News / Middle East

Analysts Warn United Iraqi Effort Needed Against Islamic State Militants

Analysts Warn United Iraqi Effort Needed Against Islamic State Militantsi
X
Ayesha Tanzeem
August 22, 2014 12:56 AM
While terrorism experts around the globe knew of the Islamic State militants in Syria -- also known as "ISIL" or "ISIS" -- they were taken aback at its rapid success in Iraq in recent months. ISIL used savvy messaging and political deal brokering to gain partners and take over a large territory. As VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports, regional security analysts say unified efforts are needed to counter the militants' message and stop their momentum.
Analysts Warn United Iraqi Effort Needed Against Islamic State Militants

While terrorism experts around the globe knew of the Islamic State militants in Syria - also known as "ISIL" or "ISIS" -  they were taken aback at its rapid success in Iraq in recent months. ISIL used savvy messaging and political deal brokering to gain partners and take over a large territory. Regional security analysts say unified efforts are needed to counter the militants' message and stop their momentum.

U.S. airstrikes against militant Islamic State fighters in Iraq have helped push them back from some areas. But many regional security experts say that airstrikes alone will not be enough to stop them.  

“Air power can be disruptive, but then again it really relies on the quality of intelligence that you have,” said Kamran Bokhari, with the intelligence firm Stratfor.  

Michael O’Hanlon, who specializes in security issues at the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C., said such intelligence can be hard to get.

“The only way to get that is with ground troops who are there to listen and talk to people. Get the information from the population," said O'Hanlon. "And then protect the population afterwards so that sources are not killed immediately in retaliation by the extremists.”

Ground troops

Both Bokhari and O'Hanlon say the ground troops should be Iraqi, not foreign. But Iraqi security forces seem to be in disarray. Iraqi units dissolved in the face of ISIL attacks, a failure blamed on the divisive politics of former Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.

“You have to understand that IS did its homework here. They successfully exploited the Sunni grievances against the Shia-dominated government, as well as the Kurdish regional authority in the North,” said Bokhari.

Domestic and international pressure forced Maliki out. Now the biggest challenge for the new prime minister, Haidar al Abadi, is to form an inclusive government addresses these grievances. IS gained territory by making temporary alliances with local tribes. O’Hanlon fears the militants will use those alliances as leverage to solidify control.    

“Can ISIS start to assassinate or otherwise marginalize some of these other power brokers to the point that it can hold on to power over the longer term?” asked O'Hanlon.

Bokhari said the other key to containing the Islamic State is to counter its propaganda. “What the other side needs to do, and this is again the job of mainstream Sunnis and their regional backers, is to reclaim the narrative, reclaim the discourse and basically tell people that this is not a caliphate and definitely not an Islamic State,” said Bokhari.

He says that ultimately, mainstream Sunnis must expand their hold on territory and persuade regional tribes to turn away from the Islamic State's ideology.

 

 

You May Like

Video Video Claims to Show Shi'ite Forces in Iraq Executing Sunni Boy

While not yet independently confirmed, brutal killing already has gotten attention of Islamic State followers on social media More

After Six Years, Little Change for Niger Delta's Former Militants

Nigerians who laid down arms in exchange for government amnesty subsidies fear program may end with upcoming presidential elections More

Vietnam Pushes for More Educated Drivers to Curb Road Deaths

Transportation officials hope that making a greater effort to get drivers to learn the rules of the road will reduce fatal crashes More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Not Again from: Canada
August 22, 2014 1:25 AM
"security experts say that airstrikes alone will not be enough to stop them." If you look at the history of air power, one can observe that airpower can be an extremely effective component of destroying the military potential of an enemy force. The Kosova war demonstrsted what air power can do. WWII also demonstrated, beyond any doubt that air power can cripple the enemy. In Viet-Nam air power did not deliver the goods because of a lack of political will, at the highest level, to bring, sustain, and maintain the war on the enemy's territory. Korea failed to achieve results, for much the same reason as in Viet-Nam. If the same restrictions had been applied to air power in WWII, a victory would also have not been achieved. Essentially, the need exists to estimate if a war is worth fighting, if not it should not be initiated.
The US' history of warfare demonstrates great success, when the need to win was seen as absolute; this issue very much is observed in many other wars. If you look at the case of Afghanistan, the US with minimal boots on the ground, with the help of the rag tag Northern Alliance, and massive use of airpower, drove out the Taliban; then the strategy was changed, to the so called "soft approach- touchy feely" with massive limitations on US use of power; very much equalization of forces (US forces reduced to very limited use of power with a small advantage over the Taliban), and the sit appears to have been reversed; will see how it turns out in a few years.
Air power, if used, and the critical word is POWER, can be very effective, Iraqi forces need to be stood up to do the ground work. A soft approach is guranteed to fail, as it has in every other war the US has undertaken since WWII, and soft power was the dooctrine, it is a failed doctrine.
So the number one issue that needs resolution is,--> does this war against IS need to be won? if the answer is not, then getting involved with a soft power approach will fail, best not to get in it. Soft power essentially boils down to a war of attrition = lots of allied casualties.
The hard power, BIG AIR POWER delivering 100ths of tons of munitions on the enemy, used to drive out the Taliban resulted in few US casualties (wounded/dead); the soft power use that followed was disastrous, resulting in years of face to face small arms combat= un-necessary war of attrition given US mil capabilities ~ essentially a failure to destroy the enemy, through the use of small arms.

