Sunday, February 08, 2015

Win Some, Lose Some, Kill Some, Change Some

The war against the "non-existential" threat from jihadis continues.

We're losing ground in Yemen:

Yemen's dominant Houthi movement dissolved parliament on Friday and said a new interim assembly and government would be formed, a move denounced by a main political faction as a coup. ...

But this was unlikely to be tolerated by Saudi Arabia and other Gulf Sunni Arab allies who eye the Shi'ite Houthis with suspicion for being close to their regional rival Iran.

These are the pro-Iran Shia flavor of jihadism.

In Nigeria, the jihadis at least suffered a setback:

The Nigerian military announced Friday that weapons stolen by Boko Haram fighters last month have been reclaimed, amid the biggest offensive against the Islamist group in its more than five-year history.

Nigeria, Cameroon, and Chad have led a massive counterinsurgency operation against Boko Haram this week. Meanwhile, militants have waged gruesome attacks on the Nigerian-Cameroonian border, killing 90 civilians and wounding 500. Militaries from the three countries have reportedly killed hundreds of Islamic fighters.

These are the Sunni flavor of jihadism.

And ISIL--another Sunni flavor of jihad that is our main terror enemy--has at least, hopefully, reached a high-water mark:

ISIL (Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant) was seemingly invincible and unstoppable in mid-2014. In July 2014 ISIL had recently taken control of Mosul (the largest city in northern Iraq) and was advancing on Baghdad, the Kurdish north and the capital of western Iraq (Anbar province). Similar gains were being made in Syria. All that has changed in the last few months. ISIL still holds the cities of Raqqa (the largest city in eastern Syria) and Mosul in Iraq. But both cities are increasingly rebellious and require a growing number of ISIL gunmen to maintain control. Now ISIL is in retreat in Iraq and Syria. Sunni tribes in Anbar and western Syria are in open revolt and subject to increasingly savage reprisals by ISIL gunmen (often foreigners, which makes the tribesmen angrier). Half the ISIL leadership has been killed by coalition (Arab, NATO and allied) warplanes since August 2014.

Although I'm not sure what to make of the statement that ISIL has as a result lost much of the territory that they gained since early 2014. Territory regained (so far) is just about at World War I Western Front levels:

While military force is absolutely necessary to contain the strains of jihadism--whether Iranian-led Shia form or the more diffuse al Qaeda-type Sunni type--away from our shores, it does remain true that Islam must control their backward-looking brethren who would turn back the clock and make us submit to them rather than join the modern world the West has built, and which can benefit anybody who embraces it (as those refugees from that world who come here and succeed demonstrate).