Treating ISIS as Cancer

US President Barack Obama and other members of his administration have long labeled the Islamic State as a “cancer” that must be eliminated. Destroying ideological fervor is not easy, and extending the president’s analogy can offer a useful way for determining strategies for defeating the Islamic State extremists once and for all, explains Bennett Ramberg, who served in the Bureau of Politico-Military Affairs in the US Department of State during the George H.W. Bush administration. Ramberg lists the promises and limits of strategies while comparing invasive surgery to sending ground troops to the region, radiation to airstrikes, and stem-cell treatment to promotion of economic development and good governance. Modern treatments for cancer require multi-pronged approaches, and so does the battle against extremism, with Ramberg concluding that each element is critical for success. – YaleGlobal

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