Good day, my friends……this will be the last briefing of the week…..will resume Monday and it will be a short week because of Thanksgiving……
Item 1–Pres. Obama is thanking Saudi Arabia for its help in fighting ISIS…….
The White House says Obama met Wednesday with Saudi Arabia’s Prince Mutaib. He’s the son of King Abdullah and the head of the Saudi Arabian National Guard.
The White House says Obama praised Saudi Arabia’s role in promoting Mideast peace and stability and in engaging with Iraq’s new government. Saudi Arabia is one of a handful of Arab countries playing a role in the coalition conducting airstrikes against IS.
My question is…just what is Saudi doing to fight ISIS? They are getting everyone else to do the fighting…..they are partially responsible for the rise in Wahhabism…..they constantly refuse to fight fundamentalism that breeds extremists…..so I ask again….just what are they doing to fight ISIS?
Item 2–We now have an estimate on the length of the ISIS situation……
During an interview at the Defense One conference, Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman General Martin Dempsey estimated that the US war against ISIS in Iraq and Syria will last “up to four years.”
What he’s basing that on is totally unclear, as the Obama Administration continues to escalate the war, and the scope and goals of the conflict at this point remain totally unclear, and growing all the time.
Gen. Dempsey himself has been recently pushing for major increases in the role of US ground troops in the war, suggesting it was time to start considering using them in offensive operations, particularly the retaking of Mosul.
Personally, I think that figure of 4 years is a bit too optimistic……..based on the flow of the conflict today……
Item 3–I reported about a month ago that Kobane was fought as a PR war…..others see it as such …….
Two months after the United States began bombing militants attacking Kobani in northern Syria, the fate of the obscure border town has become the defining battle of the broader contest with the Islamic State — to solidify, or roll back, its borders and ambitions.
For Washington, Kobani is a crucial public test of President Obama’s strategy of combining American air power with local ground forces. For the Islamic State, it is a test of its image of inevitability and invincibility, and a tool for recruiting jihadists.
Kobane is not as crucial as the media and the military would have you believe….about the best use for Kobane is for PR…..
Item 4–After an absence from the media and the rhetoric…..the US has once again focused on the Khorasan Group………
The U.S. military announced Wednesday it struck the Khorasan Group in an airstrike earlier this week.
The airstrike took place in northwest Syria near Haram, and destroyed a storage facility associated with the group, which the Pentagon described as “a network of veteran Al Qaeda operatives” whose members are plotting external attacks against the U.S. and its allies.
There still is a murky dialog about the existence of this group or its effectiveness….but it makes a good enemy for the media……
Item 5–ISIS seems to be winning the battle of social media……but how can this be?
Soufan: They are very familiar with social media — they know how it works. They are very smart in reaching out to the iPhone generation. They deploy different tools in different markets — using mostly Twitter in the Gulf region, for example, and Facebook in Syria. It’s very decentralized and that is interesting. It is the first organization of this kind that understands the impact of social media.
Soufan: We do know that a whole army of bloggers, writers and people who do nothing else other than to watch social media are working for IS. According to our research, most are based in the Gulf region or North Africa. The program was started by Abu Amr Al-Shami, a Syrian born in Saudi Arabia. And we know that at one point more than 12,000 Twitter accounts were connected to IS. This is one of the unique tactics used by this group: the decentralization of its propaganda work. The Islamic State has maximized control of its message by giving up control of its delivery. This is new.
That concludes today’s briefing……..
Thanx for your time and attention….I do hope that these briefings are keeping informed on the conflict as it unfolds…….
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