Daniel L. Byman - Mentions and Appearances
Pompeo is likely to come in with the CIA and congressional perspective that the Iran deal was a bad deal. But it doesn't solve the bigger problem of what's going to replace it. And as secretary of state, if he wants to accomplish anything, he's going to have to come up with an answer to that. And he's going to find out that U.S. allies favor continuing the deal, that the Iranians are not likely to budge much. And so he's going to have to grapple with this reality in a way he hasn't before.
The Islamic State fighters, in a number of places, Mosul, [Iraq], Raqqa, [Syria] many others, put up very fierce fighting. And thousands of their fighters died in these battles...Another group of fighters probably tried to flee or blend in locally
The [Trump administration's] proposals don't call for constant monitoring once someone is in the country. It seems like [Saipov, the NYC attacker] became much more radical relatively recently. So the ideas on the table don't seem particularly relevant to this attack.
Such unthinking measures [that target Muslims] might benefit Trump politically while inadvertently helping the terrorists operationally.
This is a movement that historically has been highly divided. One thing Osama had been doing is trying to be a unifier. He was very comfortable working with people who agreed with him on one issue and disagreed with him on five. Toward the end of his life, a lot of what he was trying to do was to get groups to work together.
The image people often have is plane-loads of these [jihadists] flying out, but that’s the wrong image: It’s people filtering out in dribs and drabs.
What do you do when your allies [like Pakistan] are part of the problem? The desire to turn our backs on these people is there, but then you worry that terrorists will have more operational freedom and it will cost you more in the long run.
[The Islamic State] is a very strong group which has a lot of sympathizers, its ideas are embedded and it has networks. It has a lot to draw on even as it loses its physical territory
[Stabilization is] difficult to do in Iraq and especially Syria because no one wants the U.S. to put lots of forces on the ground to be doing that and locals will struggle to do it well.
We know from some of the records we’ve seen over the years from groups like al-Qaeda that they see the United States as a harder place to get into than they do Europe.