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Dr. Paul Kamolnick publishes work on Al-Qaeda, Islamic State organizations
Dr. Paul Kamolnick, studio portrait

JOHNSON CITY (May 3, 2017) – Dr. Paul Kamolnick of East Tennessee State University recently published the last in a series of three books on Al-Qaeda and U.S. policy in the war on terrorism written under a contract with the U.S. Army War College (USAWC).

In his latest book, “The Al-Qaeda Organization and the Islamic State Organization: History, Doctrine, Modus Operandi, and U.S. Policy to Degrade and Defeat Terrorism Committed in the Name of Sunni Islam,” the professor in ETSU’s Department of Sociology and Anthropology helps readers understand the strategically relevant differences between the two transnational terrorist entities.

Kamolnick outlines the essential doctrines, beliefs and worldviews of both Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State, as well as the strategic concepts and characteristic methods they employ, and analyzes the specific implications these have for U.S. government policy and strategy.

Kamolnick’s recommendations include “advocating well-known methods for combating terrorism,” as well as “developing a deeper understanding of Sunni Islam, of (Al-Qaeda’s) and (Islamic State’s) extreme deviance in relation to Sunni Islam, and of how Sunni Islamic orthodoxy, including some militant strands, may be leveraged to more effectively delegitimize, marginalize, and implode these unlawful criminal terrorist entities.”

“I believe the book is particularly relevant at the present moment,” Kamolnick says, “given that its chief argument and evidence warranting an inter-civilizational dialogue and long-term alliance with the Sunni Muslim world starkly contrasts with policies promoting an irreconcilable ‘clash of civilizations’ between the Islamic and non-Islamic worlds.”

Kamolnick’s series is a product of a competitive contract awarded through the External Research Associates Program of the USAWC’s Strategic Studies Institute (SSI).  The first book, “Delegitimizing Al-Qaeda: A Jihad-Realist Approach,” was published in 2012, followed by “Countering Radicalization and Recruitment to Al-Qaeda: Fighting the War of Deeds” in 2014.     

The SSI distributes its papers to high-level policy makers charged with key national security decision-making, such as the Department of Defense, Department of State, senior members of congressional committees and the broader policy community.

Through its External Research Associates Program, the SSI solicits expertise from non-military, non-governmental, civilian scholars to research and publish policy-relevant monographs deemed essential to the current research mission of the college.  Potential contractors may register with the Central Contract Registration site (, and proposals are evaluated by an independent review board.

All three of Kamolnick’s books in this series may be accessed free of charge through his web page,, and on the SSI web page,  Hard copies of the current book are available for $39 each through the U.S. Government Bookstore,

Kamolnick holds a Ph.D. from Florida State University.  Among his many research interests is the sociology of global terrorism, and he has taught various courses on the topic.
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