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Will Bombing ISIS Only Make It Stronger?

A French soldier sits in a control room at a French military base at an undisclosed location in the Gulf on November 17, 2015, as he monitors operations against the Islamic State group in Syria and Iraq.(Karim Sahib/AFP/Getty Images)
A French soldier sits in a control room at a French military base at an undisclosed location in the Gulf on November 17, 2015, as he monitors operations against the Islamic State group in Syria and Iraq.(Karim Sahib/AFP/Getty Images)

In the wake of the Paris attacks, Jessica Stern, author of “ISIS: The State of Terror,” joins Here & Now‘s Indira Lakshmanan to explain the history of the extremist group and its apocalyptic vision for the rest of the world.

As Western allies ramp up their bombing campaign against ISIS in Syria, Stern asks a provocative question: Will destroying the Islamic State on its home turf feed into the group’s broader strategy and foster more extremism abroad?

“I believe that while we could decimate, we could defeat the state on its territory, that wouldn’t take care of the ideology,” Stern said. “It wouldn’t destroy the motivations of those in Europe who want actually to increase prejudice against Muslims. It is part of their strategy to create chaos. They have a plan that includes increasing Sunni-Shia tensions as well as tensions between Westerners and Muslims… They really want Europeans to overreact to Paris by refusing to accept refugees, by engaging in anti-Muslim activities, policies, make Muslims feel so uncomfortable and desperate that they will carry out strikes in ISIS’s name.”

Guest

  • Jessica Stern, lecturer on terrorism at Harvard University and co-author of “ISIS: The State of Terror.” She tweets @JessicaEStern.

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