If the dam ruptured, it would likely cause a catastrophe of Biblical proportions, loosing a wave as high as a hundred feet that would roll down the Tigris, swallowing everything in its path for more than a hundred miles. Large parts of Mosul would be submerged in less than three hours. Along the riverbanks, towns and cities containing the heart of Iraq’s population would be flooded; in four days, a wave as high as sixteen feet would crash into Baghdad, a city of six million people.
The Islamic State, which is run by a deviant strain of Sunni fanatics, has been a disaster for all Sunnis across the region. Sunnis account for as much as ninety per cent of the Arab population and almost a fifth of the global population ... Now their world is in ruins. They have suffered the largest losses in lives and property and make up the largest percentage of refugees. They are under attack from other sects and have little to fall back on politically, despite their numbers.
The Obama administration is giving the elite Joint Special Operations Command...expanded power to track, plan and potentially launch attacks on terrorist cells around the globe ... it will elevate JSOC from being a highly-valued strike tool used by regional military commands to leading a new multiagency intelligence and action force ... The missions could occur well beyond the battlefields...where Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) has carried out clandestine operations in the past.
Trumps... strong stance on fighting Isis and “Islamic terrorism” means he is unlikely to hand control of a country... to a scarcely less hardline group. The Baltic states are nervous about whether a Trump administration would defend them in the event of a Russian attack. Trump’s win certainly makes a president Le Pen more plausible. Trump has promised to reverse decades of US policy by recognising Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and moving the American embassy there.
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A major component to the well-known Iraq surge of 2007 in response to rising sectarian violence was the mission to clear and secure the neighborhoods of Baghdad. US forces found concrete to be their most effective weapon to reduce violence and protect the local population. They used concrete to reduce the complexity of the environment. They walled in neighborhoods...into what were effectively new, smaller, cities or neighborhoods within the larger environment.
Given the urgency of the humanitarian disaster in Syria, Iraq, and elsewhere...the agencies tasked with managing U.S. food aid programs, should strive to use their funds as effectively as possible. Yet...Congress has severely restricted their efficiency. The 2014 farm bill requires that USAID and the USDA source over 90 percent of all food aid from producers in the United States. It also requires that the government hire U.S.-flagged vessels to ship at least half of that aid abroad
social media has empowered isis recruiting, helping the group draw at least 30,000 foreign fighters, from some 100 countries, to the battlefields of Syria and Iraq. It has aided the seeding of new franchises in places ranging from Libya and Afghanistan to Nigeria and Bangladesh. It was the vehicle isis used to declare war on the United States ... So intertwined are the Islamic State’s online propaganda and real-life operations that one can hardly be separated from the other
While losing 47 percent of the territory it once controlled in Iraq and 20 percent in Syria...the Islamic State has inspired or directed terrorist attacks in the United States, France, Belgium, Bangladesh, Yemen, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and, most deadly of all, Iraq itself. Put differently, Freedman’s warning that destroying an enemy’s center of gravity may simply drive it to adapt rather collapse is proving true, pushing the conflict with the Islamic State in new directions.
Child soldiering was a big problem in various collapsing states in the 1990s, including some in Africa. What is happening here in northeastern Nigeria is part of a disturbing rise in child jihadism. Young boys and at times girls are being indoctrinated into violent fundamentalism and used as fighters, suicide bombers and spies. Something similar is happening in other countries battling Islamist insurrections. Commanders of al Qaeda’s branches in Yemen, Somalia and Mali have deployed youngsters.
the six [nations] most profoundly affected [by the Arab Spring] — Egypt, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Tunisia and Yemen — are all republics, rather than monarchies. And of these six, the three that have disintegrated so completely as to raise doubt that they will ever again exist as functioning states — Iraq, Syria and Libya — are all...countries created by Western imperial powers in the early 20th century ... little thought was given to national coherence, and even less to tribal or sectarian divisions.