Other Solutions Worth Thinking About

  • Initiate a U.S. government–sponsored global advertising campaign to counter ISIS’s own branding effort.
    • Hire a global advertising firm. In-house attempts by several agencies to run social media campaigns have not worked. Hire experts.
    • The goal is to make ISIS and radical Islam not “cool” anymore.
    • Recruit popular sports figures, political leaders, celebrities, and others to make anti-ISIS commercials across all forms of media (radio, TV, digital, print, social).
  • Develop authentic community outreach programs. Most government agency outreach we’re aware of has been disguised as informant hunting, and the Muslim community in America and abroad is on to this. It’s time to start meaning what we say and saying what we mean.
  • Stop profiling Muslim Arab men and women in America; it builds resentment. Profile history of actions, not skin color or religion.
  • Reduce the “Ugly American” footprint in the Middle East by downsizing the large military presence there.
  • Back Kurdish independence.
  • Focus a massive effort on building schools and hospitals in the Middle East and other areas of radicalism. We need to win more hearts and minds and give parents more options to send their kids to school. Many of the free schools available are run by conservative mullahs who preach and support a violent caliphate.
  • Most important, change the way we are thinking about dealing with this problem!

If Nike can authentically penetrate the action sports market in very small period of time, then the U.S. government can run similar campaign to combat the existing pop culture that makes it cool to support change through violence.

As the United States and its coalition partners conduct air strikes against ISIS and Khorasan Group targets operating in the chaotic Syrian battle space, the various ties of jihadist fighters to their extremist ideologies must also be targeted.

This chapter establishes a framework for understanding the problem of information exchange in the context of radical Islamist ideology, and proposes an outline for actions that can be taken to counter jihadist propaganda on an individual level.