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The Newsroom => International Defence and Security => Topic started by: tomahawk6 on June 10, 2014, 13:37:32

Title: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: tomahawk6 on June 10, 2014, 13:37:32
AQ's ISI has taken Mosul after police and troops fled leaving behind their weapons.Iraq wants more US weapons but why provide them if they are just going to arm the insurgents ? A huge question about the security forces being able to function.
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: Transporter on June 10, 2014, 18:48:59
Regrettable and all the more so given the number of guys killed or injured there. Can't say I'm surprised though.

I've always believed that any issues the West had with Iraq would have been far "less costly" to navigate with Saddam still at the helm than the price paid - and that which will continue to be paid - vis-a-vis his overthrow. Bit of a moot point now I guess.

History will judge whether it was the right thing to do or not but I'm not sold (no disrespect to those who fought, died or were injured there).
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: Nemo888 on June 10, 2014, 22:05:08
Fallujah, then Ramadi and now Mosul.

Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose.
Henry V

BATES
"Ay, or more than we should seek after; for we know
enough, if we know we are the king's subjects: if
his cause be wrong, our obedience to the king wipes
the crime of it out of us."

WILLIAMS
"But if the cause be not good, the king himself hath
a heavy reckoning to make, when all those legs and
arms and heads, chopped off in battle, shall join
together at the latter day and cry all 'We died at
such a place;' some swearing, some crying for a
surgeon, some upon their wives left poor behind
them, some upon the debts they owe, some upon their
children rawly left. I am afeard there are few die
well that die in a battle; for how can they
charitably dispose of any thing, when blood is their
argument? Now, if these men do not die well, it
will be a black matter for the king that led them to
it; whom to disobey were against all proportion of
subjection. "(4.1.3)
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: Colin P on June 11, 2014, 11:38:30
Iran is going to have it's hands full, they can't afford a failure of the shiite government there, so they will have to support both Syria and Iraq. Now if Assad can come to grips with the rebels within Syria, then he and the Hezzbollah will be well placed to attack the Sunni area's. Meanwhile I expect the Kurds to be preparing for independence if they feel Iraq is to weak to do anything about it.
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: S.M.A. on June 13, 2014, 19:16:22
In the midst of the collapsing Iraqi military in face of resurgent Al-Qaeda-affiliated militants in the new Iraq...

...Deja vu again, anyone?

Military.com (http://www.military.com/daily-news/2014/06/13/bush-carrier-put-on-standby-for-iraq-air-strikes.html?comp=1198882887570&rank=1)

Quote
Bush Carrier Put on Standby for Iraq Air Strikes

Jun 13, 2014 | by Richard Sisk
The U.S. aircraft carrier George H.W. Bush and her more than 50 attack aircraft were available to conduct airstrikes against Islamic militants in Iraq if President Obama gives the order, Pentagon officials said Friday.

The Bush and her accompanying battle group of ships "were in the region and ready for any tasking," said Rear Adm. John Kirby, the Pentagon press secretary. Kirby would not confirm several reports that the Bush had already moved into the Persian Gulf.

The 1092-foot, nuclear-powered carrier, named for former President George H.W. Bush, deployed from her homeport in Norfolk, Va., in February on a regular rotation to the Mediterranean and the Persian Gulf region.

(...EDITED)

Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: Schindler's Lift on June 13, 2014, 19:20:13
Its sadly ironic that the Carrier involved is the George H.W. Bush.
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: tomahawk6 on June 13, 2014, 23:15:11
Intel seems to be all over the place on the size of the enemy force from 8000 on up.Its open country and if they advance down the highways they will be destroyed - if the USAF or USN aircraft are deployed.
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: Chris Pook on June 14, 2014, 00:17:28
Good news, I suppose.  If Obama does introduce air strikes into the theater, and concurrently Iran introduces the Revolutionary Guard, the fly boys will be in the enviable position of not having to worry about the occasional "friendly fire" incident.

In fact targeting could be as simple as finding any converging forces and dropping rounds in the middle.

But that's just the cynic in me.
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: S.M.A. on June 14, 2014, 00:24:32
Intel seems to be all over the place on the size of the enemy force from 8000 on up.Its open country and if they advance down the highways they will be destroyed - if the USAF or USN aircraft are deployed.

Other news reports (http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jun/11/mosul-isis-gunmen-middle-east-states) say a force of 850 insurgents routed TWO Iraqi Army divisions or a total of 30,000 men in Mosul. How does that happen?

Did the new Iraqi Army expand too fast before men could be effectively trained?
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: tomahawk6 on June 14, 2014, 10:09:06
Outside of their special forces units,the IA has devolved with poor leadership,corruption and with the focus on internal security as opposed to warfighting,the IA isnt much better than under Saddam.What kept Saddam in power was the terror apparatus and the Republican Guard.Maliki treated the Sunni's and Kurds badly which has enabled support for ISI.
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: Transporter on June 14, 2014, 13:51:15
A good (albeit abridged) overview of how the current ISIS situation in Iraq came to be, from Peter Bergan at CNN.

http://www.cnn.com/2014/06/13/opinion/bergen-iraq-isis-bush/index.html?hpt=hp_t4

Editor's note: Peter Bergen is CNN's national security analyst, a director at the New America Foundation and the author of ""The Longest War: The Enduring Conflict between America and Al-Qaeda," which this story draws upon.

(CNN) -- ISIS, the brutal insurgent/terrorist group formerly known as al Qaeda in Iraq, has seized much of western and northern Iraq and even threatens towns not far from Baghdad.
From where did ISIS spring? One of George W. Bush's most toxic legacies is the introduction of al Qaeda into Iraq, which is the ISIS mother ship.
If this wasn't so tragic it would be supremely ironic, because before the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003, top Bush officials were insisting that there was an al Qaeda-Iraq axis of evil. Their claims that Saddam Hussein's men were training members of al Qaeda how to make weapons of mass destruction seemed to be one of the most compelling rationales for the impending war.

After the fall of Hussein's regime, no documents were unearthed in Iraq proving the Hussein-al Qaeda axis despite the fact that, like other totalitarian regimes, Hussein's government kept massive and meticulous records.

The U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency had by 2006 translated 34 million pages of documents from Hussein's Iraq and found there was nothing to substantiate a "partnership" between Hussein and al Qaeda.

Two years later the Pentagon's own internal think tank, the Institute for Defense Analyses, concluded after examining 600,000 Hussein-era documents and several thousand hours of his regime's audio- and videotapes that there was no "smoking gun (i.e. direct connection between Hussein's Iraq and al Qaeda.)"

The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence concluded in 2008, as every other investigation had before, that there was no "cooperative relationship" between Hussein and al Qaeda. The committee also found that "most of the contacts cited between Iraq and al Qaeda before the war by the intelligence community and policy makers have been determined not to have occurred."

Instead of interrupting a budding relationship between Hussein and al Qaeda, the Iraq War precipitated the arrival of al Qaeda into Iraq. Although the Bush administration tended to gloss over the fact, al Qaeda only formally established itself in Iraq a year and a half after the U.S. invasion.

On October 17, 2004, its brutal leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi issued an online statement pledging allegiance to Osama bin Laden. Zarqawi's pledge was fulsome: "By God, O sheikh of the Mujahideen, if you bid us plunge into the ocean, we would follow you. If you ordered it so, we would obey."

Zarqawi's special demonic genius was to launch Iraq down the road to civil war. In early 2004, the U.S. military intercepted a letter from Zarqawi to bin Laden in which he proposed provoking a civil war between Sunnis and Shia.

Zarqawi's strategy was to hit the Shia so they would in turn strike the Sunnis, so precipitating a vicious circle of violence in which al Qaeda would be cast as the protector of the Sunnis against the wrath of the Shia. It was a strategy that worked all too well, provoking first sectarian conflict in Iraq and later civil war.

Al Qaeda in Iraq, or AQI, regularly attacked Shia religious processions, shrines and clerics. The tipping point in the slide toward full-blown civil war was al Qaeda's February 2006 attack on the Golden Mosque in Samarra, which is arguably the most important Shia shrine in the world.

Three years into the Iraq War, AQI seemed all but unstoppable. A classified Marine intelligence assessment dated August 17, 2006, found that AQI had become the de facto government of the western Iraqi province of Anbar, which is strategically important because it borders Jordan, Syria and Saudi Arabia and makes up about a third of the landmass of Iraq.

In addition, AQI controlled a good chunk of the exurban belts around Baghdad, the "Triangle of Death" to the south of the capital and many of the towns north of it, up the Tigris River to the Syrian border.

Thus AQI controlled territory larger than New England and maintained an iron grip on much of the Sunni population.

In other words, the Bush administration had presided over the rise of precisely what it had said was one of the key goals of the Iraq War to destroy: a safe haven for al Qaeda in the heart of the Arab world.

By 2007, al Qaeda's untrammeled violence and imposition of Taliban ideology on the Sunni population provoked a countrywide Sunni backlash against AQI that took the form of Sunni "Awakening" militias. Many of those militias were put on Uncle Sam's payroll in a program known as the "Sons of Iraq".

The combination of the Sunni militias' on-the-ground intelligence about their onetime AQI allies and American firepower proved devastating to al Qaeda's Iraqi franchise. And so, between 2006 and 2008, AQI shrank from an insurgent organization that controlled territory larger than the size of New England to a rump terrorist group.

But AQI did not disappear. It simply bided its time. The Syrian civil war provided a staging point over the past three years for its resurrection and transformation into the "Islamic State of Iraq and Syria," or ISIS. And now ISIS has marched back into western and northern Iraq. Only this time there is no U.S. military to stop it.
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: tomahawk6 on June 14, 2014, 17:21:58
Blaming Bush when Obama has been President for 7 years is absurd.Obama watched as one by one radical elements took power in North Africa.He intiated the pullout of US forces over a status of forces agreement so he could claim credit for ending the war.He has done the same in Afghanistan.Now its Iran that is coming to the aid of Iraq's government.Not good at all.If you are an American that lost loved one's there its a slap in the face.
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: Nemo888 on June 14, 2014, 20:15:34
If only we had a guy who we could use to make the country a stable secular dictatorship to kick some shiite *** and destabilize Iran.
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: Transporter on June 15, 2014, 00:43:26
Blame should be laid where blame is due. Iraq was invaded under false pretense six years before Obama became president. That anyone would seek to lay blame at the feet of anyone but the Bush administration is laughable. There, I've said it.
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: E.R. Campbell on June 15, 2014, 10:47:39
Over the years I have suggested that the many problems we, the secular, liberal, democratic West (and the equally secular but conservative and not always democratic East) have with many (most?) of nations of the Islamic Crescent (which stretches from the Atlantic coast of North Africa across Africa, through the Middle East and West and Central Asia and into East Asia (Malaysia and Indonesia, the largest of all Muslim states) is, essentially cultural and that Islam, the religion, is just a lever that some leaders use to motivate their followers.

I have suggested that the process of changing that culture is both essential (for everyone) and urgent. I have also suggested that the model for cultural change might be Europe/Christendom over the 15th through the 19th centuries: religious reformation, war, more religious reformation and, finally, cultural enlightenment. (I do not suggest that all Islamic states need enlightenment, some have highly advanced culture by they are under cultural attack by religious leaders from culturally 'retarded'* regions (mainly Arabia and Iran).)

I have also suggested that what we (liberal Western democracies and conservative Eastern oligarchies, alike) need is something akin to as Islamic Luther (and some already exist, I believe, in East Asia - maybe elsewhere, too) and a series of revolts, revolutions, civil wars and internecine wars - an Islamic equivalent of the Thirty Years War, but on a bigger and bloodier scale.

I wonder if the Arab Spring and the ongoing turmoil in e.g. Syria and, now, Iraq, might be the beginning of a sad, but, ultimately beneficial period - the 'work' of a couple of generations.

_____
* re·tard  [ri-tahrd, for 1–3, 5; ree-tahrd for 4]
   verb (used with object)
      1. to make slow; delay the development or progress of (an action, process, etc.); hinder or impede.
   verb (used without object)
      2. to be delayed.
   noun
      3. a slowing down, diminution, or hindrance, as in a machine.
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: George Wallace on June 15, 2014, 11:27:58

I wonder if the Arab Spring and the ongoing turmoil in e.g. Syria and, now, Iraq, might be the beginning of a sad, but, ultimately beneficial period - the 'work' of a couple of generations.



I hope that your interpretation is the right one.  If not, and the opposite happens, with the factions who want to retard cultural advancement gaining the upper hand, then we are facing an even larger problem.  One that could result in a far dirtier global war than we have ever experienced in the history of man, which I suppose may fit into your scenario of

 
the model for cultural change might be Europe/Christendom over the 15th through the 19th centuries: religious reformation, war, more religious reformation and, finally, cultural enlightenment. (I do not suggest that all Islamic states need enlightenment, some have highly advanced culture by they are under cultural attack by religious leaders from culturally 'retarded'* regions (mainly Arabia and Iran).)

This, however, would not be in the content that it will be an internal Islamic fight, but a fight of all religions against the retarded culture of Islam that overwhelmed the more progressive Muslim populations.

Currently, the pacifist West in adopting multiculturalism, by permitting radical cultures to flourish fairly much unchecked, may be sowing the seeds of their own destruction.  Alarmists are being mocked around the world, but predominately in the UK and Europe.  There has been a few instances where some European nations are starting to pass what may be considered "racist" laws in the attempt to preserve their cultures from "contamination".  Will those measures be enough?  Only time will tell.

Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: Brad Sallows on June 16, 2014, 00:37:08
The problem isn't that "the West" is going to be overcome.  The problem is that the longer the intolerable rot is allowed to creep, the uglier the resulting backlash will be.  We have mastered industrial warfare.  They have not.
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: E.R. Campbell on June 16, 2014, 07:46:26
I'm pretty sure that, in 1618, no one saw the Bohemian Revolt as a prelude to a was that would rock Europe for a generation. And I'm not sure that the Arab Spring or anything else, going all the way back to the overthrow of King Farouk in 1952, is the prelude to an Islamic/Afro-Arabian-West Asian equivalent. What I am comfortable with is the idea that we, the US led West, should let it, whatever it is, unfold without interference - it's OK to sell arms to all sides but direct intervention ought to be avoided. (I think the Ottoman emperor's (Osman II) support of the Hungarian protestants (1620) actually provoked the Catholics into major actions that might, absent Ottoman interference, have otherwise been avoided.)

I do not think that Islam and anything like liberal democracy are compatible. Islam, it seems to me, offers a 'complete package' to its adherents: solutions to their spiritual, social, economic and political problems. That seems to to be a great strength, especially when it is able, through governments, to control the school system, and, simultaneously, a great weakness - I believe that Islam is rather akin (by design) to Christianity (and Judaism) and I also believe that it was economics and politics that shattered Christianity in the West, depriving it of its political, economic and even much of its social power. (That doesn't mean Islamic states cannot be democratic: Malaysia is an example of an Islamic democracy, albeit a very illiberal democracy, but it is also the most enlightened of all Islamic states.) I suspect the same thing will, likely, happen to Islam: it will either remain a profoundly conservative force in the world (but far, far different from the Asian/Confucian idea of conservative) or it will cast off its political and economic pretensions and will look, to most of its adherents, rather like Judaism and Christianity.

Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: Old Sweat on June 16, 2014, 17:34:50
This exceedingly pessimistic (or maybe realistic) piece by Bruce Everiss, a very conservative UK analyst addresses the situation in the Middle East with the invasion of Iraq and the fall of Mosul as its starting point, hence its posting here. It is reproduced under the Fair Dealing provisions of the Copyright Act.

What is ISIS?

June 16th, 2014 | Foreign policy, News analysis

ISIS have recently attracted attention by invading Iraq. The Western media and many online commentators have been describing them as al Qaeda, or as Syrian opposition fighters. They are neither of these things. So what are they?

Firstly to understand where we are we have to look how we got here, which means going back a long way. Islam was invented by Muhammad, who died in the year 632. As with Christianity he stole much from Judaism, around this he concocted rules for a whole way of life suited to desert nomads. His successor leaders were called Caliphs and their territory a Caliphate till this title was taken over by the Ottoman sultans in about 1453 as part of their success in conquering most Muslim lands.

Long before this, about the years 670 to 680 Islam split into two,  most accepted the legitimacy of the three Caliphs prior to Ali, and are called Sunnis. A smaller number believed that only Ali and some of his descendants could be Caliphs, these are the Shia. These two factions have been fighting at every opportunity ever since, it was largely the Ottoman empire which put a lid on this for a few hundred years. Each faction regards the other as apostate and therefore worse than a Christian or a Jew. The Ottomans didn’t trust Shias so tended to choose Sunnis to administer their territories. It is the factional disputes that make democracy almost impossible in Muslim countries, a fairly nasty strong man is needed to bang heads together.

80 to 90% of Muslims are Sunni. So to make life easier it is best to look at who some of the Shias are:

Bahrain, a largely Shia country with a small ruling elite who are Sunni. Hence the problems.

Iran, a huge concentration of Shia.

Iraq, about 80% Shia, but tradition of the Ottoman’s favouring of Sunni administrators continued up to Saddam Hussein. It only gained Shia leadership in the elections after Blair and Bush’s war.

Syria, the reverse of Bahrain, this is a largely Sunni country run by an Alawite (an offshoot of Shia) ruling elite.

Next in the jigsaw we have to look at the The Sykes-Picot Agreement which divided up the Ottoman empire, when it collapsed at the end of WW1, by drawing lines on a map to create countries, each of which came under the control of a colonial power. Iraq was created (roughly) of three Ottoman administrative districts, Vilayet of Mosul in the north, where there was a large Kurdish population,  Vilayet of Baghdad in the middle, which is where the Sunni population lived and Vilayet of Basra in the south which is concentrated Shia. After GW2 is would have been sensible to divide the country back up. On the ground the Kurds in the north were able to establish semi-autonomy.

So now we have some historical context lets look at more recent events. On September 11th 2001 the largely Saudi, Sunni terrorist group called al-Qaeda attacked the USA using hijacked aircraft as suicide weapons. In response GW Bush declared a “war” on terrorism and the axis of evil, which included Iran and Iraq. This was utterly unbelievable as both these countries had done a lot to suppress al-Qaeda. Bush and Blair went after the wrong people when they invaded Iraq. They also destabilised the whole region which led to civil wars in many countries and the events we see today with ISIS.

There is a branch of Sunni called Salafism (all religions are subject to infinite schism) who believe that the only true Islam is an exact and literal enforcement of everything that Muhammad said. They want everyone on planet earth to be compelled to return to the Dark Ages.  They are much, much stricter than the Wahhabism of Saudi Arabia that we think of as strict. Mostly they are peaceful, but some believe in direct action.

ISIS/ISIL, Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, Islamic State in Iraq and Syria or Islamic State in Iraq and al-Sham, is a Salafist organisation which wants to re-create the Caliphate. They were founded and grew out of GW2 and were eventually put down by the Americans and the Shia government of Iraq. They then moved to Syria, where the chaos of the ongoing civil war gave them a home.

The strong Alwaite rulers of Syria have a ruthless history of suppressing discontent, however the “Arab Spring” that evolved from events in Iraq led to many local uprisings of the Sunni majority. These local militias are often known under the collective banner of Free Syrian Army, but being mainly local militias they are and were reluctant to conduct a broader war, so they received little support from outside. Eventually a fairly fundamentalist Sunni opposition group formed who did take on Assad more, called al Nusra. They received quite a lot of help from Sunni Arab nations.

Into this mix just over a year ago came ISIS, their current leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has a PhD, three previous leaders were killed in their struggle. Initially they recruited a lot of battle hardened fighters from North Africa and Westerners, including about 500 British men. Their aim is to gain territory for the Caliphate, so they fight EVERYONE else. They have received huge amounts of money from Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait who see them as conducting a proxy war against the hated Shia. With this money they can pay their fighters which led many from the FSA and al Nusra to defected to them. In all their conquered territory they apply incredible strict Sharia law, banning cigarettes and alcohol, keeping women indoors, banning music. And they apply this law with maximum brutality, removing limbs and heads for minor transgressions.  Captured enemies have their heads hacked off with kitchen knives, or if there isn’t time they are just shot.

ISIS has received quite a lot of help from Assad in Syria, firstly because they attack all his opposition, secondly to polarised the West’s choice into either Assad or ISIS. When the West threatened to act against Assad and then did nothing it gave ISIS an immense boost, many in the moderate opposition realised that theirs was a lost cause, so they either gave up or joined ISIS. ISIS has never received any help of any kind from the West. They are seen as the problem, not the solution.

ISIS has invaded Iraq to gain territory for their Caliphate. They want to take the historic Vilayet of Baghdad back. In doing so they have captured huge amounts of munitions and money and their ranks have been swelled by Iraqi Sunnis. ISIS is now, effectively, a country that straddles the Sykes-Picot nations of Syria and Iraq. Their territorial aims encompass Jordan, Israel, Lebanon and Turkey.

So who is going to stop ISIS?

Iraq. Mostly the Iraqi soldiers so far have run or surrendered only to be shot. The Shia militias have been invited to join the war which will make things worse with their inevitable sectarian atrocities. Further south the population is just about 100% Shia so ISIS can only get so far.

Iran. Iraq and Syria have been battlegrounds for a proxy war between Shia and Sunni. Now the gloves are off and Iran cannot let ISIS succeed. Expect them to suddenly become everyone’s best friend.

Kurds. These people have a huge historic grudge and want their state back. They already have north Syria and some of north Iraq. But they also want a chunk of Turkey, which doesn’t please the Turks. They have fought ISIS in Syria and won.

USA. America has plenty of bases in the region and almost certainly has intelligence gathering drones following events. They missed a huge opportunity last Thursday to carpet bomb the ISIS columns. Obama is an incredibly weak president but surely even he must do something.

Israel. The Israelis haven’t overtly started smiting ISIS yet. But unless someone else does they will eventually have no option. Their problem is that ISIS is growing exponentially so the longer they leave it the greater the threat.

Turkey. The regional superpower. In much the same position as Israel.

Jordan. They must be wondering when it is going to be their turn and who will help them. It really does look like they are next.

Syria. Assad is laughing his head off. Soon the West will be his allies in the war against ISIS.

As you can see we are headed for interesting times, this cannot end well. Large numbers of young men are being radicalised into extremist violent Salafism and are being taught how to fight with extreme brutality. Quite a lot of these are Westerners who will eventually bring this baggage home with them. Whole swathes of the Middle East will become battle grounds and very many innocent people will die. Also the long enmity between Shia and Sunni will be inflamed which will lead to further ongoing conflicts.

The catalyst for all that has gone wrong are Bush and Blair and the utter stupidity of GW2. Whatever their aims were they obviously never thought through the potential downsides. They will go down in history with utter ignominy.
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: cupper on June 17, 2014, 00:40:47
Blaming Bush when Obama has been President for 7 years is absurd.Obama watched as one by one radical elements took power in North Africa.He intiated the pullout of US forces over a status of forces agreement so he could claim credit for ending the war.He has done the same in Afghanistan.Now its Iran that is coming to the aid of Iraq's government.Not good at all.If you are an American that lost loved one's there its a slap in the face.

What would you have had Obama do, when the Iraqi president refused to revisit the status of forces agreement to provide US forces prosecutorial immunity within the Iraqi judicial system, and any prosecutions of US forces would be solely under US jurisdiction.

I'm pretty sure that if Obama had compromised on that issue, the troopies would have been all in favour of staying over there.

The Bush Administration rode to war under misleading if not outright false circumstances. They won the battle then completely botched the subsequent rebuild and reconstitution of Iraq. As a result, the seeds of a three way civil war between the Sunnis, Shia and Kurds were sown and the inevitable breakup of the country is now coming to pass. Maliki exacerbated the problem by marginalizing the Sunnis.

You don't have to go that far back in history to find a similar example of what happens when you remove a dictator that had a strong hold on a country that was made up of distinct populations that have long histories of ethnic infighting. Yugoslavia blew apart after the death of Tito.
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: tomahawk6 on June 17, 2014, 13:00:20
All Obama wanted to do as in Afghanistan was to get out and claim victory.
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: Rifleman62 on June 17, 2014, 16:36:49
Hey T6, to end a war and claim victory all you need is a pen and a phone.
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: Fishbone Jones on June 17, 2014, 17:17:53
Stop all immigration out of the area to religiously and culturally civilized nations. Put the Saudis on notice that we're not going to do their dirty work anymore and they can start fighting their own battles. Scale back the oil imports from OPEC until their ports are clogged with tankers full of oil they can't move. Arm all sides with all the AKs and ammo that can be found on the open market. Sit back and wait til there's a victor. Fly surveillance drones full time to keep in the know along with intercepted radio, satellite, etc. Once we determine who won, we can decide if they're trustworthy enough to negotiate with or whether they're still ignorant savages that need to remain totally isolated. Yes, there'll be some belt tightening around the world when we shut their taps off, but I'd rather that than have them export their religious nonsense here where it will have real impact on our grandchildren. We need to say we're not all inclusive and no, you can't come in. Come back in 35 years after you've had an attitude adjustment, then maybe we'll talk.
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: Transporter on June 17, 2014, 19:40:07
All Obama wanted to do as in Afghanistan was to get out and claim victory.

Had Obama recommitted US Forces to stay in Iraq without a Status of Forces Agreement, the GOP would have had a field day with that one, not to mention it would have been a grave mistake. What did you want him to do?

If Obama cured cancer tomorrow, you'd be pissed that he put Oncologists out of work, thus hurting the economy or something.
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: Transporter on June 17, 2014, 19:41:03
Hey T6, to end a war and claim victory all you need is a pen and a phone.

Educate yourself on the “President’s Surveillance Program”. 
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: muskrat89 on June 17, 2014, 19:46:00
Quote
If Obama cured cancer tomorrow, you'd be pissed that he put Oncologists out of work, thus hurting the economy or something.

Oh - and you're not displaying any bias whatsoever...

All - debate the topic, leave the personal digs out of it.

Army.ca Staff
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: Transporter on June 17, 2014, 20:08:30
Oh - and you're not displaying any bias whatsoever...

All - debate the topic, leave the personal digs out of it.

Army.ca Staff

I have no bias... frankly I couldn't care less. The Obama blamers are laughable to me though and I sometimes find it difficult to stop myself from calling them out on sh**. That said, I'm done.
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: Brad Sallows on June 17, 2014, 22:37:48
>As a result, the seeds of a three way civil war between the Sunnis, Shia and Kurds were sown and the inevitable breakup of the country is now coming to pass.

Those seeds were sown with the Sykes-Picot borders.  A three-way civil war in Iraq was inevitable; Saddam Hussein was not immortal.  I suspect the counterfactual in which Hussein perished of old age or assassination would have been uglier than the breakup of Yugoslavia.  The US overthrow triggered the civil war prematurely and put the US in situ to throttle the ferocity of the war (and lose blood and treasure doing so).  I don't think US soldiers should have been put in harm's way to achieve that, but it was achieved.  Along the way, the Kurds got a fighting chance to establish their own state instead of being overrun and extinguished.  Iraq stopped being a direct threat to Israel.  Gaddhafi in Libya rethought his belligerence.  Etc.

The biggest mistake was failure to divide Iraq in three.  The second biggest mistake was to throw everything away to spite the Bush administration.  People are fond of making comparisons with Vietnam.  They are not entirely wrong.  In both cases, something was won (irrespective of whether it was worth the cost), and then thrown away out of pure political small-mindedness.  If you really don't want to negotiate a SOFA, don't be surprised when you fail to negotiate a SOFA.

The chief lesson is this: conservatives should be resolute non-interventionists, because progressives have short attention spans (the fate of all R2P) or will throw away whatever gains are made.  There is no point sending soldiers to die for nothing, and ultimately "nothing" is what has been attained in Iraq and Afghanistan.   There is no need to repeat the performance; neo-cons and R2P advocates (note they inhabit both sides of the political centre), please do not miss any future opportunities to STFU and stay home.
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: Thucydides on June 18, 2014, 00:08:53
Given the devolution ito a 3 way struggle, a "30 year war" is perhaps the "best" possible outcome. Given the fact that there is virtually no overlap between the political, ethnic and religious "borders" and groupings in the region, only the regions with defendable geographical "bastions" will eventually remain as nation states (Turkey and Iran are bordered by mountains, deserts and seas which have allowed them to remain distinct entities for thousands of years, and Egypt is similarly sheltered from the east and west). Israel, being a free market and liberal democracy, will be able to fight on for a long time to come due to efficient use of all her resources, but much like ancient Athens, will eventually be overwhelmed and lost to the West.

