Waging a Digital Counterinsurgency
Jared Cohen, Director, Google Ideas; Advisor to the Executive Chairman, Alphabet Inc.
Omar Saif Ghobash, Ambassador of the United Arab Emirates to the Russian Federation
Shiraz Maher, Senior Research Fellow, International Centre for the Study of Radicalization, King's College London
Rick Stengel, Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs, US Department of State
Chair: Clarissa Ward, Senior International Correspondent, CNN
Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) is the first terrorist group to use the internet in a highly organized manner to spread its ideology and recruit followers in the region and abroad. The organization’s dominance in the digital sphere has been central to its rapid growth and has aided its success in gaining and controlling physical territory.
As renewed pledges to defeat ISIS intensify beyond debate over airstrikes and ground troops, strategy can seem hopelessly difficult given the sheer scale of ISIS' digital propaganda and recruiting machine. However, some recent thinking and research indicates that coordinated efforts to wage a broad-scale digital counterinsurgency may be as urgent as military confrontation when it comes to disabling ISIS and preventing future threats.
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