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    NATO May 'Effectively' Aid US, Russia in Anti-Daesh Fight by Sharing Intel

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    NATO could effectively help anti-Daesh fight by paying attention to its own geographical region, Europe in particular, and sharing intelligence to capture terrorists, retired US Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Karen Kwiatkowski told Sputnik.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — NATO could play a genuinely constructive role helping coordinate European nations’ intelligence to aid both the United States and Russia in their struggle against Daesh (outlawed in Russia), Kwiatkowski said.

    "What NATO could effectively offer to the US and Russia, as the decision is being publicly advertised, is to present a unified European position on containing and eliminating the Islamic State [Daesh]," she said.

    Kwiatkowski was commenting on the statement by NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg at the NATO summit in Brussels on May 25 that the alliance would be formally joining the US-led collation to combat Daesh.

    "NATO could assist by paying attention to its own geographical region, sharing intelligence among NATO countries more actively and thoroughly, and using that intelligence to capture IS [Daesh] fighters and activists," she said.

    Although NATO lacked raw military power to make a significant additional contribution to combat operations against Daesh in Iraq and Syria, it could still play a valuable role in contributing to intelligence-sharing and police coordination, Kwiatkowski explained.

    "Having a real European fight — mainly European-centered policing and investigatory activity- with the aim of capturing and eliminating IS cells and leaderships would be helpful," she said.

    NATO could also play a role in persuading national governments and the European Union (EC) in Brussels to crack down in the freedom of movement of potential jihadists from their own nations to and from Middle East countries where Daesh had a strong presence, Kwiatkowski pointed out.

    "The ease with which ISIS enthusiasts can travel to and from NATO member countries (as seen in the recent Manchester terror attack) illustrates a real opportunity for improved intelligence sharing within NATO members," she said.

    Another aspect of NATO assistance in the war against Daesh could be found in human intelligence across the Middle East, Kwiatkowski observed.

    "This is clearly an area where both the US and Russia could benefit," she said.

    NATO could also be used as a diplomatic forum to improve cooperation with turkey to improve its role in opposing Daesh, Kwiatkowski suggested.

    "Managing and leveraging Turkey as a NATO member is a good place to start, as we have seen missteps and miscommunication relating to Turkey as it combats Kurdish separatists and IS fighters," she said.

    A third aspect where NATO could bring its coordinated European abilities to bear would be in tracking the financing of Daesh and various black and grey market activities that fund it, as some of this likely occurs in and through European banks, Kwiatkowski concluded.

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