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July 17, 2014

Defense One: You Can’t Fight Terrorists By Partnering With Guys Like Maliki

An opinion piece by Human Rights First's Michael J. Quigley.

Why do we give credence to those who say, “The war against terrorism is failing—so keep it up”? Critics of President Barack Obama say that the rise of the Islamic State, or IS, in Iraq and Syria is the result of Obama’s attempts to shift United States counterterrorism strategy from one of near unilateral American military action to a new era of partnerships with countries where terrorist networks seek a foothold. 

Some critics—claiming that the rise of ISagainst al-Qaeda shows that the “war against jihadists” continues—argue that the U.S. should stretch the post-9/11 Authorization for Use of Military Force, or AUMF, to justify fighting terrorists who are fighting other terrorists.

But the insurgency in Iraq does not invalidate the utility of partnerships. On the contrary, it demonstrates the bankruptcy of counterterrorism that disregards human rights.

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