Thomas Mockaitis

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For this assignment, I found a story related to the two 9/11 works which were assigned in this week’s learning journal. This piece, entitled “Are we winning the battle against terrorism?” is a relatively recent debate between Thomas Mockaitis, professor of History at DePaul University, and Jon Alterman, Center for Stategic and International Studies. They are asked if we are making progress in the fight against terrorism.

The first writer, Mockaitis, seems to have a positive view that the U.S. and its allies are making headway on defeating terrorists. He feels that the opinion of the general public is that we are losing the war. However, his opinion is that ISIS is being defeated and “is today’s most significant threat”. One interesting argument that Mockaitis makes is that the upsurge in terrorist activity might be a sign of weakness. He writes, “As ISIS is squeezed in its heartland, it lashes out farther abroad in a vain attempt to intimidate the United States and its allies.” (2017) He closes by stating that ultimately terrorism will not be eliminated, but be reduced to a “minor nuisance”.
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Alterman starts off explaining his view that using the term “war” is a misleading notion which has been erroneously used by leaders. Alterman states, “We like the idea of fighting wars because we think we can win a clear victory. And in our long history of wars against other nations, we 've defeated many of them. But we can 't win a war against a complex phenomenon like poverty, drug use, or terrorism.” (2017). He expands on how terrorists have the advantage of relatively easy access to weapons, and the easy communication, including social media and TV. Lastly, he argues that poverty and instability in the Middle East helps recruit more

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