Page 5 of 16 FirstFirst ... 3456715 ... LastLast
Results 81 to 100 of 303

Thread: Beyond the frontline: watching ISIS

  1. #81
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    13,204

    Default Unconventional erosion

    A WaPo article 'Paranoia could be the best weapon against the Islamic State' by David Ignatius; note Clint Watss advocated this option awhile ago. Nothing stratling, but I expect david is read more inside 'The Beltway':http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinio...ff8_story.html
    davidbfpo

  2. #82
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    13,204

    Default

    Charles Lister from Brookings, has a new paper 'Profiling the islamic State':http://www.brookings.edu/research/re...c-state-lister

    From the summary:
    In a new Brookings Doha Center Analysis Paper, Charles Lister traces ISís roots from Jordan to Afghanistan, and finally to Iraq and Syria. He describes its evolution from a small terrorist group into a bureaucratic organization that currently controls thousands of square miles and is attempting to govern millions of people. Lister assesses the groupís capabilities, explains its various tactics, and identifies its likely trajectory.
    davidbfpo

  3. #83
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    13,204

    Default

    Two very different commentaries on the situation. First Ahmed Rashid in NY Review of Books, with a short overview 'ISIS: What the US Doesnít Understand':http://www.nybooks.com/blogs/nyrblog...nt-understand/

    Secondly and rather beatedly as it appeared in mid-October, Reueul Gerecht in The Standard, has a long piece on the entire region 'Sandstorm: The Middle East in chaos' and his focus is on motivation. A sample:
    Today, no Muslim state in the Middle East has an asabiyya (asabiyya, which is perhaps best translated as esprit de corps mixed with the will to power) that peacefully and happily binds its citizens together. Unless new organizing ideas are embraced, we are likely to see the persistence of the Islamic militancy that has shaken the region. The prognosis isnít good, in part because of highly counterproductive American actions.
    Link:http://www.weeklystandard.com/articl...91.html?page=1
    davidbfpo

  4. #84
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    13,204

    Default A profitable savagery

    A German report by Die Zeit (paper) and ARD (TV), which aims to:
    The goal was to find out exactly how the group works, where its money comes from and who is profiting. We wanted to find out how successful IS really is.
    Link:http://www.zeit.de/feature/islamic-state-is-caliphate

    Business crosses frontlines and reaches beyond:
    The oil is sold down a long chain of middlemen in ever-smaller batches. Criminal bands, tribes, corrupt civil servants, Shiites, Sunnis, Kurds and Turkmen: People from all parts of society seem to be involved. The end users are in the Kurdish regions of Iraq or Syria, in Iran or in Turkey...

    (Later) Yet the more unbearable the situation becomes, the greater the risk of revolt will be. At the moment, it is brute force that is holding this caliphate together Ė not faith in God and certainly not "love and patience." And it is theft that is filling IS coffers, not any kind of functioning economy. The caliphate is unsustainable.
    davidbfpo

  5. #85
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    13,204
    davidbfpo

  6. #86
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    13,204

    Default

    The Israeli NGO, the Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center, has now published their entire report in English 'ISIS: Portrait of a Jihadi Terrorist Organization', with 264 pgs:http://www.terrorism-info.org.il/Dat...1329270214.pdf
    davidbfpo

  7. #87
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    13,204

    Default Dissecting Daesh (ISIS) propaganda

    In a joint investigation TRAC and the Quillaim Foundation take apart a recent Daesh video of a group execution - all is not what it seems. Shadows added for example and the time track shows gaps.

    From TRAC's introduction:
    Since its inception, the Islamic State (IS) propaganda machine has repeatedly demonstrated its sophistication and complexity. IS has abandoned the often ramshackle methods of international outreach common to its rivals (e.g. bin Laden's cassette tapes) in favor of meticulously planned, high-quality videos. In one of its most recent releases, Although the Disbelievers Dislike It, IS attempts to provide a graphic cinema-quality experience to its viewers. Nevertheless, upon close examination, it becomes apparent that discrepancies were overlooked in the editorial process, leading to telling anomalies.
    There is a video on the TRAC site, which will be graphic.

