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Archive for category Saudi Arabia

Role of Pakistan Army in Saudi Arabia By Sajjad Shaukat

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Role of Pakistan Army in Saudi Arabia

By Sajjad Shaukat

 

The role of Pakistan Army in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has again come to limelight, as Pakistan decided to send more troops in that country. Many Indian newspapers and media anchors started spreading disinformation that Pakistan Army would be used by Riyadh in case of war against Yemen and Iran. In one way or the other, even some politicians and media analysts of Pakistan also misperceive the function of Pakistan Army in Saudi Arabia.   

 

In this respect, Pakistan’s Chief of Army Staff Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa visited Saudi Arabia where he met Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on February 1, this year and Saudi vice president of the Council of Ministers on February 2. Gen. Qamar Bajwa discussed matters of mutual interest and military ties between Islamabad and the Riyadh. 

 

But, without knowing the real role of Pakistan Army in Saudi Arabia, the opposition in the National Assembly (lower house) raised concerns over reports of sending Pakistan Army troops to Saudi Arabia.

 

In this regard, on February 19, 2018, Pakistan’s Defence Minister Khurram Dastgir gave briefing to the Senate (upper house) regarding deployment of Pakistani troops in Saudi Arabia—cooperation between the two countries and the terms of engagement under which the troops will be sent to the Kingdom.

 

Dastgir stated that 1600 Pakistani troops are currently deployed in Saudi Arabia and 10,000 Saudi troops are currently receiving training in Pakistan…more than 1,000 troops will be deployed in Saudi Arabia over a few months’ time, bringing the tally of Pakistani troops deployed to 2,600…The apprehension that our troops will become entangled in the Yemen war is incorrect…the current and future deployments will be within the remits of the agreement…Pakistani forces have acquired new skills at a huge price due to the ongoing war against terror and will help in training the Saudi troops.”

 

Earlier, a press release from Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) also said on February 15, 2018, “A Pakistan army contingent will be stationed in Saudi Arabia on a training and advisory mission…The announcement followed a meeting between Saudi Arabia’s Ambassador, Nawaf Saeed Al-Maliki, and Pakistan Army Chief Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa earlier today at General Headquarters Rawalpindi. The contingent will join Pakistani troops that are already stationed in Saudi Arabia and will not be deployed outside the Kingdom…Pakistan already has around 1180 troops in Saudi Arabia under a 1982 bilateral agreement.”

 

It is notable that during the 1970s, Islamabad signed defence protocols with several Arab countries, including Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Kuwait, Libya, Oman, Jordon and the United Arab Emirates under which Pakistan Armed Forces were dispatched to these countries to impart professional training. A majority of the officials of the Armed Forces were sent to these countries on deputation, their tenure was two or three years.

It is mentionable that Pakistan is one of the 41 members of the Saudi-led Islamic Military Counter Terrorism Coalition (IMCTC) which is being headed by Pakistan’s former army chief, Gen. Raheel Sharif.

 

Taking note of the rumours that IMCTC or Saudi-led military alliance of Sunni countries was formed against the Shia states-Iran and Yemen, Gen. Raheel Sharif has made it clear in 2017 that he supports unity of the Islamic Ummah.

 

It is noteworthy that Pakistan’s military capabilities qualify it to play a balancing role in the Muslim World in general and the Middle East in particular.

 

In this connection, when a rift between Saudi Arabia and Iran widened in the aftermath of the execution of the prominent Shia religious leader Nimr al-Nimr as part of Riyadh’s executions of 47 persons on terrorism charges, on January 2, 2016, Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries like Qatar, Bahrain and Kuwait, including Sudan broke off diplomatic relations with Iran. But, Islamabad continued her ties with Tehran.

 

Notably, on January 5, 2016, the Adviser to Pakistan’s former Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs, Sartaj Aziz said before the National Assembly. Pakistan is concerned over recent tensions between Saudi Arabia and Iran…the Muslim World faces grave dangers in the situation.”

 

The statement followed criticism from opposition parties which lashed out at the government in the National Assembly for not coming up with a clear stance on the situation arising out in the region because of the tension between Saudi Arabia and Iran and called for a parliamentary briefing on the issue. Aziz also gave an in-camera briefing to the National Assembly on the Saudi-Iran tensions.

