U.S. Strategy against the Islamic State and Nusra Front: A Reconsideration

 

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The decision by the U.S. government to double the number of American forces in Iraq suggests that the current strategy against the extremists is not working.  The U.S. has carried out numerous airstrikes and is lending support to the Kurds, moderate Syrian rebels, the Iraqi government, and anti-Islamic State (IS) tribal forces, but this has not stopped IS or al-Qaeda’s (AQ) affiliate Jabhat al-Nusra (JN or al-Nusra Front), helped the situation in Syria or Iraq, or ended the threat to the homeland. The persistence of these challenges in the face of U.S. action might require a reconsideration of the level of effort necessary to prevent further atrocities and stop the extremists.

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The Kassig Beheading: The Islamic State's Last-Ditch Effort to Keep US Boots Out of the Caliphate

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After a gap of almost six weeks, the Islamic State (IS) released a video yesterday showing, along with the brutal simultaneous beheading of almost two dozen Syrian pilots, the head of American citizen Peter Kassig after it was severed from his body. Standing above his head was the British executor, known as "Jihad John," who killed other American and British citizens, challenging the US to send ground troops into Iraq and Syria.

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17458 Hits

From Teenage Colorado Girls to Islamic State Recruits: A Case Study in Radicalization Via Social Media

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Sometime over a year ago, a teenage American girl using the pseudonym "Grape" posted in response to a question on Ask.fm:

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50325 Hits

Hearts, Minds, and Missiles: The US-Led Coalition's Crisis for Support in Syria

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The recent defeats of two US-backed rebel groups in Syria—Harakat al-Hazm, the US's largest recipient of support, and the Syria Revolutionaries Front (SRF) —by al-Qaeda's (AQ) Syrian affiliate, al-Nusra Front, delivered a major blow to the US-led coalition's fight against extremists in the country. Resulting from these attacks was the surrender of weapons and checkpoints to the group. Perhaps worse than the losses themselves, however, was the ultimate victory of al-Nusra Front, who will gain not only land and weapons from the battle, but also further support among Syrians—something that the US and its allies have yet to obtain.

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10884 Hits

Jihadists Question if NYC Attacker Motivated by IS Spokesman or Jihadi Essay to Lone Wolves

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Following an incident in which a man attacked New York City police officers with a hatchet, jihadists praised the attack and questioned if the perpetrator, Zale Thompson, was motivated by recent jihadist propaganda. Of such propaganda, jihadists seemed particularly focused on a speech by Islamic State (IS) spokesman Abu Muhammad al-'Adnani and a jihadi essay urging lone wolves in the U.S. to wage an "aggressive and sustained" campaign on targets that include policemen.
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9782 Hits