Saturday, August 9, 2014

What is ISIS, and how did it come to be?

Significant backgrounder here.

Reading the backgrounder stirred my brain.

Looking at the history, I almost wonder if killing bin Laden was counter productive; further diminishing any clout al Qaeda might have had in slowing or moderating the emergence of today's ISIS phenomenon.

Syrian unrest took to the streets in March 2011. 

Bin Laden was killed by a U.S. military team in Pakistan in May the same year. 

Serious armed rebellion in Syria began the following month.

Many fighters who originally joined the Syrian rebellion under al Qaeda flags have since folded into the ISIS beast.

Not shedding any tears that bin Laden's dead. But wondering if the long-sought act of getting bin Laden may have contributed to unsavory, unintended consequences, and helped shape events unfolding today.

Update 08/10/2014: The Obama team and the Washington Post take note of something of an ISIS trend previously noted in Iraq and Syria:
U.S. spy agencies have begun to see groups of fighters abandoning al-Qaeda affiliates in Yemen and Africa to join the rival Islamist organization that has seized territory in Iraq and Syria and been targeted in American airstrikes, U.S. officials said.
Obama has been careful to frame air strikes on ISIS as part of a "humanitarian mission." Obama's stopped short of authorizing attacks on the Islamic State, the Post notes.

After months (if not years) of denial and delays, Obama still insists on tippy-toeing around ISIS and its growing international threat.

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