The Chameleon Strategy

Muhami al-Dawla (“Defender of the State”) has written an essay on Ekhlaas titled, “The Connection between the State of Islam and the Taliban is the Strategy of the ‘Chameleon.'”  His argument is that the Taliban’s recent successful surge in Afghanistan is the result of using “chameleon cells,” which are small, well-organized, armed bands that 1) blend into the population, 2) do not take orders from a commander, and 3) have penetrated the state security apparatus.

Muhami claims that the Taliban borrowed the strategy from the Islamic State of Iraq, which used it after the tribal Awakenings.  The chameleon groups in Iraq are able to carry out attacks on Awakening leaders because of their infiltration of the Awakening security forces.  Moreover, their presence in these forces means that they can undertake attacks for which the Awakening leaders get blamed.

Muhami argues that the Taliban has adopted this strategy because it is working so well in Iraq (is it?).  The group’s successful use of the strategy in Afghanistan is linked to its increased proficiency at gathering intelligence.

Document (Arabic): 8-19-08-ekhlaas-the-connection-bn-islamic-state-of-iraq-and-taliban-is-strategy-of-chameleon

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2 Responses

  1. I might be short sighted here in my critique of Muhami, but I think violent jihadists are short sighted when they borrow self proclaimed successful tactics from a failing so called Islamic State in Iraq.

    This would be like congress raising their approval rating from 9% to 12% and claiming a victory because they are in double digits.

    The jihadist ship in Iraq is still sinking. They have been able to kill some AC members, even leaders, but this is only a narrow short sighted success.

    Guys like Muhami are experts in claiming success rather than achieving it. But this is valid in their estimation! They even count our failings as their successes.

    Which makes me wonder, how do we define success?

  2. Jallen,

    There is no doubt that Jihadists are looking for victory in failure. You need to remember that Muslims taught from the Quran that: “You did not slay them, but God slew them; and when thou threwest, it was not thyself that threw, but God threw, and that He might confer on the believers a fair benefit; surely God is All-hearing, All-knowing.” 8:17

    So everything in Allah hands. The failure and the success, he has a reason for the failure and what it is important that his will was done.

    Success (falah) is “O you who believe! be patient and excel in patience and remain steadfast, and be careful of (your duty to) Allah, that you may be successful.” 3:200

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