I’m seeing another pattern across a range of wars that might be useful. After Islamists establish their radical states, the population turns against them in short order. Other types of militant organizations are not having much better success.

Radical Islamists lose the support of the local Muslim population everywhere they installed a government: The Taliban in Afghanistan and many parts of Pakistan, Al-Qaeda in Iraq, The Islamic Courts Union in Somalia, the GIA in Algeria, and so forth. These groups establish a radical form of theocratic government, impose an extreme interpretation of Islamic law, and terrorize their political opponents into submission.

Hamas is the latest group to wear out its welcome in record time. Their approval has plunged to 15% in Palestine, and more than two thirds of Palestinians want to hold new elections.

Even the Palestinians realize that Hamas are extremists. I’m not saying they want peace with Israel. They want to avoid the civil war Hamas has been starting with Fatah. The siege underway in Gaza is crippling the local economy and the radicalism is not making them more popular.

This makes it very easy to overthrow these short-lived Islamist governments. They lack the glue that held communist or liberal governments together. The population reacts poorly to coercion and the alien interpretation of Islam. Many try to return their society to traditional views of Islam and tribal politics and laws.

Hamas made the all the common mistakes:

The survey, conducted by the research center of al-Najjah University in Nablus, also found that if elections were held now, the Islamic Hamas movement would receive only 15.1 percent of the vote, compared to 42 percent for Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah party.

…Some 53.4 percent thought the security situation in the Gaza Strip had deteriorated since Hamas assumed control, compared to 39.9 percent who thought the opposite.

This will sound ruthless: Let them rot.

Many of these militant organizations lack the capability to effectively run advanced societies. They neglect basic government services and popular needs. So the population turns against them. So here’s an idea: We can use the actions Islamist governments against them by warning off other populations from accepting them in the first place.

This is another limiting feature within 4th generation warfare. The success of one group of militants undermines their future political power. Their victories cause other networks to form and oppose them. They may do so democratically or militarily, it depends. Networks hold networks in a balance of power.

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