ISIS isn’t structured like Al Qaeda; ISIS’ organization was intended to be resilient in the event of decapitation strikes.
Regrouping won’t be as hard.
Post-Afghanistan, OBL was marginalized (in hiding); the Iraq war allowed (a new) Al Qaeda to regroup.
Baghdadi’s, sadly, death isn’t a game-changer.
(Damn early morning dyslexia)
Take out one key target, and there are already 2 replacements waiting in the wings.
No way in hell this isn’t the case for #Baghdadi as well.
Baghdadi was deliberately downplayed in all of ISIS' propaganda -- unlike much of Al Qaeda's.
Call ISIS whatever we like, but they aren't stupid by any stretch of the imagination.
No way in hell ISIS doesn't already have successors (of Qurayshi descent) already in line.
But I am, because everyone needs to know the reality before politicians crow "mission accomplished!"
I am emphasizing the fact that previous "Baghdadi deaths" haven't, in fact, hurt ISIS nearly as much as territorial losses (by ANY stretch of imagination).
Here are a few examples: reuters.com/article/us-mid…
'Keeping a low profile -- in contrast to slain Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden -- helped Baghdadi to survive for years despite a $25-million US bounty on his head.'
If I were Special Ops (I'm not), I'd target couriers to deliver an *actual* blow.
We've got another huge issue with thinking "Baghdadi's death is the end of ISIS like Osama Bin Laden's death hurt Al Qaeda."
Al Qaeda was fragmented and splintered, on the run, after the Afghanistan attacks in 2001.
Bin Laden was effectively marginalized in hiding, issuing a statement here and there - but that's it.
Bin Laden's marginalization also meant he couldn't control Zarqawi, whose recalibration of the 'Al Qaeda brand' eventually birthed ISIS.
Bin Laden long since lost control of Al Qaeda. Instead, Zarqawi's redefinition of the organization fundamentally altered the network's strategies, tactics, and identity.
(Seriously, listen to a Zawahiri speech vs. Bin Laden's rhetoric -- for just one example of what I mean)
Unfortunately, the anti-ISIS coalition has not proven so adept.
Fast-forward to Syria and Yemen, to name just two cases.
Uh, yeah. Not so fast.
And, frankly -- fucking stupid.
A blow Al Qaeda readily overcame, thanks to the idiotic US war on Iraq in 2003 - and one which had fuck-all to do with OBL.
Spoiler - he failed.
Further, the roots of ISIS are located in 2003's post-Iraq invasion context. Sorry: FACTS.
Obama didn't "end" Al Qaeda.
Trump didn't "end" ISIS.
Dubya sure as hell didn't bring Iraq peace & stability.
Back to Al Qaeda, ISIS, and the ridiculous idea that the end of Baghdadi means the end of the bullshit 'caliphate' idea.
Keep in mind: this doesn't mean AQ is neutralized, or even significantly damaged at present (they sure could've been, barring 2003 Iraq).
ISIS declared a caliphate in the here-and-now, a tangible, territorial 'reality.'
That's a key difference -- and a powerful draw.
ISIS saw itself as a state, anchored in territory - focused on everything from operations to sustaining a cradle-to-grave population: state-building.
Accessing Al Qaeda propaganda (until al-Awlaki) meant, for the most part, password-protected chat rooms (necessitating vetting for the already-interested).
Accessing ISIS propaganda meant logging onto Twitter.
Think of AQ as the 'jihadi Ivy Leagues.' You needed damn good recommendations.
ISIS' need for a population essentially meant: 'come on over. We need janitors, housewives, bakers, etc.'
These missteps have not only allowed the group to wreak havoc inside Iraq and Syria, but far beyond those nations' borders.
This, again, gets back to structure - AQ was a network, and ISIS a territorially-based STATE (far more people).
Al Qaeda lacked that breadth, duration, and organizational resource.
So scattering ISIS doesn't mean nearly as much as AQ did.
So buckle up and prepare your rage Tweets, y'all. Go ahead and shoot the messenger.
ISIS consistently uses your own unrecognized bigotry as a weapon against you. They're playing you.
And you fall for it every damn time.
Maybe try stopping.
Guess how they've outsmarted "us" time and time again.