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December 29, 2014 10:29 am

U.S. Tries to Render Harmless ISIS’ Psychology

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The flag of the Syrian al-Qaeda-affiliated group Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

New York Times – Maj. Gen. Michael K. Nagata, commander of American Special Operations forces in the Middle East, sought help this summer in solving an urgent problem for the American military: What makes the Islamic State so dangerous?

Trying to decipher this complex enemy — a hybrid terrorist organization and a conventional army — is such a conundrum that General Nagata assembled an unofficial brain trust outside the traditional realms of expertise within the Pentagon, State Department and intelligence agencies, in search of fresh ideas and inspiration. Business professors, for example, are examining the Islamic State’s marketing and branding strategies.

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