5 Items

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry presides over a meeting of more than 60 anti-ISIL coalition parties held on December 3, 2014, at NATO Headquarters in Brussels, Belgium.

U.S. State Dept.

Analysis & Opinions - The Washington Post

The Jihadi Threat to International Order

| May 15, 2015

"The Islamic State, on the other hand, reached prominence in the chaotic aftermath of the Arab uprisings and at a time of great U.S. reluctance to intervene in the Middle East. It focused on gaining territory and establishing a caliphate as measures that would further increase its power as it attempts to remake the international system. The Islamic State also promoted a particularly radical ideology, genocidal toward Shiites and other Middle Eastern minorities and ruthless toward Sunnis who refuse to submit to its authority. As a result, not only does it manifest an even more expansive challenge to the international order, it is also better equipped to threaten this order."

Map of the Caliphate proposed by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.

Wikimedia CC 4.0

Analysis & Opinions - BBC News

Islamic State in Yemen: Why IS is Seeking to Expand

| March 21, 2015

"IS's need continuously to expand is a central feature in its strategy since its blitzkrieg in Iraq and Syria last year gave it control over vast territory and facilitated the announcement that it is a caliphate....Expansion is also a mobilisation tool for IS. It adds to the myth of Islamic State's inevitability and invincibility that its leaders are trying to promote."

Analysis & Opinions - Foreign Affairs

Accepting Al Qaeda: The Enemy of the United States' Enemy

| March 9, 2015

"Washington's failure to balance these diverging interests became apparent when it made the mistake of coupling the bombing of ISIS targets in Syria with attacks on al Qaeda's Khorasan group—operational cells affiliated with Jabhat al-Nusra (al Qaeda in Syria) that are planning attacks in the West. The double assault reinforced the jihadist narrative that Washington is hostile to Sunni Muslims and ready to bargain with the murderous Alawite regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad."

Graffiliti on the Qusra mosque's wall after a "price-tag" attack by settlers from the illegal outpost of Migron in September 2011. An Israeli court injunction was passed just hours before the attack, requiring the demolition of 3 structures within Migron.

Wikimedia CC

Journal Article - International Studies Review

State Authority in the Balance: The Israeli State and the Messianic Settler Movement

| 2014

Why do states allow and even encourage extremist nonstate actors to intervene in an international conflict in violation of domestic and international law, as well as state interests? Why do states fail subsequently to rein in these actors as the counterproductive consequences of their actions become apparent? This article explores one case of such puzzling state behavior, Israel's relationship with the messianic settler movement. The movement is challenging the state, and its actions regarding the territories Israel captured in 1967 have complicated efforts to resolve the Israeli–Palestinian conflict.

Aug. 9, 2014 – Displaced Iraqis settle at Bajid Kandala Camp near the Syria-Iraq border

AP Photo

Analysis & Opinions - Foreign Affairs

ISIS' Gruesome Gamble

| August 14, 2014

"In other words, ISIS would steal a page right out of al Qaeda's playbook. And that puts more pressure on al Qaeda. After all, if ISIS wins vast territory in the heart of the Middle East, implements Islamic governance, and battles apostate regimes and their backers, al Qaeda will — after refusing to do so — have to give its full support to ISIS. Already, ISIS supporters are calling all jihadi forces to stand behind Omar al-Baghdadi, the leader of ISIS. As a result, the flow of fighters abandoning al Qaeda affiliates to join ISIS, which U.S. intelligence has already observed, is likely to increase."