the stake during that period of time and that fear, the belief that witches the belief that witches existed is by no means new or no, no, no is no by no means new then. But the idea that they were in league with the devil and they're working surreptitiously to cause famines and, and wars and pestilence and so forth was, was very much heightened during that period, but the idea that we'd be better off if we could find them and execute them which they did and be great number.

 

Mark Sokolsky  

And would you say there are lessons that can be learned from a sort of past hysteria? Perhaps communism is closer to our own experience?

 

Dr. John Mueller   

Yeah, the well in the case of domestic communists, there was very little during the Cold War, there's very little declined. Yeah, in the notion of thinking they are greater very great threat to American Security. So it was very high at the time of McCarthyism, even 10 years later, was still high and 20 years later had gone down some, but this is a time when there was no reminders. I mean, the domestic Communist Party was essentially a joke, mostly filled by FBI agents. They were they weren't doing anything there wasn't any sabotage or an attempted sabotage. There wasn't any spying that was being successful. So there's basically no news about them. Nevertheless, even though the no news about them dropped virtually to zero. In fact, some years was zero, there were no stories in the major press about domestic communism or domestic communists. Nonetheless, fear has remained fairly high for a long time, eventually, I assume they dissipated with the end of the Cold War.

 

Mark Sokolsky  

Is there any sort of practical kind of policy response to stemming these sorts of fears? Or is it something that just takes on a life of its own and dies out on its own?

 

Dr. John Mueller   

Yeah, I'm afraid the latter as a case. I mean, the one of the more preposterous things is what happened with Barack Obama, last Jan, January 2015, when he came out and argued that the terrorism did not present an existential threat to the United States. Now, that should have been that's bone crushingly obvious, from my standpoint, a group of a few thousand or a few hundred people in the Middle East and can cause the United States to cease to exist. But he was the first politician really, he was preceded a little bit by Joe Biden, to actually come out and say that, as far as I can see that's made no difference, though it hasn't hurt him. I notice people haven't said you don't care about terrorism, so at least it hasn't hurt him. But if Obama can't change opinion, it's hard to see how anybody else can change opinion, either and the rise of ISIS, of course, is fed into those fears and, and escalated concerns around that, and it basically can't go away. I mean, the whole idea of the War, Global War on Terrorism is you're going out against a tactic. So you have a global war on amphibious landings, for example, it's, you know, it's basically preposterous. Anybody commit terrorism at any time and even if you extinguish al Qaeda, and ISIS and every other the known group, people can still be inspired by their example, even if you're dead. People are still inspired by the example of Che Guevara, and he's been dead for half a century. So. So consequently, it's causing them to be the groups themselves, the major coherent groups to be destroyed is I wouldn't necessarily end the fears.

 

Mark Sokolsky  

So you're sort of saying that, in a sense, this is a an endless campaign against something that can't really there's no victory in the war on terror. If it's just against terrorism.

 

Dr. John Mueller   

I mean, no police chief goes forward and says we're going to extinguish murder,

 

Mark Sokolsky  

Right, right.

 

Dr. John Mueller   

I mean, it's ludicrous. It's something that someone can pick up a gun and, you know, just start shooting at somebody or stabbing at somebody or menacing them in a violent way. Obviously, it can, it can be it can't be extinguished completely, so that it's always existed. As has murder, and always will, in some sense or other.

 

Mark Sokolsky  

Do you think there are those in the US government and military who have a vision for victory?

 

Dr. John Mueller   

It was fantasies ago everywhere.

 

Mark Sokolsky  

Sure.

 

Dr. John Mueller   

 You can certainly imagine destroying al Qaeda. And you can certainly imagine destroying ISIS as a military entity, so that you can have those kinds of victories. But whether they stop people from being inspired by the example of these organizations or those people is, is it there's no way you can stop people from being inspired by whatever they want to be inspired by.

 

Patrick Potyondy 

That was Mark Sokolsky interviewing Ohio State professor and Mershon Center affiliate John Mueller. Next Mark interviewed Andrew Bacevich, Professor of History and International Relations at Boston University to discuss American interventionism.

 

Mark Sokolsky  

Joining us now is Andrew Bacevich, Professor Emeritus of international relations and history at Boston University, a specialist in American diplomatic and military history in history, US foreign policy and security studies. Dr. Bacevich thank you for joining us.

 

Dr. Andrew Bacevich     

Oh, glad to be with you.

