“We just can’t keep killing our way out of this problem.”
During four hard combat tours as a Marine commander, Jake Harriman began to understand why the United States is failing to eradicate violent Islamic extremism.
Individual heroics and immense sacrifice over 16 years have enabled American combat troops and special forces to win their battles with the Taliban, al Qaeda and the Islamic State. Those extremist militias are virtually powerless against U.S. drones and airstrikes, which have killed dozens of senior leaders. But still, jihadist movements persist and grow.
Afghan kids keep joining the Taliban, which controls a growing swath of Afghanistan. ISIS, despite battlefield setbacks, recruits passionate believers in Syria, Afghanistan and Libya, not to mention Manchester, England, and Minneapolis. Extremist militias across Africa, around the Middle East and in Southeast Asia draw volunteers. And terrorism continues.