 

Aziz maintained that Pakistan will continue to play its positive and mediatory role to ease tensions between Iran and Saudi Arabia and it advocates unity among the Muslim countries.

 

For the purpose, Pakistan’s former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and the former Chief of Army Staff, Gen. Raheel Sharif had visited Saudi Arabia and Iran. They held meetings with their rulers in a bid to defuse tensions between the two countries. They called for resolution of the crisis through peaceful means in the larger interest of the Muslim world.

 

Meanwhile, in his meeting with the Iranian Defence Minister Hosse Dehghan in Islamabad, Gen. Raheel Sharif had reiterated that “Pakistan takes Iran as a very important neighbouring Muslim country and the people of Pakistan have a great affinity with their Iranian brothers.” The Iranian defence minister thanked Gen. Raheel and the people of Pakistan for their efforts to bolster regional security.

 

And during the trip of Saudi Arabia’s deputy crown prince and defence minister, Mohammed bin Salman at Islamabad, Pakistan’s prime minister and chief of army staff had assured him to defuse tension between the two brother countries. His visit came just four days after the Kingdom’s Foreign Minister Adel al Jubeir visited Islamabad.

While, some media analysts had misinterpreted the statements of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Gen. Raheel Sharif by saying that during their interactions with the rulers of Saudi Arabia, they preferred Riyadh over Tehran. However, it was not true, as Islamabad had decided to play a mediatory role between the two Muslim countries as part of a balanced approach in the Middle East. But, foreign enemies of the Islamic World manipulated the statements Pakistan’s civil and military officials who clarified that Pakistan Armed Forces are also stationed in Saudi Arabia for protection of the holy sites in Mecca and Medina, as their role would be defensive, not offensive.

 

Notably, despite the pressure of America, Pakistan had refused to send its troops to Syria in support of the US-backed forces which wanted to oust Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

 

Similarly, in 2015, Riyadh insisted upon Islamabad to send its forces to join the Saudi-led coalition to conduct aerial strikes on Yemen. Pakistan had refused to participate in the air strikes. Instead, Pakistan’s parliament had passed a unanimous resolution on April 9, 2015, which stated, “The war in Yemen is not sectarian in nature, but has the potential of turning into a sectarian conflict which will have critical fallout in the region, including Pakistan.” It urged the government “to stay neutral in the Saudi-Yemen conflict” and to “avoid being drawn into a broader sectarian conflict between Saudi Arabia and Iran.” It called upon “warring factions in Yemen to resolve their differences peacefully through dialogue.” The resolution urged Islamabad to play a diplomatic role to end the crisis.

 

It is of particular attention that during his trip to Iran, Pakistan’s army chief Gen. Qamar Bajwa who met with Iranian civil and military leaders, said on November 7, 2017, that Pakistan was determined to expand its ties with Iran in all spheres, including expansion of its military and defence cooperation with Tehran.

 

It is worth mentioning that the US had planned to spark a civil war between the Sunnis and Shias in wake of the war on terror. For the purpose, a study of Rand Corporation, titled ‘US Strategy in the Muslim World After 9/11’ was conducted on behalf of the then US Deputy Chief of Staff for Air Force. Its report which was released on December 27, 2004, advocated that Sunni-Shia sectarian division should be exploited to promote the US objectives in the Muslim World. The report was first implemented in Iraq.

 

In 2004, major terror-attacks were carried out against the Shias. Afterwards, a chain of Shia-Sunni clashes started between Iraqi Shias and Sunnis, targeting each other’s mosques and religious leaders through bomb blasts, suicide attacks etc.

 

After Iraq’s experiment, more deadly pattern of sectarian strife and clashes have been conducted in Pakistan. With the assistance of American CIA, Israeli Mossad and Indian RAW have arranged a number of attacks on mosques and religious leaders of Shias and Sunnis through the militant groups such as Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), Jundullah (God’s soldiers) and Islamic State group (Also known as Daesh, ISIS and ISIL). These outfits kidnapped and killed many Iranian nationals in Pakistan, including Iranian diplomats. ISIS and Jundollah conducted many subversive acts in Pakistan’s province of Balochistan and Iranian Sistan-Baluchistan. In this connection, Tehran has directly accused CIA of funding these types of terror attacks.

