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Thread: Assessing Al-Qaeda (merged thread)

  1. #261
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob's World View Post
    Key phrase being "...what we wanted."

    Some day we will learn that we are far better served by what we need (a partner with a government possessed of local popular legitimacy - regardless of the form that government might take), than we are by a government we want that is inherently lacking in popular legitimacy by all but those who have sold out to the US to gain power under our protection.

    Every time we have adopted a strategy of building a military to defend such a government it has been an abysmal failure. In order, Philippines pre-WWII, South Vietnam, Iraq and (collapsing as soon as we leave) Afghanistan.

    I used to think our approach of not controlling such forces was far superior to the British model of recruiting units from such places to serve Britain, rather than their born homelands. But the British model has a legitimacy all of it's own. Those men join to serve Great Britain. We train units to serve government who are created by us. My apologies to Brits who I have chided in the past on this matter.

    Better still are units serving a national government possessed of broad popular legitimacy, but that is not something we can create. We often support such partners and allies, but to attempt to create is to render them fatally flawed from inception.
    A lot of factors need to be aligned for capacity building to work, both tangible and intangible. We focus too much on the tangible things we can count and convince ourselves we're making progress. Heck, we have stats to prove it

  2. #262
    Council Member Bob's World's Avatar
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    Frame for failure, and failure is inevitable. Frame for success, and success is possible.

    We have always been so sure of our rightness, that we tend to assume that will overcome the shades of wrongness we impose upon others to ensure our own interests. It doesn't.

    Or said another way, we are too quick to rationalize why it is ok to deny for others the very things we demand for ourselves. 100 years ago one could sort of still get away with that. Today it is an impossibility.

    If we swapped our current NSS for Washington's farewell address we would be far better served as a nation. Partners grown overly dependent would quibble, as would the neocon hawks, but it would lead to approaches much better suited for the world we live in today.
    Robert C. Jones
    Intellectus Supra Scientia
    (Understanding is more important than Knowledge)

    "The modern COIN mindset is when one arrogantly goes to some foreign land and attempts to make those who live there a lesser version of one's self. The FID mindset is when one humbly goes to some foreign land and seeks first to understand, and then to help in some small way for those who live there to be the best version of their own self." Colonel Robert C. Jones, US Army Special Forces (Retired)

  3. #263
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default How Isis crippled al-Qaida: a long read

    A long newspaper article to read in The Guardian, which on the first read covers many points and links on SWC. The key feature appears to be access to two Jihadist clerics, Abu Muhammed al-Maqdisi and Abu Qatada, now both resident in Jordan:http://www.theguardian.com/world/201...pled-al-qaida?

    Here is a taster:
    Now the man US terrorism analysts call “the most influential living jihadi theorist” has turned his ire toward Isis – and emerged, in the last year, as one of the group’s most powerful critics. ..... Maqdisi released a long tract castigating Isis as ignorant and misguided, accusing them of subverting the “Islamic project” that he has long nurtured.

    As Qatada poured tea into small glass tumblers, he began reeling off images to better communicate the depth of his loathing for Isis. He likes speaking in metaphors. The group, he said, was “like a bad smell” that has polluted the radical Islamic environment. No, they were better described as a “cancerous growth” within the jihadi movement – or, he continued, like the diseased branch of a fig tree that needs to be pruned before it kills the entire organism.
    Violent groups often reject their mentors IIRC. Now whether the two clerics can influence how ISIS develops is a moot point. At a minimum it may restrain those jihadists who have read their tracts not to go to join ISIS.
    davidbfpo

  4. #264
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    Pinker has an article in the Guardian about decline in violence that triggered the following blog post. Tangentially related to this thread

    http://brownpundits.blogspot.com/201....html?spref=fb

    relevant extract:
    by the way: I think the US has caused state failure in Iraq and contributed to it in Syria (and now has a supporting role in the attempted state failure in Yemen; in Yemen I think the Saudis are the prime movers of the idiocy. There is no reason to accept the Eurocentric Metropolitan Racist view that only White people have agency. The Subaltern may speak )
    Why has the US caused these state failures? I dont think it was deliberate. But I do think it shows you that it is not just the SJWs/Postmarxist academics who don't appreciate how important the state is; even the decision makers of the most powerful state in the world don't seem to get it. Or rather, they don't seem to have sufficient grasp of where the asabiya or legitimacy of a state comes from: it comes from genuine fellow feeling, or it comes from colonial structures that happened to be this way and within which the necessary fellow feeling builds over time. EITHER can work. Both together are even better. But remove both, and the #### will hit the fan...
    Which is also why groups like the Kurds can fight better than any fake army put together by US advisers alone. US advisers PLUS genuine national feeling (Afghanistan, if the US had not allowed us to mess it up) can work though
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 09-12-2015 at 08:13 AM. Reason: Cited text in quotes

  5. #265
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    Default A Global Strategy for Combating al Qaeda and the Islamic State

    A Global Strategy for Combating al Qaeda and the Islamic State

    Entry Excerpt:



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  6. #266
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    Default IS -v- AQ: The War within

    Hat tip to WoTR for this long article:http://warontherocks.com/2016/01/the-islamic-state-vs-al-qaeda-the-war-within-the-jihadist-movement/?

