Israeli major-general shoots down West's plan to beat Daesh


Israel's former National Security Adviser has rubbished the West's military approach to stopping Daesh, and outlined a series of lessons that coalition forces should learn from Israel on how to fight Islamist terror.

Maj Gen (retired) Giora Eiland argued that the West had made fundamental mistakes in both its operations and intelligence gathering.

"The international community has not developed a clear strategy and appears too relaxed to carry out the necessary measures," he said, adding that he based his view on conversations with senior figures in Western and Israeli intelligence agencies.

Mr Eiland was speaking at a briefing in London last Thursday, the day after British MPs voted to extend RAF air strikes to target Daesh in Syria.

Western forces needed to radically upgrade their intelligence resources to produce "real-time targets", he said, instead of taking hours or days between the identification of the enemy and the launch of an attack.

Mr Eiland said it was relatively simple and inexpensive to deploy the kind of drones or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) that would be required for such an accelerated operation.

"These are all things that can be done without putting boots on the ground. It is really hard for me to understand why they are not doing this," said Mr Eiland.

"All the intelligence efforts so far are sporadic, not well organised, and not translated into the real time targets. We need to create an advanced intelligence centre that can generate these targets.

"When we suffered a wave of terror attacks 15 years ago, we knew we had to intercept the terrorists who carried out dozens of suicide attacks. We did two things that I believe are currently missing. First, we did our best to recruit Muslims to work for us. It is a terribly dirty job: you find certain weaknesses and you manipulate them to work for you."

Second, he said, the West was not putting enough money and resources into signals and internet intelligence.

"It takes years, not days, to create a map that enables you to monitor every potential telephone and computer. A lot of resources are required to do this. I don't feel that these resources have been allocated in a proper way."

Mr Eiland cited Daesh's conquest of the Iraqi city of Ramadi six months ago as an example of Western intelligence failings.

On operations, he said he was "not impressed" by the number of missions being flown to bomb Daesh. Hundreds of sorties were required every day - not the current handful.

Mr Eiland also called for better co-operation between the West and Russia to "make the defeat of Daesh a priority".

He added that Russia was ahead of Western intelligence on the threat posed by Daesh.

"They identified 12 years ago the possibility that such a caliphate would come into existence. They said the post-Iraq War vacuum would lead to this. They do not understand why the West is not co-operating with them."

He also criticised the West's treatment of Turkey, arguing that despite being a Nato member, Ankara was "operating against the interests of Nato. It is also assisting Daesh, directly and indirectly. What is missing right now is a clear message to Turkey from the rest of Nato."

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