Friday, January 15, 2016

Quotable: Sharon Behn reports “a short path to catastrophic defeat in the war against al Qaida and ISIS”

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Wednesday, January 13th 2016
Voice of America correspondent Sharon Behn asked, “Why is Islamic State so hard to beat?” Her January 7, 2016, report cited its unconventional tactics and its ability to learn from mistakes.  On the U.S. response and strategy, she said:

  • [ISIS] uses remote radicalization through technology, enabling the threat to spread.

  • The U.S. led coalition has said it is battling IS on all levels by pursuing its leadership, shrinking its safe havens, countering its financing, and puncturing its powerful idealistic narrative of a revival of a “true” caliphate.

  • Yan St. Pierre, a counterterrorism expert for MOSECON, a security consulting company based in Berlin . . . All aspects of IS, military, social, propaganda, have to be tackled simultaneously . . . “If you focus on the myth, they can rebuild it. If you focus on the military, the myth will allow them to rise again and rebuild the military.”

  • “As long as that myth is alive, there are not enough bombs to destroy IS,” St. Pierre said, adding that as yet there are no credible, functional alternatives, and no credible unifying leaders to counter the group either in Iraq or Syria.

  • . . . most agree with CIA veteran Bruce Riedel’s view that “there is a short path to catastrophic defeat in the war against al Qaida and ISIS, and that path is to make this a battle between the West and Islam.”

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