Special operations chief does not understand ISIS

Family Security Matters

by LAWRENCE SELLIN, PHD

Major General Michael K. Nagata is commander of U.S. Special Operations forces in the Middle East and is in charge of a Pentagon mission that will train and equip Syrian rebels to fight the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), also known as the Islamic State (IS) or the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).

Nagata assembled an unofficial group of consultants outside the traditional realms of expertise within the Pentagon, State Department and intelligence agencies, in search of fresh ideas and inspiration to answer the question; what makes the ISIS so dangerous?

“We do not understand the movement, and until we do, we are not going to defeat it,” Nagata said, according to the confidential minutes of a conference call he held with the experts. “We have not defeated the idea. We do not even understand the idea.”

The general said, “They are drawing people to them in droves. There are I.S. T-shirts and mugs” and asked “What makes I.S. so magnetic, inspirational?”

The answer is simple – they have been winning. Few people buy T-shirts and mugs of losing sports teams.

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