 

Hinting towards the US and Israel, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei had disclosed, “The bloody actions being committed in Iraq, Pakistan and Iran are aimed at creating a division between the Shias and Sunnis…those who carry out these terrorist actions are directly or indirectly foreign agents.”

 

Pakistan’s leading Ulemas (Religious scholars) of the Shia-Sunni sects, including politicians have repeatedly pointed out that external conspiracies were being hatched to destroy peace in the country through sectarian divide.

 

It is worth mentioning that when last year, Saudi Arabia along with the several Gulf States severed diplomatic ties with Qatar after accusing it of supporting terrorist groups, Pakistan did not cut off its relations with Qatar.

 

In fact, anti-Muslim and anti-Pakistan elements, including some Arab countries and their media are spreading rumours by projecting the negative role of Pakistan Army in Saudi Arabia in order to create a rift between Pakistan and Iran as well Saudi Arabia and Pakistan. Such a disinformation can be judged from the reply of Foreign Office Spokesperson Nafees Zakaria in relation to deployment of Pakistani troops in Qatar. In a statement on June 11, 2017, Spokesperson Nafees Zakaria termed the reports appearing in some foreign media outlets about the deployment of Pakistani troops in Qatar as “completely fabricated and baseless.”

 

Nonetheless, the role of Pakistan Army in Saudi Arabia is to help in training the Saudi troops and to provide advisory services.

 

 

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Two Failures In One Day – Missile Defense Is An Embarrassment – It Won’t Work

Editor’s Note: This article had to be edited due to spelling and grammar errors.We apologize to our readers.
Two Failures In One Day – Missile Defense Is An Embarrassment
– It Won’t Work

 

By Moon Of Alabama

 

 

Within the new $700 billion defense budget the U.S. Congress allocated more money for missile defense:

The Pentagon would spend an additional $1 billion on two of Lockheed’s missile defense systems, bringing total appropriations for the Missile Defense Agency to $11.5 billion.

Two incidents last night provide again that missile defense is a waste of money. It hardly ever works. Strategic missile defense, which the U.S. builds to take down intercontinental missiles, will not protect against the new weapons Russia is now pursuing. The U.S. military acknowledges this. After Putin announced the new weapon systems, Trump administration raised the white flag and suddenly asked for new arms control talks.

Last night the Yemeni army launched (vid) seven ballistic missiles against Saudi Arabia. Three of those targeted the capital Riyadh, four were aimed at military and infrastructure targets. In Riyadh, the Saudi forces fired a number of Patriot surface-to-air missiles and claimed that those successfully intercepted the Yemeni missiles. The Saudis Patriot Advanced Capabilities-2 system (PAC-2) are made by the U.S. company Raytheon which is also hiring former U.S. soldiers as ‘Patriot Battery Systems Technician Field Engineers’ to man and maintain the Saudi systems.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Earlier Saudi claims of successful intercepts turned out to be false. The small warheads of the Yemeni missiles separate from the larger missile body and are difficult to detect. The U.S. provided systems inevitably aims at the bigger empty missile body.

This time various videos from Riyadh show that at least seven interceptors were fired against the three incoming missiles. At least two of the interceptors failed catastrophically. The other five seem to have simply self-destructed at height. There is no sign of any real interception.

One of the Patriot interceptors prematurely exploded during its boost phase. Its burning debris showered the ground with hot parts.

 

How a real Patriot should function, killing the guys who did 9/11 instead of serving them.

The other defense missiles seem to have self-destructed at height presumably after they lost contact with the target. Each of these Patriot MIM-104C missiles costs some $2-3 million.

The Saudis say that one man was killed and two were wounded in the Yemeni attack. It is more likely that these people were victims of the missile defense fire than of the attacking missiles.

