U.S. Policy Against ISIS Unlikely to Change

NESA Communications Intern Nathan Turregano provides us another piece, this one focusing on how the U.S. will combat ISIS following the Paris attacks…

There will never be a short term or simple solution to D’aesh. What Westerners and their governments must realize is that this fight will not be over soon and a long term permanent solution is much more complicated and difficult than one might hope. Avoiding significant reactionary actions and staying the course may be the best option. D’aesh will be rid from this world in due time, but the question that one might ask themselves is at what cost they are willing to pay for that to happen?

Obama’s foreign policy in regards to D’aesh will remain the same, regardless of the incidents in Paris. The U.S. will focus on strategic airstrikes and minimal Special Forces involvement in the area, and avoid a massive troop presence on the ground. The reasoning behind that is credited to a number of factors, one being Americans reservations of further involvement in the Middle East, while at the same time the current administration avoiding giving D’aesh what they want. D’aesh seeks to provoke Obama and the West into sending troops, so that D’aesh can continue to hurt the West on their own turf.

The short term domestic policy effects of Paris have already been seen in the States, with the House of Representatives passing a bill that would limit the number of Syrian Refugees admitted to the U.S. This is, again, is playing into what D’aesh wants. They have created a refugee situation that expunges Syrians and Iraqis from their homeland, while at the same time barring them from others. Closing borders is not an option if the goal is to stop terrorism, it will only fuel it. These events weigh heavily on the upcoming 2016 U.S. Presidential Election. ISIS has already been major discussion point, but the pressure for troops on the ground is felt more now than ever before. Another major component to any candidate’s foreign policy platform is how to approach the developing and challenging refugee situation.

While the situation in Iraq and Syria continues change daily to  the U.S. will adapt with it. It is important that reactionary and impulsive actions are clearly thought out, focusing on a larger and more permanent end goal, which is the eradication of D’aesh. 





Digital Operations Against ISIS

NESA Communications Intern, Mr. Nathan Turregano, offers his views with the following piece on how “hacktivists” are joining the fight against ISIS…

After the Paris Attacks the hacker group Anonymous released a video on YouTube declaring war on the Islamic State (ISIS). Anonymous sent the message that they will “Hunt them (ISIS) down” and to “Expect many Cyber Attacks” in their efforts to combat the extremist group. This is not the first time the Hacktivists have gone toe to toe with ISIS, the Charlie Hedbo attacks also provoked the same response. Anonymous is meeting ISIS on the more unseen battlefield of this conflict, the Internet.

The Islamic State is known for its boisterous and active participation in social media. It constantly uses Facebook and Twitter in efforts to reach out and radicalize people across the globe. These efforts are extremely difficult to combat without a serious invasion of privacy into the lives of private citizens. On the other hand it is impossible to pinpoint one single source of ISIS propaganda. ISIS has over 46,000 twitter accounts posting videos and sharing messages that accelerate radicalism beyond their borders. Combating such a large scale operation, while still conducting airstrikes and special operations missions, has proven difficult to western governments.

Anonymous has taken it upon themselves to contribute to the global front against extremism. After the Charlie Hedbo attacks the group brought down ansar-alhaqq.net a known French terror mongering website. In their very recent battle the group has been focused on the eradication of ISIS Twitter activist and ISIS accounts. Anonymous is not the only group to take on this battle,  Ghost Security Group or Ghostsec have been a major force against ISIS. Ghostsec, unlike anonymous, Deals strictly with social media. It tracks and maps online communication networks, and then passes the information on to relative authorities.  Anonymous has been criticized by Ghostsec in the past on their approach to ‘hacking,’ claiming that tearing down websites leads to a loss of valuable intelligence.

Both Anonymous and Ghostsec provide the world with their form of modern vigilante justice. They independently take on the evil that they see in the world in order to serve what they call “freedom.” While these groups are not without controversy, their hacktivism still finds support across the globe. Anonymous and Ghostec will harass ISIS with no end in sight and continue to be a forefront of digital warfare in a modern age.