A new map of ISIS and Al Qaeda for 2019 shows that the organizations and their networks are alive and well, in places you’d expect them to be. “The Office of Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) released its annual “Worldwide Threat Assessment” today. The written statement accompanied oral testimony given by Director Daniel Coats to the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence,” notes a piece.
The original can be read here.
The report, titled “WORLDWIDE THREAT ASSESSMENT of the US INTELLIGENCE COMMUNITY” notes “ISIS still commands thousands of fighters in Iraq and Syria, and it maintains eight branches, more than a dozen networks, and thousands of dispersed supporters around the world, despite significant leadership and territorial losses.”
Published January 30 it shows that ISIS and its affiliates still dominate the area Thomas Barnett called the Non-Integrating Gap. “The Non-Integrated Gap, characterized by unstable leadership and absence from international trade.” Ungoverned spaces. Chaos. SOCOM in the US is deployed to help monitor, train and fight against the problems in the gap.
“Special Operations Forces (SOF) play a significant role in U.S. military operations and, in recent years, have been given greater responsibility for planning and conducting worldwide counterterrorism operations. U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) has about 70,000 Active Duty, National Guard, and reserve personnel from all four services and Department of Defense (DOD) civilians assigned to its headquarters, its four service component commands, and eight subunified commands,” the SOCOM 2018 Congressional report notes. Aa report to Congress notes: “U.S. special operations forces, which are currently deployed in 90 countries, have more than doubled in size from 33,000 personnel in 2001 to around 70,000 personnel in early 2018. Next year’s budget, if approved, would make them larger still. For a newly updated overview from the Congressional Research Service, see U.S. Special Operations Forces (SOF): Background and Issues for Congress, April 13, 2018.”
However, as with the 18 year war in Afghanistan, the increasing deployment has not necessarily decreased the extent of these threats.