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Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Why Defeating ISIS Requires More Coordination

The downing of a Russian warplane is an unfortunately event that takes away from the bigger responsibility to defeat the radical ideology of ISIS. Coordination of teams to achieve some goal means that people and nations should not act outside of that goal or otherwise old rivalries will rear their head and destroy the possibilities of success; something ISIS likely hopes will happen. Greater coordination will help ensure that mistakes and old grudges don't allow an enemy to continue to exploit miscommunication and misdirection.

One of the advantages ISIS has is that they have a unified ideology that is supported by a large network of followers. They were able to build their pseudo nation-state right on the fault lines of ancient grievances. The fights between Sunni and Shia created natural socio-economic barriers that ensure they can count on a lack of coordinated efforts. Their enemies are already split!

That same problem occurs in Cold War schisms that plague the East and West. There is no moral judgement being made here. It is only a discussion on coordination. To win an enemy like ISIS means that old grievance must temporarily be put on the back burner and rules of engagement need to be clearly defined. Confusion, defiance, tit for tat, and grudges can destroy any team.

I look at this from the perspective of a team builder where a lack of purpose and weak rule governance creates problems for the successful completion of any project. Having so many different nations with different agendas, religions, economic, politics and military interests in the same small area is bound to end in a lot of toe stepping and finger pointing. A little patience is needed by all parties. Take the finger off the trigger and put in place temporary rules of engagement.

There is really only one opportunity to defeat ISIS. A mass of ideological radicals in one spot means the world has the chance to show that pure hate has no place in civilized society. Rallying the world to one cause means greater global coordination but also offers a chance to cut off funding, slow access to arms, analyze behaviors, and contain the threat. If they are not defeated precisely here, there is the possibility this will go on for generations playing out on various levels across the globe.

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