I can’t give the time to write an in-depth critique of the “Desperate State” article by Paul Wood (BBC), about the Islamic State group, on pages 10 and 11 of the ISIS in Crisis (9 January) edition of The Spectator magazine, so I’ll simply say that I think it very misguided to be suggesting a “crumbling caliphate” (from front cover). I disagree that ISIS is in crisis (not to mention that to view the group in isolation from all the other fundamentalist Islam in the region is to miss the elephant in the room).
An ex special forces correspondent of mine – one who has been and seen it several times in person – writes: “Unlike Al Qaeda, ISIS functions as an established and well-equipped army that is able to invade, capture and hold territory, as we have already seen. It is thus not practical or realistic for the UK Government to expect Kurdish and Shiite militias which are largely inexperienced, poorly equipped and trained, to be able to take on and defeat an established and well equipped army like ISIS on their own, even with Western air strikes supporting them.”
Amen to that. ISIS will never be contained, much less stopped, until it is taken on by ground forces with sufficient manpower and firepower. And it’s only a matter of time until ISIS fanatics strike the UK directly; except the mercy of God prevail, the reality is they will succeed in committing atrocities here. Their atrocities in their heartlands I need not repeat. Britain should be arming and financing good militias in Syria, such as the Syriac Military Council and the Nineveh Plain Protection Unit. The British Government really ought to act to help prevent the ongoing genocide in Syria and Iraq – doing those wise things which can be done.