Tags: Al-Qaida | Emerging Threats | Iraq | ISIS/Islamic State | War on Terrorism | Ryan Crocker | ISIS

Ex-Ambassador Ryan Crocker: ISIS Greater Threat Than Al-Qaida

By    |   Tuesday, 09 Sep 2014 06:57 AM

The United States will not overcome the Islamic State unless President Barack Obama is prepared to go beyond putting together a U.S.-led coalition and ordering airstrikes in Iraq. He also needs to order airstrikes in Syria and to deploy special forces advisers in Iraq and Syria, Ryan Crocker writes in The Wall Street Journal.

Crocker opposes collaboration with Iran or its associated militias, and even the appearance of working with the Assad regime in Syria.

A former ambassador to Iraq and Syria and now dean of the Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M University, Crocker argues that "it is crucial to show" that the battle against the Islamic State "is not a Muslim-Christian confrontation."

In anticipation of Obama's talk on Wednesday, Crocker writes: "There is no time left to argue, dither, and wonder what should be done about those who are butchering Americans — and anyone else they care to—across a growing portion of the Middle East."

The Islamic State is "getting stronger" and aspires to take over Lebanon, Jordan, Israel, and Saudi Arabia, as well as Syria and Iraq.

"It is hard to overstate the threat that this organization poses. I call it al-Qaida Version 6.0. The Islamic State is far better organized, equipped and funded than the original. They are more experienced and more numerous," writes Crocker.

Many of the terrorists carry Western passports. "But perhaps the most important asset they possess is territory," he notes. "For the first time since 9/11, a determined and capable enemy has the space and security to plan complex, longer-range operations. If we don't think we are on that list, we are deluding ourselves."  

The Islamic State needs to be denied safe havens and confronted militarily — including in Syria. U.S. special forces advisers need to work with Kurds and Sunni tribes in Iraq.

Moderate opposition forces in Syria also need to be identified and assisted.

The president should "step forward" to "show the world that we can and will move decisively, collectively and immediately," Crocker concludes.


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The United States will not overcome the Islamic State unless President Barack Obama is prepared to go beyond putting together a U.S.-led coalition and ordering airstrikes in Iraq, Ryan Crocker writes in The Wall Street Journal.
Ryan Crocker, ISIS, al-Qaida, Iraq
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Tuesday, 09 Sep 2014 06:57 AM
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