Last year ISIS was meeting there end…..their doom was sealed….they are no longer a caliphate….but does that mean that ISIS is winding down?
Not at all……look for them to change their tactics…..
Its much-vaunted caliphate has gone, crushed by the might of Russian, Syrian and US warplanes, Iran-backed militias, Kurdish forces and armies launched by Damascus and Baghdad. But while 2017 might have seen the end of Islamic State’s dream of ruling over its twisted vision of an ideal society, the year ended with an ominous sign that its deadly international campaign against the many people and faiths it sees as spiritual foes has gathered new energy.
Last Thursday, dozens of civilians in Kabul were killed in a suicide attack that targeted a Shia cultural centre in the Afghan capital. The assault was the latest in persistent attacks by an affiliate of Isis, which has proved to be resilient despite a relentless campaign against it in recent months.
Is it possible that ISIS could crawl its way back to the forefront?
The past year has witnessed a dramatic reversal of fortunes for the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant group, which suffered a stunning series of defeats in its former strongholds.
From Mosul to Hawija in Iraq, and from Raqqa to al-Bab in Syria, ISIL has been driven from key territory, leaving the group’s expansive vision of a caliphate in tatters. To date, more than 98 percent of the areas it previously held have been retaken, and more than seven million Syrians and Iraqis have been freed from the group’s control, according to the US-led coalition battling ISIL.
Even with the demise of the caliphate ISIS is still a player in terrorism as well as AQ….so basically the jihadist wars are on an endless loop…….
Of course the neocons will preach that these wars need to be endless to protect the homeland….the American Conservative has written on this subject……
A disturbing exchange occurred during the Jamestown Foundation’s 11th annual conference on terrorism at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. last month. Bruce Hoffman, director of Georgetown University’s Center for Security Studies, was asked if he thought Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman’s newly announced domestic reforms would include an effort to rein in the Wahhabi clerics who have been fanning the flames of Islamist radicalism for years.
Hoffman, an expert on the subject, replied that it really didn’t matter much anymore because Wahhabi teachings had taken on a life of their own throughout vast stretches of the globe, and Saudi action or inaction probably wouldn’t affect the course of that movement.
Finally does diplomacy have a place in the War on Terror?
Declarations from US Presidents since WWII have championed values as the linchpin for US national security and foreign policy, however, current Secretary of State Tillerson has been a vocal advocate for removing the ‘promotion of democracy’ from State’s mission statement as well as the separation of values and policy. Moreover, the nascent Trump administration has been open in its chagrin toward the State Department, diplomacy and multilateral fora in particular and has prioritised pursuing “constructive, results-oriented bilateral relations.” This line of thinking is a direct reflection of President Trump’s inauguration speech in which he declared that the US would not impose its values on others. The Secretary told a meeting of departmental staff in May 2017, that the “fundamental values of freedom, human dignity, the way people are treated” guide US policy, but they “are not our policies.” Tillerson declared that “sometimes values have to take a back seat to economic interests or national security.” The Secretary concluded that “interests come first, and then if we can advocate and advance our values, we should.” This approach raises several questions such as: will the US’s allies and partners follow suit; what will be the long-term outcome of an ‘overt’ separation of interests and values; and more importantly, can diplomacy, the core of Western-led global stabilization efforts, survive the ‘new’ norm?
After a year of the Trump presidency and I still have no idea if he actually has a plan for fighting terrorism….so far he is just letting the Bush/Obama plan play out. Hopefully Trump will tighten up and have a real plan.