    Link to TRAC:http://www.trackingterrorism.org/art...ry-expansion-0

    Link to Quilliam, which is a PDF report (no video, just photos):http://www.quilliamfoundation.org/wp...anda-video.pdf

    One wonders how such a forensic, if not technical analysis can be exploited within the areas Daesh control, shown to those who watch such videos on their radicalisation route and as evidence to support a war crime investigation.
    Last edited by Jedburgh; 01-21-2015 at 04:07 PM. Reason: Fixed report link.
    davidbfpo

  8. #88
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    13,204

    Default

    A BBC analysis by Professor Fawaz Gerges, of LSE, on the BBC which aims to:
    To make sense of the sudden rise of Islamic State (IS) and its territorial gains in Iraq and Syria, it is important to place the organisation within the broader global jihadist movement.
    Link:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-30681224
    davidbfpo

  9. #89
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    13,204

    Default Why the fight against IS is not the success we're told it is

    Professor Scott Lucas has a commentary:https://www.opendemocracy.net/open-s...7re-told-it-is

    It starts with:
    Is John Kerry right to be so gung-ho about military successes against Islamic State? Not reallyóas the fundamental political challenges in Iraq and Syria remain unaddressed.
    As he notes where is there progress, excluding the increasing Iranian influence, if not power:
    The blunt reality is that, with the exception of KobanÍ, there can be no effective campaign against IS without the support of a local ground force.
    What is needed? Well it is not SOF and bombing, that is just about containing the Daesh. He advocates:
    There are alternatives that could really challenge IS: an Iraqi Kurdistan with real international recognition and support, an Iraqi government answering to all communities, a Syrian opposition supported in a political vision that overcomes not only the jihadists but the Assad regime.
    davidbfpo

  10. #90
    Council Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    3,169

    Default

    There are alternatives that could really challenge IS: an Iraqi Kurdistan with real international recognition and support, an Iraqi government answering to all communities, a Syrian opposition supported in a political vision that overcomes not only the jihadists but the Assad regime.
    Of course these would be preferred solutions, and the U.S. and others are not neglecting them by choice as this academic seems to imply, the U.S. is neglecting them because they're not in the realm of the possible at this time.

    Who is the future leader in Iraq right now that is considered legitimate by all sides?

    What future leader in Syria can calm troubled waters?

    I'm not sure how a Kurdistan at this time would create stability. Furthermore, one report (can't confirm its validity) indicates that Kurds' relatively poor performance against ISIL as dissuaded them from pursuing statehood at this time, because they realize they're not ready for it.

    Academics at times, can be rather annoying when they pretend to offer pseudo-intellectual solutions that have no basis in reality. They seem to say please listen to me you dumb governments, as I'm a PhD and much wiser than you. On the hand, "The Wisdom of Crowds" argues that experts more often than not get it wrong.
    Last edited by Bill Moore; 01-27-2015 at 09:13 PM. Reason: correcting Smartphone auto corrects :-)

  11. #91
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    13,204

    Default A book for MG Nagata and a few more

    In August 2014 MG Nagata, Centcom SOF commander, stated 'We do not understand the movement...'. Well there is a book coming that aims to do so. The linked article gives a glimpse into ISIS:http://www.theguardian.com/world/201...raining-camps?

    The article is worth reading, the sub-title is shorter:
    We reveal how the terror group recruits and retains its members through zealotry, rhetoric and obscure theology
    Back to MG Nagata:
    We do not understand the movement, and until we do, we are not going to defeat it We have not defeated the idea. We do not even understand the ideaa...There is a magnetic attraction to IS that is bringing in resources, talent, weapons, etc., to thicken, harden, embolden IS in ways that are very alarming.

    Link:http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...ecruiting.html

    The book is due to be published February 17th 2015. From:http://www.amazon.com/ISIS-Inside-Te.../dp/1941393578

    In the UK:http://www.amazon.co.uk/Isis-Inside-.../dp/1941393578
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 02-19-2015 at 05:32 PM. Reason: Merged into the main ISIS watching thread
    davidbfpo

  12. #92
    Council Member AdamG's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Hiding from the Dreaded Burrito Gang
    Posts
    3,096

    Default Dozen former French soldiers, including elite troops, join ISIS

    A dozen former French soldiers, mostly from special forces and the Foreign Legion, have joined jihadists fighting in Syria and Iraq, a defense ministry source confirms, as the government readies a new multimillion anti-terror plan.
    http://rt.com/news/224983-french-mil...ome-jihadists/
    A scrimmage in a Border Station
    A canter down some dark defile
    Two thousand pounds of education
    Drops to a ten-rupee jezail


    http://i.imgur.com/IPT1uLH.jpg

  13. #93
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    13,204

    Default How Daesh Rules

    A useful, long article on Daesh rules Raqqa, Syria:http://www.nybooks.com/articles/arch...ow-isis-rules/

    Interesting to note as those Syrians who can leave go they appear to be replaced by others - many of them not Syrians. For one observer:
    ISIS was rapidly becoming the only option for Sunnis in Syria who didn’t want to reconcile with the regime. ISIS may be failing in its attempt to govern, but for such people there is nothing else in sight.
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 02-19-2015 at 05:33 PM. Reason: Merged into the main ISIS watching thread
    davidbfpo

  14. #94
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    13,204

    Default

    AdamG,

    There are infrequent reports on Westerners going to fight alongside the Kurds too. A month ago two ex-UK soldiers were id'd and interviewed & released upon their return at Xmas. Today an Australian local politician has gone (Australian law forbids any citizen fighting abroad).

