Comparing ISIS situation today to a year ago, it is noticed that many changes occurred on ground while many facts are clearer and some plots may be exposed. But guess the one million dollar question lies in knowing if the strategy deployed to combat ISIS and its terrorism was the most suitable strategy or should it be re-evaluated? It is clear from the region’s map that ISIS gained control on more territories than it initially started with in Iraq and Syria. It is still controlling oil fields and money is still pouring into financing its terrorism and evil deeds. It is neither losing nor missing recruiters instead it is gaining more. On top and above it was capable during this year to operate against some western targets and threatening western soils.
According to economic laws pertaining to demand and supply, oil prices decrease when there is abundance in supply exceeding the demand. It is known that each oil well has its predetermined production and drilling capacity for each year, thus extraction and ultimately production could be increased yet till a certain limit. That being said, the drastic decrease in Brent prices during the past year does not indicate that ISIS has lost its capability of selling its oil in the black market, coz on the contrary if ISIS oil well were really hit hard and were inoperative, the supply flow would have been disrupted sending Brent into hikes and not decreases.
One could imagine intelligence agencies most effective tools in combating terrorism organizations lies in penetration strategy. If applied to ISIS today, it will prove its failure from intelligence point of view, as most terrorist structure operates through separate cluster cells which is very difficult in tracking its leadership and finance channels but much more easier in manipulation by taking advantage of command chain absence and transforming their directions towards fulfilling the agencies own interests. So penetration isn’t used with the aim of taking terrorists down instead it could be used as cat’s pawn in the region. For example some analysts went an extra mile in their analysis by debating a hypothesis of CIA using ISIS as cat pawn to fight Taliban in US war in Afghanistan creating a proxy war between ISIS and Taliban while US benefits in the present and future by taking out / taming who wins depending on circumstances.
It is noticed as well that ISIS position on ME map is similar to NATO’s positions in Balkan area circling the Russian’s borders thus circling its NS backyard, yet on ME map actual situation is that ISIS is circling both Russia and US allies.
It is quite clear that terrorism nowadays is different than old days terminology, back then it hovered around ideology & beliefs even if it was viewed as a complete religious misperception yet today it is all about money, power and authority but never religion. Evidenced that during this year ISIS terrorism hit many countries different in religion, political systems and international positions / ideologies.
During the past year, strategies deployed did not weaken terrorism on the contrary it nurtured it more as it gained further control and power to the extent that ISIS was capable of defeating / capturing most of Syrian rebels being trained by US army and financed by US congress. Which is considered a big question mark on the implications of wasting around USD$ 200 MM “the training program cost” into the vein and still rumors have it that congress is intending to train and send more rebels.
Finally terrorism will be truly defeated when we start hearing about a comprehensive concrete world strategy that avoids double measures in defining terrorism and takes out terrorists instead of manipulating / using them for some countries own purposes or special wars to reshape different regions / countries maps.