Town Hall: Expert panel talks about the war on terror, how to defeat ISIS


An expert panel of guests joined for a town hall discussion with Sinclair to talk about the complications, and possible solutions to defeating ISIS.

While opinions varied, experts weighed-in on the issues surrounding the war against extremists, and what it will take to stop them.

Lt. Col. Anthony Shaffer (ret.) said the government first needs to “define clearly who the adversary is,” stating Congress needs to have a clear strategy in military action.

“Congress is part of the problem We have been debating the idea of fighting ISIS for almost two years now.”

Abdul Latif Bennett, outreach director for Baltimore’s Ahmadiyya Muslim Community said his community does not identify with extremist propaganda displayed by ISIS.

When asked how Muslim communities could express outrage, he said “we wouldn’t take to the streets, because we believe even that type of protest undermines the government. We are loyal to whatever country where we are.”

“What we would do however, is we would write. What we call the ‘Jihad of the pen.'”

Zainab Chaudry, outreach director for the Council on American Islamic Relations, said “The outrage is there from the Muslim community Muslims all around the world are outraged by the horrific actions that terrorist organizations like ISIS are engaged in.”

“The vast majority of Muslims do not believe that ISIS speaks for them.”

Brooke Goldstein, a New York City attorney and director of Lawfare Project, said “we are really losing the war of ideas because we don’t have a plan to defeat this ideology.”

“We cannot define the ideology behind the terrorist threat. We have an administration that refuses to even say the words ‘radical Islam.'”

J.D. Gordon, a Washington Times columnist, said “Both the Saudis and the Iranians are really burning down the Middle East,” referencing an opinion piece he wrote in The Daily Caller.

“They both have a target on the U.S., Europe, Israel in particular, and I think that unless we stop those leaders – stop the religious leaders in Mecca and Tehran, we’re never going to get out of this.”

Clifford D. May, president of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, said in defeating ISIS, “there is no solution that doesn’t have a military component. But it can’t just be a military component.”

“We don’t have a strategy right now. We don’t even have a coherent analysis of the problem.”

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