Today marks a continuing dreadful two years for France after Charlie Hebdo and the very substantial attacks at the end of last year.

In regards to who did it, one of the problems is that it is far too early to speculate on the affiliation of the driver.

We know this tactic, driving a heavy vehicle into an unprotected place where there are lots of people, has been advocated in Islamist circles for some time. It's not unique to Isis however, al Qaeda has also advocated for the use of it.

What we do know is that Isis has been intensifying their efforts as it is squeezed by the anti-Isis coalition, with 60 countries involved.


Isis has been squeezed thoroughly in Iraq, especially in Ramadi and Fallujah.

They remain relatively strong on the ground and they'll be aiming to hurt countries responsible for the airstrikes and for training their enemies.

This attack in Nice does appear to be a part of a pattern. What we have to realise is that there are a number of parties in Middle East that need attention and a military response will not suffice.

Bombing Isis bases and killing ISIS soldiers will not be the end of the problem.

The causes need to be removed, and one of these has been the Syrian War. That needs to be taken care of urgently with a multi-faceted regime, alongside intelligent political and diplomatic countermeasures.

And it's high time Russia joined the United Nations Security Council to help bring the Syrian conflict to an end.

We understand that France has already managed to prevent a number of attacks this year, but this one got through on Bastille Day.

What is worrying and makes it difficult to stop groups like Isis is that now they can project globally.

Only a few years ago terrorists had to come into a country before damage could be done, but now groups like Isis are recruiting lone wolves who already live in the country, making it much harder to stop them.

For France, a state of emergency will remain. They can conduct searches on anyone without a warrant.

Ironically, President Francois Hollande indicated that the state of emergency was about to be lifted, but I have a feeling it will now continue.

Professor Robert Patman, from Otago University, specialises in international relations, global security, great powers and the Horn of Africa.