Hollande and the West and ISIL
Hollande is making all sorts of bellicose noises about responding to the Islamic declaration of war with one of his own. Both he and the US are talking about ratcheting up air strikes in Syria and Iraq. Localised air strikes can be effective but, other than World War II, when did airstrikes alone make an effective contribution to winning a war? Certainly not Vietnam or Korea. With radical Islam employing asymmetric warfare and defused throughout the region, I think it unlikely that more bombs are going to defeat ISIL. Americans love to do body counts and advertise that they have killed such and such terrorist. They did this in Vietnam and they are doing the same in their War on Terror. But for every individual killed by a drone or airstrike, another pops up to take his place. These organisations are self-propagating.
I am not opposed to bombing ISIL but I think it is a waste of resources. The more serious, dangerous and immediate threat is already resident in European countries, namely the number of radicalised muslims living in these countries. A much greater effort should be dedicated to rooting out that lot and that will be at the same time more effective and more difficult than a hyped up shock and awe bombing campaign. There was an interesting article in the Telegraph (see below) about the difficulty the French counter Intelligence agency, DGSE, has in combatting the radical French muslims. DGSE seem to know how many there are in France, only about 3800, but the director said to surveil these 3800, he needs 25 agents to monitor each of them and he does not have the resources to do that. Even if ISIL were to neutralised in Syria, one still has the threat of small cells, such as the one in Belgium, and they can survive and create chaos without a large support organisation. If ISIL were to be eradicated tomorrow, these small cells will continue to be a security threat.
It is also interesting to read that the G20 yesterday claimed Russian bombing in Syria is increasing the flow of Syrian refugees but they say nothing about the US and French plans to increase their bombing in Syria. More irrational anti-Russian bias.