Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Russian bombers approach US West Coast July 4; ISIL as a state has historical precedence


There are media reports that Russian bombers, capable of carrying nuclear weapons, flew within 40 miles of the California coast and also a stretch of southern Alaska or the Aleutians on July 4, even sending a greeting when detected by the USAF.  Here is a typical story, link . Still, the even makes one wonder:  what if a terror group tried to launch an EMP weapon from within 200 miles of the US Coast.  Would NORAD or the US Coast Guard or regular military forces detect and intercept it in time?
  
Tim Arango has a sobering story in the New York Times Wednesday, front page, “ISIS transforming into a functioning state that uses terror as a tool”, link here.   There are plenty of precedents in history of authoritarian states that turned out to be stable, preceded by violent conquest for the benefit of one group, such as the Bolsheviks (who expropriated from Czarist era estates).  Nazi Germany or the Empire of Japan might have turned out that way (were it not for Alan Turing).  Yet, we often think that as recently as 2013, a sequence like the ISIS conquest of major parts of Iraq (especially Mosul) would have been unimaginable.  Strangely, many Sunni’s find life under ISIL more manageable than it was under previous government’s (including Saddam Hussein’s).  There are odd pretenses of order, such as rules that automobiles carry repair kits. 


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