    Taster:
    The Islamic State’s rise has reshaped the global jihadist landscape, which for nearly two decades was dominated by al-Qaeda. With the Islamic State seizing the world’s attention, the age of unipolarity within the jihadist movement is over, replaced by intense internal conflict. Each group is firm in the belief that its organizational model is superior to that of its opponent.
    davidbfpo

  7. #267
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    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/frontline/ar...n-afghanistan/

    Pentagon Given New Authority to Target ISIS in Afghanistan

    The White House has granted the Pentagon new authority to target ISIS and its affiliates in Afghanistan, a decision that for the first time expands the military’s legal authorization to carry out offensive operations against the group beyond Iraq and Syria.
    While this is good news, it also points to the dysfunction of the U.S. approach to strategy. Two brief points, first ISIS (or ISIL) is a transnational movement that has a presence in many locations around the world beyond Iraq and Syria. This is recognized by policy makers, so why did our policy wonks ignore this challenge until it became a crisis in Afghanistan, Libya, and elsewhere? For Afghanistan, it would seem logical that any combatant that challenges the government we're partnering with would be fair game since they're part of the collective challenge to the security and stability we are assisting the Government of Afghanistan pursue. Our repeated efforts to provide support to countries to go after a small part of a larger problem fails us repeatedly.
    Last edited by Bill Moore; 01-24-2016 at 10:47 PM.

  8. #268
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    A so-so article that suggests ISIL is gaining support in SE Asia because Al-Qaeda's support for the region has not been persistent.

    http://www.worldpoliticsreview.com/a...852b8-62731673

    ISIS vs. Al-Qaida: How Do Affiliates Choose?

    The few al-Qaida-affiliated emissaries and financiers active in Southeast Asia since 9/11 and the 2002 Bali bombings have been widely disrupted by counterterrorism efforts. When emissaries and financiers can no longer travel and are prevented from interaction, and when attention, support and financing languishes, the ground for switching allegiances is laid, particularly for those groups that have not developed or retained a strong ideological link to al-Qaida.
    Last edited by Bill Moore; 02-01-2016 at 03:14 PM. Reason: Missing word

  9. #269
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    Default Three from Brookings

    Catching up the output from Brookings, three recent articles (two by Will McCants and one is a Q&A with Clint Watts):

    http://www.brookings.edu/blogs/marka...elsohn-mccants

    http://www.brookings.edu/blogs/marka...oKpS2M.twitter

    http://www.brookings.edu/research/pa...alqaida-lister



    davidbfpo

  10. #270
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    Default AQ or ISIS: the threat from

    Jason Burke, of The Guardian, returns to the fray with an overview 'A more dangerous long-term threat': Al-Qaida grows as Isis retreats':https://www.theguardian.com/world/20...-isis-retreats
    davidbfpo

  11. #271
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    Default Panel to HASC: Fighting Islamic State, Al Qaeda Could Take 15 More Years

    Panel to HASC: Fighting Islamic State, Al Qaeda Could Take 15 More Years

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  12. #272
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    Default Bin Laden’s Son Steps Into Father’s Shoes as al-Qaeda Attempts Comeback

    Bin Laden’s Son Steps Into Father’s Shoes as al-Qaeda Attempts Comeback

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  13. #273
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    Default How Al-Qaeda survived drones, uprisings and the Islamic State

    A 124pgs WINEP report 'How Al-Qaeda survived drones, uprisings and the Islamic State', reflecting a one day workshop in March 2017 and with a very strong American content. From the introduction:
    The event was organized thematically around four topics: (1) al-Qaeda’s strength from an international and domestic perspective; (2) al-Qaeda’s strongest branch in Syria, Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (formerly Jabhat al-Nusra and Jabhat Fatah al-Sham); (3) al-Qaeda’s major branches outside Syria (AQAP, AQIM, al-Shabab, and AQIS); and (4) al-Qaeda’s financial structure. This provided a rich portrait of al-Qaeda’s current stature and the nature of the threat it poses in the broader Middle East as well as in Western countries, including the United States.
    Link:http://www.washingtoninstitute.org/u...s153-Zelin.pdf
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 03-07-2018 at 12:34 PM. Reason: 252,219v when reopened for merging
    davidbfpo

  14. #274
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    Default Moderator at work

    I have reviewed a number of threads on Al-Qaeda and merged six of them. The title was slightly changed from Assessing AQ's future. All prompted by the next post.
    davidbfpo

  15. #275
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    Default Al-Qaeda’s Resurrection

    A CFR Expert Brief by Professor Bruce Hoffman, sub-titled:
    With the demise of the Islamic State, a revived al-Qaeda and its affiliates should now be considered the world’s top terrorist threat.

    (Later) Al-Qaeda has systematically implemented an ambitious strategy designed to protect its remaining senior leadership and discreetly consolidate its influence wherever the movement has a significant presence.
    Link:https://www.cfr.org/expert-brief/al-qaedas-resurrection?

    Looking for a short read try the last passage?
    davidbfpo

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