Hillary Clinton’s dismissal that the threat from jihadist groups represents a clash of civilizations is troubling because it indicates that while she says ISIS is motivated by a radical ideology, she does not understand what this ideology is.
ISIS operates across three mutually reinforcing dimensions: a physical enclave in Iraq and Syria; an international terrorist network that includes affiliates across the region and beyond; and an ideological movement of radical jihadism. We have to target and defeat all three, and time is of the essence.
For example, Clinton criticized “the obsession in some quarters [meaning Republicans] with a clash of civilizations.” Clinton also echoed Obama’s frequent claims that the United States is not at war with Islam when she said, “I don’t think we’re at war with all Muslims. I think we’re at war with jihadists.”
Clinton also apparently does not realize that the clash-of-civilizations concept is not a Republican talking point but a well-known theory developed by two giants in the history of the Middle East and political science, Drs. Bernard Lewis and Samuel Huntington.