Defeating al-Qaeda in the "Battle of Ideas": The Case for a U.S. Counter-Narrative

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2012

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Gelpi, Christopher F

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Abstract

Counterterrorism, much like terrorism itself, is often a "battle of ideas." Yet, in the fight against al-Qaeda, the U.S. is currently losing this battle. This paper argues that the implementation of a counter-narrative strategy is crucial to the overall fight against al-Qaeda. It begins by discussing the importance of narratives, both to human cognition and international relations in general. It then explores al-Qaeda's narrative and the reasons for its success. After detailing the U.S.'s failure to develop its own counter-narrative against al-Qaeda, it ends with a strategy for a potential U.S. counter-narrative moving forward.

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Citation

La Marca, Michael (2012). Defeating al-Qaeda in the "Battle of Ideas": The Case for a U.S. Counter-Narrative. Master's thesis, Duke University. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/5445.

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