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

Will Cuba Follow the Southeast Asia Model?

Decision to restore ties between US and Cuba has some debating whether it will lead to enhancement or regression of democracy for Communist island nation More

Kenyan Designer Finds Her Niche in Fashion Industry

‘Made in China’ fabrics underlie her success More

Report: CIA, Israel's Mossad Killed Senior Hezbollah Commander

The Washington Post story says Imad Mughniyah was killed instantly by a bomb "triggered remotely" from Tel Aviv by Mossad agents 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.
Jefferson's Library Continues to Impress, 200 Years Lateri
X
Deborah Block
January 31, 2015 12:12 AM
Two hundred years after the U.S. Congress purchased a huge collection of books belonging to former President Thomas Jefferson, it remains one of America’s greatest literal treasures and has become the centerpiece of Washington’s Library of Congress. VOA’s Deborah Block reports.
Video

Video Jefferson's Library Continues to Impress, 200 Years Later

Two hundred years after the U.S. Congress purchased a huge collection of books belonging to former President Thomas Jefferson, it remains one of America’s greatest literal treasures and has become the centerpiece of Washington’s Library of Congress. VOA’s Deborah Block reports.
Video

Video Egypt's Suez Canal Dreams Tempered by Continued Unrest

Egypt plans to expand the Suez Canal, raising hopes that the end of its economic crisis may be in sight. But some analysts say they expect the project may cost too much and take too long to make life better for everyday Egyptians. VOA's Heather Murdock reports.
Video

Video Threat of Creeping Lava Has Hawaiians on Edge

Residents of the small town of Pahoa on the Big Island of Hawaii face an advancing threat from the Kilauea volcano. Local residents are keeping a watchful eye on creeping lava. Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Pro-Kremlin Youth Group Creatively Promotes 'Patriotic' Propaganda

As Russia's President Vladimir Putin faces international pressure over Ukraine and a failing economy, unofficial domestic groups are rallying to his support. One such youth organization, CET, or Network, uses creative multimedia to appeal to Russia's urban youth with patriotic propaganda. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Filmmakers Produce Hand-Painted Documentary on Van Gogh

The troubled life of the famous 19th century Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh has been told through many books and films, but never in the way a group of filmmakers now intends to do. "Loving Vincent " will be the first ever feature-length film made of animated hand-painted images, done in the style of the late artist. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Issues or Ethnicity? Question Divides Nigeria

As Nigeria goes to the polls next month, many expect the two top presidential contenders to gain much of their support from constituencies organized along ethnic or religious lines. But are faith and regional blocs really what political power in Nigeria is about? Chris Stein reports.
Video

Video Rock-Consuming Organisms Alter Views of Life Processes

Scientists thought they knew much about how life works, until a discovery more than two decades ago challenged conventional beliefs. Scientists found that there are organisms that breathe rocks. And it is only recently that the scientific community is accepting that there are organisms that could get energy out of rocks. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports.
Video

Video Paris Attacks Highlight Global Weapons Black Market

As law enforcement officials piece together how the Paris and Belgian terror cells carried out their recent attacks, questions are being asked about how they obtained military grade assault weapons - which are illegal in the European Union. As VOA's Jeff Swicord reports, experts say there is a very active worldwide black market for these weapons, and criminals and terrorists are buying.
Video

Video Activists Accuse China of Targeting Religious Freedom

The U.S.-based Chinese religious rights group ChinaAid says 2014 was the worst year for religious freedom in China since the end of the Cultural Revolution. As Ye Fan reports, activists say Beijing has been tightening religious controls ever since Chinese leader Xi Jinping came to office. Hu Wei narrates.
Video

Video Theologians Cast Doubt on Morality of Drone Strikes

In 2006, stirred by photos of U.S. soldiers mistreating Iraqi prisoners, a group of American faith leaders and academics launched the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. It played an important role in getting Congress to investigate, and the president to ban, torture. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Former Sudan 'Lost Boy' Becomes Chess Master in NYC

In the mid-1980’s, thousands of Sudanese boys escaped the country's civil war by walking for weeks, then months and finally for more than a year, up to 1,500 kilometers across three countries. The so-called Lost Boys of the Sudan had little time for games. But one of them later mastered the game of chess, and now teaches it to children in the New York area. VOA’s Bernard Shusman in New York has his story.
Video

Video NASA Monitors Earth’s Vital Signs From Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, is wrapping up its busiest 12-month period in more than a decade, with three missions launched in 2014 and two this month, one in early January and the fifth scheduled for January 29. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the instruments being lifted into orbit are focused on Earth’s vital life support systems and how they are responding to a warmer planet.

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

All About America

AppleAndroid