Will NATO and Turkey act before IS reaches Europe?

Regarding Turkey: The Islamic State imports and exports products through Turkey. The exports are of oil, the group’s main revenue source. The imports are of fighters and volunteers lured from all over the world, through Turkey. In a move that’s nothing short of amazing, Turkey, a member of NATO, is openly assisting the sown enemy of the Western alliance.


Turkey’s cynical policy is meant to allow IS to oppress the Kurds, but in fact it risks much wider interests. It’s true that after a recent IS bombing of Kurd targets inside the country, Ankara did allow American planes to use its military bases against ISIS. However, this small gesture doesn’t change its overall policies, which remain problematic.


The second part of the answer is no less amazing – the West’s operational weakness. Militarily, IS is an easy enemy: tt’s not a terrorist organization of the al-Qaida variety, whose members hide among civilian populations. It is a real army, operating on a large scale. It has command centers, assets, and its fighters travel in broad daylight, driving easily identifiable trucks.


A good example of its methods was the conquest of Ramadi a few weeks ago: Ramadi is a large Iraqi city, located at a strategic point on the banks of the Tigris River, with access to the main route that leads from Iraq to Amman. Thousands of IS fighters drove to Ramadi during the day, in their open trucks, and easily took it from the hands of the retreating Iraqi army.


This kind of enemy should be easy pickings for any Western military force capable of finding these targets and bombing them from the air. But that did not happen, since the West has not yet chosen to create a mechanism for dealing with this threat in an efficient manner. Such a mechanism could be based on just two foundations, both easy to implement without having to put Western boots on the ground.


The first is establishing an integrative intelligence body capable of generating targets in real time. IS methods actually make such intelligence activity easier.


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