State Dept. spokeswoman defends her jobs-for-terrorists argument, says it might be ‘too nuanced’ for some

State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf is defending her argument that one way to defeat the Islamic State is to help them find jobs, by saying her argument might be too deep for some of her critics to understand.

Harf said Monday night that the U.S. can’t focus on killing terrorists, and instead needs to help them find work. She said the U.S. needs to get to the root cause of terrorism, which includes “lack of opportunity for jobs.”

That led a wave of critics to say her comments are proof that the Obama administration still doesn’t understand the threat security threat that the Islamic State poses, since officials seem to be treating the terrorist group as an unemployment problem to be solved.

But Marf fired back in an interview with CNN, in which she said her critics just don’t get it.

“We cannot kill every terrorist around the world, nor should we try,” she said. “How do you get at the root causes of this?”

“It might too nuanced an argument for some, like I’ve seen over the past 24 hours… but it’s really the smart way Democrats, Republicans, military commanders, our partners in the Arab world think we need to combat it,” she added.

She stuck to her idea even though she admitted it’s not one that “fits into a soundbite.”

154 Comments