Iraq forces have launched a major military operation to liberate Iraq's Anbar and Salaheddin provinces from ISIS, Iraqi state media and a key Shia militia group said Tuesday, a little more than a week after the militant group overran Anbar's provincial capital, Ramadi.
It is, of course, too soon to tell if the offensive will be successful. But not too soon to consider the consequences if it is not. What happens then? What if ISIS is not defeated by some combination of U.S. air power (which, so far, has not been decisive) and Iraqi ground units with an assist from Iran? What if ISIS wins?
Let’s think the unthinkable: Could the Islamic State win?
McLaughlin was deputy director and acting director of the CIA from 2000 to 2004 and answers the question—What would constitute a win for ISIS?—like this:
Essentially, it would amount to the group holding, for the foreseeable future, the core of what it has conquered — roughly half of Iraq and Syria — and exercising a rudimentary sort of governance there, in what it calls its “caliphate.” What is the foreseeable future? The group is almost certain to survive the Obama presidency. If two years into the next presidency, the Islamic State is still fitfully governing that area, it would be hard, in my view, to not call that a win.
McLaughlin goes on to list the four things necessary to bring about this outcome, none of which, he writes, "lies in the realm of fantasy.”
And if all this comes to pass?
… the Islamic State will have won, plain and simple, and from that point the challenges will get no easier. The demands of governing might force some compromises on the Islamic State, but — as terrorist states always do — it would eventually look toward external targets such as the United States while posing a continuous threat to its neighbors and clinging to some form of harsh sharia law.
McLaughlin does not sugarcoat it and you should read the whole thing.
It's been a full week since The Scrapbook inveighed against the assault on free speech, so we have a new parade of horribles to shake our head at. The precipitating event this time was the killing of two armed assailants at an event in Garland, Texas, that was displaying Muhammad cartoons. It should go without saying that free speech means supporting the right of people you don’t like to say things you don’t like.
In remarks at the Summit on Countering Violent Extremism, President Obama warned that one can't profile a terrorist, or predict who will become one. It's not determined by people or any particular faith, the president said.
In response to the Islamic State’s horrific burning of a pilot, the Jordanian government has released from prison one of the most influential al Qaeda-allied ideologues in the world. Sound strange? It is.
President Obama told CNN's Fareed Zakaria that 99.9 percent of Muslims reject radical Islam. He made the comments in response to a question about the White House avoiding using the phrase "Islamic terrorists."
"The United States is losing the war with radical Islamists," Newt Gingrich told a group of conservatives at the Iowa Freedom Summit in Des Moines.
And while Gingrich skewered President Obama and his foreign policy, he said part of the problem resides with Republicans as well. "We have an elite, frankly in both parties, unwilling to tell the truth."
Meeting with Italian defense officials in Rome Monday, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin Dempsey said that the threat to the world from Islamic terrorism is "probably a 30-year issue." The Army News Service