In another missile defense incident yesterday Israel fired at least some twenty of its U.S. paid Iron Dome interceptors against presumed missiles coming from the Gaza strip:

Israel’s Iron Dome anti-missile shield intercepted a number of rockets fired from the Gaza Strip on Sunday, Israeli media reported, after warning sirens sounded around the Hamas-controlled Palestinian territory.
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Several videos show the missiles explode in a flash high up in the air. Such explosions are often interpreted as successful intercept but are usually just the programmed self-destruction which prevents that whole missile carcasses fall down on the people below. Indeed none of a missile the Israeli army fired destroyed any targets as none were there:

Multiple Code Red false alarms were blasted in the Hof Ashkelon and Sha’ar HaNegev Regional Councils and in the southern city of Sderot Sunday evening as the Iron Dome missile-defense mistook bullets from the Gaza Strip for a fusillade of rockets.

The regional councils originally reported that the Iron Dome anti-missile system was said to have intercepted every rocket. However, the IDF later confirmed that no salvo had been fired at Israel.

“No salvo was fired at territory in the State of Israel. The situation in the Gaza region is usual. The interceptions by the Iron Dome system were activated because of the firing of bullets from the strip. Nothing fell in Israeli territory. It is being checked whether mortars or rockets were even fired at all,” the statement read.

Before the IDF clarification, the regional councils instructed the southern residents to remain in sheltered rooms.

Each Iron Dome missile costs at least $50,000. The IDF just spent $1,000,000 of U.S. taxpayer money because some ‘oversensitive‘ system mistook random gunfire not aimed at Israel for incoming missiles.

The U.S. strategic missile defense is against incoming long-range missiles. The Patriot systems in Saudi Arabia are supposed to defend against medium-range ballistic missiles. The Israeli Iron Dome systems should defend against short-range missile attacks.

All three systems are obviously incapable of fulfilling their task. All three demonstrate that missile defense is prohibitively costly. The cost of each missile defense interceptor is a multitude of the costs of the attacking missile. The number of interceptors is limited and the systems can be exhausted and overwhelmed by swarm attacks of cheap dummies followed by a real attack.

Last year the Saudis were pushed by the Trump administration to buy the new Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile defense system:

The package that cleared Friday would include 44 THAAD launchers, 360 interceptors, 16 THAAD Fire Control and Communications Mobile Tactical Station Groups and seven AN/TPY-2 THAAD radars, along with associated support equipment and training.

This new system is supposed to defend Saudi Arabia against Iranian ballistic missiles. But according to a South-Korean analysis, the THAAD missile defense system has the same problem the Patriot system has. It can easily be deceived by cheap decoys and it tends to hit the incoming missile body while missing the separate warhead which simply continues its attack on the target.

When the Saudi clown prince visited Washington last week The U.S. president made an embarrassing show (vid) out of such sales. The Saudis will have to pay some $15 billion for the basically useless THAAD system. “That’s peanuts to you,” said Trump, but Saudi citizens may not agree with such banter. The clown prince was, apparently, not amused.

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But what can he do? If he stops buying useless U.S. weapons the borg in Washington will ‘regime change’ him in no time.

Current missile defense is economically not viable. The limits of physics make it easy to overcome. But the systems still have their purpose.

For U.S. politicians they are a scalable way to move taxpayer money towards the owners of the defense industry. For the Israeli government, they are a (U.S. paid) psychological tool to prevent its people from protesting against the consequences of Zionist land robbery. The Saudis see them as inevitable ransom payment in the U.S. extortion scheme of its ‘allies’.

Yesterday’s public failures of missile defense endanger those purposes. If the general public comes to believe that missile defense can not work the whole scam falls apart. Any future sale should thus be conditioned on a promise to not ever use the acquired system. 