While I am for a containment strategy as well, it needs to be far more total than most people assume; we need to ensure there is no electronic communications in or out of the region either. We don't need the various sides calling for allies or action in the East or West, or heart rending pictures of atrocities being staged to bring the R2P crowd into action. Coming to the aid of the Bosnian Muslims, while arguably the right thing to do from a moral standpoint gained us nothing at all. Why waste blood and treasure without even getting a "thank you" in return.

There are some regions which do demand the attention of the West (or the East). Maintaining the SLOCs through the Indian Ocean should be a great concern for our Anglosphere allies in India and Australia (as well as the honorary members like Japan), and Afghanistan merits attention as the "land bridge" allowing trade to flow East-West (the ancient Silk Road) and North-South (connecting India to central Asia), and keeping the civilized Islamic nations (ones without major infusions of Arabic or Persian cultural influences) in the fold should be a major concern of diplomats and free traders around the world as well.

To paraphrase the ancient Chinese curse; we will live in interesting times.

And as an added bonus for the historically illiterate, in 2011 the current administration was claiming credit for the situation in Iraq. because they had set the conditions in 2011, they DO NOT get to blame the current situation on anyone but themselves:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/marc-thiessen-obamas-iraq-disaster/2014/06/16/7151391e-f55b-11e3-a3a5-42be35962a52_story.html

Quote
Obama’s Iraq disaster
   
MARC A. THIESSEN
June 16

In 2011, the situation in Iraq was so good that the Obama administration was actually trying to take credit for it, with Vice President Joe Biden declaring that Iraq “could be one of the great achievements of this administration.”

Now in 2014, as Iraq descends into chaos, Democrats are trying to blame the fiasco on — you guessed it — George W. Bush. “I don’t think this is our responsibility,” said House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, declaring that the unfolding disaster in Iraq “represents the failed policies that took us down this path 10 years ago.”

Sorry, but this is a mess of President Obama’s making.

When Obama took office he inherited a pacified Iraq, where the terrorists had been defeated both militarily and ideologically.

Militarily, thanks to Bush’s surge, coupled with the Sunni Awakening, al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI, now the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or ISIS) was driven from the strongholds it had established in Anbar and other Iraqi provinces. It controlled no major territory, and its top leader — Abu Musab al-Zarqawi — had been killed by U.S. Special Operations forces.

Ideologically, the terrorists had suffered a popular rejection. Iraq was supposed to be a place where al-Qaeda rallied the Sunni masses to drive America out, but instead, the Sunnis joined with Americans to drive al-Qaeda out — a massive ideological defeat.

Obama took that inheritance and squandered it, with two catastrophic mistakes:

First, he withdrew all U.S. forces from Iraq — allowing the defeated terrorists to regroup and reconstitute themselves.

Second, he failed to support the moderate, pro-Western opposition in neighboring Syria — creating room for ISIS to fill the security vacuum. ISIS took over large swaths of Syrian territory, established a safe haven, used it to recruit and train thousands of jihadists, and prepared their current offensive in Iraq.

The result: When Obama took office, the terrorists had been driven from their safe havens; now they are on threatening to take control of a nation. Iraq is on the cusp of turning into what Afghanistan was in the 1990s — a safe haven from which to plan attacks on America and its allies.

It did not have to be this way. In 2011, the U.S. commander in Iraq, Gen. Lloyd J. Austin III, recommended keeping between 14,000 and 18,000 troops in Iraq (down from 45,000). The White House rejected Austin’s recommendation, worried about “the cost and the political optics.” So our commanders reduced their request to 10,000 — a number commanders said might be able to work “in extremis.” But the White House rejected this as well, insisting the number be cut to between 3,000 to 4,000 troops — a level insufficient to provide force protection and train Iraqis, much less to counterbalance Iran.

Iraqi leaders saw that the United States has headed for the exits — and decided that the tiny U.S. force Obama was willing to leave behind was not worth the political costs of giving Americans immunity from prosecution in the Iraqi judicial system. So Iraq rejected Obama’s offer, and the United States withdrew all its forces. And now ISIS is taking back cities that were liberated with American blood. It has taken control of Mosul, Tikrit and Tal Afar and is nearing the outskirts of Baghdad.

ISIS is not the only U.S. enemy taking advantage of power vacuum Obama left in the region. So is Iran. A month ago, Iraqi leaders asked the United States to carry out air strikes against ISIS positions but were rebuffed by Obama. So the Iraqis have turned to Iran for help. This weekend, the brutal commander of Iran’s notorious Quds Force, Gen. Quasim Suleiman, flew to Baghdad to advise the Iraqis on the defense of Baghdad. This is the man who organized and funded the Shia militias in Iraq, and armed them with EFPs (explosively formed penetrators) — sophisticated armor-piercing roadside bombs that killed hundreds of U.S. troops. And, if you thought matters could not get any worse, the Wall Street Journal reports that Obama “is preparing to open direct talks with Iran on how the two longtime foes can counter the insurgents.” Yes, you read that right. Obama is planning to work with Iran to counter ISIS in Iraq. In other words, our troops may soon be providing air cover for the very Iranians who were killing them.

If Obama had listened to the advice of his commanders on the ground, ISIS would probably not be marching on Baghdad today, and Iran would not be stepping in to fill the void left by the U.S. withdrawal. Thanks to Obama, we may soon have a situation where we are helping our Shia extremist enemies (Iran) fight our Sunni extremist enemies (ISIS) for control of Iraq.

That’s quite an “achievement.”
Quote

While President Obama enjoys his 175th and 176th rounds of golf, perhaps inaction will work out for the West: the Iranians will have to expend their own blood and treasure against ISIS (and we should do nothing at all to help them).
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: milnews.ca on June 19, 2014, 11:15:53
To paraphrase this Twitter poster (https://twitter.com/joepenney/status/479620594862804992), this Iraqi Army spokesperson's name could NOT be truer ....
(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/BqfA_UzCIAA6vjz.jpg)
"Veritas", indeed ....
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: tomahawk6 on June 19, 2014, 14:00:29
100 US SF are going to Iraq to train.I would rather see them attached to combat units and bring on the air strikes.The training mission will have to wait until the threat is eliminated.

http://www.armytimes.com/article/20140619/NEWS05/306190049/Report-U-S-send-100-Green-Berets-train-Iraqis

President Barack Obama is also expected to announce Thursday that he is deploying about 100 Green Berets to Iraq to help train and advise Iraqi forces, according to a U.S. official. However, Obama does not plan to announce immediate U.S. airstrikes on Iraq, which have increasingly become less of a focus of deliberations in recent days.
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: Hamish Seggie on June 19, 2014, 14:08:57
I was watching the news and the basic gist I got was that in Northern Iraq, the Kurds et al have set up defences and ISIS (the bad people) are a bit apprehensive about attacking the Kurds.......
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: MilEME09 on June 19, 2014, 14:35:46
I was watching the news and the basic gist I got was that in Northern Iraq, the Kurds et al have set up defences and ISIS (the bad people) are a bit apprehensive about attacking the Kurds.......

I've read that Kurdish SF have been probing into ISIS controlled towns, and collecting intelligence
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: Colin P on June 20, 2014, 11:07:18
If the US starts bombing stuff, expect the various factions supporting the ISIS to drop a dime on each other in the hopes the US will whack them and remove the threat now that they have pretty much achieved their aims.
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: Hamish Seggie on June 20, 2014, 11:36:23
I've read that Kurdish SF have been probing into ISIS controlled towns, and collecting intelligence

Are the Kurds as nasty as I think they are? I suspect ISIL hasn't gone after them is cause the Kurds may give them a dirty lickin.
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: Thucydides on June 20, 2014, 11:45:37
Historically the Kurds were in demand as mercenaries due to their fighting prowess, but the real reason they have remained as a cohesive people is they live in an easily defensible mountain redoubt, that is hard to access even with modern military technology. Think of the Swiss in the 1500's (perhaps the most feared military "people" in Europe at the time) and you should get the idea.
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: upandatom on June 20, 2014, 12:28:36
In recent history- (Occupations) has a rebuild of a culture/country/society worked- and at what cost?

Regardless of why the US went into IRAQ, it stopped the mass murder and genocide of people in that Country. IT stopped a legitimate mad man (and his sick and twisted sons), at the head of an army, known to previously possess Chemical weapons and many human rights infringements. (North Korea anyone??)

Closest I can think of that is still far fetched is WW2, that was a flat out war, We used guerilla warfare with the french resistance at that point. Both sides wore uniforms.

The same battles are not being fought anymore. Iraq is destabilizing, Afghanistan hopefully does not once a complete withdrawl is completed. Its not uniform on uniform fighting, its not longer the same type of warfare. On so many fronts we are fighting(seeing) extremists/extremism. Africa, Afghanistan, Iraq. It is so easy nowadays to take and twist religion to uneducated masses and tell them the reason you have no food, no water, is because of the west.

I agree with the theory we tighten our borders right up, same as Europe and the Aussies are, let them fight it out.  Why are we sending soldiers to fight for a cause that ends up being a vicous circle? We help one dictatorship in, then someone else overthrows it puts up there own.

I do feel bad for the women and children, if we could protect them by all means, but 9/10 times we cant. 

MY two cents, we need to step back for a reality check, rebuild, (Not cutback our forces Financially) train and be prepared. Keep a very close and watchful eye.
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: S.M.A. on June 26, 2014, 17:52:25
An assessment that may be overoptimistic? How can he be sure this Sunni coalition won't stay together longer?

Quote
Iraq's Sunnis Will Kick Out ISIS After Dumping Maliki: Ex-CIA Official
By Jeff Stein
6/25/14

Don't panic, Iraq's most powerful Sunnis are telling some old American friends. We'll take care of these upstart ISIS nuts - as soon as they oust Nouri al-Maliki from Baghdad.

That's the message Sheikh Ali Hatem al-Suleiman, leader of Iraq's biggest Sunni tribe, gave John R. Maguire, a retired former CIA deputy station chief in Baghdad, when he visited Iraq three weeks ago to talk about future oil deals in the region.

And Maguire, a veteran senior CIA paramilitary official, believes it. The tribes that once worked with the Americans to defeat Al-Qaeda in Iraq, he insists, will again rise up again to oust its spawn, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria [ISIS] - a movement so extreme it was denounced by Osama bin Laden's successor.

The Sunnis are using ISIS like a crowbar to oust Maliki, Maguire says, and then they'll turn on the invaders. Iraq as we know it will cease to exist, splitting into three new proto-states: Sunnistan in the west, Kurdistan in the north and an Iranian Shiite protectorate stretching from Baghdad east to the Arabian Sea and oil port of Basra. ISIS, in this optimistic scenario, will be pounded into oblivion.


Newsweek (http://www.newsweek.com/iraqs-sunnis-will-kick-out-isis-after-dumping-maliki-ex-cia-official-256270)

Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: Target Up on June 26, 2014, 20:09:52
Oh.  Well then.  Problem sorted, whew!  Firm handshakes all around followed by brandy and cigars in the drawring room.
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: Nemo888 on June 26, 2014, 22:28:38
For a country that has such a powerful army that wins most engagements it's been a very long time since they won a war. Such a mountain of resources to accomplish so little. What a strange empire. Neither evil enough to pluder the conquered and make a profit or good enough to be morally acceptable to the local populace. China and Russia are coming back while America wanes and I wonder how America will deal with a multipolar world after being the only superpower.
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: Thucydides on June 29, 2014, 22:53:39
ISIS is now declaring a Caliphate over the territory it controls in Syria and Iraq. If it were up to me I would allow Iran and Syria to expend their resources fighting ISIS, and let the Gulf States spend whatever they want supporting them. The carrier battle group in the Arabian Sea and one in the Med would be best employed to keep the fighting contained in the region, and prevent it from spreading beyond the Middle East.

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/isis-declares-creation-of-mideast-caliphate/


Quote
ISIS declares creation of Mideast caliphate across Iraq and Syria

BAGHDAD - The al Qaeda breakaway group that has seized much of northern Syria and huge tracks of neighboring Iraq formally declared the creation of an Islamic state on Sunday in the territory under its control.

The spokesman for the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS), Abu Mohammed al-Adnani, made the announcement in an audio statement posted online. Islamic extremists have long dreamed of recreating the Islamic state, or caliphate, that ruled over the Middle East for hundreds of years.

Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi
Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, commander of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIs), is shown in a U.S. State Department wanted poster handout image. U.S. STATE DEPARTMENT/REUTERS
Abu Mohammed al-Adnani said the group's chief, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, is the new leader, or caliph, of the Islamic state. He called on those living in the areas under the organization's control to swear allegiance to al-Baghdadi and support him.

"The legality of all emirates, groups, states and organizations becomes null by the expansion of the caliph's authority and the arrival of its troops to their areas," al-Adnani said.

Al-Baghdadi rose through the ranks of the organization before becoming emir some time in 2010-2011. The group relies on a handful of senior decision makers, but al-Baghdadi has the final word, according to the intelligence official. Most of its funding comes via robbery, extortion and smuggling, with a small percentage coming from donations. ISIS has also reportedly looted banks in some of the cities its seized.

Al-Adnani said that with the creation of the caliphate, the group was changing its name to just the Islamic State, dropping the mention of Iraq and the Levant.

 
Play VIDEO
Iraqi military's anti-ISIS offensive stalls in Tikrit
The Iraqi military's offensive against ISIS stalled over the weekend during an assault on the jihadist-held city of Tikrit, reports CBS News correspondent Charlie D'Agata.

While the situation is fluid, the military's largest-yet offensive was pushed back and is the latest in a series of failures against the militants, D'Agata reports.

 
Play VIDEO
Questions surround Iraqi army’s advance on Tikrit
It was unclear what immediate practical impact the caliphate declaration would have on the ground in Syria and Iraq, or among the wider global jihadi community.

Former CIA Director Michael Morell told "CBS This Morning" earlier this month that ISIS' first goal is "to set up that caliphate and, it's not just in Iraq and in Syria."

"Their second goal then is to use that as a safe haven to attack the United States," he warned.

 
Play VIDEO
Solving the Rubik's cube of Iraq violence
Despite that prospect, the creation of a safe haven isn't the only concern for U.S. intelligence officials, Morell said. They also have concerns about ISIS sparking a very bloody sectarian war that could create a massive humanitarian crisis and even more chaos in the region along Shia and Sunni sectarian lines.

U.S. advisers have been part of the recent offensive against ISIS, according to Iraqi officials, helping to coordinate resources. U.S. officials also announced recently they are flying armed drones over Iraq.

Despite the threat of a caliphate safe haven, and the Iraqi military's thus-far ineptitude against ISIS, there is unlikely to be much immediate wider American involvement in the conflict.

Both the Obama administration and members of Congress have expressed repeated concerns about the functionality of the Iraqi government, currently headed by Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.

Lawmakers of both parties increasingly say al-Maliki needs to depart from office if there's any chance of a political reconciliation to stabilize the country and curb the growing threat from ISIS.

"He needs to put together a government. We know that Sunnis and Shias alike have come out against him, but if you're going to want the Kurds, the Sunnis and the Shias working together, it cannot work with Maliki," said Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, on CBS' "Face the Nation" Sunday. "He's going to continue to go to others to prop him up. We see the Russian planes coming in, and he continues to go to Iran."

 
Play VIDEO
Joe Manchin: U.S. "military might" will not fix Iraq
In separate interviews on "Face the Nation" Sunday, Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.V., and House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Mike McCaul, R-Texas, reached the same conclusion.

"I don't think this can happen with Maliki in power. The good news is they have to finalize their government at the end of this month, and I do think the Shias are starting to move towards that direction to a new leader," McCaul said.

Manchin, for his part, predicted that Iraq's Shiite prime minister will not "change his ways," and went so far as to predict that his fall from power could lead to a change in national boundaries within the Middle East.

"The lines that were drawn 100 years ago won't be the lines when it's all finished. And we, for some reason, don't want to accept that," Manchin said.

Barrasso also said it's possible that Iraq breaks into three different states drawn along religious lines, especially because the current destabilization gives the Kurds an opening to establish a long-sought independent area.

"I think it's in the best interest of the United States to have a stable Iraq, but we're not there now," he said.

Play VIDEO
Flash Points: Why are foreign fighters gathering in Iraq and Syria?
CBS News Senior National Security Analyst Juan Zarate, a national security adviser under former President George W. Bush, said recently the threat has the potential to reach U.S. soil.

ISIS "is not just a threat in Baghdad or even Syria. It's a real threat to the West, because it's able to recruit fighters, train them, send them out, and then possibly redeploy them back West," Zarate said.

The concern is that the foreigners recruited by ISIS could become more radicalized after their time on the battlefield and return home to "attack their fellow citizens in the West," Zarate said Wednesday.

The fighters "turn in [their] passport, get paid for it, the passports then get reconfigured and sold to others heading back west," he said. "There's an entire infrastructure to getting people in and out, money in and out, and it's very easy then to have people hidden in that mix. The challenge then is: who's coming out to potentially attack [other] countries?"
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: daftandbarmy on June 30, 2014, 02:15:01
ISIS is now declaring a Caliphate over the territory it controls in Syria and Iraq. If it were up to me I would allow Iran and Syria to expend their resources fighting ISIS, and let the Gulf States spend whatever they want supporting them. The carrier battle group in the Arabian Sea and one in the Med would be best employed to keep the fighting contained in the region, and prevent it from spreading beyond the Middle East.

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/isis-declares-creation-of-mideast-caliphate/

The dilemma of any popular movement in the Arab world as described by Alexander:

"I am not afraid of an army of lions led by a sheep; I am afraid of an army of sheep led by a lion."

Alexander the Great


a.k.a. This too shall pass......

Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: jollyjacktar on June 30, 2014, 09:36:42
They have a 5 year plan to include Spain, the Balkan states, the Middle East, North Africa and large areas of Asia.  Good luck with Israel in particular.  There's a photo in the article of Russian warplanes at Baghdad setting up on Saturday.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2674736/ISIS-militants-declare-formation-caliphate-Syria-Iraq-demand-Muslims-world-swear-allegiance.html#ixzz367okIfsS


 
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: Cloud Cover on June 30, 2014, 10:12:29
Curious that their map doesn't show the parts of Sherwood Park, various sub divisions and university campuses in Toronto, Montreal and Ottawa? bad staff work there ISIS, you took your own forward elements off the OP.  Your Loggies wont be able to send over the necessary rations, tight fitting jeans and running shoes.
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: upandatom on June 30, 2014, 11:02:41
Curious that their map doesn't show the parts of Sherwood Park, various sub divisions and university campuses in Toronto, Montreal and Ottawa? bad staff work there ISIS, you took your own forward elements off the OP.  Your Loggies wont be able to send over the necessary rations, tight fitting jeans and running shoes.

BA DUM TIS


Still boggles my mind why none of these Middle Eastern States have bomb the F#@$ out of these guys yet, They are infringing on their borders. Middle East needs to start handling its own crap.

Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: Jarnhamar on June 30, 2014, 12:23:43
Maybe it's time for the US Government to accuse them of having WMDs.  *wink wink*
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: George Wallace on June 30, 2014, 12:44:05
Actually, I think that is not the way to go.  I think we should just slam the door in their faces and let them sort themselves out. 

Do we need their oil?  Not really. 
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: Transporter on June 30, 2014, 13:38:54
Actually, I think that is not the way to go.  I think we should just slam the door in their faces and let them sort themselves out. 

Do we need their oil?  Not really.

Agree completely. Besides, if/when we do need their oil it'll still be there for the taking (or should I say "purchasing").
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: Target Up on June 30, 2014, 14:12:08
Actually, I think that is not the way to go.  I think we should just slam the door in their faces and let them sort themselves out. 

Do we need their oil?  Not really.

No, but the oil companies need the excuse of "regional instability" in order to drive up the price of oil that we don't even get from there... Follow the money...
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: Jarnhamar on June 30, 2014, 14:32:01
George you must be driving a Kia  ;D

Release the B52s!
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: Thucydides on June 30, 2014, 14:41:01
There is a great hope among many people (and not just in the region) that ISIS will burn itself out. Their barbaric practices will most certainly reduce the level of popular support, so as they start receiving pushback from Iran and Syria (and their proxy Hezbollah army), not to mention the Kurds, they will discover that getting supporters and new fighters from the "Caliphate" won't be quite so easy. Of course things won't work out quite as neatly as we would like.

I suspect the real reason the Jordanians, Kuiwaitis and Sauds have not taken to the field against ISIS has more to do with the well founded fear of the Salafist radicals are active in their own countries. For the Gulf States in particular, exporting their own radicals along with financial and logistic support is a way of killing several birds with one stone; they get rid of the most radical people, they can identify others who remain and these radicals are fighting the Gulf States own proxy war against Iran, and Iran's proxies and allies. If they can get the Americans to fight for them as well, then bonus!
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: Transporter on June 30, 2014, 15:02:15
There is a great hope among many people (and not just in the region) that ISIS will burn itself out. Their barbaric practices will most certainly reduce the level of popular support, so as they start receiving pushback from Iran and Syria (and their proxy Hezbollah army), not to mention the Kurds, they will discover that getting supporters and new fighters from the "Caliphate" won't be quite so easy. Of course things won't work out quite as neatly as we would like.

I suspect the real reason the Jordanians, Kuiwaitis and Sauds have not taken to the field against ISIS has more to do with the well founded fear of the Salafist radicals are active in their own countries. For the Gulf States in particular, exporting their own radicals along with financial and logistic support is a way of killing several birds with one stone; they get rid of the most radical people, they can identify others who remain and these radicals are fighting the Gulf States own proxy war against Iran, and Iran's proxies and allies. If they can get the Americans to fight for them as well, then bonus!

I believe they have spread themselves too thin and their actions far exceed what the regional players are prepared to ignore. I'm betting they are about to get schwacked.
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: Hamish Seggie on June 30, 2014, 15:54:38
I believe they have spread themselves too thin and their actions far exceed what the regional players are prepared to ignore. I'm betting they are about to get schwacked.

Oh please let there be a smiting.... Along with the ones that leave here to wage jihad.
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: S.M.A. on July 01, 2014, 00:45:44
A prelude to a larger US buildup in the region? And wouldn't a better title for this thread be "Iraq Crisis (2014)" since this ISIS threat involves a larger part of Iraq?

Military.com (http://www.military.com/daily-news/2014/07/01/us-sending-300-more-us-troops-to-iraq.html?comp=7000023317843&rank=1)

Quote
US Sending 300 More US Troops to Iraq

Associated Press | Jul 01, 2014 | by Josh Lederman

WASHINGTON — The U.S. is sending another 300 troops to Iraq to beef up security at the U.S. Embassy and elsewhere in the Baghdad area to protect U.S. citizens and property, officials said Monday.
That raises the total U.S. troop presence in Iraq to approximately 750, the Pentagon said.

The State Department, meanwhile, announced that it was temporarily moving an unspecified "small number" of embassy staff in Baghdad to U.S. consulates in the northern city of Irbil and the southern city of Basra. This is in addition to some embassy staff moved out of Baghdad earlier this month,

Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said the Baghdad embassy "will be fully equipped to carry out" its mission.

(...EDITED)


Military.com (http://www.military.com/daily-news/2014/06/30/bataan-amphib-heads-to-persian-gulf.html?comp=7000023317843&rank=3)

Quote
Bataan Amphib Heads to Persian Gulf

Jun 30, 2014 | by Richard Sisk
The U.S. amphibious assault ship Bataan with 1,000 Marines aboard was headed to the Persian Gulf Monday as part of the buildup of U.S. forces in the region to protect Americans and counter the threat to the Iraqi government from Islamic extremists.

Pentagon officials confirmed that the 844-foot Bataan, based in Norfolk, Va., had left the Mediterranean and was expected to join six other Navy warships in the Persian Gulf, including the aircraft carrier George H.W. Bush.

Until earlier this month, the Bataan and the Marines from the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit, based in Camp Lejeune, N.C., were on standby off the coast of Libya in case of an emergency at the U.S. Embassy in Tripoli.

The other warships already in the Persian Gulf were the destroyers Arleigh Burke, Truxtun, and O'Kane, the cruiser Philippine Sea, the dock landing ship Gunston Hall, and the amphibious transport dock Mesa Verde.

(...EDITED)

Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: GR66 on July 01, 2014, 10:28:24
One of my first clear memories of an international news event was the fall of Saigon in 1975.  Can the US afford to abandon the Green Zone in Baghdad if ISIS proves capable of moving on the city?  The images of fleets of helicopters ferrying American personnel out of danger and leaving their "client" government to face the music on their own would have a huge impact on world opinion of the USA's ability and willpower (already in question by many). 

Is the alternative...direct US military intervention by air attacks or even ground troops to maintain control of the city...a much better alternative?  You might as well put up billboards saying that the Iraqi government of Nouri al-Maliki is totally illegitimate and is only being kept in power against the will of the country's own people by the power of the US military.   

I agree with others that have suggested that possibly the best long term solution for Iraq (and other ethnically split areas) is for the Sykes-Picot borders in the region to be abandoned and more "natural" borders between the various groups be allowed to take their place (understanding that this will NOT be a smooth or peaceful change).

Is this clip from the above article a possible precursor to full embassies in an independent Kurdistan and a new Shiite state around Basra?

Quote
The State Department, meanwhile, announced that it was temporarily moving an unspecified "small number" of embassy staff in Baghdad to U.S. consulates in the northern city of Irbil and the southern city of Basra. This is in addition to some embassy staff moved out of Baghdad earlier this month,

Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: George Wallace on July 01, 2014, 10:48:27
We are not dealing with a "Western" society and any hopes of winning hearts and minds along with "Reconstruction" as seen at the end of WW II is a fantasy.  WW II ended with "civilized" nations arriving at a peaceful end to world conflict with mutual understandings.  We can not hope to achieve the same results dealing with "barbaric" cultures who are still stuck in near pre-historic times.  We can not achieve anything by trying to impose our will and power over these states.  Even aiding them is not achieving positive results.  Let God (or Darwin) sort them out.

The Darwin Awards have already been awarded to some failed classes of suicide bombers.  Let us award more.
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: daftandbarmy on July 01, 2014, 11:07:04
From Sarajevo to Baghdad: The Lessons of War

My purpose here is not to throw stones, lay blame, or provide a justification, of any sort, for the horrendous violence and fanatical ideology of the jihadis, whose promised land is a sectarian, sexist dictatorship—a totalitarian negation of the Enlightenment. My point, on this anniversary, is simply to restate an elementary lesson of history that we’ve recently relearned to our cost. Wars are terrible things, and they have terrible, unpredictable consequences.

http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/johncassidy/2014/07/from-sarajevo-to-baghdad-the-lessons-of-war.html
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: Transporter on July 01, 2014, 11:11:10
We are not dealing with a "Western" society and any hopes of winning hearts and minds along with "Reconstruction" as seen at the end of WW II is a fantasy.  WW II ended with "civilized" nations arriving at a peaceful end to world conflict with mutual understandings.  We can not hope to achieve the same results dealing with "barbaric" cultures who are still stuck in near pre-historic times.  We can not achieve anything by trying to impose our will and power over these states.  Even aiding them is not achieving positive results.  Let God (or Darwin) sort them out.

The Darwin Awards have already been awarded to some failed classes of suicide bombers.  Let us award more.

Agreed. Has anyone heard about s*** happening in Rwanda in the past 20 years? No? Hmmm....
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: Hamish Seggie on July 01, 2014, 11:12:24
We are not dealing with a "Western" society and any hopes of winning hearts and minds along with "Reconstruction" as seen at the end of WW II is a fantasy.  WW II ended with "civilized" nations arriving at a peaceful end to world conflict with mutual understandings.  We can not hope to achieve the same results dealing with "barbaric" cultures who are still stuck in near pre-historic times.  We can not achieve anything by trying to impose our will and power over these states.  Even aiding them is not achieving positive results.  Let God (or Darwin) sort them out.

The Darwin Awards have already been awarded to some failed classes of suicide bombers.  Let us award more.

Saw a patch the other day that said:

"Only God can judge our enemies: we'll arrange the meeting"
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: daftandbarmy on July 02, 2014, 14:03:06
The difference between terrorism and insurgency
 (STRATFOR security weekly)

By Scott Stewart

It is not uncommon for media reports to refer to the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL/ISIS) as a terrorist group. While the group certainly does have cadres with advanced terrorist tradecraft skills, they are much more than a terrorist group. In addition to conducting terrorist attacks in its area of operations, the group has displayed the ability to fight a protracted insurgency across an expansive geography and also has engaged in conventional military battles against the Syrian and Iraqi militaries.

