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This Letort Paper proposes that actions, policies, and deeds—those of the U.S. Government and al-Qaeda—be leveraged as a means of delegitimizing al-Qaeda terrorist propaganda. Two chief fronts—changing deeds and challenging deeds—is proposed. Changing deeds requires that the United States carefully and systematically examine its own foreign and military policies and their specific consequences for the Arab and Muslim world. Challenging deeds comprises systematically countering with evidence and fact al-Qaeda’s two greatest propagandistic fabrications: that the United States is a crusader at war with Islam, and that al-Qaeda is the vanguard defender of a besieged and oppressed Muslim Umma. Provocative at times, and even controversial in its willingness to reconsider long-standing U.S. Government policies, this Letort Paper is adamant that it is not spin, empty platitudes, and “lipstick on pigs,” but actual deeds, that are our surest bet for defeating this ignoble adversary.
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Paul Kamolnick Dr.,
Countering Radicalization and Recruitment to Al-Qaeda: Fighting the War of Deeds ( US Army War College Press, 2014),