us-defence-secretary-Mr Hagel report:
The History of Iraq:
Origin: BBC NEWSssions to create the ‘Maitri’ short-range SAMs with France at a price of about Rs 30,000 crore.
But this is not a new problem. As early as November 2013, terrorism specialist Thomas Hegghammer pointed out that we’re witnessing “the largest European Muslim foreign fighter contingent to any conflict in contemporary history”. They control miles of territory across two countries, in which they function US military equipment seised from the Iraqi army. In places, they enjoy the support of former Iraqi officers once loyal to Saddam Hussein and a few Sunni tribes.
The potential yield of tens of thousands of citizens from IS positions does pose a serious obstacle to European intelligence agencies and police forces, even if only a tiny proportion of those returnees are inclined to and capable of conducting attacks. In this sense, it is reasonable for Mr Hagel to depict is too unprecedented. Other fundamentalist groups that commanded states, like the Taliban in Afghanistan, are relatively local movements far extreme in their approaches and objectives.
Powerful state adversaries
The US has faced far more powerful state opponents. Even the Soviet Union, for instance, killed many people under its control than IS has done and might have inflicted much greater damage on the US had it chose to do so. But Moscow may be discouraged, whereas the “apocalyptic” ideology of IS is perceived as incapable of long-term coexistence or compromise.
imminent threat to every interest
The most significant of them has been al-Qaeda, which murdered three US embassies in 1998, a US warship in 2000, also attacked New York and Washington with hijacked aircraft in 2001. Over the past decade, al-Qaeda’s regional allies have killed numerous Americans, largely in war zones. One such event, al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, has put bombs aircraft, forcing heightened airport security as recently as July 2013. Until Mr Hagel has the secret intelligence to the contrary, it appears wildly implausible that IS presents, as he put it, an “imminent threat to every interest… anyplace”.
By: Shashank Joshi
The US has faced a variety of active militant groups in the past, some of which have successfully targeted American interests. By: Shashank Joshi On the flip side, it ought to be recognised that IS is one of the most powerful jihadist movements in contemporary history. Even within Iraq, the threat of US forces in Irbil and Baghdad is modest. Mr Hagel’s use of this phrase “imminent” was probably intended to establish a legal rationale for future US military strikes, and address US domestic concern over Mr Foley’s murder. He warned of their “apocalyptic, end-of-days strategic vision”, argued that they pose “an imminent threat to each interest we have, whether it’s in Iraq or anywhere else”, and depicted them as “beyond anything that we’ve seen”. Is this reckless threat inflation, or is Mr Hagel right?
Few groups have combined this territorial management, state-like construction, and intention to attack the West. Mr Hagel, despite his hyperbole, has some point. IS should, therefore, be understood not only as a terrorist group but as a hybrid revolutionary movement with nation-building aspirations and conventional forces. This leaves them vulnerable – that they have more material infrastructure and capabilities to aim than, say, al-Qaeda – but also resilient. By contrast, IS has never come close to attacking the US homeland and has claimed one American life, journalist James Foley. However, as my RUSI colleague Raffaello Pantucci observes, there is not any evidence that this, or four other disrupted plots, have been directed by IS.
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