It is because of this that the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant is much more accurately referred to as a militant group; that is a group which uses terrorism as one of its diverse military tools. We have taken some heat from readers who view our use of the term "militant group" to be some sort of politically correct euphemism for terrorism, but militant group is really a far more accurate description for groups like the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (or ISIL/ISIS as it is sometimes abbreviated), al Shabaab, and al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), which all have the capacity to do far more than conduct terrorist attacks.

Terrorism and insurgency
 First, it is important to recognise that terrorism is only one tool used by organisations that wage asymmetrical warfare against a superior foe. Terrorism is often used to conduct armed conflict against a militarily stronger enemy when the organisation launching the armed struggle is not yet at a stage where insurgent or conventional warfare is viable. That said however, also there are instances where state-sponsored terrorism can be used by one state against another in a Cold War-type struggle.

Marxist, Maoist and focoist militant groups often use terrorism as the first step in an armed struggle. In some ways, al Qaeda also followed a type of focoist (revolution through guerrilla warfare) vanguard strategy. It used terrorism to shape public opinion and to raise popular support for its cause, expecting to enhance its strength to a point where it could wage insurgent and then conventional warfare in order to establish an emirate, and eventually a global caliphate. Terrorism also can be used to supplement insurgency or conventional warfare. In such cases, it is employed to keep the enemy off balance and distracted, principally by conducting strikes against vulnerable targets at the enemy's rear. The Afghan Taliban employ terrorism in this manner, as does the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant.

Once a group becomes more militarily capable, the group's leaders often will switch strategies, progressing from terrorist attacks to an insurgency. Insurgent warfare, often referred to as guerrilla warfare, has been practiced for centuries by a number of different cultures. Historical commanders who employed insurgent tactics have ranged from the Prophet Mohammed to Mao Zedong to Geronimo. Simply put, insurgent theory is based on the concept of declining battle when the enemy is superior, and attacking after amassing sufficient forces to strike where the enemy is weak. The insurgents also take a long view of armed struggle, seeking to live to fight another day rather than allow themselves to be fixed and destroyed by their superior enemy. They may lose some battles, but if they remain alive to continue the insurgency while also forcing their enemy to expend men and resources disproportionately, they consider it a victory. Time is on the side of the insurgents in this asymmetrical style of battle, and they hope a long war will exhaust and demoralise their enemy.

This style of warfare is seen very plainly in the history of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant. In 2004, when the group was called al Qaeda in Iraq, it attempted to progress from an insurgent force to a conventional military, seizing and holding territory, but it suffered terrible losses when facing the United States in clashes which included the first and second battles of Fallujah. In 2006, the group, known then as the Islamic State in Iraq, suffered significant losses in the battle of Ramadi, and the losses continued during the Anbar Awakening. However, the group persevered, abandoned its efforts to hold territory, and reverted back to a lower-level insurgency, and so continuing its pursuit of a long war. The group's persistence paid off. Now known as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, the militants’ regained strength after the US withdrawal from Iraq, and through their involvement in the Syrian Civil War. Today, the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant is arguably the most powerful jihadist militant group in the world. The group has even been able to progress militarily to the point where it can engage in conventional military battles simultaneously both against the Syrian and Iraqi armies. The group is clearly more than just a terrorist group; and its military capabilities are superior to those of many small countries.

Constraints
 All that said, the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant also is constrained as to how it employs its military power. Its first constraint is the projection of that power because force projection is a challenge for even large national militaries. It requires advanced logistical capabilities to move men, equipment, munitions, petroleum, and other supplies across expanses of land, and it becomes even more difficult when substantial bodies of water must be crossed. The Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant is aided by the fact that it can operate along internal supply lines which cross the Iraq-Syria border, so allowing them to move men and material to different areas of the battlefield as needed. Mostly this movement is achieved by means of trucks, buses, and smaller, mobile technicals (pickup trucks) and motorcycles.

For the most part, the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant is practicing a mobile `hit-and-run’ style of warfare aided by sympathetic Sunni forces, but in some places, such as Mosul, Ramadi and Baiji, they are conducting more conventional warfare along fixed battle lines. The militants have not shown the capability to project their conventional or even insurgent forces very far into the Kurdish and Shi’ite-controlled areas of Iraq, where they lack significant local support. In the past, they have been able to conduct terrorist operations in Kurdish and Shi’ite areas, including Arbil, Baghdad and Basra, but in recent years the group has not conducted terrorist attacks outside of its operational theatre.

Back in 2005, the group carried out bombing and rocket attacks in Jordan, including the 9th November 2005 suicide bombings against three hotels in Amman, but it has not conducted an attack in Jordan for many years now. Local supporters often facilitate the group's terrorist operations in Iraq, Syria and Jordan, even when foreign operatives conduct a suicide bombing or armed assault.

Historically, it has been fairly unusual for a militant group to develop the capability to project power transnationally, but developing such a capability without state sponsorship is even more unusual; and the transnational groups such as Hezbollah, Black September and the Abu Nidal Organisation all received significant state sponsorship. It is far more common for militant groups to confine their military operations within a discreet theatre of operations consisting of their country of origin and often the border areas of adjacent countries. In many cases, the militant group involved is a separatist organisation fighting for independence or autonomy, and its concerns pertain to a localised area.

In other cases, militant organisations have more global ambitions, such as the jihadist or Marxist visions of global conquest. These groups often will try to accomplish their global goals via a progression that begins with establishing a local political entity and then expanding. This initial local focus requires a group to commit its military resources toward local targets rather than transnational targets. This is likely why, for example, the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant has not yet attempted to conduct transnational terrorist operations directed against the United States and the West. The group has more pressing local and regional targets to hit.

The militant groups face another constraint on the projection of military power in the form of transnational terrorism: The tradecraft required to plan and orchestrate a terrorist attack undetected in a hostile environment is quite different from the skill set needed to operate as a guerrilla fighter in an insurgency. In addition, the logistical networks needed to support terrorist operatives in such environments are quite different from those required to support insurgent operations. These constraints have shaped our assessment that the threat posed by foreign fighters returning to the West from Syria, is real but limited.

Amongst the things which made the al Qaeda core organisation so unique was its focus on the "far enemy" (the United States) first rather than the "near enemy" (local regimes). Al Qaeda also developed the capability to train people in advanced terrorist tradecraft in camps like Deronta and to create the logistical network required to support terrorist operatives operating in hostile territory. Following the 9/11 attacks, al Qaeda lost its training camps and logistical networks. This has made it much more difficult for the group to conduct transnational attacks, and explains why the long-awaited follow up attacks to the 9/11 operation did not materialise. Indeed, in 2010 the al Qaeda core group jumped on the bandwagon of encouraging individual jihadists living in the West to conduct simple attacks where they live rather than travel to other countries to fight.

Among the al Qaeda franchise groups, such as al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) and al Shabaab, tensions have erupted between members of the organisation who favour the al Qaeda-like focus on the far enemy, and those who want to focus their military efforts on the near enemy. For the most part, the regional franchises also are under heavy pressure from the local authorities, and are struggling to survive and to continue their struggles. In such an environment, they have very little extra capacity to devote to transnational attacks.

Even a local franchise group like al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, which has adopted more of a transnational ideology, can be constrained by such factors. Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula has not been able to launch an attack directed against the US homeland since the November 2010 printer bomb attempt and moreover, it is important to recognise that al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula launched the attacks targeting the United States from its base of operations in Yemen, rather than sending operatives to the United States to plan and execute attacks in a hostile environment. The group did not have operatives with the requisite tradecraft for such operations, and also it lacked the logistics network to support them. Therefore, the al Qaeda franchise was limited to executing only the transnational attacks which it could plan and launch from Yemen.

So far, the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant has not demonstrated a focus on conducting transnational attacks against the far enemy. It also has not shown that it has operatives capable of travelling to foreign countries to plan and conduct sophisticated terrorist operations there. However, the group retains a robust terrorist capability within its area of operation, and consistently has been able to acquire weapons and explosives, to fabricate viable explosive devices, and to recruit and indoctrinate suicide operatives.

 The Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant is far more than a terrorist organisation. It can launch complex insurgent campaigns, and even conduct conventional military operations, it is able to govern areas of territory, administer social services and collect taxes. Thus simply labelling the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant solely as a terrorist organisation underestimates the group's capabilities, and this can give it the element of surprise when it launches a major military operation just like the one resulting in the capture of a significant portion of Iraq's Sunni-dominated areas. It is a potent foe.

Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: S.M.A. on July 03, 2014, 18:49:28
Wouldn't some of America's allies in the region, namely Turkey as well as Iraq's Maliki government, be wary of the US becoming closer to the Kurds, who covet their homeland which carves out parts of Turkey, Iran, Iraq and Turkey?

Military.com (http://www.military.com/daily-news/2014/07/03/us-sends-green-berets-to-northern-iraq.html?comp=1198882887570&rank=1)

Quote
US Sends Green Berets to Northern Iraq

Special Forces advisors have set up an operations center in northern Iraq as part of the expanding U.S. political and military effort to keep Iraq from splintering against attacks by Islamic extremists, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said Thursday.

In recent days, a small team of advisors opened up a Joint Operations Center (JOC) in Irbil, capital of the semi-autonomous Kurdish Regional Government, Hagel said at a Pentagon briefing with Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

The Irbil mission will complement the JOC already in operation in Baghdad in assessing the capability and will of the Iraqi national security forces to combat militants of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant who have swept across large swaths of western and northern Iraq against little opposition.

(...EDITED)

Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: Thucydides on July 03, 2014, 21:57:11
And the theatre continues to expand. It won't take much to finally trigger Saudi Arabia, Jordan or any other State threatened within or without by Salafist radicals to enter the conflict. The big question is how long before they finally decide to hit the hornet's nest (Iran) rather than just swat at the hornets?

http://www.the-american-interest.com/blog/2014/07/03/another-road-to-war-in-the-middle-east/

Quote
THE WORLD IGNITES
Another Road to War in the Middle East

The Iraqi Army withdrew from the border with Saudi Arabia in the heavily Sunni Anbar Province yesterday, leaving the road open for ISIS to attack the Kingdom. In response, the Saudis sent 30,000 troops to fill the gap. The Financial Times reports:

Saudi Arabia has deployed 30,000 troops to its border with Iraq, the pan-Arab television station Al Arabiya said on Thursday, after tribal leaders within the war-torn country reported Iraqi government forces abandoning their posts on the frontier.

Iraqi government officials have not yet commented on any withdrawal, nor is it clear how many soldiers were told to leave. But Abdul Razzaq al-Shammari, a tribal sheikh from the restive Anbar province, said troops had been ordered to leave the Saudi border near Anbar, one of the areas where Sunni insurgents and militants from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (known as Isis) have been seizing territory.

The withdrawal represents another stage in the full scale collapse of the Iraqi government as anything but the rule of a Shi’a rump of the country. Meanwhile, this creates a huge danger for Saudi Arabia. Will ISIS turn south?

This is yet another scenario that could well drag the U.S. into war. The costs of the American failure to contain the Syrian War continue to grow.

Published on July 3, 2014 11:38 am

I'm not sure that America will be dragged into the war in any direct fashion, however. The current Administration is doing everything possible to distance themselves from taking any action or responsibility for what is happening in the ME, and a future administration may conclude that aside from carrier battle groups steaming offshore and the occasional dollop of aid to one side or the other, it will be better to let all the various parties fight it out amongst themselves  to focus their attention inwards and exhaust their resources (much like the Iran-Iraq war back in the 1980's). Having Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States locked in combat with Iran and her allies and proxies may be the least worst solution, from Washington's point of view.

America stands to benefit by selling its own oil and natural gas on the open market (energy wealth to repair the economy), and parties who are keen on getting Middle Eastern oil will also be turning their attention to that part of the world, rather than outward. US Maritime strategy will allow contestants to shuttle forces in and out of the Middle East (if it is in America's interest), and provide convoy protection for whatever energy is being exported from the region.
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: S.M.A. on July 05, 2014, 22:39:11
A new rogue state rises out of Sunni-controlled areas of Iraq and Syria with ISIS in control, calling themselves a new "caliphate" :

From Agence-France-Presse via Yahoo News (http://news.yahoo.com/jihadist-group-claiming-world-leadership-182236991.html)

Quote
IS, the jihadist group claiming world leadership
By: Agence France-Presse
July 6, 2014 2:10 AM

BAGHDAD -- The Islamic State (IS) jihadist group which spearheaded a sweeping militant assault that overran swathes of Iraq is now claiming leadership of the world's Muslims.
Known for its ruthless tactics and suicide bombers, IS has carried out frequent bombings and shootings in Iraq, and is also arguably the most capable force fighting President Bashar al-Assad inside Syria.

But it truly gained international attention last month, when its fighters and those from other militant groups swept through the northern Iraqi city of Mosul, then overran swathes of five provinces north and west of Baghdad.

The group led by "caliph" Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, and backed by thousands of fighters in Syria and Iraq, some of them Westerners, appears to be surpassing Al-Qaeda as the world's most dangerous and influential jihadist group.

In a sign of IS confidence, the hitherto secretive Baghdadi made an unprecedented public appearance in the militant-held north Iraq city of Mosul, ordering Muslims to obey him, according to a video distributed online on Saturday.

(...EDITED)


(https://Army.ca/forums/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fresources0.news.com.au%2Fimages%2F2014%2F07%2F06%2F1226979%2F308884-4f3a4986-0494-11e4-88d9-2a69c7a318fc.jpg&hash=77290c516b598cbdb39f854b70a2fc54)

Jihadist caliph Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi demands obedience of Muslims

Quote
July 06, 2014

SELF-proclaimed caliph Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has made an unprecedented appearance in the Iraqi city of Mosul, which his forces helped capture last month, and ordered Muslims to obey him, according to a video post. ...

The video showed a portly man clad in a long black robe and a black turban with a long greying beard addressing worshippers at weekly prayers at Al-Nur mosque in central Mosul.

“I am the wali (leader) who presides over you, though I am not the best of you. So if you see that I am right, assist me,” said the man, purportedly Baghdadi.

“If you see that I am wrong, advise me and put me on the right track, and obey me as long as I obey God.”

Text superimposed on the video identified the man as “Caliph Ibrahim”, the name Baghdadi took when the group on June 29 declared a “caliphate”, a pan-Islamic state last seen in Ottoman times, in which the leader is both political and religious.

The video is the first ever official appearance by Baghdadi, says Aymenn al-Tamimi, an expert on Islamist movements, though the jihadist leader may have appeared in a 2008 video under a different name.

The Australian (http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/world/jihadist-caliph-abu-bakr-albaghdadi-demands-obedience-of-muslims/story-e6frg6so-1226979309509?nk=30714e80e1e67641ce6e86ea3613f9d6)

Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: cupper on July 06, 2014, 01:04:12
Have The Islamist Militants Overreached In Iraq And Syria?

http://www.npr.org/blogs/parallels/2014/07/05/328145985/have-the-islamist-militants-overreached-in-iraq-and-syria

Quote
The Islamist radicals who have declared an Islamic caliphate on land they control straddling Iraq and Syria are waging an audacious publicity stunt, according to some analysts.

While it may bring them even greater attention, it's also likely to be an overreach that will open riffs with its current partners, the Sunni Muslims in Iraq who welcomed the militant group in early June. They all share the goal of overthrowing Iraq's Shiite Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and his sectarian rule, but the more secular parts of the Sunni coalition didn't sign up for an Islamic state.

"By announcing the caliphate, they are picking a fight with everybody," says David Kilcullen, a guerrilla warfare expert and former chief counter-terrorism strategist for the U.S. State Department.

The militants were known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or ISIS. But in announcing a caliphate, which is a single, unified Islamic state, they are now simply calling themselves the Islamic State.

The group has been taking territory since last year, first in Syria and now in Iraq. They grabbed international attention last month when they seized the northern Iraqi city of Mosul, one of the largest and most important population centers in Iraq.

But so far, at least, the Islamic State has not tried to make the city the centerpiece of the declared caliphate.

"No, no, there is nothing like that in Mosul," insists a former Iraqi military officer when reached by phone. He dismisses the caliphate with a snort, because, he says, "the other groups object."

The former officer says he fears retribution from the Maliki government and didn't want his name published. He says he is part of the Sunni alliance in Mosul that originally welcomed the Islamic State. Now, he has some doubts.

"We will soon name one of our people to be the boss in Mosul," he says. "There is no caliphate here."

A Sunni Alliance Of Convenience

The Islamic State declared the caliphate on June 30, three weeks after a successful sweep across northern and western Iraq in a land grab that includes strategic border posts.

A small group of IS fighters served as the "tip of the spear" in this Sunni alliance of convenience. In the first thrust of the spear, IS was supported by tribal chiefs, village elders, Islamist groups, former military officers from an army disbanded by the U.S. in 2003, and former members of the outlawed Baathist party that governed Iraq under Saddam Hussein.

But now IS is in classic overreach mode, says Kilcullen. Other analysts agree that IS's ambitions will create divisions.

"It will help and hurt" the Islamic State, says Ramzy Mardini, a non-resident fellow at the Washington-based Atlantic Council. Declaring a caliphate "creates uncertainty for the Sunnis that backed" the group, he says. Mardini points out that IS arrived in Mosul in early June with a limited force of around 2,000 fighters. They were prepared to spring prisoners from the jails. They didn't expect the Iraqi army to collapse so quickly.

"They weren't prepared to take over a city of 2 million people," he says.

The caliphate, with deep religious symbolism that harkens back to the early days of Islam, is a recruiting bid to a wider audience, says Mardini.

The brash quest to redraw the map of the Middle East was trumpeted on IS's social media outlets in a video titled "Breaking Borders" and translated into English, Russian, French, German and Albanian.

IS is now calling on Muslims to immigrate, specifically "religious scholars, particularly judges, those with military, administrative and service experience, doctors and engineers."

The self-declared caliphate had immediate detractors. Rival groups fighting in Syria were the first to speak against the caliphate. IS has already hijacked the Syrian revolt, turning a citizen's rebellion into a terrorist war.

Religious scholars across the region called the caliphate "nonsense." Arabic-language Facebook pages popped up to satirize the elusive IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and imaged his rejection of a "friend" request from the al-Qaida boss, Ayman al-Zawahiri. Even al-Qaida considers IS too extreme.

But the reaction of Iraq's Sunni community is a key to the future power of IS.

"In Iraq, 99 percent of the Sunni Arabs don't want to live under a caliphate," says Ali Khedery, who served as a political adviser to U.S. ambassadors and top military commanders in Iraq and the Middle East from 2003 to 2010. He resigned in protest when the U.S. supported Maliki's second term as prime minister.

"Iraqis like to drink, dance, and smoke. They don't want to be ruled by Chechens and Afghans and live under 7th-century standards," Khedery says.

In some IS-controlled neighborhoods in Mosul, masked fighters enforce a radical Islamist code of behavior announced in some mosques and on social media. But other neighborhoods are controlled by local Sunnis who ignore IS edicts.

After an initial exodus of the Christian community, some are returning to Mosul, including the head of Chaldean Church, Archbishop Emil Nona. Many IS fighters have moved on to the front lines, so their presence in limited in Mosul and in the Christian villages in the suburbs of the city.

"I can't say if there is future or not, because we don't know which future we have," says the wary archbishop.

However, IS is "filling a vacuum as the Iraqi state collapses," according to Khedery, the former U.S. adviser.

'They've Booby-Trapped The Whole City'

So far, the Sunni coalition has not publicly split with IS. There is no incentive, says Ramzy Mardini, as long as Maliki is still a contender for a third term in office. Iraq's Sunnis are not yet willing to "take their foot off the accelerator," he says.

The Sunnis believe undercutting IS now would lift the pressure on Baghdad.

But the longer IS remains unchallenged, the stronger is is likely to become, says Mardini.

Take the example of Tikrit. The city was captured in a matter of hours by IS militants on June 11. Soon after, IS posted photographs of the spoils of war after capturing a prison and executing scores of Iraqi soldiers.

"When they first came to Tikrit, it was a bunch of guys in pickup trucks," says Zaid Al-Ali, the author of The Struggle for Iraq's Future and someone who has close family ties in Tikrit.

"Now, they've booby-trapped the whole city," he says. IS brought compressors to dig up the streets and plant bombs on strategic roadways, according to relatives who witnessed the takeover.

IS is growing in strength, says Al-Ali, "The longer Maliki stays in office, the more entrenched they become."

For Militants, Founding Of Caliphate Is Win In Rhetoric, Not Reality

http://www.npr.org/2014/07/03/328209560/for-militants-founding-of-caliphate-is-win-in-rhetoric-not-reality

Quote
On the first night of Ramadan, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria announced it would change its name to, simply, the Islamic State, declaring that the land it had captured in Syria and Iraq constituted a new caliphate. The group's leader is trying to use this new narrative to wrest control of the global jihad from al-Qaida.

Copyright © 2014 NPR. For personal, noncommercial use only. See Terms of Use. For other uses, prior permission required.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block. The head of a terrorist group controlling large parts of Syria and Iraq has declared himself the leader of a new caliphate, or Muslim state. But does saying it make it so? Counterterrorism officials say they haven't seen much happening on the ground that suggests major political changes. They say the decision to establish a caliphate is more about rhetoric than reality, that it's part of a strategy to help the group seize the mantle of terrorism from al-Qaida. NPR's Dina Temple-Raston reports now on whether that plan might work.

DINA TEMPLE-RASTON, BYLINE: Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi's decision to try to reestablish a caliphate in Syria and Iraq is not about setting up an Islamic government. It's really about politics - jihadi politics.

MATTHEW LEVITT: There was no groundwork laid for this. I think he really saw this as a way to present himself as an organized challenge to al-Qaida.

TEMPLE-RASTON: That's Matthew Levitt, from the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. And by groundwork, he means al-Baghdadi apparently did not alert other jihadi groups or important religious leaders that he intended to name himself caliph, the leader of a Muslim state. He just waited until the first day of Ramadan, and he did it.

LEVITT: I think that al-Baghdadi has bitten off more than he can chew here. The idea of a caliphate is all Sunnis are supposed to have a obligation to this caliph. Now, if - if they don't follow suit, then it's empty words, and he demonstrates that he is not as powerful as he thought he would be.

TEMPLE-RASTON: Counterterrorism officials are watching key players outside Syria and Iraq - leaders in the jihadi community, to see whether they accept al-Bagdhadi as their leader, or they don't. And right now, it looks like they don't.

PATRICK JOHNSTON: None of the - the existing militant groups are really biting, except for some small-bit players.

TEMPLE-RASTON: Patrick Johnston, of the Rand Corporation, has been tracking who is lining up for al-Bagdhadi.

JOHNSTON: Not the stronger groups that ideally ISIS would peel away from supporting al-Qaida.

TEMPLE-RASTON: Al-Bagdhadi's list of supporters include locals in Raqqa, Syria, where he has training camps. They tweeted congratulations to him and called on others to pledge allegiance to him. A commander of Ansar al-Sharia in Tunisia, with the Twitter handle @BlackFlagNews, said he'd support al-Bagdhadi as the new caliph. And minor clerics, like a firebrand in the U.K., offered some measured support, which could help boost recruitment for al-Bagdhadi in Britain. But Rand's Patrick Johnston says the big jihadi names have been quiet.

JOHNSTON: I think they're waiting to see whether this will take, and someone has to make a first move.

TEMPLE-RASTON: Matthew Levitt of the Washington Institute agrees.

LEVITT: The big prize for Bagdhadi would be to get actual al-Qaida affiliates to begin siding with him. AQIM, AQAP, the Shabaab - etc. And so far, we haven't seen this.

TEMPLE-RASTON: AQIM is al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb. AQAP is the group's arm in Yemen. And Shabaab is al-Qaida's affiliate in Somalia. And they have all been noticeably quiet. The Nusra Front, al-Qaida's arm in Syria, greeted al-Bagdhadi's announcement with sarcasm. They said he had succeeded in creating, in the group's words, a Twitter caliphate. The Rand Corporation's Johnston says al-Bagdhadi's definition of a caliphate is in keeping with his tendency to overreach.

JOHNSTON: And it ends up being counterproductive.

TEMPLE-RASTON: And what have we heard from one of the most important players in the struggle for jihadi hearts and minds, al-Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahiri? Absolutely nothing. Dina Temple-Raston, NPR News.
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: Colin P on July 09, 2014, 11:43:28
Wouldn't some of America's allies in the region, namely Turkey as well as Iraq's Maliki government, be wary of the US becoming closer to the Kurds, who covet their homeland which carves out parts of Turkey, Iran, Iraq and Turkey?

Military.com (http://www.military.com/daily-news/2014/07/03/us-sends-green-berets-to-northern-iraq.html?comp=1198882887570&rank=1)

The current government of Turkey is slightly more open to the Kurds and with the current set of events the Kurds while having conflicting priorities with the Turks would also be sen as one of the few rational and reliable actors in the region.
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: cupper on July 09, 2014, 15:40:43
The Turkish Government may have an ulterior motive for wanting to support the Kurds. It does a couple of things, keeps the Kurdish movements in Turkey occupied looking south rather internally. And if they do succeed in getting an independent and separate state from a break up of Iraq, it gives the Turks a place to displace their own Kurdish population if they choose to go that route.
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: GAP on July 09, 2014, 18:00:34
You are missing the glaring fact that the Turkish Kurds want their territory annexed into the new Kurdish country. They are not looking to move.

Can't see a problem with that......the Turks are nice guys...no?
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: cupper on July 09, 2014, 18:09:38
You are missing the glaring fact that the Turkish Kurds want their territory annexed into the new Kurdish country. They are not looking to move.

Can't see a problem with that......the Turks are nice guys...no?

Haven't missed the fact.

I understand that the Turkish Kurds want their territory to be part of a larger Kurdistan.

My point was that having an independent Kurdish state in the remnants of Iraq, The Turks could now have a place to force them out to their Turkish territory should the Kurds decide to become more forceful in their claim than they already are.

And I'm not saying it would be the smart thing to to for the Turks, as the outcry from the rest of the world would be politically untenable. But there is historic precedent for ethnic cleansing and genocide by the Turks in the not to distant past.
 
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: Colin P on July 09, 2014, 18:56:05
Plus the Kurds know they need Turkey to make a go of it and will likely work with what they have rather than just what they want. that's not to say all of the PPK will agree. The Kurds are clearly playing the long game and making the moves they think they can win. There is a painful but slowly succeeding peace deal with Turkey and a recent oil deal as well. I think both Turkey and the Kurds are putting off dealing with a "Greater Kurdistan" to deal with today's and tomorrow's problem and not the one years down the road.

As the ISIS make Assad look sane and if Assad can continue to win in Syria, Turkey may have backed the wrong horses and will be struggling to to be relevant in the region. Propping up the Kurds with quiet promises not to look at Turkish soil for the time being might be the only game in town for them with any economic and political brightness.
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: Thucydides on July 09, 2014, 20:42:51
ISIS has captured a WMD site north of Bagdahd. While it is to be hoped that the chemical munitions have deteriorated and degraded over the years, nothing should be taken at face value (and even the degraded chemicals are likely to be quite toxic). Of course there is something which the article carefully fails to mention: the constantly repeated claim that there were no WMDs in Iraq during OIF. 

The other issue is if this site was known since the 1980's, why was it not dealt with in a timely manner after Saddam's overthrow? Even something as simple as burning the munitions in place with thermite would have consumed the chemicals for good and destroyed the machinery beyond any hope of repair.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/iraq/10913275/Isis-storms-Saddam-era-chemical-weapons-complex-in-Iraq.html

Quote
Isis storms Saddam-era chemical weapons complex in Iraq
Facility containing disused stores of sarin and mustard gas overrun by jihadist group

By Damien McElroy7:58PM BST 19 Jun 2014Comments163 Comments

The jihadist group bringing terror to Iraq overran a Saddam Hussein chemical weapons complex on Thursday, gaining access to disused stores of hundreds of tonnes of potentially deadly poisons including mustard gas and sarin.

Isis invaded the al-Muthanna mega-facility 60 miles north of Baghdad in a rapid takeover that the US government said was a matter of concern.

The facility was notorious in the 1980s and 1990s as the locus of Saddam’s industrial scale efforts to develop a chemical weapons development programme.

Isis has shown ambitions to seize and use chemical weapons in Syria leading experts to warn last night that the group could turn to improvised weapons to carry out a deadly attack in Iraq.

Hamish de Bretton-Gordon, a former commander of Britain’s chemical weapons regiment, said that al-Muthanna has large stores of weaponized and bulk mustard gas and sarin, most of which has been put beyond ready use in concrete stores.

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“It is doubtful that Isis have the expertise to use a fully functioning chemical munition but there are materials on site that could be used in an improvised explosive device,” he told the Telegraph. “We have seen that Isis has used chemicals in explosions in Iraq before and has carried out experiments in Syria.”

