Ilan Berman came to King’s College London to present his new book Winning the Long War.
Mr. Berman outlined a new direction for U.S. counterinsurgency strategy to win the war against radical Islam.
He highlighted four critical reasons why the US military alone cannot win this war.
First the US military lacks the capacity to fight a global insurgency:
Then, the American strategy does not seem to take into account that insurgencies are different from one another. And as he very rightly pointed out, different challenges require different approaches and not all of them can be handled by the military.
Third, he said that the insurgents do not realize that they cannot defeat the American military. This on the one hand suggests that the U.S. military will not be defeated in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Iraq, and on the other hand shows that radical Islamists are beginning to use more sophisticated, non-military methods to achieve their aims.
And finally Mr. Berman argued that the U.S. is fighting a war that overemphasizes the defeat of Al Qaeda after the 9/11 attacks.
Mr. Berman says the challenge of global insurgency cannot be overcome by military methods alone. And he suggests that America’s strategy should focus on fighting the battle on five grounds: ideology, communication, economics, international law, and democratization.
For Ilan Berman America needs a smarter, broader, and more diverse approach to the global insurgency in order to win the long war against radical Islam.