Hearts and Minds is a losing game

“I’m skeptical of the notion of having a ‘counter-narrative’ [for radical Muslims],” declared Reuel Marc Gerecht, a Senior Fellow at the FDD and a former CIA analyst. “If you look at France, which has the largest Muslim population in Western Europe, and where problems of assimilation are profound, the French government hasn’t really spent a lot of time developing a ‘counter-narrative’ [for Muslims]. [Instead,] they have spent an enormous amount of time developing the DST [Direction de la Surveillance du Territoire] into quite a lethal counter-terrorist organization, used and directed by the juge d’instruction, which is probably the most effective bureaucratic apparatus to go after Islamic militants. I think the French might be onto something. You might spend a lot more time on professional counterterrorism, and a lot less time thinking about ‘hearts and minds,’