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Call it by its name! ISIS,ISEL,Dayesh ?

Call it by its name!

The ongoing issue of what to call ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria), ISEL (Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant)or Dayesh (Arabic name “in the plural form ‘Dayesh’  means bigots who impose their views on others.”  )

Dayesh is the name used in the region to describe this organisation , it was also adopted by US military, French government and Australians. The British and many international news media however seem to be reluctant to use this and insist on using the various version that include Islamic and state as adjectives!

However we are beginning to see in UK first signs from the governmental level in the way the organisation is referred to.

This change of approach is the first sign of multi-level approach to counter the organisation who are very media aware and effective in manipulating press and social media.

For this approach to work the international media and social media organisations need to play their parts.

More importantly the governments need to be clear where the traditional source of support and finance have been for this organisation and bring to bear pressures and more importantly make hard choices as to who to formulate new alliances with in the region the USA seem to have made some choice on this level by their tentative conversation with the Iranians who were one of the first in the region to confront this organisation and its brothers in arm.

The public campaign that must be waged has to start with naming the source of the ideology that has been the driving force behind this terrorist organisation which are the  Wahhabi and Salafi sects of Islam which are the dominant and state sponsored in Saudi Arabia and some of the small states in the Persian gulf region .

Poorang

armed contractors

Close Protection and war zones

Close Protection and war zones

Many close protection operative are tempted by the cash incentives and the drama and excitement of the war zones. Certainly there has been a shift  in market place with the governments withdrawing forces and visible presence from such areas due to public reactions to casualties and costs.

The legitimisation of the armed private security contractors in recent times has given birth to a completely new industry. It wasn’t long ago that such activities was conducted secretly and was generally regarded as illegitimate, now governments in particular  that of USA have an open policy to use armed private contractors for various tasks.

The private security contractor does not benefit from public support or sympathy, they also lack  in most cases  the benefits the regular soldier relies upon , such as legal framework when on deployment overseas,  governmental level of support in logistic , medical and intelligence and not to mention being part of an a recognise and established national  armed forces.

In short the private security contractor is exposed to more risk and threat and  with very few tools to mitigate them strategically or tactically.

With the influx of service men from many countries into the armed contractor industry who are willing to work for less fees the financial rewards have certainly taken a down turn.

Though the article is entitled close protection and war zones make no mistake when in deployment overseas into war zones you are no longer a bodyguard in its civilian context which by its very title expresses a positive and protective motive and you are easily distinguishable, but for all intent and purpose you are an armed private contractor.

Armed security contractors perform many tasks many of which are outside the remit of a bodyguard and you will be indistinguishable from the  local variety of guns for hire .You will potentially be  escorting individuals associated with questionable motives, histories and despised by many for good reasons and if all of that means nothing as long as you get paid then the moral ground is no longer the field you walk on and as such you are fair game for judgement by people who will view you with hostility and will target you with the same vigour as they will the individuals you are assigned to and remember you will have very little to fall back on in the way of support.

So if you are ex-military and just miss the action and nothing else matters then go forth, but if you are a civilian close protection operative stay put and work within a civilian arena.

Poorang

views are that of my own

 

 

 

 

 

Murdered Aid Worker

Implications of a murder

The murder of Alan Henning

The 47-year-old taxi-driver from Manchester who was taken hostage last December while on a humanitarian aid convoys to Syria has become the latest victim of ISIS.  His tragic and brutal end has been filmed and used as a gruesome piece of PR.

There are a number of reasons why these murders are made so public but firstly  they  points to an organisation with an eye on influencing domestic and foreign policies of its adversaries and its continued attempt to replace  Al Qaeda as the leading jihadi organisation.

His public murder will no doubt intensify the call for more direct action against the group but many heads of states in the western camp have already promised their countries that they will not commit to ground troop deployment.

Airpower is costly and mostly ineffective against irregular armies such as ISIS so ultimately the question of a large well equipped manned intervention has to be addressed.

Ground troop deployment causes a serious challenge for the coalition members some of whom were pressurised by USA e.g Saudi Arabia, UAE etc   to participate with token and as yet unproven involvement with bombing raids.

On the ground the Kurds are bearing the brunt of the fighting and Iranians have been involved secretly for some time with supplies and reorganisations and front line specialised troops. The Iraqis have mustered their forces with support of Shia militias and have presented a stronger front.

ISIS seem to have an active policy to confront the west directly as soon as possible no doubt sensing that various deals being struck behind the scenes might affect their long term strength, for example a possible arrangement with the Syrian regime by the west.

