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'We cannot destroy Isis. We will have to learn to live with it' - counter-terrorism expert.(TI)By Richard Barrett.
One problem with the Government’s response to date has been its over-emphasis on the security aspects of its policy, such as legislation to prevent the departure of potential Isis recruits, or the denial of their right to return.
The basis for this legislation is an assumption that anyone who goes to join an extremist group active against Bashar al-Assad or the Iraqi government is by definition a domestic terrorist in waiting. This is obviously not the case.
As far as the UK is concerned, addressing the motivational factors that cause these apparently normal and well-adjusted men and women to take a one-way ticket to the “caliphate” is more a social policy challenge than a security policy one.
Iraq and Syria will not return to how they were, and whatever it ends up calling itself, a new entity has emerged that will remain in some form. Currently that entity is aggressive, intolerant, despotic and uncompromising, but it is a terrible truth that for all its dystopian features, Isis offers those living under its rule better governance in some respects than they received from the state before it took over.
Mr Cameron asked on Friday how people arrive at a world view that endorses the ideology of Isis, but this should not be a rhetorical question that absolves the Government of its responsibility to find an answer. There are now hundreds of returnees who could help to provide this, and a smart policy might see them as a potential resource rather than solely as a threat.
This requires leadership; yes, from families and communities but also from the Government across all areas of policy. Hmmmm......I have to disagree, 'going with the flow and trying to make the best of it' will only let ISIS grow. We tried that approach with Iran and look where it got us? Read the full story here.
Richard Barrett was head of counter-terrorism at MI6 before spending nine years as the co-ordinator of the UN’s Al-Qaeda and Taliban Monitoring Team. He is currently a senior vice-president at the Soufan Group, a New York security consultancy