US officials revealed that the group had occupied the sprawling site which has two bunkers encased in a concrete seal. Much of the sarin is believed to be redundant.

“We remain concerned about the seizure of any military site by the [Isis],” Jen Psaki, the State Department spokeswoman, said. “We do not believe that the complex contains CW materials of military value and it would be very difficult, if not impossible, to safely move the materials.”
During its peak in the late 1980s to early 1990s, Iraq produced bunkers full of chemical munitions.

A CIA report on the facility said that 150 tons of mustard were produced each year at the peak from 1983 and pilot-scale production of Sarin began in 1984.

Its most recent description of al-Muthanna in 2007 paints a disturbing picture of chemicals strewn throughout the area.
“Two wars, sanctions and UN oversight reduced Iraqi’s premier production facility to a stockpile of old damaged and contaminated chemical munitions (sealed in bunkers), a wasteland full of destroyed chemical munitions, razed structures, and unusable war-ravaged facilities,” it said.
“Some of the bunkers contained large quantities of unfilled chemical munitions, conventional munitions, one-ton shipping containers, old disabled production equipment and other hazardous industrial chemicals.”

Britain has previously acknowledgeded that the nature of the material contained in the two bunkers would make the destruction process difficult and technically challenging.

Under an agreement signed in Baghdad in July 2012, experts from the MOD’s Defence Science and Technology Laboratory were due to provide training to Iraqi personnel in order to help them to dispose of the chemical munitions and agents.

Saddam Hussein used chemical weapons during the Iran – Iraq War (1980 to 1988) and against the Kurds in Halabja in 1988.

One US official told the Wall Street Journal yesterday that Isis fighters could be contaminated by the chemicals at the site.

“The only people who would likely be harmed by these chemical materials would be the people who tried to use or move them,” the military officer said.
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: upandatom on July 10, 2014, 14:49:23
We are not dealing with a "Western" society and any hopes of winning hearts and minds along with "Reconstruction" as seen at the end of WW II is a fantasy.  WW II ended with "civilized" nations arriving at a peaceful end to world conflict with mutual understandings.  We can not hope to achieve the same results dealing with "barbaric" cultures who are still stuck in near pre-historic times.  We can not achieve anything by trying to impose our will and power over these states.  Even aiding them is not achieving positive results.  Let God (or Darwin) sort them out.

The Darwin Awards have already been awarded to some failed classes of suicide bombers.  Let us award more.

One of the FEW times I will agree with you GW. Back Everything out of there, EVERYTHING. If your not from the area, or dont want to be in the middle of a warzone by this date, GTFO. Come home, let them fight it out themselves. Why would we enter the situation again, and have two sides fighting, and in turn have them both turn on our Western Ideals. Last time I checked, we arent killing eachother over being Atheist, Christian, Jewish or Muslim in the western world. Set up a barrier around them however far out. If women and children wish to leave let them. Send drones over and keep an eye on stuff to make sure they arent building giant nukes. Use planes and bombing runs to finish it off and to make sure neither side gets too far ahead of the other. They need to start policing themselves.

 
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: George Wallace on July 10, 2014, 15:09:20
Not to be sexist or cold hearted, but I wouldn't even let the women and children out.  They often hold the exact same beliefs as the male population; sometimes even more extreme.
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: cupper on July 10, 2014, 17:03:32
Not to be sexist or cold hearted, but I wouldn't even let the women and children out.  They often hold the exact same beliefs as the male population; sometimes even more extreme.

But is that a truly held belief, or what has been beaten into them (either literally or figuratively) by their male relatives and overlords.
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: George Wallace on July 10, 2014, 18:01:21
We could ask the Khadir sisters.

We could ask, if they were still alive, the Muslim women who have become suicide bombers. 

Problem is, how do you know their true allegiances?
 
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: daftandbarmy on July 10, 2014, 18:47:00
One of the FEW times I will agree with you GW. Back Everything out of there, EVERYTHING. If your not from the area, or dont want to be in the middle of a warzone by this date, GTFO. Come home, let them fight it out themselves. Why would we enter the situation again, and have two sides fighting, and in turn have them both turn on our Western Ideals. Last time I checked, we arent killing eachother over being Atheist, Christian, Jewish or Muslim in the western world. Set up a barrier around them however far out. If women and children wish to leave let them. Send drones over and keep an eye on stuff to make sure they arent building giant nukes. Use planes and bombing runs to finish it off and to make sure neither side gets too far ahead of the other. They need to start policing themselves.

These maniacs would love to kill all the Catholics by heaping them on their bonfires tonight, and vice versa. Situation normal there since the 16th C or so... and this is in a 'civilized' nation.

http://rt.com/news/171856-giant-bonfires-ireland-twelfth/
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: Fishbone Jones on July 12, 2014, 02:37:51
ISIS has captured a WMD site north of Bagdahd. While it is to be hoped that the chemical munitions have deteriorated and degraded over the years, nothing should be taken at face value (and even the degraded chemicals are likely to be quite toxic). Of course there is something which the article carefully fails to mention: the constantly repeated claim that there were no WMDs in Iraq during OIF. 

The other issue is if this site was known since the 1980's, why was it not dealt with in a timely manner after Saddam's overthrow? Even something as simple as burning the munitions in place with thermite would have consumed the chemicals for good and destroyed the machinery beyond any hope of repair.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/iraq/10913275/Isis-storms-Saddam-era-chemical-weapons-complex-in-Iraq.html

Wait a minute, all the anti Bush types said there was no WMD in Iraq. Are we back pedaling on the anti Bush propaganda sentiment here?

I love the way Obama has condemned the invasion because here was no credible evidence.

Guess what. Bush was right, suck it up buttercup. You were wrong. Not that anyone with the slightest clue ever doubted the real evidence.

Now they want to blame it on Bush for not following up ::)
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: CBH99 on July 12, 2014, 06:21:55
Pointing a finger at Bush or Obama isn't really helpful, especially in regards to "who was right and who was wrong."

My question is...

Regardless of whether there were WMD before the invasion or not....wtf are they doing there now??  And IF said chemicals weapons are in fact present, why are they not locked away in a heavily, heavily secured facility?


*tin foil hat time*   Whole thing sounds fishy, regardless of what angle it's looked at. 
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: GR66 on July 12, 2014, 09:54:21
According the the CIA (https://www.cia.gov/library/reports/general-reports-1/iraq_wmd_2004/chap5_annxB.html), this site was a CW production site prior to the first Gulf War.  It was bombed and subjected to UN inspections after the war and was where Iraqi WMD's were incinerated by the UN.  From a quick read of the document a number of storage buildings were damaged by the bombings and were sealed in concrete by the UN because it was too hazardous to remove the leaking containers. 

Long story short, it was a WMD site prior to Gulf War I.  It was subject to UN inspections and most of the chemical weapons there were incinerated by the UN teams.  Some buildings were damaged and unsafe to clear out so they were sealed in concrete.  It would appear that these are the buildings referred to as being captured by ISIS in the OP's article.  While I imagine these chemicals are quite dangerous (why would the UN seal them in place rather than remove them if they were not?), my very limited understanding of chemical weapons is that their significant military effectiveness degrades relatively quickly over time (http://fas.org/programs/bio/chemweapons/production.html).  These have been sitting there for 23 years. 

No doubt ISIS could likely find some way to use these with dramatic media effect ("ISIS terrorists strike with Saddam's secret WMDs!") but it might be easier/safer for them to kill people with more easily usable household or industrial chemicals.
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: Journeyman on July 12, 2014, 10:36:59
No doubt ISIS could likely find some way to use these with dramatic media effect....
Did you mean to say "No doubt the media could likely find some way to dramatize this"? 
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: GR66 on July 12, 2014, 10:53:57
Did you mean to say "No doubt the media could likely find some way to dramatize this"?

How right you are.  I stand corrected!
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: Transporter on July 12, 2014, 12:04:58
Wait a minute, all the anti Bush types said there was no WMD in Iraq. Are we back pedaling on the anti Bush propaganda sentiment here?

I love the way Obama has condemned the invasion because here was no credible evidence.

Guess what. Bush was right, suck it up buttercup. You were wrong. Not that anyone with the slightest clue ever doubted the real evidence.

Now they want to blame it on Bush for not following up ::)

Are you saying that there actually were WMDs in Iraq prior to the invasion? A close friend of mine was part of the UNSCOM weapons inspection team in Iraq. He told me from the get-go that there was no possible way that Iraq possessed WMDs prior to the invasion. Even Bush himself is on record as saying that his biggest regret as president was the intelligence failure that precipitated the Iraq invasion. The U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee also found that the Bush administration "misrepresented the intelligence and the threat from Iraq" (whether intentionally or genuinely believing they were doing the right thing). There is no ambiguity or doubt on this fact. 

“The great enemy of truth is very often not the lie--deliberate, contrived and dishonest--but the myth--persistent, persuasive and unrealistic. Too often we hold fast to the cliches of our forebears. We subject all facts to a prefabricated set of interpretations. We enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought."

John F. Kennedy



Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: Brad Sallows on July 12, 2014, 20:14:53
>He told me from the get-go that there was no possible way that Iraq possessed WMDs prior to the invasion.

At least one chemical munition was discovered; ergo, he is wrong.  He was foolish to make such an absolute claim.

"misrepresented the intelligence and the threat from Iraq" is not equivalent to "there were no WMDs".

The problem here lies with the people who choose "none", "no", etc instead of "a few", "obsolete", "probably useless", etc.
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: Transporter on July 12, 2014, 21:20:39
>He told me from the get-go that there was no possible way that Iraq possessed WMDs prior to the invasion.

At least one chemical munition was discovered; ergo, he is wrong.  He was foolish to make such an absolute claim.

"misrepresented the intelligence and the threat from Iraq" is not equivalent to "there were no WMDs".

The problem here lies with the people who choose "none", "no", etc instead of "a few", "obsolete", "probably useless", etc.

Sure. I think you know what I'm saying.
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: Brad Sallows on July 13, 2014, 11:21:41
I'm not sure I do.  I suppose you must be one of the people who casually misuses "no WMD" as a placeholder for "no WMD threat/capability worth fighting a war over".  But I can't tell those people at a glance from the people who would like to create a myth for posterity that there was never anything at all.
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: Transporter on July 13, 2014, 12:46:20
I'm not sure I do.  I suppose you must be one of the people who casually misuses "no WMD" as a placeholder for "no WMD threat/capability worth fighting a war over".  But I can't tell those people at a glance from the people who would like to create a myth for posterity that there was never anything at all.

Nice try.
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: upandatom on July 14, 2014, 11:07:17
According the the CIA (https://www.cia.gov/library/reports/general-reports-1/iraq_wmd_2004/chap5_annxB.html), this site was a CW production site prior to the first Gulf War.  It was bombed and subjected to UN inspections after the war and was where Iraqi WMD's were incinerated by the UN.  From a quick read of the document a number of storage buildings were damaged by the bombings and were sealed in concrete by the UN because it was too hazardous to remove the leaking containers. 

Long story short, it was a WMD site prior to Gulf War I.  It was subject to UN inspections and most of the chemical weapons there were incinerated by the UN teams.  Some buildings were damaged and unsafe to clear out so they were sealed in concrete.  It would appear that these are the buildings referred to as being captured by ISIS in the OP's article.  While I imagine these chemicals are quite dangerous (why would the UN seal them in place rather than remove them if they were not?), my very limited understanding of chemical weapons is that their significant military effectiveness degrades relatively quickly over time (http://fas.org/programs/bio/chemweapons/production.html).  These have been sitting there for 23 years. 

No doubt ISIS could likely find some way to use these with dramatic media effect ("ISIS terrorists strike with Saddam's secret WMDs!") but it might be easier/safer for them to kill people with more easily usable household or industrial chemicals.

The only time we really have to worry about the concrete coming apart and them gaining access to said chemicals is if we find out that a Montreal Concrete Company was handed the contract to seal those off.

I guarantee that the all mighty and powerful UN, and US government agencies have been keeping a close eye on the known locations of Chemical Weapons and components.
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: tomahawk6 on July 14, 2014, 11:13:30
We should be more concerned about Syrian WMD falling into ISIS hands.Saddam sent the bulk of his stockpile to Syria.
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: Colin P on July 14, 2014, 11:34:49
and he still has functioning production facilities for making more.
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: E.R. Campbell on July 24, 2014, 09:48:08
All I can say is, good god, can this be true (http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jul/24/isis-women-girls-fgm-mosul-un?CMP=twt_gu)?
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: Fishbone Jones on July 24, 2014, 10:11:38
All I can say is, good god, can this be true (http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jul/24/isis-women-girls-fgm-mosul-un?CMP=twt_gu)?

If it is, this should be enough in itself for the old boys network to get the Sauds, et al Middle East, to start cleaning up their back yard without help from the west.
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: E.R. Campbell on July 24, 2014, 10:20:25
If it is, this should be enough in itself for the old boys network to get the Sauds, et al Middle East, to start cleaning up their back yard without help from the west.


Except that I'm guessing that many in the Saudi ruling classes support the barbarism.

(I think that Saudis are part of the problem, not part of the solution.)
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: Fishbone Jones on July 24, 2014, 11:09:25

Except that I'm guessing that many in the Saudi ruling classes support the barbarism.

(I think that Saudis are part of the problem, not part of the solution.)

If they don't agree, we'll stop sending them LAV III recreational vehicles\ campers. ;D
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: Chris Pook on July 24, 2014, 11:56:57
Sorry recceguy.  I fail to discern the humour.  And I agree with ERC: the Saudis are the problem.  Not the solution.

Herewith the solution.

Quote
"Be it so. This burning of widows is your custom; prepare the funeral pile. But my nation has also a custom. When men burn women alive we hang them, and confiscate all their property. My carpenters shall therefore erect gibbets on which to hang all concerned when the widow is consumed. Let us all act according to national customs."
  Sir Charles Napier on the practice of Suttee in India 1859.
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: cupper on July 24, 2014, 14:44:50
One has to wonder when these turds finally push the limits of what the populous will tolerate and finally step up and cleanse the country of their idiocy.

What is the braking point?
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: E.R. Campbell on July 24, 2014, 14:50:49
One has to wonder when these turds finally push the limits of what the populous will tolerate and finally step up and cleanse the country of their idiocy.

What is the braking point?


See this (http://army.ca/forums/index.php/topic,113578.msg1319173.html#msg1319173) ... maybe.
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: E.R. Campbell on July 24, 2014, 14:52:14
All I can say is, good god, can this be true (http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jul/24/isis-women-girls-fgm-mosul-un?CMP=twt_gu)?


Apparently, ISIS denies it (http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jul/24/isis-deny-ordering-fgm-girls-mosul?CMP=twt_fd).
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: cupper on July 24, 2014, 17:12:08

See this (http://army.ca/forums/index.php/topic,113578.msg1319173.html#msg1319173) ... maybe.

I was being more specific and questioning when the Iraqi Sunnis finally hit their breaking point.

Hitching their wagon to ISIS in order to get rid of Maliki may have made some convoluted sense, but the price may be too high in the end.

Some of the US punditry advanced the theory that once the Maliki government was either overthrown or the country collapsed into complete turmoil, the Sunni population would do what they did after finally being courted by the US into getting rid of the AQ within their midst.
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: Colin P on July 24, 2014, 17:14:09
I bet that was ISI thinking about the Taliban as well
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: Hamish Seggie on July 24, 2014, 18:20:33
All I can say is, good god, can this be true (http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jul/24/isis-women-girls-fgm-mosul-un?CMP=twt_gu)?

A division of troops with flamethrowers.......burn the SOBs alive.

Barbarians.
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: Thucydides on July 24, 2014, 21:01:34
The Iraqi population may never rise up to overthrow their new overlords for the same reason that most conquered peoples don't: they are under the heel of a much more savage and ruthless group who will not hesitate to use threats and violence against their subject population (who are generally disarmed and often beset by internal divisions their overlords can exploit).

Something similar did take place in Afghanistan; the Taliban said they would end the fighting between the various Muhajideen warlords if the population would support them. The population of Southern Afghanistan largely did, believing that the situation could hardly get worse than living between battling warlords. They did get respite from civil war between the Muhajideen leaders, what they traded it for was far worse....

As for the Saudis; it seems pretty clear that Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States have facilitated groups like ISIS as a proxy against the Iranians, much the same way Hezbollah is Iran's proxy force in the region. Like most other parts of the story, this isn't a nice and neat divide; some of the Gulf States like Quatar were enthusiastic about supporting the Muslim Brotherhoods when they had Egypt, while others were not. I suspect some of the Gulf States are getting cold feet seeing just what sort of Jinn they unleashed, but since it is out of the bottle....

Lastly, the news report in the Guardian is probably a brilliant piece of "black" PSYOPS to raise the threshold of revulsion in the West, as well as turn the local women away form support or sitting on the fence. Creatiing, amplifying and exploiting internal divisions is an age old technique, the big question is who exactly planted the story?
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: jollyjacktar on July 24, 2014, 21:18:42
Any maybe it's not a planted story either.  Maybe it's more truth than fiction.  At the very least it's certainly not a stretch of my imagination to accept if true and factual.
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: Hamish Seggie on July 24, 2014, 22:03:02
Any maybe it's not a planted story either.  Maybe it's more truth than fiction.  At the very least it's certainly not a stretch of my imagination to accept if true and factual.

I can't say if it's true or not BUT you can be certain a segment of the radical population will take this as gospel (sorry about the pun) or a religious fatwa if you will.....and let the atrocities begin.

And if it false whoever planted it should be placed in the stocks and ridiculed.....with rotten vegetables, fruit and smelly things.....
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: Brad Sallows on July 25, 2014, 12:05:55
>All I can say is, good god, can this be true?

Seems unlikely.  Although FGM practices have been exported, they are a cultural feature chiefly of a swath of countries across sub-Saharan and northeast Africa.

Pity we can't airlift all the women as refugees to various sponsor countries and leave the men to bugger each other senseless for the next few decades until the last one dies.
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: Chris Pook on July 25, 2014, 12:08:26
....
Pity we can't airlift all the women as refugees to various sponsor countries and leave the men to bugger each other senseless for the next few decades until the last one dies.

And we can't do this because.... ???      ;D
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: George Wallace on July 25, 2014, 12:12:39

Pity we can't airlift all the women as refugees to various sponsor countries and leave the men to bugger each other senseless for the next few decades until the last one dies.

All you would have to do, is change their calendar so that everyday is Thursday.    >:D

Real problem is they procreate like rabbits with the sole intent to indoctrinate their children with barbarian beliefs.  Their restricting the education of their children perpetuates their ancient barbarian beliefs and practices.
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: Chris Pook on July 25, 2014, 12:17:52
Related issue:

http://nationalinterest.org/feature/why-iran-fears-independent-kurdistan-10950

Kurdistan -  This is a really interesting play for the west.   Turkey, Kurdistan and Israel - and I could add Jordan to the mix as a reasonably "tolerant" state.  Enmities exist but pragmatism is strong.   

An equivalent play would be to exploit the connections between the Baluch, currently split amongst Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan, and Oman.  That would seal the Straits of Hormuz and put the noses of the Chinese out of joint with their Gwadar investment being "internationalized".
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: E.R. Campbell on July 25, 2014, 12:38:18
 :highjack:

This  :off topic: but ..

I'm a bit puzzled by Turkey's policies.

It seems to me that, a few years ago, the EU explicitly rejected Turkey - telling them, in so many words, that they're not European (Atatürk was wrong). So they appear, to me, to have turned their attentions to the Middle East and, more specifically, they have changed their policy towards Israel.

If the dream of a caliphate is ever to become reality it seems to me that it must be based in one of four countries: Egypt, Iran, Pakistan or Turkey. They, alone, have the socio-economic potential to dominate the region from, say, Libya to Afghanistan.

My  :2c:
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: daftandbarmy on July 25, 2014, 13:49:52
All I can say is, good god, can this be true (http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jul/24/isis-women-girls-fgm-mosul-un?CMP=twt_gu)?

"In war, truth is the first casualty."

 Aeschylus
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: Thucydides on July 25, 2014, 17:17:51
Quotes and reports on conditions inside the new "Caliphate" Link also includes embedded videos:

http://hotair.com/archives/2014/07/24/quotes-of-the-day-1800/

Quote
Quotes of the day

posted at 10:41 pm on July 24, 2014 by Ed Morrissey

Top officials crisscrossed the Capitol over the past two days, giving urgent warnings that ISIS represented a threat “worse than Al Qaeda,” in the words of one State Department official, with the capability to create a sanctuary for global jihadists working to threaten American interests.
 
The self-declared Islamic State in Iraq and Syria is no longer merely a terrorist organization, a top State Department official told House and Senate lawmakers, but “a full-blown army seeking to establish a self-governing state through the Tigris and Euphrates Valley in what is now Syria and Iraq.” …
 
“[ISIS] has proving to be… more effective in terms of organizing and developing a state structure than even core Al Qaeda, and that is why it is more than just a terrorist organization—it certainly doesn’t have the global reach in terms of terrorist capacity as core Al Qaeda, but it has the sophistication to develop what has really becoming a state-like sanctuary for a global jihadist movement,” McGurk said. “They’re a self-sustaining organization.”
 

***
 
 
The dawn attack began with militants firing mortar rounds on Iraqi army bases in the town of Taji, where suspects were being held on terrorism charges, prompting officials to evacuate the facilities, fearing a jailbreak.
 
As the convoy traveled through a remote area, roadside bombs went off and militants opened fire. The ensuing battle left 52 prisoners and eight soldiers dead, with another eight soldiers and seven prisoners wounded, they added. It was not immediately clear if the prisoners were killed by soldiers or militants, or if the extremist Islamic State group was involved. …
 
Militants affiliated with the Islamic State group — which seized much of northern and western Iraq last month — have staged several jailbreaks, including a complex, military-style assault on two Baghdad-area prisons in July 2013 that freed more than 500 inmates.
 
Apparently fearing a repeat of the incident, Shiite militiamen killed nearly four dozen Sunni detainees last month in the town of Baqouba northwest of Baghdad when the facility where they were being held came under attack, according to a report by Amnesty International.
 

***
 
 
“Life in Mosul is very normal,” says Abu Mustafa. Christians there are treated well, prices are low and people are safe and happy, he says, a description completely at odds with news reports and firsthand accounts describing a reign of terror against anyone in the city who hasn’t sworn loyalty to the caliph.
 
He seems to believe what he’s saying and performs the group’s public relations not just to blow smoke into the journalist’s eyes, but because he honestly hopes to see the caliph succeed in conquering Baghdad. And then, after the victory, he expects to see the caliphate destroyed.

“All we are doing now is just a liberation,” Abu Mustafa says. “After the liberation of Baghdad the Islamic state will be finished. The Sunni rebels are only using them against the corruption of the government.”
 

***
 
The new jihadist rulers of Iraq’s northern city of Mosul on Thursday completely levelled one its most well-known shrines, an official and witnesses told AFP.
 
The Nabi Yunus shrine was built on the reputed burial site of a prophet known in the Koran as Yunus and in the Bible as Jonah. …
 
“They first stopped people from praying in it, they fixed explosive charges around and inside it and then blew it up in front of a large gathering of people,” said a witness who did not wish to give his name.
 

***
 
“It’s reminiscent of what we saw in Europe in the build-up to the Second World War or the ethnic cleansing witnessed during the Balkans in the early 1990s,” said former British ambassador to the Holy See, Francis Campbell. “It’s as if the world is asleep and doesn’t care.” …
 
With the exception of Pope Francis and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, world leaders have largely been silent about the religious cleansing that is spreading throughout Iraq and Syria — despite urgent calls from religious leaders in the region for an international response to what Ban called a “crime against humanity”. …
 
Last Friday, the U.S. State Department condemned “in the strongest terms” the hounding and persecution by Isis, calling its ultimatum in Mosul that Christians leave, pay a tax, convert to Islam or face execution as “abominable actions” aimed at dividing and destroying Iraq.

But President Obama has yet to speak on the atrocity. Neither have Europe’s leaders.


***
 
Last weekend Isis gave the city’s Christians a stark choice: convert to Islam, pay a religious tax, or face death. “They said there is no place for Christians in the Islamic state,” one distraught refugee said from the safety of Bashiqa, 16 miles from Mosul. “Either you become Muslim or you leave.” Mosul’s last 1,500 Christian families were reportedly robbed at Isis checkpoints as they fled.
 
Hundreds have found shelter in areas between Mosul and Irbil – the capital of the Kurdistan regional government – that are controlled by Kurdish Peshmerga fighters, but they face an uncertain future.
 
“If Isis stays, there is no way the Christians can return,” Father Boutrous Moshi said from Qara Qoosh, a Christian area south-east of Mosul. “It is up to God whether we return or not. They have not burned the churches but they did set fire to the pictures and the books and broke the windows.”
 

***
 
Local Chaldeans Worry About ISIS Deadline


iraqi Christians leave Mosul after ISIS give them deadline to convert,...

***
 
“ISIS is a lot more radicalized against Christians than the Malaki government is, but the Malaki government has not overseen a necessarily hospitable place for churches and Christians to exist,” says the founder and president of The American Islamic Forum for Democracy.
 
“The number of Christians has decreased [in Iraq] . . . since the ruthless dictator Saddam Hussein left,” he added.
 
Iraq “has been listed on our commission’s list of countries of particular concern for a number of years.”
 
The targeting against Christians by ISIS is more extreme, he said.

“ISIS came out of Syria . . . and they are imposing a radicalized version of Sharia law, which they will enact a genocide by doctrine and by Sharia,” Jasser added. “And this is not just unique to Iraq.”
 

***
 
“Our Brothers in the Islamic State … announcing an inclusive caliphate is a good job,” said Sudan’s Al-Attasam belKetab wa al-Sunna, which broke from Sudan’s Muslim Brotherhood in 1991 to establish a stricter Islamist movement.
 
“We announce our support to this blessed step,” added the Salafi group, which had called for a boycott of 2010 presidential and parliamentary elections because they were based on a secular constitution.
 

***
 
That’s the general feeling here now: everything is gone. My relatives who fled own nothing anymore. While my niece is happy to take care of her mother and brothers, she needs help from the church. Yesterday my brother went to church to collect mattresses and food for my aunt and her sons and brought them to my niece’s house. It’s very important to have this support from the church now. The support was given by Open Doors through a partner organization.
 
Sometimes I feel like crying, but I pray that God gives me strength. Christians in Iraq have shown their support for the most affected Christians by holding gatherings and planning marches.
 
We also changed our Facebook profile pictures to the letter N for Nasrani, meaning “Christians.” In Mosul, this letter was used to mark the Christian houses.
 
It’s encouraging to see that around the world people are supporting us. We are still proud to be Christians. We will always be Christians.
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: E.R. Campbell on July 26, 2014, 07:06:04
More, in this story (http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jul/25/iraq-islamic-state-full-veil-warns-wear-women-punishment?CMP=twt_gu), also from the Guardian, this time 'sourced' back to Reuters, saying that face veils will be mandatory for women.
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: Chris Pook on July 29, 2014, 23:15:41
:highjack:

This  :off topic: but ..

I'm a bit puzzled by Turkey's policies.

It seems to me that, a few years ago, the EU explicitly rejected Turkey - telling them, in so many words, that they're not European (Atatürk was wrong). So they appear, to me, to have turned their attentions to the Middle East and, more specifically, they have changed their policy towards Israel.

If the dream of a caliphate is ever to become reality it seems to me that it must be based in one of four countries: Egypt, Iran, Pakistan or Turkey. They, alone, have the socio-economic potential to dominate the region from, say, Libya to Afghanistan.

My  :2c:

Here's why I have hope for Turkey as a "pragmatic" anchor in the Middle East.

Quote
ISTANBUL -- Women shouldn’t laugh in public. Or at least that’s what Turkey’s Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arınc seems to think.

“Where are our girls, who slightly blush, lower their heads and turn their eyes away when we look at their face, becoming the symbol of chastity?” he asked at a meeting on Monday held by Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), according to the Hurriyet Daily News.

“She will not laugh in public. She will not be inviting in her attitudes and will protect her chasteness,” he added, lamenting what he says has been a steady decline in morality for men and women in Turkey.

Link (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/07/29/turkey-women-laugh_n_5630416.html)

The response from Turkish women.....

(https://Army.ca/forums/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fnews.bbcimg.co.uk%2Fmedia%2Fimages%2F76609000%2Fjpg%2F_76609703_composite2.jpg&hash=05682844d585cfdb9fd44e2f4a1670d6)

I know clocks can be turned back - and violence can ensue - but I believe that entrenched culture is hard to overcome.

Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: S.M.A. on August 03, 2014, 13:06:13
ISIS fighters begin to take Kurdish territory as well:

From Reuters via the Straits Times (http://www.straitstimes.com/news/world/middle-east/story/islamic-state-captures-iraqi-town-oil-field-witnesses-20140803)

Quote
Islamic State captures Iraqi town, oil field: Witnesses
PUBLISHED ON AUG 3, 2014 4:12 PM

(Reuters) - Islamic State Sunni insurgents have captured the northern Iraqi town of Zumar and a nearby oil field after a battle with Kurdish forces who had control of the area, witnesses said on Sunday.

Islamic State, which staged a lightning advance through northern Iraq in June, has warned residents of nearby villages along the border with Syria to leave their homes, suggesting they were planning an assault, witnesses said.

The militant group, which controls large swathes of northern and western Iraq, has threatened to march on Baghdad but has stalled its campaign just north of the town of Samarra, 100 km (62 miles) north of Baghdad.

But it has been trying to consolidate its gains, setting its sights on strategic towns near oilfields, as well as the border with Syria so that its fighters can move easily back and forth and bring in supplies.

An official in the Northern Oil Company said Islamic State fighters had taken control of the Ain Zalah oil field and a nearby refinery. The insurgents had already seized four oil fields, which help fund their operations.

(...EDITED)

Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: tomahawk6 on August 03, 2014, 19:41:04
Turkey is firmly in the control of the islamists.The Army has been neutralized so there is no group able to overthrow the regime.
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: Retired AF Guy on August 03, 2014, 22:06:49
A report (02 August) from the BBC:

Quote
Syria villagers drive out Islamic State jihadists

Tribesmen in three villages in eastern Syria have driven out Islamic State (IS) militants, in a rare display of local resistance to the group.

Four days of fighting left nine IS fighters, three tribesmen and five civilians dead, UK-based Syrian opposition activists say.

The jihadists' actions in the Ashara area had bred resentment locally, another activist based in Turkey said.

In neighbouring Iraq, IS fighters fought Kurdish forces at Zumar.

IS is dedicated to building an Islamist state in Syria and Iraq.

It built on its gains in Syria this summer to sweep through western and northern Iraq with support from local Sunni Muslims, overrunning the city of Mosul and threatening the capital Baghdad.

In recent weeks, it also expanded territory under its control in Syria, capturing parts of the oil-rich province of Deir Ezzor.

Formerly known as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (Isis), it has been accused of atrocities in areas under its control, carrying out mass executions of Shia Muslim prisoners and forcing out other non-Muslims such as Mosul's ancient Christian community.

'Wide resentment'
Fighting erupted on Wednesday after IS detained three tribesmen, the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and Turkish-based activist Mustafa Osso said.

The detentions apparently broke an agreement with local people in the villages of Kishkiyeh, Abu Hamam and Granij, and tribesmen torched the IS headquarters in Ashara in retaliation, the Observatory said.

IS reportedly rushed in reinforcements from the Iraqi border town of Qaim but were forced out of the villages.

Tribesmen also captured the nearby Tanak oil field, according to the Observatory.

"There has been wide resentment recently because of Islamic State's acts," Mr Osso told AP news agency.

"This is a very important area for Islamic State because it is rich with oil and borders Iraq."

IS is one of the larger groups fighting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

More than 150,000 people have been killed in Syria and more than nine million have been forced to leave their homes since the uprising against Mr Assad began in March 2011.

Kurdish clash

In Iraq, jihadists attacked Kurdish forces in Zumar on Friday and fighting has continued since, with at least 14 Kurds and an unknown number of IS fighters killed.

There were conflicting reports on whether Kurdish peshmerga fighter or IS forces held the town.

"Many Islamic State vehicles are wandering the town of Zumar and I can also see the flags on top of buildings," on resident told Reuters news agency.

Control of Zumar would give the jihadists access to a small oilfield and nearby refinery, adding to four oil fields they have already seized, according to Reuters.

Kurdish forces have become the only effective opposition to IS in northern Iraq since government troops were driven out of Mosul and other areas in June.

Reports say Islamic State fighters were also involved in deadly clashes overnight with Iraqi troops in the mainly Sunni town of Jurf al-Sakhar, 50km south-west of Baghdad.

At least nine soldiers are said to have been killed.

 Article Link  (http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-28622809)
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: Cdn Blackshirt on August 03, 2014, 23:08:13
Turkey is firmly in the control of the islamists.The Army has been neutralized so there is no group able to overthrow the regime.

My apologies Tomahawk6, but can you elaborate on that?

Given Erdogan's support of Hamas it's not totally shocking.  I just hadn't heard of the connection before.


Thanks in advance, Matthew.
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: tomahawk6 on August 04, 2014, 14:16:04
Here's an old story that should provide some background.

http://www.worldtribune.com/2013/02/14/generals-opting-out-as-turkish-military-seen-turning-from-secular-to-islamist/
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: S.M.A. on August 04, 2014, 23:02:22
Iraqi forces under Maliki provide air support to Kurdish forces:

Reuters (https://ca.news.yahoo.com/kurds-launch-counter-offensive-against-islamic-state-kurdish-114816866.html)

Quote
Iraqi PM orders air force to help Kurds fight Islamic State

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Iraq's Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki ordered his air force for the first time to back Kurdish forces against Islamic State fighters after the Sunni militants made another dramatic push through the north, state television reported on Monday.

ens of thousands of people have fled one of the districts seized by Islamic State fighters in the offensive and are now surrounded, the United Nations said on Monday. The Sunni militants often execute people in areas they have captured.
Kurdish peshmerga fighters, who gained experience fighting Saddam Hussein's troops, were regarded as one of the few forces capable of standing up to the Sunni insurgents, who faced almost no opposition from Maliki's U.S.-trained army during their lightning advance through the north in June.

Then on Sunday the Islamic State inflicted a humiliating defeat on the Kurds with a rapid advance through three towns to reach the Mosul Dam, acquiring a fifth oil field to fund its operations along the way.

(...EDITED)

Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: tomahawk6 on August 06, 2014, 21:27:24
Mod's it has been suggested to me to change the title of this thread.I agree but I no longer can edit the topic.Perhaps a mod might do this for us ? I suggest the new title "2014 Iraq in Crisis".Of course if anyone has a title please submit it.
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: S.M.A. on August 06, 2014, 21:46:09
Mod's it has been suggested to me to change the title of this thread.I agree but I no longer can edit the topic.Perhaps a mod might do this for us ? I suggest the new title "2014 Iraq in Crisis".Of course if anyone has a title please submit it.

How about "Iraq under siege: the rise of the ISIS terror group", since Iraq might be in the same sort of instability beyond 2014?

Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: S.M.A. on August 07, 2014, 11:39:44
Updates which show how oppressive ISIS rule is: no religious minority, whether they be Christians, or an even smaller group called the Yazidis, are safe.

Quote
Iraq jihadists remove crosses from churches, burn manuscripts
AFP NewsAFP News – 2 hours 13 minutes ago

Quote:
 
Jihadists who took over large areas of northern Iraq Thursday have forced 100,000 Christians to flee and occupied churches, removing crosses and destroying manuscripts, Chaldean Patriarch Louis Sako said.

"There are 100,000 displaced Christians who have fled with nothing but their clothes, some of them on foot, to reach the Kurdistan region," he told AFP.

"This is a humanitarian disaster. The churches are occupied, their crosses were taken down," said Sako, the leader of Iraq's largest Christian denomination, which is aligned with the Roman Catholic Church.

He added that up to 1,500 manuscripts were burnt.

The Islamic State (IS) group, which swept across much of Iraq's Sunni heartland two months ago, attacked several towns and villages east of its main hub of Mosul, the country's second city.

Among them was Qaraqosh, Iraq's largest Christian town with a population of around 50,000, and several surrounding areas that were previously controlled by the Kurdish peshmerga force.

(...EDITED)

Yahoo News (https://ph.news.yahoo.com/jihadist-offensive-sparks-mass-iraq-exodus-084039260.html)




From Agence-France-Presse via Yahoo Australia (https://au.news.yahoo.com/thewest/world/a/24646296/un-condemns-jihadists-over-attacks-on-iraqs-yazidi-minority/)

Quote
UN condemns jihadists over attacks on Iraq's Yazidi minority

Dohuk (Iraq) (AFP) - The UN Security Council on Tuesday condemned attacks by jihadists in northern Iraq, warning those responsible could face trial for crimes against humanity, amid fears the besieged Yazidi minority could be wiped out.

(...EDITED)

"Over the past 48 hours, 30,000 families have been besieged in the Sinjar mountains, with no water and no food," said Vian Dakhil.

"Seventy children have already died of thirst and 300 elderly people have also died,"

Dakhil said 900 unarmed Yazidi men had been killed by the militants since they took over Sinjar and surrounding villages on Sunday. Their women were enslaved as "war booty", she said.

(...EDITED)

Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: upandatom on August 07, 2014, 12:07:04
Off topic yes-


But, Every since this whole thing started and I see ISIS this ISIS that,

All I can picture is Archer and Lana running through Iraq shooting the place up from that damn cartoon. With that cyborg guy running behind them and Archers drunk mother hanging out trying to sleep with Obama

Those of you that dont know about the Archer show, check it out.

Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: S.M.A. on August 07, 2014, 21:26:48
Not quite the US intervention that some were expecting:

Military.com (http://www.military.com/daily-news/2014/08/07/obama-mulling-limited-military-action-in-iraq.html?comp=1198882887570&rank=1)

Quote
US Begins Humanitarian Airdrops in Northern Iraq

Aug 07, 2014 | by Richard Sisk
The U.S. began a series of airdrops of relief supplies Thursday to civilians fleeing Islamic militants in northern Iraq while holding off on bombing runs against the fighters of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.

A Pentagon official said that "the effort has begun" with airdrops by Air Force C-130 and C-17 cargo planes escorted by fighters to thousands of Christians and members of the Yazadi ethnic minority stranded without food or water by the fighting, CBS News reported.

The U.S. was also giving added consideration to airstrikes in northern Iraq following ISIL advances but White House officials gave no indication Thursday that bombing was imminent.

(...EDITED)


Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: tomahawk6 on August 07, 2014, 21:41:42
Air strikes are being conducted in northern Iraq.The Pentagon has denied US involvement. ;)
Maybe the Iraqi Air Force decided to get in the game before it was too late ?
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: S.M.A. on August 07, 2014, 23:35:15
Officially no US air strikes yet, though Obama set a final red line on Iraq...

Canadian Press via Yahoo News (https://ca.news.yahoo.com/obama-authorizes-airstrikes-iraq-islamic-militants-advance-toward-020555406.html)

Quote
Obama authorizes airstrikes in Iraq if Islamic militants advance toward city of Irbil
The Canadian Press

By Julie Pace And Robert Burns, The Associated Press

WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama announced Thursday night he had authorized the U.S. military to launch targeted airstrikes if needed to protect Americans from Islamic militants in northern Iraq, threatening to revive U.S. military involvement in the country's long sectarian war.

He also said the U.S. military had carried out airdrops of humanitarian aid to Iraqi religious minorities under siege by the extremists.


"Today America is coming to help," he said in a late-night statement from the White House.

The announcements reflected the deepest American engagement in Iraq since U.S. troops withdrew in late 2011 after nearly a decade of war.

Obama said the humanitarian airdrops were made at the request of the Iraqi government. The food and water supplies were delivered to the tens of thousands of Yazidis trapped on a mountain without food and water. The Yazidis, who follow an ancient religion with ties to Zoroastrianism, fled their homes after the Islamic State group issued an ultimatum to convert to Islam, pay a religious fine, flee their homes or face death.

(...EDITED)

Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: jollyjacktar on August 08, 2014, 08:10:23
And about bloody time too.  There should have been strikes going out months ago...
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: Journeyman on August 08, 2014, 09:25:50
.......though Obama set a final red line on Iraq...
Same "red line" as the one set against Assad's use of chemical weapons?   
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: Dimsum on August 08, 2014, 10:25:42
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-08-08/us-aircraft-strike-islamic-state-positions-in-iraq3a-pentagon/5659816

Apparently the red line has been crossed.
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: S.M.A. on August 08, 2014, 11:05:13
Same "red line" as the one set against Assad's use of chemical weapons?

Well fortunately for the Christians, Kurds and Yazidi minority groups in Irbil, this time he just acted, instead of consulting Congress as he did with Syria.

Apparently the red line has been crossed and strikes have begun

ABC News (http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-08-08/us-aircraft-strike-islamic-state-positions-in-iraq3a-pentagon/5659816)

Quote
US aircraft strike Islamic State positions in Iraq: Pentagon
Updated 8 Aug 2014, 11:46pmFri 8 Aug 2014, 11:46pm


United States military aircraft have conducted an airstrike against Islamic State artillery used against Kurdish forces defending the city of Erbil, near US personnel, a Pentagon spokesman said.

Two F/A-18 aircraft dropped laser-guided bombs on a mobile artillery piece near Erbil at 1:45pm local time (8:45pm AEST), Pentagon press secretary Rear Admiral John Kirby said in a statement.

(...EDITED)

Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: cupper on August 08, 2014, 12:09:49
Well fortunately for the Christians, Kurds and Yazidi minority groups in Irbil, this time he just acted, instead of consulting Congress as he did with Syria.

Apparently the red line has been crossed and strikes have begun

ABC News (http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-08-08/us-aircraft-strike-islamic-state-positions-in-iraq3a-pentagon/5659816)

And now we wait for the inevitable contrarian view from the Republicans that Obama is making war without consulting Congress and we shouldn't be involved and we need to rein this guy in, it's unlimited spending that will add to the national debt, etc. Dollars to donuts that Lindsey Graham and John McCain come out against this after spending all summer calling for it.

US Politics.  :facepalm:
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: S.M.A. on August 08, 2014, 19:35:51
The strikes continue even as more forces are marshalled in the Persian Gulf...

Military.com (http://www.military.com/daily-news/2014/08/08/us-begins-bombing-islamic-rebels-in-northern-iraq.html?comp=1198882887570&rank=1)

Quote
US Begins Bombing Islamic Rebels in Northern Iraq

Aug 08, 2014 | by Richard Sisk
U.S. warplanes and drones carried out a series of airstrikes Friday against fighters of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant threatening the Kurdish capital of Irbil in northern Iraq.
In quick succession, the U.S. airstrikes targeted an ISIL mobile artillery piece, a mortar position and a convoy of vehicles, said Rear Adm. John Kirby, the Pentagon press secretary.

The bombing began when two Navy FA-18 Super Hornets flying off the carrier George H.W. Bush in the Persian Gulf struck the first blows in the latest U.S. effort to create a stable and secure Iraq.

In an early morning strike, the F-18s dropped 500-pound, laser-guided bombs on mobile artillery pieces used by ISIL fighters who have surged to within 30 miles of Irbil.

In the next strike, remotely piloted aircraft, possibly Predators, hit a "terrorist mortar position. When ISIL fighters returned to the site moments later, the terrorists were attacked again and successfully eliminated," Kirby said in a statement.

The third strike consisted of four F-18s which attacked a parked ISIL convoy of seven vehicles and a nearby mortar position. "The aircraft executed two planned passes. On both runs, each aircraft dropped one laser guided bomb making a total of eight bombs dropped on target neutralizing the mortar and convoy," Kirby said.

(...EDITED)


Plus more details of the Orbat of the US units readying for a prolonged air campaign:

Quote
Aug. 8, 2014

The U.S. has a massive force of ships and aircraft in the Persian Gulf for the air campaign against the Islamic State in Iraq.

The first airstrikes against the Islamic State were carried out by two aircraft from the aircraft carrier George H.W. Bush, which is in the Persian Gulf along with the amphibious assault ship Bataan; the amphibious dock landing ship Gunston Hall; the cruiser Philippine Sea; and the destroyers Arleigh Burke, O’Kane and Roosevelt, according to the Defense Department.

The amphibious transport dock Mesa Verde is elsewhere in the region, according to 5th Fleet.

The Bush is coming to the end of what would be a normal six-month deployment. The carrier Carl Vinson is preparing to deploy to 5th Fleet at the end of August, but is on ready standby as the surge carrier, according to Naval Air Forces spokeswoman Cmdr. Jeannie Groeneveld.

The George H.W. Bush could be extended if U.S. Central Command requires it.

(...EDITED)


Marines from the Bataan Amphibious Ready Group are prepared to recover aircraft and personnel on short notice in a hostile environment should that become necessary, Stephens said in an email.

More than 2,000 Marines from the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit are aboard the ships in the Bataan’s group along with 12 MV-22B Ospreys; eight AV-8B Harriers; four CH-53E Super Stallion helicopters; three UH-1Y Venom helicopters and four AH-1W Super Cobra attack helicopters.

While President Obama has vowed that U.S. troops are not returning to Iraq, about 10,000 U.S. troops — mostly Army — are in Kuwait, a defense official said.

(...SNIPPED)


Air Force Times (http://www.airforcetimes.com/article/20140808/NEWS08/308080074)

Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: Retired AF Guy on August 08, 2014, 23:58:14
And about bloody time too.  There should have been strikes going out months ago...

Say what you will about Dubya, but if he was still in charge the bombs would have been falling long time ago.
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: Jed on August 09, 2014, 01:55:38
The amount of bombs going down range are not even enough to piss off the ISIS fighters. Basically this is just a waste of military assets to effect an internal US political appeasement solution.

The Global community should either do something about the real problem with some major commitment of military horsepower or the Western world should stay out of it.

Just my 2 cents worth about 1 cent due to inflation.
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: tomahawk6 on August 09, 2014, 10:35:35
I would expect to see the deployment of 10-15,000 ground combat troops into Northern Iraq to bolster the Kurds.Ideally the deployment of an armor division into Kuwait which would push on north of Baghdad would be a smart move.Catch ISIS in a vise.
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: S.M.A. on August 09, 2014, 12:15:23
I would expect to see the deployment of 10-15,000 ground combat troops into Northern Iraq to bolster the Kurds.Ideally the deployment of an armor division into Kuwait which would push on north of Baghdad would be a smart move.Catch ISIS in a vise.

You were saying? Someone else has the same idea...

Defense News (http://www.defensenews.com/article/20140808/DEFREG04/308080023/Why-Obama-s-campaign-Iraq-could-require-15-000-troops)

Quote
Why Obama's campaign in Iraq could require 15,000 troops
Aug. 8, 2014 - 03:45AM   |   By ANDREW TILGHMAN 

(...EDITED)

Military experts say tactical commanders will want more ground forces. Forward air controllers could provide more precise targeting information. U.S. advisers could support the Kurdish forces fighting the militants. And U.S. commanders may need to expand their intelligence effort on the ground.

In turn, U.S. forces might need a forward operating base with a security perimeter, more force protection and a logistical supply line. Medevac capabilities may require a helicopter detachment and a small aviation maintenance shed.

“You’re talking about a 10,000- to 15,000-soldier effort to include maintenance, and medevac and security,” said retired Army Col. Peter Mansoor,
who served as executive officer to David Petraeus during the 2007 surge in Iraq and now is a professor of military history at Ohio State University.

“But that is the price you’re going to pay if you want to roll back [Islamic State]. You can’t just snap your fingers and make it go away,” Mansoor said.

Obama’s address to the nation Thursday night suggested that the city of Erbil will be a no-go zone for the militants, and he offered no timeframe for that commitment.

The biggest near-term military challenge stems from Obama’s commitment to prevent a “genocide” of the Yazidi people trapped on Mount Sinjar. The air drops providing food and water that began Thursday night are a short-term solution. Obama promised to use air strikes on Islamic State forces, if needed, to “break the siege” and “help refugees get the shelter and food and water they so desperately need.”

(...EDITED)

Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: S.M.A. on August 09, 2014, 23:03:32
More strikes, plus the possibility that this air campaign may be a long-term effort is raised:

Military.com (http://www.military.com/daily-news/2014/08/09/us-launches-4-more-airstrikes-against-isil.html?comp=1198882887570&rank=1)

Quote
US Launches 4 More Airstrikes against ISIL

Associated Press | Aug 09, 2014
WASHINGTON -- The U.S. military says American jet fighters and drones have conducted four more airstrikes on Islamic militants in Iraq, taking out armored carriers and a truck that were firing on civilians.
 
U.S. Central Command says the Islamic State militants were firing on Yazidi civilians near Sinjar. The refugees have been taking shelter in the Sinjar mountains.
 
Central Command says the strikes near Sinjar were spread out, with three before noon Eastern Daylight Time on Saturday and one about 3 p.m.
 
(...EDITED)


New York Times (http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/10/world/middleeast/us-airstrikes-on-militants-in-iraq.html?emc=edit_na_20140809)

Quote

Saturday, August 9, 2014 11:36 AM EDT

Obama Says Iraq Airstrike Effort Could Be ‘Long Term’

President Obama sought to prepare Americans for an extended presence in the skies over Iraq, telling reporters on Saturday that the airstrikes he ordered this week could go on for months as Iraqis try to build a new government.

“I don’t think we’re going to solve this problem in weeks,” Mr. Obama said before leaving for a two-week vacation on Martha’s Vineyard. “This is going to be a long-term project.”

The president repeated his insistence that the United States would not send ground combat troops back to Iraq. But he pledged that it and other countries would stand with the Iraqi leaders against militants if they built an inclusive government in the months ahead.

(...EDITED)

Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: S.M.A. on August 10, 2014, 12:50:56
Abrams tanks and Humvees captured by ISIS fighters from routed Iraqi units should be the next targets:

DoD Buzz (http://www.dodbuzz.com/2014/08/08/will-u-s-fighters-hit-u-s-made-tanks-in-iraq/?comp=1198882887570&rank=5)

Quote
Will U.S. Fighters Hit U.S.-Made Tanks in Iraq?
Will U.S. Fighters Hit U.S.-Made Tanks in Iraq?
By Brendan McGarry Friday, August 8th, 2014 12:43 pm
Posted in Air, Policy

U.S. warplanes early Friday morning launched airstrikes against Islamic militants in northern Iraq, a Pentagon official said.

A pair of F/A-18 fighter jets made by Boeing Co. and flying from the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush dropped 500-pound laser-guided bombs against artillery operated by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant near the northern city of Irbil, according to Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby.

Kirby didn’t specify what type of artillery was targeted, but former DoDBuzz editor Philip Ewing, now a senior defense reporter at Politico, noted on Twitter that CNN correspondent Ivan Watson reported that ISIL fighters were in possession of U.S.-made M1 Abrams tanks made by General Dynamics Corp. and captured from Iraqi forces. The cable news network later reiterated the claim, citing information from Kurdish officials.
 
In an interview with CNN, Kirby said only one airstrike had taken place and didn’t describe the type of artillery, such as whether it was a mobile howitzer unit or anti-aircraft battery. “This artillery had only recently been put into position,” he said. “We took it out pretty quickly.” He also acknowledged that ISIL fighters are “well-resourced.”

Later in the day, Kirby in a statement said the U.S. launched two more bombings in the Irbil area — one in which a drone aircraft struck a terrorist mortar position and another involving four F/A-18s that blasted a ISIL convoy of seven vehicles and another mortar position.

(...EDITED)

Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: Rifleman62 on August 10, 2014, 15:01:09
Obama will never deploy large number of US ground troops in Iraq unless the slaughter goes above the 10,000 range and he is forced to act. Indeed, there are reports that the first 2 aircraft sortie was leaked by the Pentagon to corner Obama so he could not weasel out of taking some action.

Quote
Obama Says Iraq Airstrike Effort Could Be ‘Long Term’

The low key, piecemeal sorties of two aircraft will be "long term" allowing ISIL the time to procure (they have millions from the banks in Mosul) ground to air equipment.

cupper, with his usual view:

Quote
And now we wait for the inevitable contrarian view from the Republicans that Obama is making war without consulting Congress and we shouldn't be involved and we need to rein this guy in, it's unlimited spending that will add to the national debt, etc. Dollars to donuts that Lindsey Graham and John McCain come out against this after spending all summer calling for it.

US Politics. 

Some quote today: 

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/08/10/john-mccain-iraq_n_5665986.html

"John McCain Criticizes Iraq Air Strikes As 'Ineffective' "

Don't forget cupper, McCain has some experience in this area,

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/08/10/lindsey-graham-syria_n_5665831.html

Sen Lindsay Graham - "If he does not go on the offensive against ISIS, ISIL -- whatever you want to call these guys -- they are coming here," he added. "This is just not about Baghdad, this is just not about Syria, this is about our homeland. And if we get attacked because he has no strategy to protect us, then he will have committed a blunder for the ages."

Rep. Peter King - "They are more powerful now than al Qaeda was on 9/11," he said, referring to the Islamic State, adding, "I lost hundreds of constituents on 9/11. I never want to do that again. We see this coming. For the president to say we're doing airstrikes, we're not doing anything else. We're not going to use American combat troops, not going to do this, not going to do that. What kind of leadership is that? You should never let the enemy know what you're going to do."

More recently, in late July, Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Martin Dempsey said the Islamic State posed a "longer term" threat to America.

"Let me speak for the United States military. The United States military does consider ISIL a threat to -- initially to the region and our close allies, longer term to the United States of America," he said. "And therefore we are preparing a strategy that has a series of options to present to our elected leaders on how we can initially contain, eventually disrupt, and finally defeat ISIL over time."

Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: S.M.A. on August 10, 2014, 21:49:29
Fresh new air strikes:

Defense News (http://www.defensenews.com/article/20140810/DEFREG04/308100009/US-Confirms-Fresh-Airstrikes-Against-Militants-Near-Arbil)

Quote
US Confirms Fresh Airstrikes Against Militants Near Arbil
Aug. 10, 2014 - 04:51PM   |   By AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

WASHINGTON — United States warplanes and drones pummeled Islamic State militants near Arbil in a fresh wave of airstrikes on Sunday, destroying armed trucks and a mortar position, the US military confirmed.

US Central Command (CENTCOM) said five strikes had been carried out from 0615 GMT, when aircraft struck and destroyed an armed vehicle firing on Kurdish forces outside Arbil in northern Iraq.

Shortly after the strike, US forces located another IS armed truck moving away from the area and destroyed it, CENTCOM said.

In a further attack at around 0740 GMT, US aircraft struck and destroyed an IS mortar position and damaged a nearby truck.

Two more IS armed vehicles were hit in additional strikes before all US aircraft exited the area safely, the military said.

The attacks mark the third day of airstrikes launched by the United States in an effort to halt the advance of Islamic militants who are threatening Arbil, the capital of the Iraqi Kurdish region.

(...EDITED)

Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: Thucydides on August 11, 2014, 10:06:09
Still a case of too little, too late. A few pinprick airstrikes isn't going to change the balance of power anywhere.

Two COA's that will have some effect:

a) bring huge amounts of supplies to the Kurds, so they can secure their territories, and
b) let Iran, Syria and Hezbollah (effectively the same thing) fight ISIS on the ground without any US intervention.

All the battle groups need to do is stay on station and ensure4 the conflict does not spill out beyond the region.
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: S.M.A. on August 11, 2014, 11:29:36
More about the captured US equipment in ISIS control:

ISIS Stole some shiny new weapons from the Iraqi Army

[vice.com (http://www.vice.com/print/isis-stole-some-shiny-new-weapons-from-the-iraqi-army-989)]
(https://Army.ca/forums/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fassets.vice.com%2Fcontent-images%2Fcontentimage%2F168637%2FScreen-Shot-2014-07-10-at-14-10-38.jpg&hash=e685dfaf013131a15d802f90f08f2c71)
ISIS parades captured Iraqi Army vehicles in its Syrian capital of Raqqa
-
(https://Army.ca/forums/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fassets.vice.com%2Fcontent-images%2Fcontentimage%2F168638%2FScreen-Shot-2014-07-10-at-14-12-52.jpg&hash=0a874c07f602f5f34f2db207f5d39073)
An ISIS social media image shows its fighters with a captured Humvee
-
(https://Army.ca/forums/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Ffreebeacon.com%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2F2014%2F06%2FGERTZ-U.S.-made-Humvees-enroute-from-Iraq-to-Syria.png&hash=16df0437b7dc8fc1056540445cba9ddd)
U.S.-made Humvees enroute from Iraq to Syria via ISIL social media
source: freebeacon (http://freebeacon.com/national-security/isil-moving-seized-u-s-tanks-humvees-to-syria/)

=====

From: CNN - August 11, 2014
Iraqi troops and tanks surge into Baghdad amid political turmoil (http://edition.cnn.com/2014/08/10/world/meast/iraq-baghdad-tensions/index.html?hpt=hp_t1)


Quote
Military tanks were deployed to several neighborhoods in central Baghdad, two Iraqi police officials told CNN. The officials said there are also significantly more troops in Baghdad's Green Zone, the secure area where many government buildings, the military headquarters and the U.S. Embassy are located.