 

Mark Sokolsky  

So just to start off I was wondering if we could ask a bit about the origins of the so-called Global War on Terror and I'm curious to know where that term came from who came up with it, and why they decided to call the campaign against al Qaeda and other terrorist groups a war?

 

Dr. Andrew Bacevich     

Well, I'll answer the question by making reference to my newest book, okay, which is called America's war for the greater Middle East military history. And the purpose of that book is to provide a narrative of US military involvement in the in the greater Middle East, that is to say, in large parts of the Islamic world and to your question as to the phrase Global War on Terrorism, two points. The first is, I think it was, from the very outset, inappropriate and misleading, but it was devised by the George W. Bush administration, in response to 9/11. My own narrative says that the war in which we have been engaged, which is not a war against terrorism, but a war to impose some sort of order, on the disordered parts of the Islamic world, that that war began in 1980. Most Americans would say that no, no, no, the war in which we are engaged began in the wake of September 2001. My story says that back in 1980, when Jimmy Carter promulgated the Carter doctrine, that was a statement that identified the Persian Gulf as a vital US national security interest, that is to say, a place that the United States would fight for. My argument is that that statement initiated the militarization of US policy, not only in the Persian Gulf, but in a much broader swath of the of the greater Middle East. So beginning with Carter's not simply his statement, but with the failed Iran hostage rescue attempt of April 1980, and also his initiation of support for Afghan militants, resisting Soviet pressure and presence in Afghanistan, that unwittingly, Carter really touched off a sequence of events, sequence of military events, US interventions, large and small, brief and protracted, that have brought us to where we are today and it deserved to be called as a war, rather than simply a disconnected set of, of campaigns. So I think the war begins in 1980 not in 2001. I think that the war deserves to be called America's war for the greater Middle East, not a global war on terrorism, or any of the other terms that have been created to describe the undertaking.

 

Mark Sokolsky  

So you would say that the major kind of turning point in US foreign policy, at least toward the Middle East is in 1980. Are there any historical precedents for that kind of shift? Or this kind of open-ended console?

 

Dr. Andrew Bacevich     

Sure, there are, I think, I think that a comparable shift occurred in 1898. Prior to 1898. US military activity, by and large, was confined to North America, there were exceptions. But by and large, confined in North America, beginning with the intervention in Cuba, and the accompanying intervention in the Philippines. The scope of US military activity, widened appreciably, so that it we look at the decade after the Spanish American War, we see a heightened US military activism throughout the Caribbean Basin and we also see a greater significance attached to US interest in the in the Pacific, not entirely defined by the Philippines, but also defined by growing US interest in China. So I think that 1898, really, in some respects, was a comparable turning point in redefining US strategic priorities comparable that is to say, to what occurred in the wake of 1980.

 

Mark Sokolsky  

So what we're seeing now is a sort of new American imperialism.

 

Dr. Andrew Bacevich     

I think that's fair to say. And of course, many Americans bridle at that term have being applied to US policy and the official justifications will never acknowledge that the United States is an imperial power or has imperial ambitions. And it's certainly true that the American Empire is not comparable to let's say, the British Empire, the Roman Empire, we do Empire our own way. That said, I've long come to believe that Empire imperialism are useful terms in describing US activity and ambitions, then they are certainly more accurate than the claims that, you know, we do what we do simply because we're trying to liberate the oppressed people. Rarely do we do what we do in order to liberate oppressed peoples. I mean, certainly, the George W. Bush administration, claimed that the principal reason for intervening in Iraq in 2003, was to liberate oppressed Iraqis which were suffering. They were suffering under the boot of Saddam Hussein, I think, to accept that claim at face value is to ignore the actual reasons for intervening in Iraq, which were related to a misguided definition of US interest, and an entirely unrealistic appreciation of what US military power was going to be able to do in Iraq.

 

Mark Sokolsky  

Would you say that intervention in Afghanistan was similarly Imperial?

 

Dr. Andrew Bacevich     

I wouldn't, I wouldn't call it Imperial. But I was I would mean, so this was called Operation Enduring Freedom by the Bush administration, the name supposedly suggesting that this was about freeing Afghans, I think freeing Afghans was an afterthought. So I wouldn't describe the principal purposes Imperial, I would describe it as driving from a calculation of concrete interest with the calculation was that there was a place that it provided sanctuary for the terrorist organization that attacked us on 9/11. And therefore was incumbent upon the United States to demonstrate the consequences of harboring anti American terrorists. So from that point of view, it was essential to at least punish the Taliban and preferably overthrow the Taliban. But that had nothing to do with concern about the well-being of Afghan certainly we had, we expressed 0 0 concern about the well-being of the Afghans prior to 9/11. Despite the fact that the sequence of events that brought the Taliban to power, we had a pretty, pretty important hand in this sequence, by fueling the anti-Soviet war of the of the 1980s and then walking away from Afghanistan and ignoring it. Once the Soviets withdrew in Afghanistan descended into its own protracted Civil War.

