Industry colleague, Scott Bernstein from GSI recently shared this fun little story about a recent successful SAS operation in Raqqa, Syria against ISIS. Its a story that gives some credence to Sun Tzu when he emphasized the need to adapt ones tactics to an enemy’s weakness.

sun tzu
Sun Tzu, The Art of War

And as long as ISIS is driven by religious conviction, there are many weaknesses to exploit. For instance, their strong belief in Quranic doomsday prophecies gives us an understanding of their overall strategy, and reveals their focus on capturing and maintaining the town of Dabiq, where they believe judgement day will start.

From a military perspective, the town and its surrounding area is utterly unimportant, but from a theological perspective its a source of motivation and unification.

This gives us an understanding of the importance for western forces to take and hold the region, and push back any ISIS attempts of recapture in order to both weaken ISIS morale and theological claims as “true believers”. That is, in essence, one weakness on their part.

Another weakness is their strict rules for social control which in practicality limits social identification of residents, as this particular story will give a fine example of:



Source: Scott Bernstein on Linkedin