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Islamic Radicalization and the Global Islamist Movement: Protecting U.S. National Interests by Understanding and Countering Islamist Grand Strategy with U.S. Policy
NATIONAL DEFENSE UNIV NORFOLK VA JOINT ADVANCED WARFIGHTING SCHOOL
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This thesis examines the national security policies and strategies of the United States as they address terrorism and the root causes of terrorism in an information age. It focuses on the root causes of terrorism and the enduring nature of the Global Islamist Movement as manifested by its flagship terrorist organization, al-Qaeda. The thesis summarizes the Global Islamist Movements historic and theological foundations, its ideology, and its published strategy to emphasize the enduring nature of the movements threat to U.S. interests globally. The thesis also assesses and identifies shortcomings in various U.S. national security policies with respect to the Global Islamist Movement and the terrorism that it spawns. The thesis argues that globalization and modern social media have empowered this most recent Islamist resurgence in ways that make its asymmetric strategies and decentralized execution effective. The thesis leads the reader to conclude that the Global Islamist Movement is an enduring threat to the United States, and that U.S. national-level policies must specifically acknowledge this threat so that subsequent strategies can align the elements of U.S. national power against it.
APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE