Al Qaeda, Caliphate and Antonio Gramsci: One State, One Region, then One World?
AIR COMMAND AND STAFF COLL MAXWELL AFB AL
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The purpose of this research is to discuss how al Qaeda is organized, conducts operations and constantly manages relationships in comparison to the ideas and thoughts of Antonio Gramsci. Gramsci was a prolific Italian Socialist writer whose thoughts on using ideology to gain and exploit hegemony may help explain the words and actions of al Qaeda. The analysis determined that al Qaeda uses a strong promotion of its philosophy to create a change in hegemony via a culture focused on uniting Muslims against a primary enemy United States. Al Qaeda also supports various education efforts which may provide foot soldiers. Finally, al Qaeda continuously seeks like-minded groups and exploits all means to communicate to the masses in order to motivate action. To counter, the United States should take several specific actions. First, America and its allies should use more effective human intelligence alongside high-tech methods to identify and neutralize al Qaeda leaders, as well as continue intercepting and disrupting communications. Second, the United States should continue the use of mass media to counter al Qaedas message to offset their radical ideology and recruit Islamic experts to respond to and debate al Qaedas extreme interpretations of the Quran. Next, Western military members should be educated more on Muslim and Arabic culture. Finally, governments should be more proactive in evaluating educational systems to ensure exposure to other views and monitor messages from religious leaders. Coupled with continued military and nation-building activities in Afghanistan, these actions should contribute significantly to the demise and defeat of al Qaeda.
- Humanities and History
- Unconventional Warfare