 

Mark Sokolsky  

Yeah, and that sort of raises the question about blowback, would you say that Islamic terrorism sort of broadly defined could be characterized as a kind imperial blowback against United States or perhaps Europe?

 

Dr. Andrew Bacevich     

Well, I think it's important not to. I would argue that there are, there is a multiplicity of causes that have produced this phenomenon, which I think we could call violent, Islamic radicalism. The United States, yes, United States contributed to this to this phenomenon, but to say that somehow the phenomenon would not exist, other than for actions of the United States, I think misses a whole variety of other factors, internal crisis in Islam, the legacy of ill-advised European imperialism, the absence of economic development, the presence of local leaders who have been corrupt and ineffective. So there's a whole variety of factors that have contributed to the situation. But I would emphasize, this is sort of the argument of my new book, the expectations entertained by a succession of administrations in Washington, that the adroit use of American military power can somehow fix things, those expectations have been, have not met with success, to put it mildly. I think, I think it is reasonable to argue that the US military efforts in the greater Middle East have actually made things worse not better.

 

Mark Sokolsky  

Okay. And just as a final question, what do you think would be a more effective, perhaps realistic response to the threat of terrorism? And how do you see the military fitting into?

 

Dr. Andrew Bacevich     

the threat of terrorism, threat of terrorism to the United States of America, is not particularly great. And the response to terrorism, it seems to me is primarily lies in the realm of self-protection. If the neighborhood you live in, has had a series of house break ins, then the most the most important thing for you to do is to ensure that your doors and windows are locked and that is, and that is too easily overlooked as the most important response to terrorism threatening the United States and in 9/11, on 9/11 we left the front door wide open and certainly since then, our defenses have become more effective. But I would emphasize that the most important response to terrorism as a threat to the United States is to ensure that domestic security agencies are effectively lead and that they are properly resourced. We should never, never let our guard down.

 

Mark Sokolsky  

Well, thanks very much. Our guest today has been Andrew Bacevich, Professor of International Relations and history at Boston University. Dr. Bacevich, much thanks for joining us.

 

Dr. Andrew Bacevich     

 Thank you.

 

Patrick Potyondy 

That was Mark Sokolsky speaking with Andrew Bacevich of Boston University. In our final segment, Mark met up with Peter Mansoor, professor of military history at Ohio State, and retired US Army Colonel who served in the United States, Europe and the Middle East, including as a brigade commander in Iraq, they discussed the 2003 invasion of Iraq. And where do we go from here?

 

Mark Sokolsky  

Joining us now is Dr. Peter Mansoor professor of history at the Mershon Center for International Studies and Ohio State's Department of History. Dr. Mansoor, welcome to the program.

 

Dr. Peter Mansoor   

Well, thanks for having me on.

 

Mark Sokolsky  

So just to start off, how do you think future historians will view the war on terror?

 

Dr. Peter Mansoor   

You know, I may be more than nothing more than a small footnote in history books, but I think that they will look more broadly at the changes sweeping the world, with globalization with instantaneous communications with the public knowledge of what's going on almost anywhere on the globe and they'll view that sort of change as really the key of what's happening today and then groups, terrorist groups that happen to use the tools that the modern world has provided, in what ways of transportation and communication, they'll view those as sort of the outgrowth of these more broad sweeping social changes.

 

Mark Sokolsky  

Do you think that they'll see kind of missteps or missed opportunities, looking back at the sort of broad conflict?

 

Dr. Peter Mansoor   

I think 9/11 was clearly the watershed in this regard. After 9/11, the United States had the entire world united behind it, I think only Afghanistan, and maybe one or two other small nations didn't want to Afghanistan to give up Osama bin Laden, and people were flying the American flag and we really had the world united and then we, we blew it, quite frankly, by going into Iraq by using this as a pretext to take out Saddam Hussein, with no clear link between him and 9/11. I think we jettisoned a lot of the goodwill that we had created and so it's, it's unfortunate, unfortunately, this is a, you know, you only get one trip around the game board, you can't go back to go and collect $200 and start the journey again. So we are where we're at.