by: Moniq from: USA
August 21, 2014 11:08 PM
we would have to be certifiably stupid to provide additional military equipment to the Iraqis cowards... I still remember how they came groveling to our soldiers in Desert Storm... we spent Trillions of Dollars and over 4000 American lives in support of these scumbags. And, at the first sign of trouble... they ran away leaving all our high tech equipment behind and joined the ISIL... despicable Arabs.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
NASA Spacecraft Approaches a Dwarf Planeti
X
George Putic
March 04, 2015 8:51 PM
NASA’s Dawn spacecraft will make history on Friday, March 6, when it becomes the first man-made object to orbit a dwarf planet named Ceres. It is located in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, almost 500 million kilometers from Earth. Among other objectives, Dawn will try to examine two mysterious bright white spots detected on the planet’s surface. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video NASA Spacecraft Approaches a Dwarf Planet

NASA’s Dawn spacecraft will make history on Friday, March 6, when it becomes the first man-made object to orbit a dwarf planet named Ceres. It is located in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, almost 500 million kilometers from Earth. Among other objectives, Dawn will try to examine two mysterious bright white spots detected on the planet’s surface. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Muslims Radicalized Online

Young Muslims are being radicalized ‘in their bedrooms’ through direct contact with Islamic State or ISIL fighters via the Internet, according to terror experts. There are growing concerns that authorities and Internet providers are not doing enough to counter online extremism - which analysts say is spread by a prolific network of online supporters around the world. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video African Americans Recall 1960's Fight For Voting Rights

U.S. President Barack Obama and thousands of people will gather in the small southern U.S. city of Selma, Alabama, Saturday, March 7th to commemorate the 50th anniversary of a historic voting rights march that became known as “Bloody Sunday." VOA’s Chris Simkins traveled to Alabama and introduces us to some of the foot soldiers of the voting rights struggles of the 1960’s.
Video

Video Positive Messaging Transforms Ethiopia's Image

Ethiopia was once known for famine and droughts. Now, headlines more often point to its fast-growing economy and its emergence as a regional peacemaker. How has Addis Ababa changed the narrative? VOA's Marthe van der Wolf reports.
Video

Video Cyber War Rages Between Iran, US

A newly published report indicates Iran and the United States have increased their cyber attacks on each other, even as their top diplomats are working toward an agreement to guarantee Iran does not develop a nuclear weapon and to free Iran from international sanctions. The development is part of a growing global trend. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video Answers Elude Families of MH370 Passengers

For the families on board Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, an airline official’s statement nearly one year ago that the plane had lost contact with air traffic control at 2:40 AM is the only thing that remains confirmed. William Ide reports.
Video

Video Land Disputes Arise Amid Uganda Oil Boom

Ugandan police say there has been a sharp increase in land disputes, with 10 new cases being reported each day. The claims come amid an oil boom as investors appear to be cashing in by selling parcels of land to multiple buyers. Meanwhile, the people who have been living on the land for decades are chased away, sometimes with a heavy hand. VOA's Serginho Roosblad reports.
Video

Video In Russia, Many Doubt Opposition Leader's Killer Will Be Found

The funeral has been held in Moscow for Boris Nemtsov, the opposition leader who was assassinated late Friday just meters from the Kremlin. Nemtsov joins a growing list of outspoken critics of Russia under the leadership of President Vladimir Putin who are believed to have been murdered for their work. VOA’s Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video Simulated Astronauts Get Taste of Mars, in Hawaii

For generations, people have dreamed of traveling to Mars to explore Earth's closest planetary neighbor. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports that while space agencies like NASA are planning manned missions to the planet, some volunteers in Hawaii are learning how humans will cope with months in isolation on a Mars base.
Video

Video Destruction of Iraq Artifacts Shocks Archaeologists

The city of Mosul was once one of the most culturally rich and religiously diverse cities in Iraq. That tradition is under attack by members of the Islamic State who have made Mosul their capital city. The Mosul Museum is the latest target of the group’s campaign of terror and destruction, and is of grave concern to archaeologists around the world. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video Smartphones May Help in Diagnosing HIV

Diagnosing infections such as HIV requires expensive clinical tests, making the procedure too costly for many poor patients or those living in remote areas. But a new technology called lab-on-a-chip may make the tests more accessible to many. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Refugees Complain of Harassment in Pakistan

Afghan officials have expressed concern over reports of a crackdown on Afghan refugees in Pakistan following the Peshawar school attack in December. Reports of mass arrests and police harassment coupled with fear of an uncertain future are making life difficult for a population that fled its homeland to escape war. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports from Islamabad.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More