Wow, I have not been posting! Actually, I think what is to follow cannot even be considered a full post, but more of a thought.
As I shared on Twitter, we need a conference to discuss a viable Counter Narrative, one that involves professionals of varying but interconnecting education and experience; military, academic, intelligence community, law enforcement, public affairs, media relations, investigative journalists, health practitioners, economists, security administration, international business specialists.
The American-born quantum physicist, David Bohm, who worked closely with Albert Einstein (I encourage you to please put aside his Communist tendencies and focus solely on his professional brilliance), stated in his major work entitled, Thought as a System (London, 2000, 2002); "...thought actively participates in forming our perceptions, our sense of meaning and our daily actions." The conference, I propose, can focus predominantly on formulating a "system of thought" that shapes perceptions of AQCL/affiliates. Further, our particular focus can set-forth a process of implementation characterized by an interconnected construction of actions: We must utilize all of the resources we have to support a single system of thought.
This is the catch, and that which certainly needs to be debated in a forum-style conference: The difficult task is agreeing on the meaning of who we are collectively and what we ought to do and how in reflection of our shared values/traditions. The projection of our values, of course, must comprehensively counter that of AQ/affiliates. In this sense, a good offense is a good defense, but the important aspect of the narrative is that we in fact go on the offense in terms of our religious/cultural, political, and socio-economic beliefs and practices.
For example, one panel discussion ought to highlight the perspectives already brought to the table by Malcolm Nance (An End to Al Qaeda), James Roberts (Addressing the Zawahirist Outsurgency), and both Sebastian Gorka (Countering the Enemy Narrative) and Katherine Gorka (The Language of Jihad). In many ways, each differs on how we first approach the formation of a counter narrative and then implement the strategy horizontally.
This dialogue will highlight also the importance of an overarching COIN strategy, that which reaches the population directly. So, the perspective of a prominent leader, such as Hwang Jang-Yop, a North Korea defector and current South Korea resident, on the use of an effective ideological warfare (i.e. use language of human rights along with market and diplomatic pressures) can compliment combined arms TTP's to be technically and tactically proficient.
Overall, I am speaking here primarily from a philosophical standpoint in advocating a strategic-systems approach to dismantling and disrupting AQ/affiliates. As Starbuck and I agreed this morning, "Amateurs talk tactics, professionals talk logistics." See, I told you this was more of a thought than a post. In due fashion, please share your insights, perhaps on an effective counter narrative, news on upcoming events, and/or logistical planning for an upcoming conference!