Mass Ave Episode 116: Afghanistan and Counter Terrorism


Mass Ave Episode 116: Afghanistan and Counter Terrorism

Jul 31st, 2017 1 min read

Commentary By

Tommy Binion

Vice President of Government Relations

Emily VanderBush

Former Communications Manager

The Robert H. Bruce Studio The Heritage Foundation

This week...

  • Increases in airstrikes and potentially in U.S. military forces demonstrate a Trump administration wanting deeper, sustained American involvement in Afghanistan. Margaret Thatcher Fellow Robin Simcox sees the engagement as crucial to halting the spread of Taliban and al-Qaeda influence, even if expectations of idyllic democracy are unrealistic for the war-torn country.
  • Islamic terrorists are motivated by ideology, not purely material factors like poverty. Combating the cultural and religious factors at play, argues Robin, requires deeper indictments of radical Islamism itself. The U.S.'s current program to counter violent extremism can only work if focused less on addressing material influences and more on contrasting ideology with American democratic values.

For some background...

  • Read why the U.S. shouldn't turn away from Afghanistan, and why al-Qaeda can't be forgotten.
  • Learn more about what's wrong with the U.S.'s Countering Violent Extremism program, and what can be done to reform it.

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