Tag Archives: BREAKING THE WALLS

Islamic State Gives Its Version of the Syrian Prison Break

By Kyle Orton (@KyleWOrton) on 29 January 2022

Al-Naba 323, front page

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Islamic State and “Breaking the Walls”: Jihadist Prison Breaks

By Kyle Orton (@KyleWOrton) on 22 January 2022

Islamic State car bombing against Al-Sinaa prison in Syria, 20 January 2022 [image source]

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The Islamic State’s Strategy Is Working, Its Enemies Are Failing

By Kyle Orton (@KyleWOrton) on May 23, 2015

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To hear President Obama tell it, his announced program to defeat the Islamic State (ISIS), which began with airstrikes into Iraq last August that were extended into Syria in September, is working, albeit with some tactical setbacks. The implication is that the setbacks of the U.S.-led anti-ISIS campaign are not strategic.

As J.M. Berger phrased it:

In the Washington vernacular, the act of Being Strategic implies a near mystical quality of superior thinking possessed by some, and clearly lacking amongst the vulgarians of the world—heedless brutes such as ISIL. Tactics are short-term ploys, easy to dismiss. Strategy is for winners.

Unfortunately, this soothing view is almost exactly wrong: it is the United States that is relying on various short-term methods—commando raids into the Syrian desert, for example—while ISIS has a long-term goal fixed in mind and is working assiduously to achieve it. The U.S.-led Coalition is losing, in short, and ISIS is winning. Continue reading