Sunday, November 22, 2015

United States, Europe and Islamic State

The Islamic State terrorist attacks in Paris and elsewhere in Europe, the attacks by Islamist affiliates in Mali, Lebanon and elsewhere, have challenged the United States and Europe domestic and foreign policy in ways that had been unexpected by many in and out of political power. In analysing these events and proposing plans for action, a number of different proposals have been made.

The following is from a very interesting and and insightful analysis:

"As former German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer recently put it, the U.S. “quite obviously, is no longer willing—or able—to play its old role.”

Mr. Fischer was referring specifically to America’s role as the dominant power in the Middle East, but since the refugee crisis and the attacks in Paris, America’s unwillingness to play that role has reverberations and implications well beyond the Middle East. What the U.S. now does or doesn’t do in Syria will affect the future stability of Europe, the strength of trans-Atlantic relations and therefore the well-being of the liberal world order.

This is no doubt the last thing that Mr. Obama wants to hear, and possibly to believe. Certainly he would not deny that the stakes have gone up since the refugee crisis and especially since Paris. At the very least, Islamic State has proven both its desire and its ability to carry out massive, coordinated attacks in a major European city. It is not unthinkable that it could carry out a similar attack in an American city. This is new...."

"In 2002, a British statesman-scholar issued a quiet warning. “The challenge to the postmodern world,” the diplomat Robert Cooper argued, was that while Europeans might operate within their borders as if power no longer mattered, in the world outside Europe, they needed to be prepared to use force just as in earlier eras. “Among ourselves, we keep the law, but when we are operating in the jungle, we must also use the laws of the jungle,” he wrote. Europeans didn’t heed this warning, or at least didn’t heed it sufficiently. They failed to arm themselves for the jungle, materially and spiritually, and now that the jungle has entered the European garden, they are at a loss.

With the exercise of power barely an option, despite what Mr. Hollande promises, Europeans are likely to feel their only choice is to build fences, both within Europe and along its periphery—even if in the process they destroy the very essence of the European project. It is this sentiment that has the Le Pens of Europe soaring in the polls.

The only alternative is to address the crisis in Syria and Iraq, and with it the terrorist threat posed by Islamic State. But just as in the 1990s, when Europeans could address the crisis in the Balkans only with the U.S. playing the dominant military role, so again America will have to take the lead, provide the troops, supply the bulk of the air power and pull together those willing and able to join the effort."

For the rest of this article see:

Below is an accompanying current report (which of course is already out of date) on the 11-21-15 lockdown in Brussels  due to Islamist terrorist "planning an attack."

And here is an article sent to me today, arguing

The Kurds Can Defeat ISIS if We Provide Incentives