The End Times

The Islamic State is no mere collection of psychopaths. It is a religious group with carefully considered beliefs, among them that it is a key agent of the coming apocalypse. Here’s what that means for its strategy—and for how to stop it.

via What ISIS Really Wants – The Atlantic.

Who knew that the Koran has its own version of the New Testament’s book of Revelations?  Apparently Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi knew.  He’s the caliph of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, the spiritual and earthly leader of the new “state.”

This article is really long, but very informative.

The Islamic State, also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS), follows a distinctive variety of Islam whose beliefs about the path to the Day of Judgment matter to its strategy, and can help the West know its enemy and predict its behavior.

So these End Timers can then be defeated, and their horrific behaviors stopped.

[ ] much of what the group does looks nonsensical except in light of a sincere, carefully considered commitment to returning civilization to a seventh-century legal environment, and ultimately to bringing about the apocalypse.

[ ] pretending that it isn’t actually a religious, millenarian group, with theology that must be understood to be combatted, has already led the United States to underestimate it and back foolish schemes to counter it. We’ll need to get acquainted with the Islamic State’s intellectual genealogy if we are to react in a way that will not strengthen it, but instead help it self-immolate in its own excessive zeal.

Took me a while to read and comprehend, but definitely worth it.

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Black Sea Strategy

Ukraine, Iraq and a Black Sea Strategy | Stratfor.

The most critical issue for the United States is to create a single integrated plan that takes into account the most pressing challenges. Such a plan must begin by defining a theater of operations sufficiently coherent geographically as to permit integrated political maneuvering and military planning. U.S. military doctrine has moved explicitly away from a two-war strategy. Operationally, it might not be possible to engage all adversaries simultaneously, but conceptually, it is essential to think in terms of a coherent center of gravity of operations. For me, it is increasingly clear that that center is the Black Sea.

The Black Sea is the geographical center of the current conflicts.  George Friedman argues that it should be the center of our focus in dealing with the region.

Ukraine, Iraq and a Black Sea Strategy | Stratfor

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