The latest attacks in Paris took place in a trendy part of town near the offices of Charlie Hebdo where Al Qaeda had attacked and while the “soft targets” were more in the style of ISIS but the multiple attacks and locations suggest the attackers had logistical support of some kind from Al Qaeda. ISIS needs all the help it can get. This assist might have been simply personal that switched organizations or somehow work for both or higher levels of agreement could have been reached between the increasingly marginalized Al Qaeda organization the increasingly bruised Caliphate -- perhaps they cooperated because they both needed to make a big kill to impress their world. Al Qaeda needs breathing room and it believes attacking the West at home will make us pull out of the Middle East where they can fester freely despite the opposite that terror draws an attack always being true and a more logical expectation. ISIS is chopping off the heads of defectors rather than gaining camaraderie and more importantly the so called caliphate itself is shrinking and slowly being bisected by Kurdish forces and the American air force while also facing a Russian, Iranian and Syrian terror alliance.
The attack on Paris strikes is a desperate play, no matter how much planning went into it. ISIS is losing yards so it tries to kick a field goal. The West has known for decades that we needed to get rid of the Assad regime and anything that replaced it would be worse and we are seeing even worse consequences than we had imagined because we did nothing but wait for the region to become unstable. Additionally, NATO is the wrong alliance to deal with these problems, we need a new series partnerships to take the lead that include regional actors. ISIS attacked France not because it had anything to gain but because it is losing. Despite all of our mess-ups, ISIS is losing the war. They attacked soft targets in France to fool themselves into thinking they could find victory and to con us into being intimidated, into believing they are winning. While ISIS tactics were surprisingly effective, they are in trouble, all that has been accomplished by ISIS is the West is now only more determined to make them lose faster.