Analysis later; first, highlights of homeland security adviser John Brennan's description of President Obama's "new thinking" on counterterrorism.
The substance outline Obama's new approach.
1. This isn't a "global war on terrorists" or "jihadists." Labeling the challenge as such confers legitimacy on the univeralizing aspirations of Al Qaeda. "Terrorism is a tactic, a means to an end," Brennan said. He implied that the Bush administration had confused "ends and means."
2. Terrorism should not define U.S. foreign policy; instead, combating terrorists is one element in a broader strategy that engages Muslims and other rogue countires and promotes development and individual aspirations.
3. A "broader and more accurate understanding" of the causes that fuel extremism. It's not that poverty and education cause terrorism, but "there is no denying" that when young people feel disconntected and when governments "fail to provide" for thier people, "people become more suspectable to ideologies of .. death." Brennan calls these the "upstream factors." Brennan: "We cannot shoot our way out of this challenge."
4. Addressing these factors "is ultimately not a military operation" -- it's a security, education and economic operation.
5. Integrating all instruments of American power to "ensure that those upstream factors discourage rather than encourage, violent extremism."
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is a senior fellow at the USC Annenberg Center on Communication Leadership and Policy.