ON-Lion Letter

"ISIS is part of the multi-generational struggle against radical Islam which will likely dominate the first half of the 21st century similar to the fight against communism, which dominated the second half of the 20th century," Bradley Prize recipient Gen. Jack Keane testified to a joint hearing of the U.S. House Committees on Foreign Affairs and Homeland Security in November, after the terrorist attacks in Paris.  "Fourteen years after 9/11 the U.S. has no comprehensive strategy or a global alliance to defeat radical Islam."

Keane is chairman of the board of the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) in Washington, D.C.  The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation in Milwaukee supports ISW.

"ISIS is the most successful terrorist organization in modern history," the retired Army general testified.  "It is driven by a religious-based ideology with significant geopolitical objectives to establish an extensive caliphate that touches the Middle East, Africa, Asia and Europe, by dominating all Muslim lands and an apocalyptic event in Europe that carves out an ISIS enclave.

"ISIS has 3 major thrusts," according to Keane.  "The first is to defend Syria and Iraq."  The second "is to use its headquarters in Syria to expand in the 'near abroad' ... by establishing affiliate organizations," and the third "is to influence the 'far abroad,' ... which are Muslim lands and countries that are supporting the coalition against ISIS ... by inspiring and motivating radicals, by averaging thousands of social media posts per day, and by returning fighters from Syria who are trained and motivated to attack their own citizens at home.

"ISIS is fundamentally evil; brutal, barbaric killing every day while systematically enslaving and raping women," he concluded.  "It is indisputable that ISIS is succeeding in executing a global strategy from their caliphate in the Islamic State.  As part of that strategy, they are planning to kill Americans.  They have repeatedly said so and they have proven, they do what they say.

"Having the best security defensive system in America is not sufficient, we must have as good an offense to stop and defeat ISIS.  We do not.  We are not even close.  I can say with certainty that the current U.S. driven coalition strategy with its modest improvements will fail."

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