ISIS and the Unanswered Question

A formation of U.S. Navy F-18E Super Hornets leaves after receiving fuel from a KC-135 Stratotanker over northern Iraq, Sept. 23, 2014. These aircraft were part of a large coalition strike package that was the first to strike ISIL targets in Syria. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Shawn Nickel)

By Sami Jamil Jadallah

Whether we like it or not, Lt. General Dhahi Khalfan Tamim, the Head of General Security for the Emirates of Dubai, is an exceptional, if not controversial figure, perhaps having courage that few officials dare say.

A friend of mine from Egypt shared with me a recent article written by General Dhahi, which I find not only interesting but thought provoking, and it raises more questions than it answers. The article casts serious doubts about the efforts to put an end to ISIS/Daesh.

General Dhahi’s recent article has everything to do with ISIS or Daesh, from its sudden rise to power to its swift Blitzkrieg moving across great swath of land in Iraq and Syria, raising many questions and issues that have defied credible answers.


According to Western intelligence (perhaps unintelligent sources), ISIS/Daesh is a rag tag army of mercenaries, numbering from 20,000 to 30,000 recruits, hailing mainly from Arab countries in North Africa, the Arab Peninsula, England, Germany, Holland Belgium, France and far from the Maldives and Indonesia.

None of its member’s known to have graduated from top Western military academics let alone Russian or Chinese academies. Yet it was able within a short time to route and defeat professional armies and take over 1/3 of Iraq and Syria.

ISIS/Daesh does not have communication or intelligence satellites and does not have an air force and unmanned drones and does not have a navy and does not have air defense system as the Iron Dome or the Patriot.

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It does not have surface to air missiles and anti-aircraft missiles, such as SAM, S-300 and Stingers. While Israel took a couple of days to defeat the combined armies of Egypt, Syria and Jordan, the entire Western military is unable to defeat ISIS in over a year.

Lt. General Dhahi Khalfan Tamim
Lt. General Dhahi Khalfan Tamim of Dubai security

ISIS/Daesh does not have intelligence services (or does it) to match the CIA, MI-6 or the Mossad. It does not have a budget of multi-billions to conduct intelligence or spying operation reaching the inner offices of officials as Angela Merkel and François Hollande.

One has to wonder if America can spy on its allies in Europe how it was unable to detect the rise of ISIS/Daesh and intercept its communication lines and prevent its rise?

It does not have the services of communication companies with spyware that can access the inner operations of governments, such as the hacking of Homeland Security’s database with access to over 4 million federal employees.

ISIS/Daesh does not have the benefits of think tanks such as Brookings, Heritage Foundation, American Enterprise Institute, Washington Institute for Middle Near East Policies, Strategic Studies institute and International Institute for Strategic Studies; nor does it have the benefit of Wolf Blitzer’s analysis.

ISIS/Daesh does not have the benefits of financial and economic advice of the World Bank or the IMF and does not have the support of armies of Wall Street financiers to manage its money and cash flows. It does not have the benefit of universities, medical and technical institutes with mathematics, science, biology, game theories — these are far from its priorities. Its priorities are chopping heads, burning live prisoners, and mass killings of those who do not subscribe to its worldview of Caliphates.

Ironically, ISIS/Daesh has restrained so far from attacking any Western interests — let alone Israeli interests — and has concentrated its efforts on unraveling the “sovereign” states mapped out by the Sykes-Picot agreement, which drew the lines for most if not all present Middle East Arab states.

Gone are the days of Al-Qaeda as the biggest strategic and international threat, with the advent of ISIS/Daesh as the “international threat” for the 21st century.

President Barack Obama, the CIA and the Pentagon declared it would take years perhaps decades to end ISIS/Daesh as a threat, meaning the Arabs have to pay the price in cash and instability for years to come.

Question: How can thousands of aerial sorties by the combined air force of several countries using F-15s, F-16s and F-18s are unable to make a dent in ISIS/Daesh advancement and expansion? Is ISIS/Daesh that invisible hiding in tunnels and bunkers that defy bunker buster bombs.

The rise and perseverance of ISIS/Daesh and the failure of the West intelligence services to detect its rise and organization raises the question as to who is responsible for the rise and funding of ISIS/Daesh?

Arab countries, mainly the Gulf states and Iraq, have been paying the high prices of wars and conflicts starting with Saddam Hussein’s war on Iran, to the Gulf War I and II — with trillions gone to fund wars. It seems every time the Gulf Arab States accumulate some cash reserves, there is another war to fund. Is there an invisible hand? For sure.

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