<snipped>

Retired Marine Gen. James Williams said the stepped up security could also be a response to advances by militants from ISIS, the Sunni Muslim extremist group that has now declared itself the Islamic State.

"It could be a show of force. If you're talking about protecting government buildings, there may be a sense that ISIS forces may be closer than everybody thinks at this point, and so depending on what the undercurrent in Baghdad right now, that could be a great sign for concern," Williams said. "But it may also be a concern that there's a coup afoot."

Could ISIS retaliate against the West? (http://edition.cnn.com/2014/08/08/world/meast/syria-iraq-terror-havens/index.html?hpt=hp_t1)

Quote
Within hours of U.S. military jets and drones conducting a strike on ISIS artillery that had been used against Kurdish forces defending Irbil, ISIS supporters called for retaliatory attacks against the United States.

"It is a clear message that the war is against Islam and the mujahideen. The mujahideen must strive and seek to execute proactive operations in their own home, America, to discipline America and its criminal soldiers," Abu al-Ayna al-Khorasani, an administrator of Shumukh al-Islam, the top-tier forum for ISIS propaganda, wrote on his account Friday, according to a translation by the SITE Intelligence group.

Other ISIS supporters railed against the United States using the Twitter handle #AmessagefromISIStoUS, posting images of the wreckage of the twin towers. "Don't forget 11 Sept .. Maybe US citizens want more like that," one extremist tweeted. In June after ISIS captured Mosul, its supporters had warned against strikes in a Twitter campaign #CalamityWillBefallUS.
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: S.M.A. on August 11, 2014, 11:47:23
The Kurds need anti-tank weapons to take on the captured Abrams tanks the ISIS fighters are using:

Military.com (http://www.military.com/daily-news/2014/08/11/us-sending-arms-to-kurds-in-iraq.html?comp=1198882887570&rank=1)

Quote
US Sending Arms to Kurds in Iraq

Associated Press | Aug 11, 2014 | by Matthew Lee
SYDNEY -- The Obama administration has begun directly providing weapons to Kurdish forces who have started to make gains against Islamic militants in northern Iraq, senior U.S. officials said Monday.

Previously, the U.S. had insisted on only selling arms to the Iraqi government in Baghdad, but the Kurdish peshmerga fighters had been losing ground to Islamic State militants in recent weeks.

The officials wouldn't say which U.S. agency is providing the arms or what weapons are being sent, but one official said it isn't the Pentagon. The CIA has historically done similar quiet arming operations.

(...EDITED)

Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: Colin P on August 11, 2014, 15:07:17
Targeting tanks and artillery held by the ISIS would be the priority, followed by bottlenecks in the oil production facilities to prevent them from exporting oil, without damaging the long term ability to restart the fields later.
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: Fishbone Jones on August 11, 2014, 15:46:25
All the 'whoa is me' crowd whining that the US should do this or that, just do something. Why?

It's time that we made people like the Sauds do their own dirty work and clean up the scum in their own backyard.

The west should just sit back, tighten their belts and watch that whole ******* place implode.
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: S.M.A. on August 11, 2014, 16:10:20
It's time that we made people like the Sauds do their own dirty work and clean up the scum in their own backyard.

Speaking of the Saudis, they, the Qataris and all these other Sunni-ruled Persian Gulf states should have realized earlier they created a monster by funding ISIS/ISIL in the Syrian Civil War against Assad and Iran's proxies.

Free Beacon (http://freebeacon.com/national-security/isil-targets-saudi-intelligence/)

Quote
ISIL Targets Saudi Intelligence
Officials: ‘Crowd-sourced’ assassination campaign aimed at destabilizing Saudi Arabia

(Free Beacon) Islamic State has targeted Saudi Arabian intelligence officers for a campaign of assassination as part of plans by the group to expand activities inside the oil-rich kingdom.

A campaign by the terrorists was launched Friday that sought information on Saudi intelligence officers.


U.S. intelligence agencies monitoring its social media communications identified the campaign as a crowd-sourced effort to gather names and other personal information about Saudi intelligence officials for the assassination campaign.

The campaign, according to U.S. officials, appears aimed at destabilizing Saudi Arabia, the location of two of Islam’s holiest cities.

U.S. officials said social media monitoring indicated that thousands of Saudis are supporting ISIL, as indicated by social media use. Twitter users in the kingdom account for 40 percent of all Twitter users in the Arab world.

An Android app used by ISIL for propaganda messages and recruitment was very active in Saudi Arabia between April and June, when Google Play removed it for terms of use violations.

(...EDITED)
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: Fishbone Jones on August 11, 2014, 16:20:54
Well then, let the implosion begin then. Maybe if they get their nose bloodied, they'll finally man up and start doing what they should have a long time ago.

They have lots of men, lots of high tech equipment and lots and lots of money. Put the Ferraris away, fire it all up and set it rolling. There is no need for, the collective, us to get involved.

Every time the west bails them out, they vilify us the minute the last shot is fired, if not before.
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: Kilo_302 on August 11, 2014, 16:31:25
Well then, let the implosion begin then. Maybe if they get their nose bloodied, they'll finally man up and start doing what they should have a long time ago.

They have lots of men, lots of high tech equipment and lots and lots of money. Put the Ferraris away, fire it all up and set it rolling. There is no need for, the collective, us to get involved.

Every time the west bails them out, they vilify us the minute the last shot is fired, if not before.

In 100% agreement, though for probably different reasons. The idea that the US can salvage something here is less than realistic. More Western troops on the ground will just be another draw for radicals across the region.

Another point is the fact that Saudi Arabia is SUPPORTING ISIS as a buffer against Iranian influence in Iraq and a counter to Assad in Syria. Until the US is consistent in its FP (taking the Saudis to task for supporting terrorism and meddling in Iraq), any major move against ISIS won't solve the main problem.

http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2014/06/isis-saudi-arabia-iraq-syria-bandar/373181/ (http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2014/06/isis-saudi-arabia-iraq-syria-bandar/373181/)


http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/iraq-crisis-how-saudi-arabia-helped-isis-take-over-the-north-of-the-country-9602312.html (http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/iraq-crisis-how-saudi-arabia-helped-isis-take-over-the-north-of-the-country-9602312.html)

Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: Rifleman62 on August 11, 2014, 17:28:40
Allow drilling on US government land, build the Keystone pipeline, stop buying Saudi oil. Won't happen until Obama is gone.
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: S.M.A. on August 11, 2014, 22:59:49
Seems these piecemeal USN air strikes appear to be having less than the desired effect:

Military.com (http://www.military.com/daily-news/2014/08/11/pentagon-airstrikes-fail-to-break-isil-momentum.html?comp=1198882887570&rank=1)

Quote
Pentagon: Airstrikes Fail to Break ISIL Momentum

Aug 11, 2014 | by Richard Sisk

U.S. airstrikes have broken up the formations of extremist militants in northern Iraq but failed to stop the overall advances of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, the Pentagon's operations chief said Monday.

In reaction to the airstrikes, the ISIL fighters were "now starting to dissipate and hide among the people" to escape the U.S. warplanes, said Army Lt. Gen. William, C. Mayville. "Targeting is going to get more difficult," Mayville said at a Pentagon news conference.

"We've had a very temporary effect," said Mayville, adding that the limited air campaign could not be credited with "somehow breaking their momentum." The ISIL fighters may now think twice about advancing on the Kurdish capital of Irbil but they will "look for other things to do," Mayville said.

Navy FA-18 Super Hornet attack aircraft, Air Force F-15s and F-16s and MQ-1 Predator drones have carried out a total of 15 airstrikes since last Thursday that "slowed ISIL's operations tempo" but were "unlikely to affect ISIL's overall capabilities," Mayville said.

(...EDITE)

Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: Infantryman2b on August 12, 2014, 11:11:44
Vice news has been covering these stories and have even embedded themselves with ISIS.

Link with tons of stories on the situation

https://m.youtube.com/results?q=vice%20news%20iraq&sm=1
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: Humphrey Bogart on August 12, 2014, 18:44:24
Never has a country with such a big stick, been so unwilling or incapable of using it.
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: Brad Sallows on August 12, 2014, 21:12:59
Never a Vlad Tepes handy when you need one.
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: Chris Pook on August 12, 2014, 21:18:08
Never a Vlad Tepes handy when you need one.

Ah yes - Vlad and his allies the Poles....

(https://Army.ca/forums/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fun2kmu.files.wordpress.com%2F2009%2F09%2Fimpaler.gif&hash=f3ccb2351764c89a7bd3fe4d63d5b1c8)
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: YZT580 on August 12, 2014, 23:56:13
Obama has actually had the nerve to blame G.W. Bush for the current situation and what he is now calling a premature pullout. 
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: MCG on August 13, 2014, 00:12:16
130 more US military advisors are deploying back into Afghanistan.  Almost a 50 % increase to what is already there.

http://www.defensenews.com/article/20140812/DEFREG04/308120028/Pentagon-Official-130-Advisers-Heading-Northern-Iraq
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: armybuck041 on August 13, 2014, 00:12:35

Obama has actually had the nerve to blame G.W. Bush for the current situation and what he is now calling a premature pullout.

No comment on the premature pullout, but enough time has passed that I think it's fair to say that the Bush Administration's handling of the war in the first few months set the country on the path to where it is now. You can't destroy a country's government and key infrastructure with no plan the replace it, and not expect serious civil implications.
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: S.M.A. on August 13, 2014, 08:47:12
MCG's article partially reproduced here:

Defense News (http://www.defensenews.com/article/20140812/DEFREG04/308120028/Pentagon-Official-130-Advisers-Heading-Northern-Iraq)

Quote
Pentagon Official: 130 Advisers Heading To Northern Iraq
Marines and Special Operations Forces Sent To Irbil in Kurdish-Controlled Territory
Aug. 12, 2014 - 11:47PM   |   By TOM VANDEN BROOK   |

ABOARD MILITARY AIRCRAFT, OVER THE BERING SEA — The military has sent 130 advisers to northern Iraq to plan for the evacuation of refugees under siege by Islamic militants, according to a senior Defense Department official.

The Marines and special operations forces have been sent to the city of Irbil in Kurdish-controlled northern Iraq to assess the humanitarian crisis in the Sinjar mountains and ways to end it, said the official who spoke on condition of anonymity because officials were not authorized to speak publicly about the mission.

There are about 300 US military advisers currently in Iraq, as well as other troops there to protect the US Embassy in Baghdad.

(....EDITED)

Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: Thucydides on August 13, 2014, 11:12:55
Obama has actually had the nerve to blame G.W. Bush for the current situation and what he is now calling a premature pullout.

You don't get to pull everyone from Iraq in 2012, declare that your administration had just scored a stunning victory, then when it all falls apart, blame the previous administration for your acts.

We can only wait to hear how former SoS Hillary Clinton spins this example of her foreign policy at work...
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: George Wallace on August 13, 2014, 11:24:45

We can only wait to hear how former SoS Hillary Clinton spins this example of her foreign policy at work...

Please save us from that possibility.  Her various 'cover ups', which include Benghazi, will all be hidden from the voters in her run for President.
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: S.M.A. on August 13, 2014, 18:25:30
Some boots already on the ground...

Quote

Military.com (http://www.military.com/daily-news/2014/08/13/ospreys-in-irbil-for-potential-rescue-mission.html?comp=1198882887570&rank=1)

Ospreys in Irbil for Potential Rescue Mission
osprey dust cloud 428x285
Military.comAug 13, 2014 | by Richard Sisk

Marine MV-22 Ospreys and Army helicopters arrived at an isolated airfield in the Kurdish region of northern Iraq Wednesday, poised to take part in a potential rescue attempt of trapped refugees from a mountain top.

Pentagon and White House officials said the Ospreys and the helicopters brought 129 additional U.S. troops – about 80 of them Marines -- to the Kurdish capital of Irbil Tuesday.

The aircraft were among the "options" being explored by the U.S. for rescuing thousands of members of the Yazidi sect trapped in the Sinjar mountains by members of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.

Army Col. Steve Warren, a Pentagon spokesman, said that as many as four Ospreys were now at an airfield guarded by Kurdish peshmerga forces in the region. Warren declined to say how many Army helicopters arrived at the airfield, or whether they were Black Hawks or the larger Chinooks. He also declined to say how long the aircraft will remain in the region.

Warren said that recent U.S. airstrikes on ISIL targets around Sinjar "have slowed if not stopped ISIL's ability to inflict harm" on the refugees.

Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes said the new troops in the Kurdish region "will make recommendations about how to follow through on an effort to get the people off that mountain and into a safe place."

Obama has ruled out the use of U.S. ground forces for a combat mission in Iraq but Rhodes said U.S. troops might be used to aid a humanitarian mission.

(...EDITED)

Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: PPCLI Guy on August 13, 2014, 20:42:04
You don't get to pull everyone from Iraq in 2012, declare that your administration had just scored a stunning victory, then when it all falls apart, blame the previous administration for your acts.

We can only wait to hear how former SoS Hillary Clinton spins this example of her foreign policy at work...

The Iraqi's had quite a bit to do with that....
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: YZT580 on August 13, 2014, 22:37:04
The Iraqi's had quite a bit to do with that....
Then blame the Iraqi but don't point fingers at your predecessor for decisions that were made on your watch.  It wasn't so long ago that he was twisting himself backwards in an effort to pat himself on the back for pulling everyone out.
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: tomahawk6 on August 14, 2014, 10:03:26
The rescue mission won't be needed.SF have determined that most refugees have gotten out.What is really interesting to me is that Kurdish PKK fighters from Syria are turning the tide against the IS forces in northern Iraq.US air strikes have also contributed to the improved security situation.
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: S.M.A. on August 14, 2014, 20:50:38
A political crisis averted in Iraq's Shia-dominated government? While the security crisis remains with ISIS still in control of large swathes of the country and besieging the Kurds in the north...

Quote
Maliki steps down, easing Iraq’s political crisis

BAGHDAD — Embattled Iraqi leader Nouri al-Maliki stepped aside Thursday, ending a tense political standoff and clearing the way for a new prime minister tasked with steering the country out of its security crisis.

Maliki appeared on state television flanked by senior members of his party, including rival Haider al-Abadi, who has been appointed to form a new government. Maliki said he would back “brother” Abadi for the sake of Iraq’s unity.

Maliki had provoked a political crisis by refusing to give up his position after eight years in power and ordering security forces into the streets of Baghdad. He had argued that the appointment of Abadi on Monday to form a government was unconstitutional and had launched a legal case against the president over the perceived breach.

(...EDITED)

Washington Post (http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/middle_east/maliki-agrees-to-step-aside-easing-iraqs-political-crisis/2014/08/14/4535fd40-23ed-11e4-86ca-6f03cbd15c1a_story.html?wpisrc=nl%5Feve)

Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: S.M.A. on August 16, 2014, 12:15:41
More barbarism by ISIS:

Reuters (http://af.reuters.com/article/worldNews/idAFKBN0GG07I20140816)

Quote
Islamic State 'massacres' 80 Yazidis in north Iraq: officials
By: Reuters
August 16, 2014 10:30 PM

BAGHDAD - Islamic State insurgents "massacred" some 80 members of Iraq's Yazidi minority in a village in the country's north, a Yazidi lawmaker and two Kurdish officials said on Friday.

"They arrived in vehicles and they started their killing this afternoon," senior Kurdish official Hoshiyar Zebari told Reuters. "We believe it's because of their creed: convert or be killed."

A Yazidi lawmaker and another senior Kurdish official also said the killings had taken place and that the women of the village were kidnapped.

A push by Islamic State militants through northern Iraq to the border with the Kurdish region has alarmed the Baghdad government, drawn the first U.S. air strikes since the end of American occupation in 2001 and sent tens of thousands of Yazidis and Christians fleeing for their lives.


(...EDITED)

Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: S.M.A. on August 16, 2014, 12:19:23
"Will this be enough to sufficiently to halt ISIS advances?" is the question that needs to be asked.

Military.com (http://www.military.com/daily-news/2014/08/15/airstrikes-hit-mrap-and-humvees-captured-by-isil.html?comp=1198882887570&rank=9)

Quote
Airstrikes Hit MRAPs and Humvees Captured by ISIL

Aug 15, 2014 | by Richard Sisk
U.S. warplanes on combat patrols over northern Iraq increasingly are hitting U.S.-made armored vehicles captured by Islamic militants from the fleeing Iraqi army.
In the latest airstrikes Thursday, the U.S. Central Command said that a mix of fighters and armed drones destroyed one of the heavily-armored Mine Resistant-Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicles that were a mainstay of U.S. forces in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The MRAP was targeted after the warplanes destroyed two other armored vehicles northeast of the Kurdish capital of Irbil that were being used by fighters of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant to fire on positions held by the Kurdish peshmerga forces, the Central Command said in a statement.

(...EDITED)

Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: S.M.A. on August 17, 2014, 19:47:23
A question that needs to be asked: "Are the Kurds even ready for an offensive, considering they've been losing ground recently to ISIS?"

CBC (http://news.ca.msn.com/top-stories/us-to-expand-air-strikes-to-help-kurdish-forces-retake-mosul-dam)

Quote
Updated: Sun, 17 Aug 2014 17:48:33 GMT | By The Associated Press, cbc.ca

U.S. to expand air strikes to help Kurdish forces retake Mosul Dam

The U.S. is expanding its air campaign in Iraq with attacks aimed at helping Iraqi forces fully regain control of the strategic Mosul dam.

The White House said President Barack Obama notified Congress Sunday that the widened mission would be limited in duration and scope.

The White House says "the mission is consistent with the president's directive that the U.S. military protect U.S. personnel and facilities in Iraq, since the failure of the Mosul Dam could threaten the lives of large numbers of civilians and threaten U.S. personnel and facilities — including the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad."

The latest round of U.S. airstrikes in Iraq against the Islamic State extremist group includes the first reported use of land-based bombers in the military campaign.

(...EDITED)

Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: tomahawk6 on August 17, 2014, 21:20:06
The Kurds are excellant fighters and with US air and SF,are already having success.Now if they can keep IS from blowing up the dam...
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: S.M.A. on August 17, 2014, 22:22:51
And the Kurds score a major victory!

Agence-France-Presse (http://news.yahoo.com/us-confirms-airstrikes-near-arbil-mosul-dam-222300685.html)

Quote
Kurds retake key Iraq dam, Sunnis hit jihadists
By: Serene Assir, Agence France-Presse
August 18, 2014 3:36 AM

AL-QOSH - Iraqi Kurdish fighters backed by US warplanes retook the country's largest dam from jihadists on Sunday, as Sunni Arab tribesmen and security forces fought the militants west of Baghdad.
The recapture of Mosul dam marks the biggest major prize clawed back from Islamic State (IS) jihadists since they launched their offensive in northern Iraq in early June when they swept Iraqi security forces aside.

IS militants, who have declared a "caliphate" straddling vast areas of Iraq and Syria, also came under air attack in their Syrian stronghold of Raqa on Sunday, a monitoring group said.

Syria's air force carried out 16 raids on the city of Raqa and several more on the town of Tabqa in Raqa province, killing at least 31 jihadists and eight civilians, said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

Two months of violence have brought Iraq to the brink of breakup, and world powers relieved by the exit of divisive premier Nuri al-Maliki are sending aid to the hundreds of thousands who have fled their homes as well as arms to the Kurdish peshmerga forces.

Buoyed by the air strikes US President Barack Obama ordered last week, Kurdish forces are fighting to win back ground they had lost since the start of August, when the jihadists went back on the offensive north, east and west of the city of Mosul, capturing the dam on August 7.

(...EDITED)

Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: milnews.ca on August 18, 2014, 17:30:37
Interesting source of support for airstrikes (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/08/18/pope-francis-force-iraq_n_5688628.html) ....
Quote
Pope Francis on Monday endorsed the use of force to stop Islamic militants from attacking religious minorities in Iraq but said the international community — and not just one country — should decide how to intervene.

Francis also said he and his advisers were considering whether he might go to northern Iraq himself to show solidarity with persecuted Christians. But he said he was holding off for now on a decision.

(....)

On Iraq, Francis was asked if he approved of the unilateral U.S. airstrikes on militants of the Islamic State who have captured swaths of northern and western Iraq and northeastern Syria and have forced minority Christians and others to either convert to Islam or flee their homes.

"In these cases, where there is an unjust aggression, I can only say that it is licit to stop the unjust aggressor," Francis said. "I underscore the verb 'stop.' I'm not saying 'bomb' or 'make war,' just 'stop.' And the means that can be used to stop them must be evaluated."

But, he said, in history, such "excuses" to stop an unjust aggression have been used by world powers to justify a "war of conquest" in which an entire people have been taken over.

"One nation alone cannot judge how you stop this, how you stop an unjust aggressor," he said, apparently referring to the United States. "After World War II, the idea of the United Nations came about: It's there that you must discuss 'Is there an unjust aggression? It seems so. How should we stop it?' Just this. Nothing more." ....
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: Thucydides on August 18, 2014, 22:35:12
So long as the present administration is only willing to use half measures, then the situation with ISIS (ISIL or IS, depending on what source you use) will continue to deteriorate. It is interesting to see who the new regional power players are and the sorts of alignments that are evolving; Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States with the Sunnis, Egypt and Isreal working together to contain Hamas. As their interests align against Iran and the Shia's, things will change in the Middle East in ways we probably won't recognize or like much:

http://www.the-american-interest.com/blog/2014/08/16/the-agony-of-obamas-middle-east-policy/

Quote
The Agony of Obama’s Middle East Policy

As Nouri al-Maliki agreed to step aside earlier this week, and even though the U.S. doesn’t have a lot of confidence (“muted enthusiasm”) in his replacement, President Obama’s reluctant re-engagement with Iraq continued. It has been agonizingly painful for the man who made opposition to the war in Iraq the cornerstone of his national political appeal and who trumpeted his withdrawal from Iraq as a mission accomplished to recommit U.S. forces to the country, but President Obama has had little choice.

With Maliki is gone, his choices get harder. The biggest problem is going to involve the fight against ISIS. So far, the administration’s strategy seems to have three main components: bomb ISIS when it goes on the offensive beyond its current holdings, arm the Kurds, and use the carrot of more aid to persuade the Baghdad government to do a somewhat less awful job of running the country—less discrimination against Sunnis, less politicization of the army.

The trouble is that all these strategies so far are half hearted—and hedged about with the typical hesitations, restrictions and cautionary measures that are the hallmark of this president’s foreign policy style. Bomb ISIS—but not too much. Help the Kurds—a little. Those policies are more likely to produce a stalemate than anything else, and at this point, a stalemate is a huge ISIS win. Every day ISIS controls huge chunks of territory is another day that hundreds and thousands of radicalized militants will see the ‘caliph’ as their leader. It is another day of collecting taxes, training fighters, teaching bearers of Western passports to carry the fight back into their home countries and otherwise building the legend of ISIS. It is also another day in which ISIS can go on slaughtering moderate Sunni opponents in Syria.

The core problem with President Obama’s strategy isn’t, in this case, the ‘split the difference’ approach that undermined his administration’s effectiveness in Afghanistan and elsewhere. It’s about substance. The only way to beat ISIS and bring about some kind of stability in the Middle East is to reach out to conservative Sunni forces who favor stability. In Iraq, this would be the tribal leaders and military figures responsible for the Anbar Awakening. In Syria and Lebanon it is a combination of the remnants of the sane wing of the Syrian opposition with the forces who support people like Hariri in Lebanon. Ultimately, it is about working with Saudi Arabia and the UAE to stabilize the Sunni world.

This is probably the safest and the most practical course for American policy, but it’s likely that a solid U.S. commitment to this strategy would alienate Iran. The Obama administration up until now has consistently put the goal of reaching an accommodation with Iran ahead of its relationship with traditional allies in the region. This hasn’t produced a nuclear deal, much less a workable grand geopolitical bargain, but it has allowed negotiations to go forward—albeit at great cost to American influence in the rest of the Middle East.

Now, however, this always difficult balancing act is getting more expensive. Without the serious support of Sunnis in Iraq and Syria, ISIS cannot be crushed. But the Sunnis are feeling betrayed at the moment—by the Obama Administration’s record of hot words and cold deeds in Syria, and by its abandonment of the Iraqi Sunnis as part of the cut and run strategy in Obama’s first term.

History has handed President Obama one great opportunity after another, but he keeps throwing them away. Had he worked harder with Iraqi Sunnis early in his administration, his predecessor could have had the blame for the war while President Obama could have reaped the rewards of a stabilizing Iraq. Had he moved hard against Assad early on, Iran would have been under tremendous pressure to reach a compromise with the US—or watch its entire regional position collapse. Even in the last two months, the willingness of the Saudis and Egyptians to work with Israel offered an unprecedented opportunity for a different and much more productive approach to the peace process and to Israel’s relations with the Arab world.

It’s not clear how many more opportunities President Obama will have.
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: S.M.A. on August 19, 2014, 11:20:14
Seems these air strikes are not merely just "pinpricks" as mentioned earlier in this thread...

Defense News (http://www.defensenews.com/article/20140818/DEFREG02/308180011/US-UK-Leadership-Warn-Iraq-Mission-Won-t-Quick-US-Escalates-Air-Offensive)

Quote
US, UK Leadership Warn Iraq Mission Won't be Quick; US Escalates Air Offensive
Aug. 18, 2014 - 02:32PM   |   By PAUL McLEARY

(...SNIPPED)

But just 10 days later the White House sent a very different letter to Capitol Hill, in which it informed congressional leadership that the president had ordered the US military to “conduct targeted airstrikes to support operations by Iraqi forces to recapture the Mosul Dam,” which had fallen to the Islamist group about two weeks ago.

From Aug. 8 to 17, 35 of the 68 airstrikes conducted in Iraq were launched “in support of Iraqi forces near the Mosul Dam,” the US Central Command said in an Aug. 18 statement, with most of those coming in the past three days.

The 38 airstrikes over the past three days, including the 35 near Mosul in the fierce fight over the dam, were buttressed early Monday morning by Twitter posts from journalists in the area who reported jets circling overhead during continued fighting between Iraq and Kurdish forces and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).

(...SNIPPED)

Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: S.M.A. on August 19, 2014, 21:26:24
ISIL/ISIS demonstrates their barbarism again:

Military.com (http://www.military.com/daily-news/2014/08/19/isil-beheads-us-journalist-over-iraq-airstrikes.html?comp=1198882887570&rank=1)

Quote
ISIL Beheads US Journalist over Iraq Airstrikes

Aug 19, 2014 | by Brendan McGarry
Video surfaced late Tuesday that purportedly shows Islamic militants beheading an American journalist in response to U.S.-led airstrikes in Iraq.

James Foley, who once worked for the Defense Department's Stars and Stripes newspaper, among other outlets, was killed by militants affiliated with the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, the al-Qaida inspired Islamic group that controls portions of Iraq and Syria, according to video posted on social-media websites.
The news was later reported by other news and intelligence organizations.

(...EDITED)

Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: Hamish Seggie on August 19, 2014, 21:48:39
Ah yes - Vlad and his allies the Poles....

(https://Army.ca/forums/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fun2kmu.files.wordpress.com%2F2009%2F09%2Fimpaler.gif&hash=f3ccb2351764c89a7bd3fe4d63d5b1c8)

We need to ressurrect old Vlad......and let him loose on the barbarians...... >:D
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: S.M.A. on August 19, 2014, 22:28:36
After James Foley was beheaded, it seems another western journalist is in ISIS hands...  :o

Reuters (https://ca.news.yahoo.com/islamic-state-says-beheads-u-journalist-holds-another-004045768.html)

Quote
Islamic State says beheads U.S. journalist, holds another

By Alexander Dziadosz and Oliver Holmes

BAGHDAD/BEIRUT (Reuters) - Islamic State insurgents released a video on Tuesday purportedly showing the beheading of U.S. journalist James Foley, who had gone missing in Syria nearly two years ago, and images of another U.S. journalist whose life they said depended on U.S. action in Iraq.
The video, titled "A Message To America," was posted on social media websites. It was not immediately possible to verify its authenticity.

(...EDITED)


At the end of the video, words on the side of the screen say "Steven Joel Sotloff" as another prisoner in an orange jumpsuit is shown on screen.
"The life of this American citizen, Obama, depends on your next decision," the masked man says.

