Sunday September 18, 2016
Paul Rogers: We won't defeat ISIS without a dramatic change in tactics
more stories from this episode
- Why are Americans so obsessed with Hillary Clinton's health? - Michael's essay
- Paul Rogers: We won't defeat ISIS without a dramatic change in tactics
- The fight to reduce wait times for medical test results - an Alisa Siegel documentary
- Young lawyer helps those who can't afford it to get the legal help they need
- Full Episode
We are now fifteen years into the global "War on Terror."
It has led to the ousting of regimes in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya, and to the detainment or deaths of thousands of Islamist militants — along with a lot of their leaders.
It has also cost trillions of dollars and led to the deaths of at least 250,000 people — mostly civilians — many times more than the number of people who died on 9/11. That number doesn't include the hundreds of thousands who were injured, and the millions who were displaced.
The War on Terror also played a part in the creation of ISIS, and in alienating and radicalizing people in the West and in the Muslim world.
What the War on Terror has not done is defeat terrorism. That might be because it has been prosecuted like a normal war, deploying tremendous military force to vanquish a foe.
Paul Rogers says the kind of war we're engaged in against ISIS is an irregular war — one which cannot be won with sheer military might, technological superiority or strategic cunning.
And, he argues, irregular wars are the the kinds of wars we will find ourselves mired in through the decades ahead if we don't change our approach to fighting — and preventing — them.
Paul Rogers is a Professor of Peace Studies at Bradford University in the UK and the International Security Editor for the website openDemocracy, as well as a regular guest on The Sunday Edition. His most recent book is called Irregular War: ISIS and the New Threat from the Margins.
Click the button above to hear Michael Enright's conversation with Paul Rogers.