The British prime minster has spoken of generational fight and Americans have spoken of degrading and then destroying the group as a long term strategy but time might not be on the side of the west if as predicted a revenge terrorist attack is carried out by ISIS or their sympathisers  in Europe or USA.

In such a situation the pressure for the west to put ground troops into action may be too much to bear.

 

targeting isis

Targeting ISIS

Cruise missiles and jets on bombing raid are again a familiar sight over Iraq and now Syria.

President Obama is enjoying support at home and overseas over his decision to expand the intensity and the lists of targets as part of the campaign against ISIS.

With UK citizens being executed on the internet the British Prime minster Camron has been forced to recall parliament to seek approval for UK military participation in the crises.

This will lead to increase the risk of retaliatory attacks on British home land.

( for further reading go to or blog)

poorang

“ISIS” an ongoing danger

The air campaign is fast expanding beyond Iraq to various targets in Syria .The target list into Syria compromises of a wish list by number of western governments who due to internal security considerations give different priority to different militant groups.

The introduction of yet another militant group e.g the so called Khorasan network in the mix is yet another example of the multiple fragmented groups that operate under various umbrella groups.

The participation of the certain Arab countries in the bombing is a PR exercise to appease the USA & deflect the growing security relationship between America and their main regional rival Iran.

This will however cause internal issues at home for countries such as Saudi Arabia and Qatar who have been given material and moral support to the militant jihadi movements such ISIS.

Turkey has stayed away from the limelight in recent developments as it continues to underscore its policies of stablishing itself as the Sunni Muslim world leader and to deflect the Jihadi attention by supporting their activities in Iraq and Syria.

The question of so called boots on the ground is hotly debated across media outlets on both side of the Atlantic this however is an academic questions as boots have been on the ground for some time in the shape of Special Forces and advisors.

The offshoot of the bombing of the operational capital of ISIS in Syria the City of Raqqa and other militant targets amounts to military assistance to the Syrian regime in its fight in the civil war, though this is not a declared policy it must be part of the calculations within the military HQs responsible for the operation, this may even have been part of the political barraging chips in negotiations with Syria and Iran.

Events will unfold both on our screens and behind closed doors but given the regional complexities all involved will find their security objectives achievable only by reassessing long held strategic alliances.

Ultimately the real judgment as to the success and failure of the campaign against ISIS is whether it will succeed to expand and indeed survive and be prevented in carrying out an attack against the west as it clearly intends to .

 

 

 

 

 

poorang

Confronting fear

Execution
The recent execution of another innocent man by ISIS is more than just a display of brutality for its own sake and the pronounced demand from USA to cease its air campaign.

This act is as old as the warfare itself it is one of the oldest weapons to use against your enemy its the weapon of fear . Its aim is to underscore its strength with sheer brutality and to ignite within the recipient of the message one of the key emotional triggers that all humans share” Fear”.

Among its audience are all sections of our society our political leaders, our selves and maliciously the very fabric of our multicultural societies in the west.

Its aim is not to deter an attack but the opposite It is designed to enrage and engage us violently.

It at once makes us aware of our differences and makes us frighten of each other.

There are no easy way out of this scenario it demands of USA and its western allies to challenge their long held friendships with Saudi Arabia, Qatar among others. Can the west turn a blind eye as it did during its war with the Taliban and allow its Arab allies to fund and support its enemies on the ground in order to maintain social cohesion in their own country.
The recent meetings with Arab leaders by John Kerry will do very little to inhibit their support in real terms .

The Nato member Turkey is by no means innocent in this matter and its sees its involvement in Syria and Iraq as a part of strategic positioning to become a regional power broker. (it has been a major supporter of militias and armed opposition of all shades in particular the fundamentalist groups )

Iran’s role as regional power and the first to send in supplies and specialist and ground attack air crafts to fight ISIS and collaborate with USA albeit secretly must give a hint as to where future meaningful engagement should lie .

The politicians in the west need to learn to look fear in the face and make difficult decision . That there are no alternatives to boots on the ground and that a revision of its alliances in the region is inevitable as in the case of Assad, if ISIS is to be defeated then Assad needs to be treated as an ally in this campaign for it is in Syria that this war will be lost or won not in Iraq.

ISIS flag

Execution of an Aid worker

  David Haines  the British aid worker has become the latest person to be executed by ISIS. This  has been promised to be followed by the execution of another hostage who has been named as Mr Henning.

Hains had served in the Royal Air Force for 12 years and leaves two children behind. He had worked as a Aid worker in some of most troubled areas in the world including Libya,Sudan.