(...EDITED)
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: Infantryman2b on August 20, 2014, 09:40:14
Things like this make me sick. Even more so that the killer spoke with a British accent. The fact that they have more people probably means were going to hear of a few more of these. RIP Foley, you didn't deserve that kind of death.
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: jollyjacktar on August 20, 2014, 09:46:18
The British estimate that they believe there are at least 500 British nationals amongst the terrorists.  I hope they won't be so bloody stupid to let them back into the country down the road.
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: S.M.A. on August 20, 2014, 11:09:37
The campaign against ISIS continues:

Military.com (http://www.military.com/daily-news/2014/08/19/iraqi-military-clashes-with-militants-in-tikrit.html?comp=7000023317843&rank=9)

Quote
Iraqi Military Clashes With Militants in Tikrit

BAGHDAD — Skirmishes broke out Tuesday between Iraqi security forces and militants on the outskirts of Tikrit, a local official and a resident said, a day after the Iraqi and Kurdish troops backed by U.S. airstrikes dislodged Islamic militants from a strategic dam in the country's north.
The United Nations refugee agency, meanwhile, said it is launching one of its largest aid pushes aimed at helping close to a half million people who have been forced to flee their homes by the violence in Iraq.
The clashes in Tikrit, some 130 kilometers (80 miles) north of Baghdad, began on the militant-held city's southwestern outskirts when a military convoy was travelling along the main highway that links Baghdad with the northern provinces, they said. The Iraqi military shelled militant positions inside and outside the city.

(...SNIPPED)


Military.com (http://www.military.com/daily-news/2014/08/20/more-us-airstrikes-against-isil-at-mosul-dam.html?comp=7000023317843&rank=1)

Quote
More US Airstrikes Against ISIL at Mosul Dam

Aug 20, 2014 | by Richard Sisk

U.S. warplanes continued airstrikes against Islamic militants around the Mosul dam following the recapture of the key facility by Kurdish and Iraqi forces, U.S. Central Command said Tuesday.

One airstrike destroyed a checkpoint used by fighters of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, CentCom said. A second airstrike against an unspecified target was unsuccessful, CentCom officials said in a statement.

The additional airstrikes were in support of Kurdish and Iraqi forces that were expanding their control of the area following the recapture of the dam on Monday, the Pentagon said.

(...EDITED)

Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: S.M.A. on August 20, 2014, 21:43:45
More boots on the ground? Plus it's been revealed that the US military actually attempted a rescue of the 2 journalists held hostage by ISIS in Syria:

Defense News (http://www.defensenews.com/article/20140820/DEFREG04/308200033/US-Weighs-Sending-Up-300-Troops-Iraq-Security)

Quote
US Weighs Sending Up To 300 Troops To Iraq for Security
Aug. 20, 2014 - 08:17PM   |   By AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

WASHINGTON — The United States is weighing sending up to 300 troops to Iraq to reinforce security at American diplomatic installations, a senior US official said Wednesday.

“We are considering sending fewer than 300,” the official said, saying it was in response to a State Department request for additional security personnel.

The request comes amid an intensifying US air campaign against Islamist militants in Iraq and follows the murder by Islamic State militants of US journalist James Foley.

IS has threatened to kill a second hostage US journalist, Steven Sotloff, unless US President Barack Obama changes course.

(...EDITED)


Defense News (http://www.defensenews.com/article/20140820/DEFREG04/308200041/US-Attempted-Rescue-American-Hostages-Syria?odyssey=mod_sectionstories)

Quote
US Attempted Rescue of American Hostages in Syria
Aug. 20, 2014 - 08:16PM   |   By AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

WASHINGTON — US personnel recently tried to rescue American hostages held in Syria by the so-called Islamic State (IS) but failed, the Pentagon and White House said Wednesday, a day after the militants released a video of a US reporter being beheaded.

“The United States attempted a rescue operation recently to free a number of American hostages held in Syria by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (IS),” Pentagon spokesman Rear Admiral John Kirby said in a statement.

“This operation involved air and ground components and was focused on a particular captor network within ISIL (IS).

“Unfortunately, the mission was not successful because the hostages were not present at the targeted location.”

(...EDITED)

Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: S.M.A. on August 21, 2014, 13:50:45
Not a good idea allying with a group normally classified as terrorists, IMHO.

 :facepalm:

From Reuters via Yahoo Finance (https://ca.finance.yahoo.com/news/chinas-fifth-generation-fighter-could-153834567.html)

Quote
'Terrorists' help U.S. in battle against Islamic State in Iraq

By Isabel Coles
MAKHMUR Iraq (Reuters) - Washington has acquired an unlikely ally in its battle against Islamic State militants in Iraq - a group of fighters it formally classifies as terrorists.

The outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), condemned for its three-decade insurgency against the Turkish state, says it played a decisive role in blunting the militants' sweep through Iraq, which triggered U.S. air strikes to halt their advance.
"This war will continue until we finish off the Islamic State," said Rojhat, a PKK fighter speaking from a hospital bed in Arbil, the capital of the Kurdish region in Iraq.

The involvement of the PKK has consequences not only for rival Kurdish factions who failed to stop the Islamic State's advance, but also for Turkey and the international community, which is being lobbied by the PKK to drop the terrorist tag.

(...EDITED)

Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: Transporter on August 21, 2014, 14:16:10
Not a good idea allying with a group normally classified as terrorists, IMHO.

 :facepalm:

From Reuters via Yahoo Finance (https://ca.finance.yahoo.com/news/chinas-fifth-generation-fighter-could-153834567.html)

The enemy of my enemy is my friend.
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: Thucydides on August 24, 2014, 22:26:00
US policy collapse in the region. The administration was so totally pout of touch with the reality on the ground that they were operating in Donald Rumsfeld's "Unknown Unknown's" region. The sheer arrogance of dismissing ISIS as a "Junior Varsity" team is only the tip of the iceberg of how wrong their assumptions were. The question is, how to get back to the knowns?

http://pjmedia.com/richardfernandez/2014/08/23/paradigms-lost/?print=1

Quote
Paradigms Lost
Posted By Richard Fernandez On August 23, 2014 @ 2:03 pm In Uncategorized | 147 Comments

The administration’s abrupt transition from complacency to near panic on the rise of ISIS recalls Donald Rumsfeld’s famous dictum. But before the dictum, first the panic. The New York Times [1] captures the sudden shift in attitude in its opening paragraphs of an article by Mark Mazzetti and Helene Cooper:

Earlier this year, President Obama likened the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria to a junior varsity basketball squad, a group that posed little of the threat once presented by Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda.

But on Thursday, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel called ISIS an “imminent threat to every interest we have,” adding, “This is beyond anything that we’ve seen.”


Now there was no more talk of amateur opponents. Indeed the media outlets were playing up ISIS threats to the president’s hometown of Chicago [2].  The rest of the NYT Mazzetti-Cooper article examined the debate over the seriousness of the threat without reaching a conclusion.  Donald Rumsfeld [3] warned there would be days like this: a man must always expect the unexpected.

Reports that say there’s — that something hasn’t happened are always interesting to me, because as we know, there are known knowns; there are things that we know that we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns, the ones we don’t know we don’t know.

There are things we do not know and NPR [4] said the failed rescue of James Foley “reveals the challenges faced by US intelligence”. Yet at least it was, to the intelligence community at least, a known unknown.

The U.S. doesn’t really have much in the way of assets on the ground there. The U.S. is allied with the Free Syrian Army. That’s the group that’s fighting the Assad government. But they apparently provide very little in the way of really good intelligence. So instead, and the secretary of defense alluded to this, the intelligence community has to figure out what’s going on by cobbling together information from cell phone calls, Internet traffic and the surveillance from overhead drones.

President Obama’s earlier dismissal of ISIS in January falls into a  much more serious category. In an interview with David Remnick of the New Yorker [5], he boasted that there were now no significant threats worth considering. Al Qaeda had been “decimated.” When Remnick challenged that claim,  pointing  out that the Black Flag was flying over Fallujah, the president famously waved it off. He characterized ISIS as a “jayvee” or junior varsity team, not even to be taken seriously.

“The analogy we use around here sometimes, and I think is accurate, is if a jayvee team puts on Lakers uniforms that doesn’t make them Kobe Bryant,” Obama said, resorting to an uncharacteristically flip analogy. “I think there is a distinction between the capacity and reach of a bin Laden and a network that is actively planning major terrorist plots against the homeland versus jihadists who are engaged in various local power struggles and disputes, often sectarian.”

In retrospect it was clear Obama didn’t know the true state of affairs. He didn’t even suspect he had got it wrong; it was an “unknown unknown” to him. And not just in some insignificant detail but an error lurking in the facts which made up the very cornerstone of his strategic thinking. The Remnick article clearly illustrates just how critical the mistakes were. Remnick recounted:

Obama told me that what he needs isn’t any new grand strategy—“I don’t really even need George Kennan right now”—but, rather, the right strategic partners. “There are currents in history and you have to figure out how to move them in one direction or another,” Rhodes said. “You can’t necessarily determine the final destination. . . . The President subscribes less to a great-man theory of history and more to a great-movement theory of history—that change happens when people force it or circumstances do.” (Later, Obama told me, “I’m not sure Ben is right about that. I believe in both.”) …

At the core of Obama’s thinking is that American military involvement cannot be the primary instrument to achieve the new equilibrium that the region so desperately needs. …

Ultimately, he envisages a new geopolitical equilibrium, one less turbulent than the current landscape of civil war, terror, and sectarian battle. “It would be profoundly in the interest of citizens throughout the region if Sunnis and Shias weren’t intent on killing each other,” he told me. “And although it would not solve the entire problem, if we were able to get Iran to operate in a responsible fashion—not funding terrorist organizations, not trying to stir up sectarian discontent in other countries, and not developing a nuclear weapon—you could see an equilibrium developing between Sunni, or predominantly Sunni, Gulf states and Iran in which there’s competition, perhaps suspicion, but not an active or proxy warfare.


Now that the Sunni/Shi’a civil war has made a mockery of his “equilibrium” and Homeland Security prepares to defend Chicago, the analytic problem is better presented in the reverse: what didn’t the president get wrong? His foreign policy isn’t in need a tweak or a tuneup; in fact the question now is whether any parts of it can still be salvaged. He can’t drive it to the used car lot and sell it to someone else. The best he can do is tow it to the junkyard.

To salvage anything he has to go back to the known knowns. Like a man in a swimming pool who belatedly realizes that he can’t swim, his first step must be to extend his foot to see if he can reach bottom. If not, then where is the nearest gutter?  The problem is the floundering man in the pool had introduced himself as the next Michael Phelps.  Now he has to save himself without letting on.

The administration is caught between demoralization and the need to maintain appearances. More broadly, this is true of the left as a whole in this moment of crisis. Try as they might, the left can’t think of a way to reverse the catastrophes of their making because, like a bad leak that can’t be addressed by a washer change, the fault lies behind their wall.  To fix things they’re going to have to rip everything out and start almost from the beginning.

The attraction of Ferguson was it offered them momentary escape into a re-enaction of the Old Days. Freedom Rider and all that. But it’s 2014 and not 1964 and when Ferguson fades, ISIS and Putin and the recession will still be there. Neither Obama nor the Left can handle the truth, so they won’t handle it.

Therefore they will remain transfixed, in a state compounded of fear, nervous laughter, bravado and denial, until a hit big enough comes along to snap them out of it. But the fear is there. It was there even when Remnick interviewed Obama in January. Like a man feeling the first indefinite symptoms of a disease, he must have guessed something was wrong and already thinking of how to shift the blame.

“One of the things that I’ve learned to appreciate more as President is you are essentially a relay swimmer in a river full of rapids, and that river is history,” he later told me. “You don’t start with a clean slate, and the things you start may not come to full fruition on your timetable.”

Rumsfeld would have guessed Obama would look for someone to blame, for that was a known known. The catastrophes and cascade of failures had one simple cause in his universe: someone else.  The buck stops there. His predecessor had dropped the baton in the relay race of history and it was his sad duty to be the victim. Whatever betide, whatever befall,  remember: he could have been a contender.

Article printed from Belmont Club: http://pjmedia.com/richardfernandez

URL to article: http://pjmedia.com/richardfernandez/2014/08/23/paradigms-lost/

URLs in this post:

[1] New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/23/us/politics/us-isnt-sure-just-how-much-to-fear-isis.html?_r=0
[2] Chicago: http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2014/08/22/ominous-tweet-connects-isis-threat-in-chicago/
[3] Donald Rumsfeld: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/There_are_known_knowns
[4] NPR: http://www.npr.org/2014/08/21/342228835/failed-foley-rescue-reveals-challenges-faced-by-u-s-intelligence
[5] David Remnick of the New Yorker: http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2014/01/27/going-the-distance-2?currentPage=all
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: S.M.A. on August 25, 2014, 01:45:55
Not sure if this British tabloid is to be believed, but if true, those ISIS terrorists had better be scared, VERY scared.

Mirror (http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/sas-special-forces-forming-hunter-4097083#ixzz3BNM86XNy)

Quote
SAS and US special forces forming hunter killer unit to 'smash Islamic State'

Elite British and US special forces troops are forming a hunter killer unit called Task Force Black – its orders: “Smash the Islamic State.”

The undercover warriors will aim to “cut the head off the snake” by hitting the command structure of the Islamist terror group responsible for a trail of atrocities across Iraq and Syria, reports the Sunday People.

PM David Cameron has told the SAS and UK spy agencies to direct all their ­resources at defeating IS after a video of US journalist James Foley being beheaded shocked the world.

British special forces will work with America’s Delta Force and Seal Team 6.
The move sees a rebirth of top secret Task Force Black, which helped defeat al-Qaeda terrorists in Iraq .

(...EDITED)
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: ShadyBrah on August 25, 2014, 02:03:49
Not sure if this British tabloid is to be believed, but if true, those ISIS terrorists had better be scared, VERY scared.

Mirror (http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/sas-special-forces-forming-hunter-4097083#ixzz3BNM86XNy)

Thank god. To me it seems like IS is begging the world to go after them.. Let it happen.
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: S.M.A. on August 25, 2014, 14:05:55
Enough hinting and continue striking the terrorists!

Defense News (http://www.defensenews.com/article/20140824/DEFREG02/308240006/Sen-Graham-Hints-Future-Strikes-Against-Islamic-State)

Quote
Sen. Graham Hints at Future Strikes Against Islamic State
Aug. 24, 2014 - 09:15PM   |   By AARON MEHTA

  CHICAGO — As the Obama administration weighs further action against the Islamic State, one of the top defense voices on the Hill is sending clear signals he expects action soon.

“To the terrorists organizations who wish us harm, we’re about to come after you again, all over, and we’re gonna beat you, yet again,” Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said during an Aug. 23 speech at the National Guard Association of the United States annual conference in Chicago.

“You can’t be war weary at a time when those that wish to destroy your life are just getting started,” he said later in his speech. “We may be tired of fighting them but they’re not tired of fighting us. But let me tell you how this movie ends: they lose, we win.”

The use of the phrase “all over” is notable, as speculation abounds about potential military actions in Syria to help combat the movement of the Islamic State, also known as ISIL, following the execution of American journalist James Foley.

(...EDITED)

Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: E.R. Campbell on August 26, 2014, 09:19:30
Michael Bell, a knowledgeable observer, offers a pessimistic look at the West's "Hobson's choice" viz a viz IS in this article which is reproduced under the Fair Dealing provisions of the Copyright Act from the Globe and Mail:

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/globe-debate/at-most-we-can-prevent-the-worst/article20199916/#dashboard/follows/
Quote
(https://Army.ca/forums/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fbeta.images.theglobeandmail.com%2Fmedia%2Fwww%2Fimages%2Fflag%2Fgam-masthead.png&hash=19ff3553db0adc5a5af34a8cb80569c3)
At most, we can prevent the worst

MICHAEL BELL
Special to The Globe and Mail

Published Tuesday, Aug. 26 2014

Michael Bell is adjunct professor of political science at the University of Windsor, and also teaches at Carleton University. He served as Canada’s ambassador to Jordan, Egypt and Israel.

We are today eyewitness to butchery unseen in the Arab world in living memory. We are witness to the dramatic rise of the organization known as ISIS, ISIL and more recently as the Islamic State, an outgrowth of al-Qaeda equipped with a still more extreme commitment and zeal, determined to create a regionwide Caliphate based on a perverse interpretation of Islam.

These militants are devoid of any notion of tolerance toward the other, thus justifying the wholesale slaughter of those who fail to conform to their absolutist beliefs. Hence, for example, the near-obliteration of the Yazidi and Christian communities of Iraq, already staggering under persecution by Islamic radicals. Hence the Islamic State’s military success against those whose motivation, as with the Iraqi armed forces, is questionable or whose organization and cohesion are vulnerable, including the moderate opposition in Syria.

The absolutism and intolerance of fundamentalism are inherent in the Islamic State’s belief system: Violence is justified, indeed required, to cleanse society in the name of the most holy.

The IS phenomenon has grown and flourished through the turmoil of internecine wars. These were unleashed in Iraq by the U.S. invasion in 2003 under the neo-conservative principles of George W. Bush (supported at the time by Stephen Harper, then in opposition) who appears to have believed he could turn that country into an American Garden of Eden.

In Syria, chaos was induced in 2011 by the noble, but ill-fated, attempt to bring a pluralist and rights-based Arab Spring to that country. The Islamic State is but the most extreme representation of the radical fragmentation that resulted. This terror group now controls large swathes of western and central Iraq and virtually all of eastern Syria. Although conglomerate anti-IS forces seem to have stabilized the war front in parts of Iraq, the group’s expansion continues. Islamic State forces last week took partial control of the Tabqa airbase in eastern Syria, the last such facility east of Aleppo still held by the Assad regime.

Sadly, the enthusiasts of neo-conservatism and the Arab Spring were naive and misguided in their expectations. The record is clear: The bulk of Western policy-makers and analysts have been disastrously overambitious in their expectations of “a better world.” When they look at the Middle East, concerned outsiders should focus on what, in the cold light of reality, can be achieved. To go beyond that is an indulgence because it legitimizes our own belief system. We have an obligation not to leave matters worse than we found them through ill-thought-out policies and practices.

No matter how well-intended, Western interventions have not proven themselves viable. We have little if any understanding of the loathing and disdain that permeate communities in that tortured region. Given the appalling nature of regimes such as those of Saddam Hussein, we have been faced with a Hobson’s choice governed by ethnicity and ideology that yield overriding narratives in their most radical form. This is a zero-sum game. The choice between the old autocracies and the situation today is not one to be envied, more obviously so as the situation continues to deteriorate.

One is left asking whether democratic pluralism is the answer to the problems of the Middle East. The old dictators maintained cohesion, however forced, and predictability, at whatever cost, for their citizenry.

Is there anything we can do at this stage to better the situation? Transformational change is an impossibility. But we do have humanitarian responsibilities to mitigate the worst. The need for relief screams out with, for example, more than one million refugees in small Jordan alone. This means food, housing, health care, education and emigration, where it can be accommodated – a not inconsiderable challenge but in part, at least, achievable.

Humanitarianism goes beyond traditional definitions: Jordan must be underwritten, despite its autocracy, because it cares for so many and its location is so strategic. The front line of Kurdish-controlled northern Iraq must be stabilized and its forces supplied with armaments, weaponry intelligence and air support. Further, to combat the Islamic State in Syria, short of supporting Bashar al-Assad – which is not going to (and should not) happen – efforts must be made to consolidate and arm the moderate, if problematic, opposition, directing them first and, for the present, foremost against the IS.

In other words, the person bearing ultimate responsibility for shaping the Western response to a situation he did not create, U.S. President Barack Obama, is therefore caught in the ultimate Catch-22 : as the dictionary says, “a dilemma from which there is no escape because of mutually conflicting or dependent conditions.”


I agree, broadly and generally, with Prof Bell: whatever we do is going to be wrong.

I stand by my broad prescription:

     1. Isolate the entire region (the Islamic Crescent) (only a few exceptions, including: Israel, Jordan, Malaysia) in social, political and economic terms; and

     2. Use diplomatic and propaganda tools to ferment internal dissatisfaction within Islamic societies.

I believe that only the Muslims, themselves, can decide their own fate.

I suspect that American strategy is almost entirely driven by domestic, partisan political concerns and we ought to mistrust the US in all foreign affairs questions.
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: Kilo_302 on August 26, 2014, 10:08:30
We're so horrified at what ISIS are doing but at least someone found the time (in the middle of a giant LAV sale) to "rebuke" Saudi Arabia. The level of ignorance over this is astounding, and it's not being helped by the less than stellar reporting of the media. The Saudis created ISIS with US help to fight Assad in Syria. Not a year ago, McCain was chomping at the bit to bomb Assad and send weapons to Syrian rebels, and now he's calling for the US to bomb ISIS in Syria. "And the wheels on the bus go round and round, round and round...." It would be laughable if it weren't so tragic, the US is once again fighting it's own creation in Iraq.

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/22/world/middleeast/saudi-arabia-executions-draw-rebukes.html?_r=0 (http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/22/world/middleeast/saudi-arabia-executions-draw-rebukes.html?_r=0)


Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: PanaEng on August 26, 2014, 11:26:52
You and a lot of other ppl keep lumping "Syrian Rebels" all together - out of a dozen-and-a-half different groups the int orgs had a hard time keeping up on their background, intentions, allegiances, etc. and whether they would survive or not or get assimilated by another group. So it was hard to figure out who to support but, also, that support was slow to materialize once we figured out who was reliable and gave too much time for ISIS to grow and assimilate most of the other groups.
We're so horrified at what ISIS are doing but at least someone found the time (in the middle of a giant LAV sale) to "rebuke" Saudi Arabia. The level of ignorance over this is astounding, and it's not being helped by the less than stellar reporting of the media. The Saudis created ISIS with US help to fight Assad in Syria. Not a year ago, McCain was chomping at the bit to bomb Assad and send weapons to Syrian rebels, and now he's calling for the US to bomb ISIS in Syria. "And the wheels on the bus go round and round, round and round...." It would be laughable if it weren't so tragic, the US is once again fighting it's own creation in Iraq.

Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: Hamish Seggie on August 26, 2014, 11:34:19
I agree with ERC - cordon the area off and let them sort it out despite my barbaric nature.

They'll figure it out eventually
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: Jed on August 26, 2014, 11:47:40
Yes, I agree with Jim and ERC as well. Picket and bypass.
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: Kilo_302 on August 26, 2014, 11:54:49
You and a lot of other ppl keep lumping "Syrian Rebels" all together - out of a dozen-and-a-half different groups the int orgs had a hard time keeping up on their background, intentions, allegiances, etc. and whether they would survive or not or get assimilated by another group. So it was hard to figure out who to support but, also, that support was slow to materialize once we figured out who was reliable and gave too much time for ISIS to grow and assimilate most of the other groups.

None of this changes the fact that Saudi Arabia and the US had a direct hand in creating ISIS. Saudi Arabia has encouraged them to go into Iraq as a counter to Iran and the US was using them as a counter to Assad.
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: E.R. Campbell on August 26, 2014, 12:00:21
When I say isolate, I mean exactly that: no travel to or from the region (Tel Aviv and Amman excepted, and, yes, I include NATO ally Turkey in my isolation zone) ... a Canadian want to go a visit his/her sick granny in Damascus? (S)he goes to Amman and then tries to convince the Jordanian police that (s)he ought to be allowed to cross into, and far, Far, FAR more difficult, cross back from Syria. The multibillionaire Emir of something or other wants to go to London for medical treatment? Sorry, mate, try Cairo. Students want to study in Australia, Britain, Canada, Germany or the USA? Sorry, boys and girls, try Tehran. Real, honest to god refugees are crying to get into the West? Sorry, folks, wait in line in the camps in Chad.

Embassies? Yes. Big ones in Jerusalem, Amman and Kuala Lumpur, a few small ones, little better than consulates, in Ankara, Cairo, Baghdad, and a few other capitals: listening posts, at best.

Sell arms? Sure. Give arms? Never!
 
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: George Wallace on August 26, 2014, 12:04:09
Yes, I agree with Jim and ERC as well. Picket and bypass.

No accepting of Refugees or Immigrants from those nations, as well.
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: S.M.A. on August 26, 2014, 12:10:46
No accepting of Refugees or Immigrants from those nations, as well.

What about those who are already here? They will strongly oppose and lobby against such a policy. And don't underestimate the financial resources of many of the immigrants from Gulf states who came on the investor immigrant status.
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: George Wallace on August 26, 2014, 12:27:38
What about those who are already here? They will strongly oppose and lobby against such a policy. And don't underestimate the financial resources of many of the immigrants from Gulf states who came on the investor immigrant status.

The vast majority of immigrants from those nations have been in Canada and the US of A for quite some time and are are of all Faiths.  The vast majority of them do not agree with the barbarians, nor have any affiliation with them.  Although they are silent for the most part, some are starting to speak out against the barbarians.   Many in fact already do accept such a policy.  They did not immigrate to Western nations to become terrorists.  They came to better their lives and those of their children.

If you seriously propose we not take those measures and allow the barbarism to escape those nations and spread their madness to Western nations, then you are promoting their beliefs by your apathy.   Our Charter of Human Rights unfortunately is too lenient in its interpretation of discrimination and Hate crimes, often favouring a minority faction, even if it may be a faction that wants to deny similar Rights to others.  Time to wake up and call a barbarian what they are; a "Barbarian".

There currently are no reliable resources or agencies in those nations that are trustworthy enough to properly conduct any form of Security or Criminal checks to verify anyone's identity, nor their criminal or terrorist affiliations.  Are you seriously suggesting that we ignore this and allow all to pass through our 'gates'? 

It may seem inhuman, but it is insane not to. 
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: Fishbone Jones on August 26, 2014, 13:42:01
None of this changes the fact that Saudi Arabia and the US had a direct hand in creating ISIS. Saudi Arabia has encouraged them to go into Iraq as a counter to Iran and the US was using them as a counter to Assad.

This is not time to play the blame game. That'll be for historians to write.

It is the time, now, to try sort the situation out. As ERC says, and I'll paraphrase in case someone doesn't get it, 'Lock them down, let them kill each other until we have a winner'.

Once we have a winner, we'll decide whether we can trust\ work with them, or if we have to kill them too.

As these fundamentalist groups gain power they become a world wide threat. They have one cause in mind. They cannot be reasoned with. They want one thing and that is total world wide capitulation to their beliefs or death to those that won't capitulate. In other words, they wish to enslave the world and there are no negotiations or half measures, for them. You with them 100% or your dead.

'What ifs' will not suffice. If not checked, by a mass kill off, they will get here eventually, and start spreading their hate and violence, wholesale as they are over there.

I'll not stand by, thinking my grandson may have to live like that. I do not hate Muslims or the religion of Islam. However, the fundamentalists are neither. They are a deadly wave of cancer that need to be slaughtered wholesale.

With even one left alive, the cancer will reoccur, spread and start killing everything around it once more.
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: ShadyBrah on August 26, 2014, 14:09:50
I get a strange look every time I say "wipe them all out" but it's becoming the only option. You can Kill every top dog, and blow up every base, convoy, and training location, but time and time again somebody will take the reigns to keep their mission going.

At this point it might be easier to weed out the innocent and the sane, remove them from the country. Then blow the remaining to bits. 
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: S.M.A. on August 26, 2014, 14:11:01
The vast majority of immigrants from those nations have been in Canada and the US of A for quite some time and are are of all Faiths.  The vast majority of them do not agree with the barbarians, nor have any affiliation with them.  Although they are silent for the most part, some are starting to speak out against the barbarians.   Many in fact already do accept such a policy.  They did not immigrate to Western nations to become terrorists.  They came to better their lives and those of their children.

If you seriously propose we not take those measures and allow the barbarism to escape those nations and spread their madness to Western nations, then you are promoting their beliefs by your apathy.   

I am only concerned (terrified actually) about the minority who do agree with the barbarians and often are complicit in funding sympathizer organizations or the terror organization themselves.  Some of these sympathizers can hide in academia and in minority communities, only raising their voice in certain mosques (such as the notorious Al-Sunnah Al-Nabawiah Mosque in Montreal (http://army.ca/forums/index.php/topic,107637.msg1320944.html#msg1320944)) or at anti-Israel protest rallies.  :o

However, finding them would a problem for law enforcement and other appropriate authorities, I suppose.

And I am not apathetic to what you said...I actually agree with you about being more stringent in limiting immigration from that region.
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: George Wallace on August 26, 2014, 14:20:28


At this point it might be easier to weed out the innocent and the sane, remove them from the country. Then blow the remaining to bits.