This article was originally published by “Moon Of Alabama” 

Attachments area

Preview YouTube video شاهد العملية الصاروخية التى استهدفت عدد من الأهداف في العمق السعودي تحمل اسم الشهيد ابوعقيل

شاهد العملية الصاروخية التى استهدفت عدد من الأهداف في العمق السعودي تحمل اسم الشهيد ابوعقيل

Preview YouTube video Patriot and Ballistic Missiles in Riyadh Saudi Arabia

Patriot and Ballistic Missiles in Riyadh Saudi Arabia

Preview YouTube video بالفيديو : لحظة إنحراف و سقوط صواريخ الدفاع الجوي السعودي على السكان

بالفيديو : لحظة إنحراف و سقوط صواريخ الدفاع الجوي السعودي على السكان

Preview YouTube video Israel: Iron Dome Intercepts Multiple Rockets Fired From Gaza

Israel: Iron Dome Intercepts Multiple Rockets Fired From Gaza

Preview YouTube video ‘That’s peanuts to you’: Trump brings props showing Saudi weapons purchases

‘That’s peanuts to you’: Trump brings props showing Saudi weapons purchases

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Nawaz Sharif: A Pakistani embarrassment And some Saudi confusion

A Pakistani embarrassment And some Saudi confusion

This was not the first time Nawaz Sharif took himself seriously enough to think he could broker peace among the Arabs. He tried ahead of the first Gulf war – despite the imminent oil supply squeeze – and came back empty handed. Saddam refused to see him on the grounds that ‘he’s stationed thousands of troops for the war against my country, and now he wants to come to my country to talk peace’, etc. And his meeting with Fahad barely made the news. He tried again after the Saudis executed – and beheaded and crucified, then dropped from a helicopter – Sheikh Nimr al Nimr, and was duly snubbed by Riyadh.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The latest episode is the most surprising. Once again he took the army chief, and his usual aides Sartaj Aziz and Ishaq Dar, to Riyadh to make peace between the Kingdom and Iran. Yet a good few days after his return the Saudi ambassador to Pakistan had to hold a press conference in Islamabad to clarify that Nawaz never really mentioned he was ‘mediating’. But since mediation is exactly what the prime minister’s office announced just before Nawaz took off, it seems that the Saudis just didn’t see the nine o’ clock news in Pakistan.

Still, they must have talked about something. And if Nawaz really thought he was a mediator, he would have brought up better relations with Iran, etc, and the Saudis would have responded. But since the Saudis still do not believe he was mediation, what exactly did they talk about? It’s no secret that the Saudis have been increasingly annoyed with Pakistan since parliament’s refusal to play along in Yemen. It seems that the architect of the disastrous Yemen war, and now Saudi crown prince, might not be too happy with the arrangement with Pakistan as it stands. If Nawaz must talk to the Arabs, it should be about respecting Pakistan and its sovereignty.

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Wahhabi Salafism: Qatar and Saudi Arabia ‘have ignited time bomb by funding global spread of radical “Islam,”‘

Telegraph.co.uk

06 October 2014

 

‘Qatar and Saudi Arabia ‘have ignited time bomb by funding global spread of radical Islam’

 

General Jonathan Shaw, Britain’s former Assistant Chief of the Defence Staff, says Qatar and Saudi Arabia responsible for spread of radical Islam

 

 

 

 

 

Gen Jonathan Shaw is a former commander of British forces in Basra

General Shaw told The Telegraph that Qatar and Saudi Arabia were primarily responsible 
for the rise of Wahhabi Salafism, the extremist Islam that inspires Isil terrorists 
 
10:23PM BST 04 Oct 2014
Qatar and Saudi Arabia have ignited a “time bomb” by funding the global spread of radical Islam, according to a former commander of British forces in Iraq.
General Jonathan Shaw, who retired as Assistant Chief of the Defence Staff in 2012, told The Telegraph that Qatar and Saudi Arabia were primarily responsible for the rise of the extremist Islam that inspires Isil terrorists.
The two Gulf states have spent billions of dollars on promoting a militant and proselytising interpretation of their faith derived from Abdul Wahhab, an eighteenth century scholar, and based on the Salaf, or the original followers of the Prophet.
But the rulers of both countries are now more threatened by their creation than Britain or America, argued Gen Shaw. The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil) has vowed to topple the Qatari and Saudi regimes, viewing both as corrupt outposts of decadence and sin.
So Qatar and Saudi Arabia have every reason to lead an ideological struggle against Isil, said Gen Shaw. On its own, he added, the West’s military offensive against the terrorist movement was likely to prove “futile”.

