MUST READ: ‘The Islamic State, al-Qaeda-linked groups, Boko Haram and other extremist movements are protagonists in today’s deadliest crises, complicating efforts to end them. They have exploited wars, state collapse and geopolitical upheaval in the Middle East, gained new footholds in Africa and pose an evolving threat elsewhere. Reversing their gains requires avoiding the mistakes that enabled their rise…
‘..World leaders’ concern is well-founded: IS’s attacks kill their citizens and threaten their societies’ cohesion. They face enormous pressure to act. But they must do so prudently. Missteps – whether careless military action abroad; crackdowns at home; subordinating aid to counter-radicalisation; casting the net too wide; or ignoring severer threats in a rush to fight “violent extremism” – risk aggravating those deeper
currents and again playing into jihadists’ hands.’
Bron: Exploiting Disorder: al-Qaeda and the Islamic State – International Crisis Group
MUST VIEW: ‘Zes voormalige hoofden van de Israëlische binnenlandse veiligheidsdienst Shin Bet doen voor het eerst een boekje open over de war on terror zoals ze die van binnenuit kennen. Verrassend openhartig reflecteren ze op hun eigen handelen en op het toenmalige en huidige veiligheidsbeleid van Israël. Met zichtbaar ongenoegen vergelijkt Avraham Shalom de bezetting van de Palestijnse gebieden door Israël zelfs met de Duitse bezetting van grote delen van Europa tijdens de Tweede Wereldoorlog. Hun verhalen worden ondersteund door vaak unieke archiefbeelden, die met digitale technieken zijn bewerkt tot een volwaardig onderdeel van de film. Filmmaker Dror Moreh gaat kritische vragen niet uit de weg, maar geeft tegelijk alle ruimte aan de visie van elk van de geïnterviewden. Het levert fascinerende inzichten op over persoonlijke principes, beroepstrots en de pragmatische waarde van terrorismebestrijding in de huidige politieke realiteit.’
Bron: The Gatekeepers – 2Doc: – 2Doc.nl
‘When the film was released, CNN reported that the former Shin Bet heads had made “stunning revelations” and that “all six argue – to varying degrees – that the Israeli occupation of Palestinian land is bad for the state of Israel.” CNN noted that Avraham Shalom “says Israel lost touch with how to coexist with the Palestinians as far back as the aftermath of the Six Day War of 1967” and that a “central theme of the documentary is the idea that Israel has incredible tactics, but lacks long-term strategy.” Moreh is turning “The Gatekeepers” into a five-part series for Israeli television and a book..’
For two decades, America’s foreign policy was driven by nation-building abroad, and it failed.
“In the Cold War the United States aimed at containment; in the post-Cold War [the thrust] was transformation. The Cold War involved the defense of the West; post-Cold War foreign policy aspired to the political and ideological extension of the West.”
These missions, he notes, all aimed “to convert not simply individuals but entire countries,” and they had one other thing in common: “They all failed.”
Don’t get him wrong, Mandelbaum says. The U.S. beat back some very bad actors in Bosnia, Somalia, Kosovo, Iraq and Afghanistan, and later in Libya. “The military missions that the United States undertook succeeded. It was the political missions that followed, the efforts to transform the politics of the places where American arms prevailed, that failed.”
Why? Because political success was never within our control. Such normative transformations can only come from within, from the will of local actors to change long-embedded habits, overcome longstanding enmities or restore long-lost political traditions..’
Bron: Impossible Missions – The New York Times
Philip Gordon says the administration did just enough in Syria to perpetuate the conflict without resolving it.
Bron: Philip Gordon: Obama Should Have Bombed Assad Over Chemical Weapons – The Atlantic
Was Turkey Behind Syrian Sarin Attack?
By Robert Parry in Consortium News, April 6, 2014
The Red Line and the Rat Line
Seymour M. Hersh on Obama, Erdoğan and the Syrian rebels in London Review of Books, 17 April 2016
Seymour M. Hersh
Military to Military
Seymour M. Hersh on US intelligence sharing in the Syrian war
NOTED: ‘Military and Security Support
..Regardless as to the military presence and engagement the international community settles on, several constraining factors should be kept in mind:-Libyans, as well as their neighbors, tend to be deeply suspicious of foreign meddling in their affairs and have opposed any explicit external intervention.
-Military intervention at a moment that the appeal of Daesh has not yet been sufficiently weakened could prove counterproductive and further strengthen Daesh’s recruitment narrative.
-Military action may compromise any fragile, emerging unity in Libya. If support is channeled to a selection of groups fighting for narrow, local interests, the risk of exacerbating existing rivalries becomes that much greater.
-Military intervention may further displace populations and fighters, shifting the problem to neighboring countries.
-Libya is not lacking well-trained forces. It is lacking cooperation and integration between different militias and forces. Any potential training missions should focus on bringing militias together and integrating communication and command structures, with the aim of rebuilding a new structure absorbing the different militias into a united army.It is important to note that a successful strategy to combat Daesh in Libya will, first and foremost, depend on the political will of the Libyan politicians and militias currently involved in the protracted civil war. However, considering the transnational nature of the threats stemming from the current situation in Libya, it is in the interest of various members of the international community to support the national authorities in their efforts to combat Daesh, together implementing the right mix of policy instruments and actions.’
Bron: Combating Daesh in Libya | RealClearDefense
As its era of global dominance ends, the United States needs to take the lead in realigning the global power architecture.
CONCUR: ‘..the currently violent political awakening among post-colonial Muslims is, in part, a belated reaction to their occasionally brutal suppression mostly by European powers. It fuses a delayed but deeply felt sense of injustice with a religious motivation that is unifying large numbers of Muslims against the outside world; but at the same time, because of
historic sectarian schisms within Islam that have nothing to do with the West, the recent welling up of historical grievances is also divisive within Islam..’
Bron: Toward a Global Realignment – The American Interest
The Dutch referendum on April 6 was not only about a trade accord between the EU and Ukraine. It was also about Europe’s future.
NOTED WITH SHAME: ‘..Because the EU needs unanimity to ratify the agreement with Ukraine, the bloc is now burdened
with finding an opt-out clause for the Dutch until Rutte decides what is feasible. The worst outcome is to ignore that 27 other
countries have ratified the accord. This would be extremely damaging for the pro-reform movement in Ukraine, which needs
this agreement to strengthen its position back home at a time when the country’s oligarchs, including the presidential administration,
keep imposing obstacles to fundamental reforms, particularly in the judiciary..’
Bron: Dutch Euroskeptics Win the Day – Carnegie Europe – Carnegie Endowment for International Peace