The two primary ways in which IS administers its operates is through: Social Media and Turkey. The two rabbit holes! ”Daesh”, to use the Arabic-derived name, attracts, brainwashes and recruits would-be fighters in the “Holy” War, as well as the Women who will bear the “cubs”, who will become the next generation of Jihadi fighters. And the neighboring country of Turkey is the pathway through which most of the volunteers easily enter Syria, and it also serves as the access point to sell the confiscated oil on the global black market. That’s how IS finances its operations.
Its common knowledge that many nations are spying on each other, both friend and foe alike. They are listening to other leaders’ telephone calls, disrupting corporate web sites, and even hacking into their enemies’ governmental and military computer systems. Just consider how much cyber and technological brainpower must be available within NATO. Even countries that have chosen, or are prevented by their respective Constitutions, not to enter the battlefield, can certainly lend a hand in Cyberspace. Can’t this cyber All-Star Team block or disable the IS Social Networking capabilities?
Turkey, which is predominantly Sunni-Muslin, has been a NATO Member since 1952. It has deflected past U.S. requests, however, for it to put boots on the ground to join the fight against IS. Is its hang-up that it prefers to fight against President Bashar Assad’s (Shia) Syria, rather than fellow Sunnis? IS, by the way, is just across its border.
Keep in mind that the Kurds, the only reliable fighters that we have found in the Region, have been fighting to maintain their tribal homeland–parts of southern Turkey, and northern areas of Syria, Iraq and Iran. The Kurds are considered a terrorist group by many countries, and are still included on the U.S. State Department’ s List of Terrorist Organizations, as well. But hey, they have been fighting to retain their tribal homeland for (yes!) 3,000 years. So, how do we entice both the Turks and the Kurds into the fight?
It would certainly take some lobbying by the U.S. and other NATO members to explain the need for President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to send Turkish troops into Syria against IS. Also, in order to maintain the territorial status quo in the Kurdish area within Turkey, perhaps the United Nations could send a peacekeeping force–to provide peace-of-mind to both the Turks and Kurds. Of course, the currently porous border between Turkey and Syria would have to be closed tight–to prevent the accessibility to Jihadist recruits and oil transactions.