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 Forecasting America's Destiny ... and the World's


Generational Dynamics Web Log for 23-Oct-2014
23-Oct-14 World View -- Canada in shock over Ottawa shootings

Web Log - October, 2014

23-Oct-14 World View -- Canada in shock over Ottawa shootings

Turkey's military options in Syria are restricted by limited capability

This morning's key headlines from

Canada in shock over Ottawa shootings

A Twitter user took this photo moments before the shooting.  He tweeted: 'Ok so we were on a tour at that war monument in Ottawa a few minutes ago, a few seconds later there was a shooting.' Is one of these guards the soldier who was killed? (@Evanem/Toronto Star)
A Twitter user took this photo moments before the shooting. He tweeted: 'Ok so we were on a tour at that war monument in Ottawa a few minutes ago, a few seconds later there was a shooting.' Is one of these guards the soldier who was killed? (@Evanem/Toronto Star)

A gunman shot and killed a soldier at a war memorial in Ottawa on Wednesday, then ran into the parliament building where he exchanged gunfire with police. At this writing on Wednesday evening ET, police are hunting for additional suspects. It's suspected, not confirmed, that it was a "lone wolf" attack inspired by the Islamic State / of Iraq and Syria (IS or ISIS or ISIL).

Canadians are known to have the feeling that this sort of thing happens elsewhere, not in Canada, so Canadians are in shock over these terrorist attacks. Much of Ottawa is still locked down, as are parliament buildings, military installations, and other potential targets all across the country. American military installations are also on high alert.

It was just a few hours earlier, on Tuesday, that Canada had raised its terror level in response to intelligence reports of "general chatter" from groups such as ISIS and al-Qaeda.

And it was just two days earlier, on Monday, that a self-radicalized "lone wolf" Canadian man ran down two soldiers, killing one. It's believed that both the Monday and Wednesday perpetrators were Muslim converts. Both perpetrators had previously been identified by Canadian authorities as potential terrorists.

Last month, in mid-September, ISIS issued statements encouraging exactly this kind of lone wolf attack. One statement called for attacks against Egyptian security forces, who are "the guards of the Jews, the soldiers of [Egypt's president Abdel al-Fattah al-Sisi], the new Pharaoh of Egypt":

"Rig the roads with explosives for them. Attack their bases. Raid their homes. Cut off their heads. Do not let them feel secure."

A similar statement called for lone wolf attacks on other countries, including Australia, France, Canada, the United States, and others:

"If you can kill a disbelieving American or European — especially the spiteful and filthy French — or an Australian, or a Canadian, or any other disbeliever from the disbelievers waging war, including the citizens of the countries that entered into a coalition against the Islamic State ... kill him in any manner or way however it may be."

Wednesday's attack is expected cause some level of panic among ordinary Canadians. According to one commentator, "Canada will be a different country on Thursday than it was on Wednesday." BBC and Globe and Mail (Toronto) and Willmiot (22-Sep) and Toronto Star

Egypt supports the anti-ISIS coalition in principle only

Egypt has politically expressed its complete commitment to the U.S.-led coalition against the Islamic State / of Iraq and Syria (IS or ISIS or ISIL), saying that "the symbolism of a united coalition is very important," but has declared that it will not dispatch military forces to participate in its operations, nor participate in air strikes.

There are several reasons:

Egypt is taking a neutral stance against the al-Assad regime, while Saudi Arabia says that the al-Assad regime is illegitimate and must be removed. Memri

Turkey and Qatar officials meet to discuss Syria strategy

In an article last month ( "3-Sep-14 World View -- Mideast realignment continues following the Gaza war"), I used a Generational Dynamics analysis to outline how the Mideast is realigning itself around a growing fault line separating Israel plus Egypt plus Saudi Arabia plus the United Arab Emirates (UAE) plus Bahrain versus the Palestinians plus Qatar plus Turkey, with vitriolicly anti-American Iran increasingly aligning itself with America and the West.

Although Turkey and the Arab countries on both sides are all nominally part of the anti-ISIS coalition, Turkey and Qatar have not been participating actively because they have completely different objectives from the other countries:

Qatar and Turkey are currently engaging in intense talks on "Issues of security cooperation between the two countries and enhancing coordination between ministries." It's not known whether major changes in policy are being discussed. Hurriyet (Ankara)

Turkey's military options in Syria are restricted by limited capability

Even if it wanted to, it's doubtful that Turkey could mount an effective cross-border operation against ISIS forces around Kobani or anywhere else for that matter. The first problem is that the army is very top heavy, and has not carried out any significant restructuring or reforms for over 50 years.

Also, Turkey's army is tied down on other fronts:

So, it's highly likely that Turkey's support for the US-led coalition will remain rhetorical, especially if there is no agreement regarding Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's removal from power. Today's Zaman (Ankara)

(Comments: For reader comments, questions and discussion, see the 23-Oct-14 World View -- Canada in shock over Ottawa shootings thread of the Generational Dynamics forum. Comments may be posted anonymously.) (23-Oct-2014) Permanent Link
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