WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — When the Islamic State is blocked by strong resistance in one theater of operations, it turns its attention to another, Votel explained.
“I don’t believe there’s any one strategy that we are going to apply that is immediately going to change this,” Votel said on Friday according to a report in the News. “It’s going to take a long-term approach.”
Votel compared the struggle against the Islamic State to the 50-year-long campaign that the nation of Columbia had been forced to wage against terrorism, according to the report.
Earlier in July 2015, Defense Secretary Ashton Carter praised the Special Operations Command as the “tip of the spear” of the faster, more agile armed forces the United States would need to carry out its security commitments in the coming decades.
Islamic State Determined to Create Caliphate From Spain to India
The Islamic State wants to create a new Caliphate extending from Spain to India, Joseph Votel added.
To fulfil its goal, the Islamic State has been “looking for opportunities where there is ungoverned spaces and vulnerable populations, and they are taking advantage of that,” Votel said.
Most of SOCOM's resources are now focused on Middle East and Central Asia, and the priority is to deal with the Islamic State’s efforts to establish itself and extend its power and influence throughout both those regions, Votel explained.
“I don’t know if they have a plan, as such,” he said, “but what they are trying to do is re-establish that Caliphate by looking for opportunities they can exploit.”
The first Caliphate of Islam in the seventh century began in Arabia, but over the next 70 years it rapidly spread by conquest to create a unified state extending from Spain in the west across North Africa and the Middle East to include the area of modern Iran and all the way to the borders of India.
- Iraqi men look at a crater left by a massive suicide car bomb attack carried out the previous day by the Islamic State group in the predominantly Shiite town of Khan Bani Saad, 20 km north of Baghdad, on July 18, 2015© AFP 2019 / AHMAD AL-RUBAYE
- Iraqi security forces defend their positions against Islamic State group attack in Husaybah, 5 miles east of Ramadi, Iraq.© AP Photo /
- Fighters of the Islamic State group© AP Photo / Islamic State militant website
- Hafiz Saeed, the leader of the Islamic State terror group in Afghanistan© AP Photo / B.K. Bangash
- Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) militants© AFP 2019 / ALBARAKA NEWS
- Islamic State militants parade in a commandeered Iraqi security forces vehicle on a main road at the northern city of Mosul.© AP Photo / Uncredited