Former New Jersey Governor Thomas H. Kean and former Indiana Congressman Lee H. Hamilton were chairman and vice-chairman, respectively, of the 9/11 Commission. On Tuesday, they published an op-ed in USA Today calling for a bold new approach to the global problem of jihad terrorism. Their innovative new idea? More of the same tried, tested, and repeatedly failed policies that have gotten us into the fix we’re in today.
“Over a decade and a half ago, as chairs of the 9/11 Commission,” they write, “we called for a comprehensive strategy to prevent new generations of terrorists, in addition to safeguarding the homeland and defeating terrorist groups.” That is indeed what is needed, and has been for quite some time, but, say Kean and Hamilton, “that call remains largely unfulfilled.” And by the end of their article, it still is.
Kean and Hamilton have just “served as the chairs of the congressionally mandated Task Force on Extremism in Fragile States, which was convened by the United States Institute of Peace”; they note that “last year, Congress charged the U.S. Institute of Peace with developing a strategy to prevent the spread of extremist violence in the world’s most fragile states and asked us to lead a bipartisan group of 13 of America’s most senior foreign policy leaders to address this critical challenge.” The final report of this Task Force “calls for the United States to focus on the underlying causes of fragility, by helping to repair the broken social contract between citizens and their governments, rather than just respond to terrorist threats.”
This sounds great, but in the final analysis, it amounts to more of the same failed policies that the U.S. has been implementing for years, which primarily amount to throwing money at the problem. Not surprisingly, this wrongheaded initiative has the endorsement of numerous exponents of those failed policies; Kean and Hamilton call them “leaders on both sides of the aisle — Sens. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and Chris Coons, D-Del., Reps. Eliot Engel, D-N.Y., and Michael McCaul, R-Texas,” who are sponsoring their legislation.
Even worse, “in April, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo concurred during a hearing that we must seize the moment and adopt this new approach.” Kean and Hamilton “applaud their leadership.”
Pardon me if I hold my applause. A new approach is indeed needed, but this isn’t it.
There is much more. Read the rest here.: