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Slow moving and highly transparent: U.S. ISIS strategy

Does it seem odd how the U.S. and allies “collaborate” to address the Islamic State as a global threat? In war, it is best to keep some things quiet until the sausage is made, so to speak. Transparency is a good thing, however, diplomatic process and military strategy must be kept secret at times as to not reveal weaknesses or information that may aid the enemy.

'A Syrian rebel stands in the street in Aleppo." Getty
Ahmed Deeb/AFP/Getty Images

Part of the problem when it comes to the Middle East, America and its allies is that there is no cohesive and comprehensive policy. There are no fast and firm outcomes. Therefore, strategy that must come from policy appears iterative and tentative. Those are not necessarily sound characteristics unless “iterative” means agile. Tentative implies lack of stalwart commitment.

So it is that the Fox News report describing US action to recruit allies is an example of those grinding gears, crushing meat and gristle into diplomatic sausage.

One of the glaring bits of information in this report is that the U.S. persists in requesting aid from “frenemies”: Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates.

“"Frenemy" (less commonly spelled "frienemy") is a portmanteau of "friend" and "enemy" that can refer to either an enemy pretending to be a friend or someone who really is a friend but also a rival.[1] The term is used to describe personal, geopolitical, and commercial relationships both among individuals and groups or institutions. The word has appeared in print as early as 1953.[2]”

“US reportedly recruiting allies to support expanded airstrikes, Syrian opposition
Published August 27, 2014

The Obama administration is pressing U.S. allies to increase their support for moderate rebel groups in Syria, as well as possible military operations, according to a published report.
The New York Times reported late Tuesday that White House officials believe that Great Britain and Australia would be willing to join the United States in a campaign of airstrikes in Syria, while the administration hoped that Turkey would give it access to key military bases.

The Times also reported that the U.S. has asked Turkish government to help seal that country's border with Syria, which has proven to be an easy crossing point for foreign militants looking to join up with the Islamic State, the militant group formerly known as ISIS, in northern Syria. The paper reported that the White House is also seeking intelligence help from Jordan, as well as financial support for groups like the moderate Free Syrian Army from Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates.”


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