Friday, August 15, 2014

The Islamic State’s potential weakness

By David Ignatius Opinion writer August 14 at 8:50 PM WashPost

The Obama administration’s Iraq policy seems premised on the idea that the terrorist Islamic State is so toxic that it will be self-limiting and ultimately self-defeating. But that’s not the view of senior U.S. intelligence officials.

In a briefing for journalists Thursday, a panel of five U.S. intelligence officials summed up their assessment of an organization that has shown a remarkable durability because it is “patient,” “well-organized,” “opportunistic” and “flexible.” Under the leadership of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the group has rebounded from about 1,500 fighters in 2010 to more than 10,000 today — becoming a global jihadist organization that communicates in many languages.

“We don’t assess this as something that will collapse on its own,” said one of the officials, who commented based on an agreement that their remarks would not be attributed. “But with pressure and alternatives [that might draw away its Sunni supporters], it could collapse over time.” The intelligence experts cautioned that counterterrorist tools, such as drone strikes and other air attacks, wouldn’t be sufficient “to defeat it rather than just ratchet it back.”

(More here.)

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home