The proclaimed aim of this act is to stop USA bombing of ISIS positions which have slowed the groups advance in Iraq.

ISIS regularly treats it brutality as a PR opportunity in it campaign of terror .

 

Nato Summit

Nato summit a potential target

With upcoming Nato summit in Cardiff Wales on 4th Sep and the stiffening of attitude against ISIS the UK’s international threat level has officially been increased to substantial that indicates a  strong possibility of an attack.

The concerns have been underscored by the recent showing of a Jihadi recruitment video featuring Nasser Muthana, and his younger brother Aseel both from Cardiff. The young brothers travelled secretly to Join ISIS.

In Cardiff what has been referred to as a ring of steel has been set up featuring Hostile Vehicle Mitigation a counter measure against vehicle borne threats , a steel fence measuring 2.5 kilometres surrounding Cardiff Castle which is site of the Nato Summit and a 1000 meter fence around Cardiff bay .

With up to 28 heads of states, foreign ministers and defence chiefs expected it can be seen why the event is a potential target for any group seeking maximum impact from terror operation.

The summit will be the place where recent developments to ISIS is discussed and responses developed this will also be the occasion where USA will directly put pressure on its allies to participate in short and long term strategies against global Jihadi movement led increasingly by ISIS.

 

female fighters of pkk

Female fighter v ISIS

In a twist of fate befitting a Shakespearian play the ISIS fighters are finding themselves confronted by fighters from a gender they want to dominate and control and dispossess of their basic human rights. Female fighters of PKK have joined the ranks of Kurdish fighters on the front line.

Given their experience in fighting in Syria against the fundamentalist Muslim groups and long history in fighting the Turkish army in difficult terrains the Female fighter of PKK will be more than a match for ISIS .

PKK has many females in its ranks who no doubt will take special joy in fighting the ISIS given that organisations recent abductions ,murder and enslavement of females in territories they have recently captured no to mention the organisations narrow interpretation of female role in society  The PKK is a secular political  movement with decades of experience in fighting superior forces .

photo curtsey of IKJ news

poorang

A state or a terrorist group

The unconfirmed reports that ISIS or IS (Islamic state) as they like to be called now days has issued its own passport  begs another question, who in the international community will recognise them and will accept this documents?

The tempo and nature of response to ISIS is rapidly changing, the Americans weary of being the only responders to the crises have successfully urged various security partners to become involved.

First among them has been  the UK who initially responded with caution and even stated their reluctance to commit militarily but have now seen their prime minster making  very strong statements which will be the prelude to combat units being deployed, these initially will be special forces personnel who will be tasked with reconnaissance, intelligence and most immediately with target acquisition for the combat aircrafts, a task made important by the nature of ISIS tactics.

Even though ISIS has captured a large amount of heavy weaponry during its initial advances and has in its ranks trained soldiers and officers from Syrian  and Iraqi armies who can operate the systems it has not put the heavier weaponry into regular use and It remains largely a light mobile force that has exploited the vast undefended spaces it has move into. Sunni Muslim sympathies in the area has also assisted their advances.

More modern weaponry is being delivered to Kurdish fighters who are already beginning to feel the benefit of air support by USA. This has resulted in ISIS issuing direct threats to UK and USA and the UK prime minster advising of new measures against their supporters in UK and beyond.

The newly appointed Iraqi prime minister has been given a breathing space to make amends for the previous administration’s mistakes and a chance to mobilise the army to start making a concentrated effort to capture lost territory.

ISIS has initially benefited from the convictions of its followers and the vigour this generated in combat but is beginning to experience stiffer resistance from the Kurds who are now defending their own territories. The brutality that ISIS has inflicted on other minorities and the members of the majority Shia will undoubtedly stiffen resistance to them in future fights on the ground. There are growing signs of Tribes men turning their guns on the ISIS, their involvement proved critical in fights against Jihadi insurgency in the past.

The Spector of ISIS and the Nusra Front(Al Qaeda proxy in Syria) fighting each other in Syria as they settle the power struggle to lead the global Jihadi movement and secret collaboration between the USA and IRAN certainly makes this an interesting area for security analysts the world over.

It remains to be seen if behind the door pressures applied to the alleged sponsors of the ISIS will bear any effects or will further cool the relationship between the west and the countries accused of funding and nurturing them such as Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Turkey.

It is certainly a matter of time that a major terror incident with the stamp of approval of ISIS in the west takes place, this will be the response to the west’s military actions against them and the next step in replacing Al Qaeda as standard bearer in Jihadi movement. The beheading of American journalist James Foley today (August 19th 2014) must be seen as a prelude of things to come.