Is U.S. losing to Islamic State group’s social media appeal? General says no

Watch an excerpt of the PBS NewsHour’s interview with retired Marine Corps Gen. John Allen about how U.S. efforts stack up to the Islamic State group.

Despite reports saying the United States has an uphill climb in countering the Islamic State group’s propaganda on social media, Gen. John Allen said Tuesday, “I don’t agree with the broad characterization that we’re losing” the war to win hearts and minds.

“It’s a great challenge, because Daesh (the Arab term for the Islamic State group) only has one message and they only have a single entity that’s putting that message out,” said the retired Marine Corps General, who is the special presidential envoy to the international coalition against the Islamic State group.

“King Abdullah II of Jordan said this is about recovering our faith and to do this we must have an Arab face and a Muslim voice,” said Allen of his meetings with the coalition partners.

As the U.S. and coalition seek to counter the militants’ message that seems to attract youth, they need to have credible influencers, faces and voices, he said. “With that much diversity across so many regions of the world, achieving the unity of purpose and the unity of message is really important. That’s what we’re working to do.”

Watch the full interview with Allen that aired on Tuesday’s PBS NewsHour: