In an exclusive interview with RiskHedge taped in Washington DC, Matthew Bryza says the Islamic State (ISIS) will be crushed militarily, but the problem itself won’t go away. “There will be post-ISIS groups,” explains Bryza. “There will be a son of ISIS. The ideology is still out there. Absent a comprehensive, strategic approach to countering the ideology, we’re just going to see this repeat and repeat and repeat, I fear.”
Bryza, a former United States ambassador to Azerbaijan, has worked in very senior diplomatic and security positions at the State Department and White House. As part of these roles, he was intimately aware of American efforts to defeat radical Islamic ideals. “American government officials have zero credibility in [Muslim] communities. It can’t be American officials or traditional USAID programs.”
In Bryza’s mind, the key is to join with those whose interests align with the defeat of radical Islamic ideals.
“I think that what you need to do is identify people in Muslim communities worldwide who may not like the United States, but dislike the radicals even more. [They will] have a vested interest in seeing that—what is the most important ideological debate in the world today within Islam—it comes out on the side of those who favor a more modern view, a more open view. [People] who are more patient about the timeframe in which Islamic law or Sharia law needs to be imposed on the planet.”
Watch the full interview above.