Vigilance and Collaboration
“Three years after declaring itself a caliphate, ISIS, as an organization that governs territory, is in a death spiral. Its adversaries have slowly but surely squeezed and demolished its economic underpinnings, even as its own simultaneously quixotic and brutal governance attempts in Syria and Iraq have unraveled, as did al-Qaida’s in Iraq. The cumulative coalition air campaign, the capture of the iconic town of Dabiq, and now the fall of Mosul have vitiated the core ISIS tenet of “remaining and expanding,” crushing its image of surging victory. ISIS can no longer effectively recruit or pay even the few wild-eyed latecomers who may show up.
But even when ISIS’ caliphate is extinguished, the problem it represents will not be. It will retain a capability to launch attacks around the world from other sites. The world’s security services failed to effectively monitor, record or interdict the travel of their citizens to Iraq and Syria .We should not be caught similarly unaware when ISIS’ former fighters come home — as some are already doing. Now is the time to establish a network of measures to record, monitor and, when there is a legal basis, interdict foreign terrorist fighters on their return...”
Excerpt from James Howcroft, “Vigilance and Collaboration,” per Concordiam: Journal of European Security Defense Issues 8, No. 3, 2017: 7-9.
This article reflects the views of the author and are not necessarily the official policy of the United States, Germany, or any other governments.