DIRTY WAR: Ivan Molloy.
DIRTY WAR: Ivan Molloy.

‘Immoral tactics’ only way to fight terrorism: Molloy

A CONTROVERSIAL former Sunshine Coast academic says the West must be prepared to "fight terrorism with terrorism" to beat the brutal Islamic State movement.

Retired University of the Sunshine Coast political science lecturer and former ALP candidate for Fairfax Dr Ivan Molloy said it was time to adopt "illegal" and "murderous terror" tactics to defeat the IS forces.

Dr Molloy said the West needed to undermine IS with the same "dirty war" strategies used by the Vietnamese against the United States during the Vietnam War.

"I do think that is the only way you can meet terrorists like them," Dr Molloy said.

Dr Molloy, who was famously - and mistakenly - called Ivan Milat by the then Labor leader Mark Latham in 2004, did field research with Islamic extremists in the Philippines during the 1980s. He said IS was not waging a battle for territory which could be fought with conventional forces.

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Dr Molloy said terrorists tried to undermine support for governments that opposed them and the IS brand of "psychological warfare" could only be met with a similar "immoral" campaign.

"You'll never beat them with conventional warfare," he said. "This isn't a battle for territory. It's a battle for the six inches between the ears of our opponents.

"We have to wage people war against people war and slow their support."

Dr Molloy said Low Intensity Conflict like that used by the Reagan administration involving government-backed mercenaries and assassins against revolutionaries in Nicaragua, Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador, and the Philippines was "the only answer" to IS.

He said the tactics would be in breach of human rights and presented a moral dilemma for the West, but were also essential to uphold human rights and democratic values. "Sometimes brutal war needs to be met with brutal war," he said.

"It seems brutal to me, but I've got daughters, and when I think about what might happen to them, about what might happen to Western civilisation..."


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