Jihadi Pundit Translates, Analyzes RAND Study

Yaman Mukhaddab, a Jihadi pundit who’s appeared on this blog several times, has translated the summary of the new RAND study, How Terrorist Groups End: Lessons for Countering al Qa’ida. It’s a fast turnaround for a translation, given that the existence of the study was first reported in Western media on July 28 and Yaman finished his work on July 30.

Yaman says he has rushed to translate the document for two reasons. First, he believes that it is dangerous. RAND, he says, has finally understood that the reason al-Qaeda attacks the U.S. is to provoke it into a direct military conflict in the Middle East, which will strengthen and consolidate the mujahids and bring about greater losses for the U.S. and its allies.

Second, RAND is the go-to contractor in the U.S. for crafting the government’s response to al-Qaeda. Past RAND studies have had a huge influence in this regard and most of their recommendations have been implemented.

Yaman further argues that the next administartion will follow the plan outlined in this study. Both Republicans and Democrats want to end direct engagement with mujahids in the Middle East and use proxies and clandestine operations instead.

Since RAND’s recommendations for correcting the U.S. response to al-Qaeda derive from a scientific study of past terrorist groups, the mujahids would do well to read them so as to not fall into the enemy’s new traps. Moreover, RAND studies are public and provide an early warning of what the U.S. will do next, so the mujahids would be foolish to ignore them.

After posting his translation of the summary, Yaman offers five thoughts:

  1. The enemy has finally begun to understand.
  2. There is much in this study that torpedoes the propaganda of the enemy, which will help the mujahids.
  3. How can the enemy’s new strategy be thwarted?
  4. The RAND study is not an exercise in disinformation. But it still has some major holes that its authors haven’t perceived.
  5. The study will be implemented. Indeed, there are signs of this happening already.

In the coming weeks or months, Yaman plans to flesh out the five points above. He also intends to translate the fifth section in the complete study called “Military Force and al-Qa’ida in Iraq” since it contains much of benefit to the mujahids. Finally, Yaman hopes to translate the entire 225 page document. I’ll keep you posted.


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