    With the reported success of the opposition (kurds & FSA) in the Kobane pocket, it is easy to think the Kurdish diaspora - mainly in Western Europe, outside the region - may despatch volunteers.
    davidbfpo

  15. #95
    Council Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    1,340

    Default

    Fighting and Coalition air strikes are beginning to take their toll on IS's leadership. Baghdadi's two top lieutenants among growing list of top leadership being killed degrading ability of IS to govern and carry out military operations. Read more here.

  16. #96
    Council Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    3,169

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by JWing View Post
    Fighting and Coalition air strikes are beginning to take their toll on IS's leadership. Baghdadi's two top lieutenants among growing list of top leadership being killed degrading ability of IS to govern and carry out military operations. Read more here.
    Pardon my suspicions that this analysis may be overly optimistic. I recall hearing similar reports of we're winning since 9/11, and no doubt tactically we were. Over time those victories seem to have dissipated. I suspect ISIL will morph into something else that is less vulnerable to our air strikes, but we'll just have to wait and see.

  17. #97
    Council Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Posts
    35,749

    Default

    Iraq officials vow to investigate alleged massacre of Sunnis during a government campaign to seize control of Diyala
    http://fw.to/oqFsQEa

    Kind of late if you ask me as the media has long carried this reported massacre and placed it on the Shia militias.

  18. #98
    Council Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    3,169

    Default Jordanian Pilot

    For those following the news on the Jordanian pilot captured by ISIL/IS it is clear that Jordan's military support to our coalition has little popular support with the people of Jordan. They are putting a lot of pressure on their government to swap prisoners. Jordan said they were ready for a deal if ISIL could produce proof of life.

    Not surprisingly this demonstrates that our coalition isn't as strong as projected by the media. A possible fissure between the U.S. and Jordanian relationship regarding ISIL, recent threats by ISIL to attack Saudi, and the LH rocket attack on Israel combined has certainly heightened tensions and uncertainty in the region.

    ISIL's advance may have halted in Iraq, but they are still very much a strategic influence in the region. We may very well be looking at different picture in the Middle East within the next 30 days.

  19. #99
    Council Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Posts
    35,749

    Default

    UK research center is estimating on the low side that a total of 20,720 foreign fighters have streamed into Syria and Iraq and now are higher in numbers than during the jihadi stream at the height of the Russian AFG war

    Numbers do not seem to be dropping and their research is indicating they are all not social misfits/rejects but well educated and young.

    Link:http://icsr.info/2015/01/foreign-fig...onflict-1980s/
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 01-31-2015 at 09:24 AM. Reason: added link

  20. #100
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    13,204

    Default The Islamic Stateís model

    A review article by ICSR's Aaron Zelin that compares the 'wilayat' strategy of Daesh (ISIS) and the 'franchise' model used by AQ. Alongside a quick summary of what is happening where jihadists operate.
    Link:http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/...-states-model/

    His article was presented at a POMEPS conference this month alongside three others see:http://pomeps.org/2015/01/27/islamis...c-state-memos/

    Jihadi-Salafi views of the Islamic State,” by Joas Wagemakers, Radboud University Nijmegen
    Brotherhood activism and regime consolidation in Egypt, ” by Steven Brooke, University of Texas at Austin
    The ISIS-ification of Islamist politics,” by Khalil al-Anani, George Washington University and John’s Hopkins University SAIS
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 02-19-2015 at 05:32 PM. Reason: Merged into the main ISIS watching thread
    davidbfpo

Similar Threads

  1. Syria under Bashir Assad (closed end 2014)
    By SWJ Blog in forum Middle East
    Replies: 903
    Last Post: 12-31-2014, 11:08 PM
  2. PBS FRONTLINE: Gangs of Iraq 17 April 07
    By Tom Odom in forum The Whole News
    Replies: 12
    Last Post: 04-19-2007, 06:29 PM

Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •