Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Revenge as a COA: Approved

Nice bit from France24 in an interview with French journalist and writer Matthieu Suc. It it, the author and interviewer discuss the elimination of the Islamic States terror organizing braintrust in Raqqa responsible for the bloody 2015 attacks in Paris and others.

France was not alone in the fight. This hints at the very international nature of the Long War we don't hear enough about.
The US understood that with the September 11, 2001, attacks, where there were engineers among the terrorists. The 2015 attacks made it clear to French intelligence that the enemy was in fact talented operationally.
The shock of the attacks of November 13, 2015, and July 14, 2016, [the Nice truck attack, which killed 86 people] sparked a collective awareness within the services of the need to work together.
The intelligence services of the different Western countries have overcome the culture of mistrust that prevailed before, and everyone has cooperated in the common mission against the IS group. The hunt for the jihadists was conducted both to avenge the November 2015 attacks as well as to get to the roots of the problem. From 2015, the paradigm shifted, the international community understood that the Islamic State could strike anywhere in the world. Even the Russians and the Chinese cooperated. The British have been very good at infiltrating the terrorist group and [Israel's] Mossad have been too.
Note the Russian play. As I am wont to say - stupid actions by the Russians aside and silly petty politics on our end in response - we have more reasons to work with the Russians than against them in many areas. This is one.
The United States is much less modest than France in speaking openly about the targeted killings of IS leaders. No official French news release announced the death of Oussama Atar on November 17, 2017. That would have meant acknowledging that there are assassinations outside the legal framework. Paris prefers to talk about strikes on geographic locations.

For example, on August 30, 2016, Sheikh Abu Mohammed al-Adnani, the IS No. 2 and spokesman for the terrorist organisation, was killed by a US missile. The death notice released by the DGSI, the French spy agency, soberly declared that the death of Adnani marked the end of the terrorist who supervised the attacks of Paris and Brussels [in March 2016, which killed 32 civilians].

But Paris has regularly given detailed information to the Americans on the presence of high-ranking IS figures in the Syria-Iraq zone to be tracked and eliminated. Cooperation between France and the United States has been successful, to the point that France did not target the planners of the November 13, 2015, attacks – they were eliminated by American bombs. Washington sees France as its "external border" – if the attacks were not happening in France, it would probably be in the United States.
Mossad believes that with the 2017 elimination of the head of the caliphate’s "CIA", Oussama Atar, the branch within IS responsible for the Europe attacks has been beheaded. But the Islamic State group is not defeated – it has been pushed back geographically. The amniyat may no longer exist – the means of a state apparatus are no longer available to their terrorist projects – but one shouldn't underestimate its heritage.
This is good as it buys time for the West between attacks as IS rebuilds their ability and has to re-capitalize ... but as we have learned the hard way, they will not be deterred. They will find new people. They will attack again.

Yes, I know, we never seem to "finish" the job - but let's be adults here. The American public would not allow us to "finish" the job, much less the international community, so we do what we can when and where we can.

Mowing the grass? Perhaps, but life is better with a well tended lawn than an overgrown mess.

Hat tip Craig Whiteside.

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