Every day, millions of young people swap selfies on Snapchat, update their status on Facebook, and swipe right on love interests on Tinder. For millennials, social media is essential for a 21st Century social life — but for 62-year-old political scientist Eliot A. Cohen, it apparently means the end of the human civilization as we know it. For malevolent actors ranging from the government of Vladimir Putin to the recruiters of the Islamic State, social media is a weapon which can undermine American democracy and even topple entire governments.
In 2007, news correspondent Martha Raddatz published The Long Road Home describing the events of April 4th, 2004 when 2-5 Cavalry assumed their mission in Sadr City, Iraq in the midst of a horrific ambush. Sadr City had been quiet for a year, the Shia population was waiting to see if the American occupation would work out on their behalf. The Shias had been much abused under Saddam Hussein’s regime and the city was a huge slum.