At a time when Islamic State militants around the world have sledgehammered antiquities, French President François Holland helped launch a cultural heritage initiative at the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly meeting. [...] The French President announced the creation of a $100 million public/private fund, with the United Arab Emirates, to safeguard endangered cultural heritage sites. 

Though the Taliban has relied on technology for over a decade in the name of propaganda and public relations, its relationship with social media has only taken root in the last few years, in parallel with the rise of ISIS. Just as terrorist organizations in the Middle East have made Facebook pages, Telegram channels, and Twitter accounts, the Taliban has expanded the breadth and depth of its outreach to the international community in general and the news media in particular.

They called it Think Again, Turn Away. The concept? Use sarcasm as way to turn Islamic State images into an argument against their grim techniques of terror. The creator and producer? The U.S. State Department. Today, everyone agrees the message was worse than ineffective. It played right into the hands of the terrorists.

After trying many ways to confront ISIS’ campaigns on the internet to recruit Westerners, in particular Americans, the U.S. State Department launched a program that seeks “to appeal to emotion rather than logic” as The New York Times said on Friday. “Daesh deprives a woman of her voice,” reads one image that is part of a new State Department program, using the Arabic acronym for ISIS. 

Tara D. Sonenshine on Trump's foreign policy.

The Obama administration is hosting defense and foreign ministers and representatives from over 40 countries Wednesday in an effort to get more help fighting ISIS. A day after the anti-ISIS coalition announced it had dropped its 50,000th bomb in the nearly two-year campaign to root the terror group out of Iraq and Syria, the US sought to raise over $2 billion in funding to bolster Iraq and seek other help from allies to stabilize the region.

One option is to cut the monster at its roots. This is the strategy adopted by Hollande, calling for stepped up anti-terrorism operations in Syria and Iraq. Eradicating the source of propaganda and erasing the motivations for terrorist acts is one of the few options left when the embedded enemy cannot be identified. However, this strategy is uncertain and will take time to yield results, which means France facing up to the prospect of similar attacks in the near future.

In 2014, Indonesia declared it has chosen “soft power” to counterattack ISIS, determined to resort to violence or war only if every other means failed. Later in March 2016, Indonesia emphasized its decision not to join any military alliance in countering terrorism.