Islamic State Must Be Confronted with More Than Military Action

In the battle against IS, military force is necessary along with police efforts to stop recruitment. But these steps are insufficient, argues Elliott Abrams. Opponents of IS must also understand its appeal for young Muslims, and persuade them that theirs is a false dream:

IS holds an ideological appeal for some young Muslims, and we need to identify and counter it to defeat the group. We see it as a despicable, medieval group that engages in beheadings, uses women as sex slaves, and embraces endless violence. Such facts are often denied by young Arabs attracted to IS, who believe these accounts of IS brutality are manufactured by Western governments. Instead they see something very positive. In part it is simply an escape from poverty or a life without opportunity and purpose. But it’s also more . . . IS represents for them an opportunity to build a true Islamic society and state. In this ideal state, sharia would be the law of the land, Muslims would make their own way, foreign powers would be excluded, and justice would prevail. Government would not allow European or American interference, and the state and society would truly be theirs and would reflect their own values more purely. Instead of being marginal, lost figures in European societies or Arab states, they would be at the heart of an historic effort to build a new and just society. Of course this is all false.

Read more at Pressure Points

More about: Elliott Abrams, ISIS, Radical Islam, War of Ideas

While Israel Is Distracted on Two Fronts, Iran Is on the Verge of Building Nuclear Weapons

Iran recently announced its plans to install over 1,000 new advanced centrifuges at its Fordow nuclear facility. Once they are up and running, the Institute for Science and International Security assesses, Fordow will be able to produce enough highly enriched uranium for three nuclear bombs in a mere ten days. The U.S. has remained indifferent. Jacob Nagel writes:

For more than two decades, Iran has continued its efforts to enhance its nuclear-weapons capability—mainly by enriching uranium—causing Israel and the world to concentrate on the fissile material. The International Atomic Energy Agency recently confirmed that Iran has a huge stockpile of uranium enriched to 60 percent, as well as more enriched to 20 percent, and the IAEA board of governors adopted the E3 (France, Germany, UK) proposed resolution to censure Iran for the violations and lack of cooperation with the agency. The Biden administration tried to block it, but joined the resolution when it understood its efforts to block it had failed.

To clarify, enrichment of uranium above 20 percent is unnecessary for most civilian purposes, and transforming 20-percent-enriched uranium to the 90-percent-enriched product necessary for producing weapons is a relatively small step. Washington’s reluctance even to express concern about this development appears to stem from an unwillingness to acknowledge the failures of President Obama’s nuclear policy. Worse, writes Nagel, it is turning a blind eye to efforts at weaponization. But Israel has no such luxury:

Israel must adopt a totally new approach, concentrating mainly on two main efforts: [halting] Iran’s weaponization actions and weakening the regime hoping it will lead to its replacement. Israel should continue the fight against Iran’s enrichment facilities (especially against the new deep underground facility being built near Natanz) and uranium stockpiles, but it should not be the only goal, and for sure not the priority.

The biggest danger threatening Israel’s existence remains the nuclear program. It would be better to confront this threat with Washington, but Israel also must be fully prepared to do it alone.

Read more at Ynet

More about: Iran nuclear program, Israeli Security, Joseph Biden, U.S. Foreign policy