Fighting Islamic Terrorists With Democracy: A Critique   [open pdf - 349KB]

"The response of U.S. foreign policy to the volatile rise of global jihadism in the wake of the 9/11 attacks has been sweeping and multifaceted. One key pillar of U.S. strategic response has been the active promotion of Western representative democracy in those regions of the Islamic world identified as jihadist centers of incubation (namely: Afghanistan and Iraq). This objective-commitment to establishing representative democracies in Afghanistan and Iraq-has required, and continues to require, an impressive investment of U. S. resources, political capital, and international goodwill. In light of such continuing investment, the salient question that his monograph explores is whether the pursuit of representative democracy is a feasible and profitable, or quixotic and damaging project for U.S. strategic interests. Upon examining the minimum requirements for representative, pluralistic democracy compared with both the insistence of Middle Eastern nations to enshrine the Qur'an as the constitution of the state and the fundamentalist (therefore literal) interpretation of the Qur'an-the interpretation held by Islamic jihadiyyeen terrorists-the conclusion reached is that not only is democratization of the Middle East an ill-suited strategic project, it exacerbates the emergence of Islamic terrorists. Instead of pursuing democratization of the Middle East, our nation should focus all resources upon neutralizing those terrorist organizations which pose the greatest threat. This monograph shows that strategies attempting to indirectly and comprehensively defeat Islamic terrorists by drastically changing the political environment in which they are thought to emerge is based upon false assumptions and invalid arguments."

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