Terrorism Expert Brian Fishman: How Can ISIS Be Defeated?
Brian Fishman, Counterterrorism Research Fellow, New America; Fellow, Combating Terrorism Center, West Point; Author, The Master Plan: ISIS, al-Qaeda, and the Jihadi Strategy for Final Victory
In conversation with Kori Schake, Research fellow, Hoover Institution; Former Deputy Director, Policy Planning, U.S. State Department; Former Director, Defense Strategy and Requirements, National Security Council
To defeat ISIS, you need to understand ISIS.
Brian Fishman is a leading expert on ISIS. He served as the director of research at the United States Military Academy’s Combating Terrorism Center and began studying the progenitors of ISIS in 2005. He predicted the rise of the Islamic State in early 2011, prior to the Syrian civil war. Fishman says that the rise of ISIS was neither an accident of history nor an unpredictable product of chaos in Syria, but rather the fulfillment of a vision to capitalize on Syria’s demographic and geopolitical frailty, detailed in a plan that runs through 2020. He says that "master plan" offers important insight into how ISIS might now evolve. Fishman says that only by learning the Islamic State’s full history and the strategy that drove it can we understand the forces that could ultimately tear it apart.
Fishman is a graduate of the University of California Los Angeles and Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs.