econintersect.com
       
  

FREE NEWSLETTER: Econintersect sends a nightly newsletter highlighting news events of the day, and providing a summary of new articles posted on the website. Econintersect will not sell or pass your email address to others per our privacy policy. You can cancel this subscription at any time by selecting the unsubscribing link in the footer of each email.



posted on 16 November 2015

Paris: The War With ISIS Enters A New Stage

from The Conversation

-- this post authored by Simon Reich, Rutgers University Newark

When in Paris after the Charlie Hebdo attacks last January, I wrote a column suggesting that we all had to demonstrate a new toughness.

At that time, I thought the scale of ISIS' attacks on Western targets was contained by its avowed doctrine of territorial legitimacy. I assumed any attacks in the West would be carried out by lone wolves or with one or two partners.

I was wrong.

Ever since it first declared a caliphate, ISIS' leadership consistently expressed the intent of fighting a more or less conventional war in a well-defined piece of territory spreading across Iraq and Syria.

Their surprising initial victories reinforced that strategy. And it allowed them to pursue a war against the Yazidis, which the American Holocaust Museum has declared a genocide.

But then the Americans arrived, eager to engage a Jihadist army in direct combat.

And the Kurdish Peshmerga fighters began to make inroads.

So ISIS responded, by shifting its strategy towards new tactics: fighting a more common, irregular, guerrilla war, as the Taliban had often done successfully in Afghanistan and militants had done in Iraq before them.

New tactics

Then the Russians arrived to support Syrian President Al Assad.

Although their initial targets have not been ISIS strongholds, it has changed the dynamic once again.

ISIS leaders understand that with the US on one side and the characteristically merciless Russians on the other, time is running out.

It is one thing to take on one of them. It is quite another to take on both.

They can replenish their forces with raw new recruits. But they probably can't do it fast enough to hold off all sides. And the apparent execution by drone of Jihadi John, their poster child, threatens a further dent in their recruitment campaign.

So, the ever flexible ISIS leadership has moved to a new stage in their tactics - war by terror.

New goals

The goals are predictable.

  • First, killing civilians at home in Europe in highly symbolic settings. Their intent here is to provoke a debate about these countries' involvement in Syria and Iraq and thus break the political will of the western countries. There is, in other words, a cost to be paid for military intervention.

  • Second, to convince potential new recruits that with limited training they can still play a crucial role as a martyr. After all, if you are going to die as a martyr, you don't want to do so by the side of the road in the middle of the desert. You want to do so on the streets of Paris where everyone will know who you were and what you did.

  • Third, to convince the west that you are still a formidable force - everywhere.

The new tactic involves soft civilian targets. They involve country nationals and foreign recruits. The enemy is everywhere and nowhere. It is a classic terrorist response.

First came the Russian plane crash in the Sinai - most probably caused by an ISIS bomb. Then these horrific attacks in Paris - claimed by ISIS and blamed on ISIS - in neighborhoods that I, and many American tourists, frequent when we visit.

I spent the evening of the attacks frantically trying to reach my family and friends. My sister-in-law, Lorene Aldabra, is a professional singer and musician who often visits the Bataclan concert hall, scene of so much carnage. When you have to spend time tracking down loved ones, you really understand what this new war means.

The declarations of support are encouraging and touching. President Obama was as eloquent as ever. London's mayor Boris Johnson sounded mildly Churchillian. Benjamin Netanyahu from Israel was blunt and forthright. But we can assume these attacks won't be the last ones.

France is in a state of emergency. The security services in Europe and North America are on a state of alert. My spouse traveled on the Washington, DC-to-New York train Friday night and it was full of sniffer dogs and police. We risk a return to the national fear that gripped us after 9/11.

Parisians got it right when they assembled in large numbers and unfurled a sign saying "not afraid" in the hours after these attacks.

On the streets of Paris Yves Herman

But not afraid of what?

The terrorists for sure. But also let's not be afraid to distinguish between terrorists and Syrian asylum seekers. Between those who invoke the forces of evil and those imams who decry it. Between our Muslim friends and neighbors and our fanatical enemies.

The lives of Parisians will not be the same after November 13. But, knowing the city and its inhabitants well, I believe that they will not be deprived of oxygen and disappear into the vortex of hate preached by jihadists - or Europe's extreme nationalists. Civility, albeit wrapped in an iron fist, will be their response.

The ConversationSimon Reich, Professor in The Division of Global Affairs and The Department of Political Science, Rutgers University Newark

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

>>>>> Scroll down to view and make comments <<<<<<

Click here for Historical Opinion Post Listing










Make a Comment

Econintersect wants your comments, data and opinion on the articles posted.  As the internet is a "war zone" of trolls, hackers and spammers - Econintersect must balance its defences against ease of commenting.  We have joined with Livefyre to manage our comment streams.

To comment, using Livefyre just click the "Sign In" button at the top-left corner of the comment box below. You can create a commenting account using your favorite social network such as Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn or Open ID - or open a Livefyre account using your email address.



You can also comment using Facebook directly using he comment block below.





Econintersect Opinion


search_box

Print this page or create a PDF file of this page
Print Friendly and PDF


The growing use of ad blocking software is creating a shortfall in covering our fixed expenses. Please consider a donation to Econintersect to allow continuing output of quality and balanced financial and economic news and analysis.


Take a look at what is going on inside of Econintersect.com
Main Home
Analysis Blog
Is Free Trade Harming the Economy?
Bank of England Endorses Post-Keynesian Endogenous Money Theory
News Blog
The Evolution Of Home Equity Ownership - Part Two Of Five
How To Easily ID Support And Resistance On Your Charts
Infographic Of The Day: Hollywood Vs. Real Life: How Realistic Are Romantic Comedies
Early Headlines: New Travel Ban, Trump And McCain On Media, Greek Tragedy, Iraq Moves On W. Mosul, US Pushes China On N. Korea, China Wants To Deal, Emoluments Test And More
New Seasonal Outlook Updates from NOAA and JAMSTEC Disagree ...
A Presser For The Ages
Level Of Migration To The United States Not Unprecedented
Earnings And Economic Reports: Week Starting 20 February 2017
Where People Use Voice Assistants
Organic Molecules Found On Giant Asteroid Ceres - Why That's Such A Huge Deal
The Shortest-Serving US National Security Advisors
What We Read Today 18 February 2017
America First, India Second
Investing Blog
The Week Ahead: Trump And The Business Cycle
The Importance Of Quality In Diversification
Opinion Blog
Winter Olympics 2022: Beijing And China's Second 'Coming-Out Party'
Of Debt, Detriment, And Exorbitant Privilege
Precious Metals Blog
The Best Gold Stock To Buy Right Now
Live Markets
17Feb2017 Market Close: US Markets Close In The Green Surprising The Bearish Analysts, Monday Markets Will Be Closed For Presidents Day Holiday
Amazon Books & More






.... and keep up with economic news using our dynamic economic newspapers with the largest international coverage on the internet
Asia / Pacific
Europe
Middle East / Africa
Americas
USA Government





























 navigate econintersect.com

Blogs

Analysis Blog
News Blog
Investing Blog
Opinion Blog
Precious Metals Blog
Markets Blog
Video of the Day
Weather

Newspapers

Asia / Pacific
Europe
Middle East / Africa
Americas
USA Government
     

RSS Feeds / Social Media

Combined Econintersect Feed
Google+
Facebook
Twitter
Digg

Free Newsletter

Marketplace - Books & More

Economic Forecast

Content Contribution

Contact

About

  Top Economics Site

Investing.com Contributor TalkMarkets Contributor Finance Blogs Free PageRank Checker Active Search Results Google+

This Web Page by Steven Hansen ---- Copyright 2010 - 2017 Econintersect LLC - all rights reserved