 

Mark Sokolsky  

Would you say that 9/11? Or maybe the invasion of Iraq represents a kind of break in US foreign relations approaches to international affairs? Or is it fairly consistent with what, what sort of broader trends we saw before?

 

Dr. Peter Mansoor   

No, I think it's, I think it's a break, you know, for almost half a century, the Cold War consumed the United States and we won that conflict, definitively and then we had this very brief decade long unipolar moment when the United States was in the words of the French Prime Minister, "a hyper power", the most powerful nation on Earth, and the one with the most military capability, the largest economy, and really, we could sort of dictate the norms by which the world traded, conducted business, conducted international relations and but in the United States, that period was, you know, there was a lot of soul searching as to what do we do now? I mean, we won the Cold War, what replaces it, do we, you know, George HW Bush had this idea that there would be a new global order that would replace it, that nations working together could do things like, ensure that nations didn't invade other nations, the the Gulf War in 1990-91, being a prime example of that. That was fantasy, unfortunately, clearly, the world, you know, history had not come to an end, other nations with different interests than the United States, were looking for ways to chip away at American power and after 9/11, they found it and you can see that with the Russian support for Bashar-al Assad with his takeover of the Crimea, his support for rebels in the Ukraine. You can see that in China, building islands in the South China Sea and chipping away at American alliances in the Pacific and so we've entered a new era now one that is much more multipolar in character, and much more dangerous, unfortunately, for the United States and the American people.

 

Mark Sokolsky  

Are there historical precedents or analogs that come to mind? When you think about the war on terror from the American perspective, either in American history or in the history of other nations, states, empires.

 

Dr. Peter Mansoor   

This is a fairly unique where a nation is hit with an attack by a non-state group then launches a major industrial size invasion of two different countries, in order to stamp out the manifestation of that non state group. I'm sure there might be some parallels back in the 19th century in the British Empire, but you know, the homeland, Great Britain was never attacked. They sent out punitive expeditions, but they were for other reasons, not necessarily because London came under assault,

 

Mark Sokolsky  

 Right

 

Dr. Peter Mansoor   

And again, it's those modern manifestations of globalism and communications that enabled those attacks to take place. If you don't have airplanes. If you don't have the internet, if you don't have telephone systems, and so forth to coordinate the attacks, the twin towers are still standing.

 

Mark Sokolsky  

So in some ways, this is really a unique historical moment.

 

Dr. Peter Mansoor   

 I think. So yeah.

 

Mark Sokolsky  

To take that in kind of a different direction, do you think there are any lessons that we can draw from the past in approaching the problem with terrorism, Islamic radicalism in the Middle East?

 

Dr. Peter Mansoor   

I think you could always use history to gather context and, and to, you know, see where other historical actors have faced similar challenges, not the same challenges. There have been people like Osama bin Laden in the past and you don't know about them today, because they simply eventually disappeared, they died out and I think what we should take from this is we shouldn't overdramatize the power of these non-state groups. They're not, they're not an existential threat to the United States unless they gain nuclear weapon capability and so we need to put them in their proper context, although they are the most dangerous, perhaps one of the most dangerous aspects in the world today, in terms of American foreign policy, American Security, they have very limited power in the end them, some of them are more keen to say, the anarchists in Russia, around the turn of the 20th century than they are to a group that could actually take and hold territory, even ISIS. Its grip on portions of Iraq and Syria is uncertain and I think, over time, it will disappear.

 

Mark Sokolsky  

We talked to Andrew Bacevich earlier, and he characterized the war on terror as part of a war for the greater Middle East. That began around 1980. Would you agree with that, that this is kind of part of an attempt to stabilize or establish American hegemony in the Middle East?

 

