What the Cold War Can Teach Us About Jihadism

MIN READJul 14, 2016 | 08:00 GMT

An Islamic State flag flies near the frontline between the jihadist group and Kurdish peshmerga fighters in northern Iraq. Jihadism and communism are both ideologies, and ideologies are much harder to kill than their proponents are.

JM LOPEZ/AFP/Getty Images

In an earlier column, I briefly addressed the similarities between the utopian ideology of the Islamic State and that of the global communist movement. I have also compared the counterinsurgency efforts used against the two movements in the past. But as I was writing about the structure of the Islamic State last week, I encountered more and more parallels to the global Marxist movement. This got me thinking even more intently about the similar ways that the two -- despite their differences -- have applied, encouraged and supported the use of violence. In light of these parallels, the lessons derived from the decades-long struggle against communism throughout the world may provide important guidance for the continuing fight against jihadism....

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