“This is a time bomb that, under the guise of education, Wahhabi Salafism is igniting under the world really. And it is funded by Saudi and Qatari money and that must stop,” said Gen Shaw. “And the question then is ‘does bombing people over there really tackle that?’ I don’t think so. I’d far rather see a much stronger handle on the ideological battle rather than the physical battle.”
Gen Shaw, 57, retired from the Army after a 31-year career that saw him lead a platoon of paratroopers in the Battle of Mount Longdon, the bloodiest clash of the Falklands War, and oversee Britain’s withdrawal from Basra in southern Iraq. As Assistant Chief of the Defence Staff, he specialised in counter-terrorism and security policy.
All this has made him acutely aware of the limitations of what force can achieve. He believes that Isil can only be defeated by political and ideological means. Western air strikes in Iraq and Syria will, in his view, achieve nothing except temporary tactical success.
When it comes to waging that ideological struggle, Qatar and Saudi Arabia are pivotal. “The root problem is that those two countries are the only two countries in the world where Wahhabi Salafism is the state religion – and Isil is a violent expression of Wahabist Salafism,” said Gen Shaw.
“The primary threat of Isil is not to us in the West: it’s to Saudi Arabia and also to the other Gulf states.”
Both Qatar and Saudi Arabia are playing small parts in the air campaign against Isil, contributing two and four jet fighters respectively. But Gen Shaw said they “should be in the forefront” and, above all, leading an ideological counter-revolution against Isil.
The British and American air campaign would not “stop the support of people in Qatar and Saudi Arabia for this kind of activity,” added Gen Shaw. “It’s missing the point. It might, if it works, solve the immediate tactical problem. It’s not addressing the fundamental problem of Wahhabi Salafism as a culture and a creed, which has got out of control and is still the ideological basis of Isil – and which will continue to exist even if we stop their advance in Iraq.”
Gen Shaw said the Government’s approach towards Isil was fundamentally mistaken. “People are still treating this as a military problem, which is in my view to misconceive the problem,” he added. “My systemic worry is that we’re repeating the mistakes that we made in Afghanistan and Iraq: putting the military far too up front and centre in our response to the threat without addressing the fundamental political question and the causes. The danger is that yet again we’re taking a symptomatic treatment not a causal one.”
Gen Shaw said that Isil’s main focus was on toppling the established regimes of the Middle East, not striking Western targets. He questioned whether Isil’s murder of two British and two American hostages was sufficient justification for the campaign.
“Isil made their big incursion into Iraq in June. The West did nothing, despite thousands of people being killed,” said Gen Shaw. “What’s changed in the last month? Beheadings on TV of Westerners. And that has led us to suddenly change our policy and suddenly launch air attacks.”
He believes that Isil might have murdered the hostages in order to provoke a military response from America and Britain which could then be portrayed as a Christian assault on Islam. “What possible advantage is there to Isil of bringing us into this campaign?” asked Gen Shaw. “Answer: to unite the Muslim world against the Christian world. We played into their hands. We’ve done what they wanted us to do.”
However, Gen Shaw’s analysis is open to question. Even if they had the will, the rulers of Saudi Arabia and Qatar may be incapable of leading an ideological struggle against Isil. King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia is 91 and only sporadically active. His chosen successor, Crown Prince Salman, is 78 and already believed to be declining into senility. The kingdom’s ossified leadership is likely to be paralysed for the foreseeable future.
Meanwhile in Qatar, the new Emir, Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, is only 34 in a region that respects age. Whether this Harrow and Sandhurst-educated ruler has the personal authority to lead an ideological counter-revolution within Islam is doubtful.
Given that Saudi Arabia and Qatar almost certainly cannot do what Gen Shaw believes to be necessary, the West may have no option except to take military action against Isil with the aim of reducing, if not eliminating, the terrorist threat.
“I just have a horrible feeling that we’re making things worse. We’re entering into this in a way we just don’t understand,” said Gen Shaw. “I’m against the principle of us attacking without a clear political plan.”

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