Dr. Peter Mansoor   

I am familiar with Dr. Bacevich's argument. I disagree that America is trying to assert it's a hegemony across the Middle East, Iran is actually trying to do that. But I would say that beginning with the Iranian Revolution, there was a great fear that the oil resources of the Middle East would come under threat and with that, with the if they did come under threat that would threaten the economies of the Western world and so the United States had a goal to make sure that Russia couldn't seize the gulf region that Iran couldn't take hold of the Gulf region and it's not necessarily American hegemony, but we wanted, you know, the oil to flow and we also had a goal in protecting Israel as an important part of the American foreign policy in the region. You know, how it's played out over time. I think the, again, the watershed in this regard is the invasion of Iraq. Until then, we're really supporting, you know, various governments in the Middle East that are in accord with US foreign policy interests. That doesn't make them our proxies necessarily. It just it's an alignment of interests, that is natural. When you look at foreign policy and the way it plays out around the world. I think people often magnify the power that the United States has when Hosni Mubarak started to lose his grip on power, his supporters look to the United States to say, well, what are you going to do about it? Well, what could we do about it? We know we're not going to involve ourselves in this internal revolution and, and so he fell from power and they said, they blamed us in part, because, you know, well, you could have done something well, what can what could we have done? So I think people magnify the power that the United States has we have interests in the Middle East, we don't necessarily own governments. You might say, well, Kuwait, you know, Kuwait wouldn't exist today without American power. Well, true enough, right. So we did fight a war to liberate that country.

 

Mark Sokolsky  

 Sure.

 

Dr. Peter Mansoor   

But the Iraq war is a real watershed, because that's the first time that we actually do inject huge numbers of forces into the Middle East, in order to change the nature of a government and a key government at that it didn't end well for us and, and as the Obama administration is shown, there's a great reluctance to repeat that experiment. So I think the you know, the idea that we're somehow bent on Hegemony in the Middle East is this is not born out by the facts. pretty clear, however, that Iran is bent on trying to increase its power across the Middle East with, with force with proxy forces, and with all the tools of state power at its disposal.

 

Mark Sokolsky  

Right. Yeah. And you mentioned the kind of reluctance of the Obama administration to intervene when Syria, I think, is what you were alluding to?

 

Dr. Peter Mansoor   

Well, before that Libya.

 

Mark Sokolsky  

Oh, and Libya, right.

 

Dr. Peter Mansoor   

We're happy to connect regime change from as long as we don't do anything afterwards and we saw how that has played out. It's been a disaster.

 

Mark Sokolsky  

Why did the Obama administration drop the term war on terror? you preferring to use alternative terminology?

 

Dr. Peter Mansoor   

Well, terror, terrorism is a tactic and it's you can't have a war against a tactic. You have to identify your enemy and the Obama administration didn't want to identify its enemy. It really is the Islamists that use Islam as a basis for projecting their political power for gaining adherence. It's an ideology, and the Obama administration doesn't want to give the Islamists the authority the mantle of Islam, by identifying them in any way, as connected with the religion. I think it's a mistake. I mean, I think we have to be clear on who we're fighting. You know, we're not fighting Basque separatists and Spain, we're fighting. We're fighting Islamists, as we're projecting a very twisted form of Islam into various places around the world and are using, you know, very heinous terrorist tactics to advance their cause.

 

Mark Sokolsky  

This is a big question, but just sort of in broad strokes. Where do you think we should take the fight against various terrorist groups, Islamic terrorist groups from here, what would be a constructive approach, perhaps a more effective approach than what we seen?

 

Dr. Peter Mansoor   

I think we need unremitting pressure on Islamic terrorist groups with that have reach beyond their own borders, wherever they manifest themselves. We had this for a brief moment and between 2007 and 2010 and actually, we were able to make a lot of headway against various groups around the world Al Qaeda was on the wane, we had eviscerated al Qaeda in Iraq, unfortunately, resuscitated itself when we let up on the pressure. So that's one aspect, unremitting pressure on Islamist terror groups wherever they manifest themselves around the world and the second part is getting the other the rest of the Muslim world which is the majority of the Muslim people to reject this, this ideology and reject it publicly. Because quite frankly, they haven't done a very good job of rejecting it and, and that's, that's the battle for hearts and minds, if you will. But that's about what has to be fought within Islam. We can't do it for them. What we the only thing we can do is unremitting pressure on Islamic terrorist groups wherever they manifest themselves around the world and I think the most important branch right now is the Islamic State.

 

Mark Sokolsky  

Well, Dr. Mansoor are thank you for joining us today. It's been a pleasure to talk to you.

 

Dr. Peter Mansoor   

My pleasure.

 

Patrick Potyondy 

That was History Talk host Mark Sokolsky with an interview of Professor Peter Mansoor of Ohio State. This has been a History Talk podcast produced by Origins: Current Events in Historical Perspective, you can find both at origins.osu.edu. A big thank you to all our guests for speaking with us today about the war on terror. Thanks to John Mueller, Andrew Bacevich and Peter Mansoor and be sure to join us next month when we discuss extremism and instability in Sub Saharan Africa.

 

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