The Hundred Years War: How to fight al-Qaeda and the Islamic State by Zachary K.
How should the US combat al-Qaeda and the Islamic State to protect its own interests and safeguard the principles of democracy and pluralism? The last 15 years of American foreign policy have had one, singular focus: defeating Islamic Terrorism abroad to protect interests at home. This obsession has plunged the country into two wars and has racked up a tab numbering in the trillions with no, real effect. First springing up in the late 1970’s along with the Islamic Revolution in Iran, extremism has plagued the Middle East, creating wars and conflicts that have touched every country in the region. Despite trillions of dollars in aid and having the most modern military, Iraq is a failed state; religious discrimination from a bitter, formerly oppressed majority, the Shia, disenfranchised the Sunni, worsening that country’s already existing civil strife. In the past year, the group calling itself the Islamic State has annexed vast swathes of Iraq and Syria....Unlike the STEM-based projects which many of my colleagues are pursuing, my study cannot be quantified and there is no, one true answer to the question. Thus, I will have to be thorough in my research and study every facet of the issue of fighting Islamic Extremism. First, I will differentiate between al-Qaeda and the Islamic State and analyze the threat they pose to the West. Next, using historical events from the last few decades on preventing attacks in the Homeland, I will evaluate the most effective policy in fighting these groups domestically. And finally, I will analyze the conflicts the United States has been involved in to stop the ideology of extremism and, based on the successes and more numerous mistakes, formulate a policy that provides a comprehensive plan to combat these groups abroad....