Sorry, but that is not unfeasible.  There is no legitimate and credible organization (Law Enforcement, Government) in those countries that would be able to validate the credentials of these "innocent and sane" people.  To accept them at "their word" would only be opening the doors for agents and sympathizers of ISIS and other terror organizations who want to destroy the West.
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: ShadyBrah on August 26, 2014, 16:13:33
Sorry, That was meant to be sarcastic. But it wouldn't be a bad idea IMO, if it was at all possible ;)
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: Chris Pook on August 26, 2014, 16:34:27
Sorry, but that is not unfeasible.  There is no legitimate and credible organization (Law Enforcement, Government) in those countries that would be able to validate the credentials of these "innocent and sane" people.  To accept them at "their word" would only be opening the doors for agents and sympathizers of ISIS and other terror organizations who want to destroy the West.

Which is why the French were right in Algeria in the 1800s and the Brits were right in the Gulf States in the 1700s.  In both instances the problem was pirates hijacking trade in the general vicinity. If the locals can't maintain law and order then somebody else has to do it for them - whether they like it or not. The USMC is proud enough of their "shores of Tripoli" and their Mameluke sword - but those are only tokens of a raid conducted by the US.  It had no lasting effect - much like modern US foreign policy.
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: GR66 on August 26, 2014, 16:48:25
The reason we shouldn't intervene is that we can't "win" vs. radical Islam.  We can destroy some of the symptoms (IS leaders, concentrations of troops, etc.) but just like in the Palestinian Territories, or Afghanistan, or Pakistan, we are only cutting heads off the hydra.  To really "defeat" the radicals you need to eliminate the general pool of the population they are coming from. 

We outsiders from the non-Muslim West cannot do that.  Only the Muslim world can do it once they become fed up enough with their hatred and violence to turn on them and destroy them...and change their culture and political structures enough to prevent their re-emergence as a serious threat. 

As heartless as it may seem we should sit back and let them sort it out among themselves.  That's not to say we should do absolutely nothing.  We should tighten our security to prevent attacks on our homeland.  We should recognize a "firewall" of relatively moderate states/groups in and surrounding the area that we can support against the radicals (humanitarian aid, training, sales of weapons, even airstrikes against high-value assets controlled by the radicals) to prevent the spread of the radicals into the non-Muslim World.  We should strike and strike HARD in retaliation for any attacks on our homeland.  We should NOT however put boots on the ground in combat.  Let the moderate Muslim world face their own extremists.  Let them pay the price in blood that will make them say that "never again" will they let this cancer grow within their society. 
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: George Wallace on August 26, 2014, 17:10:25
At the same time we have to totally blockade those countries.  NO ONE in or out.  No MORONS from: the media, tourists, NGOs, Doctors Without Frontiers, etc. ........NO ONE goes in and no one comes out.  NOTHING comes out.   No radio.  No news.  No telephone.  No television.  No internet.   Nothing. 

I would also advocate that the WEST and other sympathetic nations not supply arms, supplies, medicine or any other form of aid to those nations.  The blockade must be total, or it will fail.

Unfortunately, the ignorant amongst us will cry out that we are being racist, inhuman, uncaring, and so many other names; and try to show mercy to those who want to kill us.   

As Jungle said:  "Damned if we do, damned if we don't."
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: Chris Pook on August 26, 2014, 17:19:21
Forget the altruism for a minute and focus on whether or not we can afford to let a third of the planet go to seed and disrupt our way of life. 

At a certain point it no longer is an issue of whether or not they're eating themselves.  It is whether or not they are biting us.

Sometimes you just have to get into the swamp with the alligators because they leave you no other option.

I agree entirely there is no "winning".   The RCMP haven't won in the west despite being here since 1873.  In fact they are constantly increasing their numbers and being aided by "auxiliary" (apologies to all concerned) forces in every major city and town and province and reservation.  Not to mention mall watchmen and the occasional ACP foray by the CF (eg Batoche).

The Royal Navy, in large part, gained its public support because it cut down the frequency with which crews of unsavoury characters - a mixture of Berbers, Morisco, Spaniards, Basques, French, Dutch, Scots and English - operated out of the Moroccan ports of Sallee and Rabat in the 16 and 1700s.  The British Army had its first offshore garrison in Tangiers for exactly the same reason.  Gibraltar was captured in large part to ensure passage of merchant traffic to the Levant.

There is no winning.  That doesn't mean the effort shouldn't be made.

I haven't won in my own backyard.  I still have to cut the grass and shovel the ruddy snow on a continuing basis.  :(  Unfortunately I have to do it or figure on paying somebody else to do it.

Insh'Allah.



Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: George Wallace on August 26, 2014, 17:28:17


I haven't won in my own backyard.  I still have to cut the grass .......


Pave it.


 ;D
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: Chris Pook on August 26, 2014, 17:55:40
Pave it.


 ;D

Like it  ;D

How about glass?

(https://Army.ca/forums/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fmedia-cache-ec0.pinimg.com%2F736x%2F9f%2F04%2F13%2F9f0413e30c249ec94f8c58d1bfb215c9.jpg&hash=4424c9916e8099558243610beb357685)
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: Humphrey Bogart on August 26, 2014, 18:24:08
Forget the altruism for a minute and focus on whether or not we can afford to let a third of the planet go to seed and disrupt our way of life. 

At a certain point it no longer is an issue of whether or not they're eating themselves.  It is whether or not they are biting us.

Sometimes you just have to get into the swamp with the alligators because they leave you no other option.

I agree entirely there is no "winning".   The RCMP haven't won in the west despite being here since 1873.  In fact they are constantly increasing their numbers and being aided by "auxiliary" (apologies to all concerned) forces in every major city and town and province and reservation.  Not to mention mall watchmen and the occasional ACP foray by the CF (eg Batoche).

The Royal Navy, in large part, gained its public support because it cut down the frequency with which crews of unsavoury characters - a mixture of Berbers, Morisco, Spaniards, Basques, French, Dutch, Scots and English - operated out of the Moroccan ports of Sallee and Rabat in the 16 and 1700s.  The British Army had its first offshore garrison in Tangiers for exactly the same reason.  Gibraltar was captured in large part to ensure passage of merchant traffic to the Levant.

There is no winning.  That doesn't mean the effort shouldn't be made.

I haven't won in my own backyard.  I still have to cut the grass and shovel the ruddy snow on a continuing basis.  :(  Unfortunately I have to do it or figure on paying somebody else to do it.

Insh'Allah.

Oustanding Post!  One of the best I have read on here  :salute:
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: jollyjacktar on August 26, 2014, 19:29:10
Like it  ;D

How about glass?

(https://Army.ca/forums/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fmedia-cache-ec0.pinimg.com%2F736x%2F9f%2F04%2F13%2F9f0413e30c249ec94f8c58d1bfb215c9.jpg&hash=4424c9916e8099558243610beb357685)

Perfect.
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: E.R. Campbell on August 26, 2014, 19:31:32
Forget the altruism for a minute and focus on whether or not we can afford to let a third of the planet go to seed and disrupt our way of life. 

At a certain point it no longer is an issue of whether or not they're eating themselves.  It is whether or not they are biting us.

Sometimes you just have to get into the swamp with the alligators because they leave you no other option.

I agree entirely there is no "winning".   The RCMP haven't won in the west despite being here since 1873.  In fact they are constantly increasing their numbers and being aided by "auxiliary" (apologies to all concerned) forces in every major city and town and province and reservation.  Not to mention mall watchmen and the occasional ACP foray by the CF (eg Batoche).

The Royal Navy, in large part, gained its public support because it cut down the frequency with which crews of unsavoury characters - a mixture of Berbers, Morisco, Spaniards, Basques, French, Dutch, Scots and English - operated out of the Moroccan ports of Sallee and Rabat in the 16 and 1700s.  The British Army had its first offshore garrison in Tangiers for exactly the same reason.  Gibraltar was captured in large part to ensure passage of merchant traffic to the Levant.

There is no winning.  That doesn't mean the effort shouldn't be made.

I haven't won in my own backyard.  I still have to cut the grass and shovel the ruddy snow on a continuing basis.  :(  Unfortunately I have to do it or figure on paying somebody else to do it.

Insh'Allah.


All right, let's suppose you and Jungle are, at the very least, partly right and we have to do something ...

What are our interests in the Islamic Crescent?

     1. Oil ...
               (https://Army.ca/forums/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.silverbearcafe.com%2Fprivate%2F11.10%2Fimages%2Fnigelmaund102010A.jpg&hash=0d916f33b047829909736d64a2080195)

        We, the West (if it has adult leadership), can "take" the oil in Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, UAE, etc, etc ... it will require a bit of killing and recolonization, with the sort of long, very, very long term
         internal security bill that implies. We can leave the oil in Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan to the Chinese, and they are, equally, welcome to do a deal with Iran.

     2. Religious - which really means social and cultural - reformation and enlightenment which can be advanced by the neocolonization and (consequential) suppression (by killing, mainly) of Wahhabism and related sects.

But, let's not fool ourselves: the whole Islamic Crescent* (less than ¼ of the world) offers little of use to the other 75%, except for oil. Most are culturally backwards, to be charitable, and they are unlikely, in the lifetime of your great, great grandchildren, to get much better. So we can have the oil, we can manage the people - we just need the right attitude. But we cannot make them into liberal or even conservative democrats and there's no point in  trying. We can teach them to obey the rules of a civilized society ... we can domesticate (teach (limited) 'rules' to) a wolf, if we work at it long enough.


Edit: typo
_____
* (https://Army.ca/forums/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fupload.wikimedia.org%2Fwikipedia%2Fcommons%2F8%2F8d%2FMadhhab_Map2.png&hash=d592ff977fb360bb851d857f7d044a11)
   The Islamic Crescent: all the coloured bits


Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: cupper on August 26, 2014, 21:11:47
This should clarify the whole Syrian Opposition thing.

 ;D
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: Chris Pook on August 26, 2014, 21:47:15

All right, let's suppose you and Jungle are, at the very least, partly right and we have to do something ...

What are our interests in the Islamic Crescent?

     1. Oil ...
               (https://Army.ca/forums/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.silverbearcafe.com%2Fprivate%2F11.10%2Fimages%2Fnigelmaund102010A.jpg&hash=0d916f33b047829909736d64a2080195)

        We, the West (if it has adult leadership), can "take" the oil in Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, UAE, etc, etc ... it will require a bit of killing and recolonization, with the sort of long, very, very long term
         internal security bill that implies. We can leave the oil in Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan to the Chinese, and they are, equally, welcome to do a deal with Iran.

     2. Religious - which really means social and cultural - reformation and enlightenment which can be advanced by the neocolonization and (consequential) suppression (by killing, mainly) of Wahhabism and related sects.

But, let's not fool ourselves: the whole Islamic Crescent* (less than ¼ of the world) offers little of use to the other 75%, except for oil. Most are culturally backwards, to be charitable, and they are unlikely, in the lifetime of you great, great grandchildren, to get much better. So we can have the oil, we can manage the people - we just need the right attitude. But we cannot make them into liberal or even conservative democrats and there's no point in  trying. We can teach them to obey the rules of a civilized society ... we can domesticate (teach (limited) 'rules' to) a wolf, if we work at it long enough.

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* (https://Army.ca/forums/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fupload.wikimedia.org%2Fwikipedia%2Fcommons%2F8%2F8d%2FMadhhab_Map2.png&hash=d592ff977fb360bb851d857f7d044a11)
   The Islamic Crescent: all the coloured bits


I'm not in disagreement with you on what those deserts offer.  Nor am I in disagreement with your general containment strategy.  Nor am I expecting the mob over there to change any time soon.  They haven't since before the Barbary Corsairs.

What I am suggesting is that the containment strategy can't be to retreat to our fortresses and wait for the Zombies to kill themselves off.  There needs to be a forward containment strategy.  By that I mean that we have to go back to the concept of safehavens and freeports - Calcutta, Singapore and Hong Kong come to mind. Muscat as well. Fort Churchill and York Factory.

We establish listening posts and trading points with the willing.  We ignore the rest.  Reset to the Honourable East India Company era and put all that Reforming Victorian nonsense behind us......

And be prepared to make pretty pictures in the sand if need be.  >:D
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: daftandbarmy on August 27, 2014, 02:22:00
Gordon was pretty keen on mixing it up in the Colonies vs. various crazy Mahdi types... until he had his head chopped off of course.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_George_Gordon

But then again that was in support of a recognized colonial administration based in a prominent European country. No real parallels these days so intervention can be difficult to justify in many cases.
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: Chris Pook on August 27, 2014, 11:02:26
Gordon was pretty keen on mixing it up in the Colonies vs. various crazy Mahdi types... until he had his head chopped off of course.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_George_Gordon

But then again that was in support of a recognized colonial administration based in a prominent European country. No real parallels these days so intervention can be difficult to justify in many cases.

Even with modern technology I wouldn't go anyplace near Khartoum, Darfur or Timbouctou.  Let the French keep swanning around those deserts if they want to.  I would stay close to tide water.

Edit to add: Although the Stans and Mongolia may be worth a higher level of risk - potentially mitigated by a more accomodating population and leadership.
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: E.R. Campbell on August 27, 2014, 11:19:15
Even with modern technology I wouldn't go anyplace near Khartoum, Darfur or Timbouctou.  Let the French keep swanning around those deserts if they want to.  I would stay close to tide water.

Edit to add: Although the Stans and Mongolia may be worth a higher level of risk - potentially mitigated by a more accomodating population and leadership.

Mongolia?  Really?

(https://Army.ca/forums/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.suvda.com%2Fimages%2Fmongolia_map.jpg&hash=572f78f7958e72365cf7ee84a77ac6d5)

Now, there are, I admit, some attractions in Mongolia ...

(https://Army.ca/forums/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fd1vmp8zzttzftq.cloudfront.net%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2F2012%2F07%2Fmongolians-women-651x453.jpg&hash=810eb1dfe9e122053f9ccb24dceaec62)

          ... but they are allied (I guess that's the right word) with:

(https://Army.ca/forums/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fchinamap.facts.co%2Fchinamap16.png&hash=a03a0654e76db72375ecad3177bbb042)

     Do we really want to poke a stick in that hornet's nest?
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: Chris Pook on August 27, 2014, 11:31:00
Maybe we don't want to be sending Drew (Royal or otherwise) and Infanteer off to Ulan Bataar in the near future.  But keeping open diplomatic and trade channels and offering support in talking shops doesn't seem to be an inherently aggressive poise.  Surely that can be accommodated by "civilized" nations?
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: E.R. Campbell on August 27, 2014, 11:41:57
Maybe we don't want to be sending Drew (Royal or otherwise) and Infanteer off to Ulan Bataar in the near future.  But keeping open diplomatic and trade channels and offering support in talking shops doesn't seem to be an inherently aggressive poise.  Surely that can be accommodated by "civilized" nations?


We're there ... we've had a real embassy in Ulan Bator (http://www.canadainternational.gc.ca/mongolia-mongolie/index.aspx?lang=eng) for several years now.  Minister Baird recently visited (http://www.international.gc.ca/media/aff/news-communiques/2014/07/24a.aspx).

According to an article in the Canadian Military Journal Vol. 10, No. 1, 2009 (http://www.journal.forces.gc.ca/vol10/no1/doc/06-mendee-eng.pdf) we have done some work together.

Hijack ends
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: Chris Pook on August 27, 2014, 12:46:34

We're there ... we've had a real embassy in Ulan Bator (http://www.canadainternational.gc.ca/mongolia-mongolie/index.aspx?lang=eng) for several years now.  Minister Baird recently visited (http://www.international.gc.ca/media/aff/news-communiques/2014/07/24a.aspx).

According to an article in the Canadian Military Journal Vol. 10, No. 1, 2009 (http://www.journal.forces.gc.ca/vol10/no1/doc/06-mendee-eng.pdf) we have done some work together.

Hijack ends

Point understood ..... http://www.canadainternational.gc.ca/mongolia-mongolie/bilateral_relations_bilaterales/index.aspx?lang=eng

A point underscored by this article ....http://www.worldsecuritynetwork.com/China-Asia/Brooke-James/Mongolia-Chinas-Canada

Perhaps this tangent is worth pursuing under the China thread or a separate one on Mongolia.
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: Oldgateboatdriver on August 27, 2014, 13:00:35
I suggest we all go back and re-read Asterix and the Black Gold: As they cross the desert, Asterix and Obelix keep bumping into tribes looking for one another for purpose of waring: Each tribe is looking for a different one (not A vs B and then B vs A, but A looking for B, who is looking for C, who is looking for D, etc.) Everyone's explanation: we don't like them.

But we must keep in mind also that all these middle east countries are currently hooked on oil revenue (best  proof: It is reported that ISIS is dealing with the Assad regime to sell them oil for revenue, which Assad then resells to the West.). This means that regardless of their "societal" situation or regime in place, they will sell oil to whoever wants to purchase it (and their internal market simply cannot absorb that much oil). Thus, the proposal of kirkhill - to basically establish enclaves for purpose of trading and concentrating on defending those plus the sea lanes of communications might be the best tool at this time to force the region into a review of its culture to bring it in line with modern ways, or otherwise let them get on within their realm.

Under such scenario, though, it would be absolutely necessary for the other nations to accept that they  would have to strictly refuse to provide arms/ammunition/ technology or advice. We would let them use their oil revenue to purchase food, water and raw material, but that is it: we would have to leave them to figure out what to do with it by themselves. IMO there are enough sufficiently educated and informed ordinary people in those countries that, once it is clear that the rest of the world is leaving them to their own device, they would get the courage to overthrow those "religious" nut bars and "evolve" Islam.
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: Chris Pook on August 27, 2014, 13:43:32
Quote
Hagel: Seven Nations Pledge Arms for Iraqi Kurds in Fight Against ISIL
   
   
(Source: US Department of Defense; issued August 26, 2014)
 
 
   
   WASHINGTON --- Seven nations have joined the United States and the Iraqi government with pledges to provide arms to Kurdish forces in northern Iraq where they are battling terrorists from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said today.

Albania, Canada, Croatia, Denmark, Italy, France and the United Kingdom “have committed to helping provide Kurdish forces urgently needed arms and equipment,“ Hagel said in a written statement as his spokesman, Navy Rear Adm. John Kirby was describing the threat from ISIL as “only going to grow.”

http://www.defense-aerospace.com/article-view/release/156510/us-details-kurdish-arms-aid.html

I'm not quite sure what I think about this .... especially in light of OGBD's point about denying the region arms generally. 

In 50,000 ft terms I agree with you,  OGBD. 

But....

In practical terms, dealing with people that could be positive "agents of change", like the Kurds and the Ukrainians, and who are faced with existential threats I'm supportive of supplying them assistance to survive against forces of chaos.

Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: S.M.A. on August 27, 2014, 17:21:35
Would supplying all those surplus MRAPs lying at some depot in the US or Afghanistan be one measure to counter this?

Defense News (http://www.defensenews.com/article/20140827/DEFREG04/308270020/Islamic-State-Relying-More-Suicide-Squads)


Quote
Islamic State Relying More on Suicide Squads
Aug. 27, 2014 - 03:04PM   |  By AWAD MUSTAFA
DUBAI — Militants with the Islamic State (IS) are increasingly relying on terror tactics and suicide squads, and the method was key in their recent capture of one of Syria’s largest air bases, experts say.

IS fighters captured the strategic Tabqa air base in the Raqqa province after raging battles since Aug. 19, tallying more than 170 members of government forces and over 360 IS fighters, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

The weeks of fighting for control of Tabqa air base has featured a terror strategy by a group of special IS fighters named “Inghimasy,” or infiltrators, who operate with a “ready-to-die” attitude, said Hassan Hassan, Syrian affairs expert and research associate at United Arab Emirates-based Delma Institute.

“The regime put a very good fight but [IS] has taken all the facilities in Raqqa surrounding the base,” Hassan said. “As the base became isolated, IS designated about 100 Inghimasy suicide bombers who weakened the defenses.”

(...EDITED)
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: YZT580 on August 27, 2014, 19:41:30
If you are going to put up a wall then the nations have to agree to boycott everything: especially including oil and other natural resources.  Absolutely no trade permitted by anyone and I have my doubts as to whether that can be pulled off.  There is always a China to a North Korea bridge that negates all efforts. 
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: tomahawk6 on August 27, 2014, 23:34:58
Boycotts dont work.You go after their bank accounts and hit them when they are in the open.Somehow we have to coordinate with Assad to strike them inside Syria.
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: E.R. Campbell on August 28, 2014, 07:59:08
Boycotts dont work.You go after their bank accounts and hit them when they are in the open.Somehow we have to coordinate with Assad to strike them inside Syria.


Actually boycotts can, have and still do work IF they are either very, very well targeted or comprehensive, but, I'm really concerned with the Hobson's choice which President Obama seems to have created for himself. Here we have the delightful prospect of large numbers of Arabs we dislike killing large numbers of other Arabs we don't like ... what's not to like? If ISIS wins we have a stronger, sadistic, implacable enemy, if Assad wins we have a stronger, murderous, equally implacable enemy. I would rather leave one to weaken the other, accepting that there is NO "good" or even "not so bad" outcome.
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: Thucydides on August 28, 2014, 10:02:16
We seem determined to do things the hard way.

For those people who are keen on a 7th century lifestyle, an application of EMP devices should be an appropriate response. Why allow them the convenience of 21rst century communications, transportation equipment, oil refineries and so on? It will be much harder for radical Islam to spread its message without the websites, Al Jezzera snuff videos or even radical Imans coming around and setting up shop in your neighbourhood. People without functioning electrical grids generally have a much lower GDP as well, giving them far fewer resources to work with.

And if there is a need to send in the Marines to deliver a hard smack to the head, they are not dealing with an asymmetric forces using cell phones and the internet to communicate and coordinate actions.
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: George Wallace on August 28, 2014, 11:14:42
We seem determined to do things the hard way.

For those people who are keen on a 7th century lifestyle, an application of EMP devices should be an appropriate response. Why allow them the convenience of 21rst century communications, transportation equipment, oil refineries and so on? It will be much harder for radical Islam to spread its message without the websites, Al Jezzera snuff videos or even radical Imans coming around and setting up shop in your neighbourhood. People without functioning electrical grids generally have a much lower GDP as well, giving them far fewer resources to work with.

And if there is a need to send in the Marines to deliver a hard smack to the head, they are not dealing with an asymmetric forces using cell phones and the internet to communicate and coordinate actions.

Now that is a BRILLIANT idea.  Thinking well outside of the box, and coming up with a brilliant and novel solution.  Brilliant. 
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: S.M.A. on August 28, 2014, 12:45:56
And Canada's not far behind in sending a 6 pack of CF18s, we hope?

Defense News (http://www.defensenews.com/article/20140828/CONGRESSWATCH/308280033/US-Lawmaker-Sees-UK-Australia-Turkey-Joining-Strikes-Islamic-State)

Quote
US Lawmaker Sees UK, Australia, Turkey Joining Strikes on Islamic State
Aug. 28, 2014 - 10:23AM   |   By JOHN T. BENNETT 

WASHINGTON — The American military may be joined by some familiar allies in its fight against a violent Sunni group in Iraq, says a senior US lawmaker.

Under orders from President Barack Obama, US warplanes have been striking Islamic State targets in northern Iraq for several weeks. Obama administration officials and security experts say what Obama has described as “targeted” and “limited” airstrikes might last months — or longer.

House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Rep. Ed Royce, R-Calif., says US fighter, bomber and armed drone aircraft soon could be joined by warplanes from some of Washington’s closest allies.

“There are about 100 ISIS fighters with US passports. And, as you’ve heard, there are probably 150 from Australia and over 1,000 from [Europe]. And so this is a concern,” Royce said Wednesday on CNN.

“I think this is what is driving the US, Turkey, Australia, Britain to look at, potentially, joint operations with respect to airpower against [Islamic State] targets,” Royce said.

(...EDITED)

Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: Thucydides on August 29, 2014, 18:11:05
An analysis of using political and economic power to put some existing military muscle in the region to work against the IS. Doubtful if this administration will do so, but the idea of various regional powers directly intervening isn't off the table, since they have some pretty clear existential issues with allowing the IS to remain in place regardless of US actions:

http://thefederalist.com/2014/08/25/if-you-want-to-stop-isis-here-is-what-it-will-take/

Quote
If You Want To Stop ISIS, Here Is What It Will Take
Killing the Islamic State requires neither more nor less than waging war
 
By Angelo Codevilla
AUGUST 25, 2014

The Islamic State’ video-dissemination of one of its goons beheading an American is an existential challenge from which we cannot afford to shrink. Until the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL/IS) did that, it made sense for the U.S. government to help contain it because the Islamic world, which the IS threatens most directly, must destroy it sooner or later. But internetting that beheading was a gory declaration of America’s impotence—a dare-by-deed that is sure to move countless young persons around the globe to get in on killing us, anywhere they can. The longer the Islamic State survives, the more will take up its dare. Either we kill the IS, or we will deserve the wave of terrorism that will engulf us.

Killing the IS requires neither more nor less than waging war—not as the former administration waged its “war on terror,” nor by the current administration’s pinpricks, nor according to the too-clever-by-half stratagems taught in today’s politically correct military war colleges, but rather by war in the dictionary meaning of the word. To make war is to kill the spirit as well as the body of the enemy, so terribly as to make sure that it will not rise again, and that nobody will want to imitate it.

That requires first isolating the Islamic State politically and physically to deprive all within it of the capacity to make war, and even to eat. Then it requires killing all who bear arms and all who are near them.

Why It’s Now Our Business

The Islamic State is a lot more than a bunch of religious extremists. Its diverse composition as well as its friends and enemies in the region define its strength and its vulnerabilities. Its dependence on outside resources, its proximity to countries with the capacity and incentive to strike serious blows, and its desert location, make its destruction possible with little U.S. involvement on the ground, and providing the United States uses its economic and diplomatic power in a decisive manner.

It would have been better for America not to have taken sides in that region’s reshuffling, or to have done so decisively in a manner that commanded respect.

Geopolitically, the creation of a Sunni Arab state in western Mesopotamia should not be any of America’s business. For a thousand years, Sunni Assyrian Arabs from the northwest have fought for exclusive control of that area, against countervailing pressure from Shia Persians from the southeast and their Arab co-religionists. All the while, Kurds held fast to their northern mountains. In recent centuries, the Ottoman Empire arbitrated that ancient contest. In 1801, Sunni Wahabis from the Saudi clan invaded present-day Iraq and inflicted horrors that surpass even today’s. In response, the Ottomans nearly wiped out the Saudis and tortured the Wahabi leaders in the main cities of the empire. It would have been better for America not to have taken sides in that region’s reshuffling, or to have done so decisively in a manner that commanded respect. Alas, U.S. administrations of both parties intervened fecklessly. We are reaping the results.

Now one of the parties to the struggle is making itself our business, and is doing so globally. We have to mind that business.

How to Command Respect Again

To kill IS, take note of its makeup: Sunni Wahabis from Saudi Arabia and the Gulf, Syrian Sunnis who rebelled against the Alewite regime of the Assad family, the Naqshbandi army constituted by the Ba’athist cadre of Saddam Hussein’s army and security services that fled to Syria in 2003, that ran the war against the U.S. occupation, and that now runs the IS military, plus assorted jihadis from around the world including the United States and Western Europe.

Breaking the hold of ISIS on the people it now rules will require a rude ‘awakening.’

Note, as well, that the IS did not have to exert much power to conquer Sunni majority areas in either former Syria or former Iraq. The people there want to be ruled by Sunni, unless they are given a compelling reason to accept something else. In former Iraq, the local Sunni tribes supported the Sunni Ba’athists’ fight against the Americans until, in 2006, the Shia death squads slaughtered them in such numbers as to lead these tribes to beg for a deal with the Americans. What the American spinners called “the Sunni awakening” resulted from the reality of imminent Sunni mass death. Breaking the hold of the IS on the people it now rules will require a similarly rude “awakening.”

Note the material sources of the Islamic State’s power: supplies from and through Turkey’s Muslim Brotherhood government, paid for largely with money from notables in Saudi Arabia and the Gulf, as well as from the government of Qatar. Beyond religious sectarianism, the motivation for this support is the Qataris’ and the Turks’ foreign policy seemingly based on promotion of Sunni political Islam wherever possible.

The first strike against the IS must be aimed at its sources of material support. Turkey and Qatar are very much part of the global economy—one arena where the U.S. government has enormous power, should it decide to use it. If and when—a key if—the United States decides to kill the IS, it can simply inform Turkey, Qatar, and the world it will have zero economic dealings with these countries and with any country that has any economic dealing with them, unless these countries cease any and all relations with the IS. This un-bloody step—no different from the economic warfare the United States waged in World War II—is both essential and the touchstone of seriousness. Deprived of money to pay for “stuff” and the Turkish pipeline for that stuff, the IS would start to go hungry, lose easy enthusiasm, and wear out its welcome.

Next, the Air War

Striking at the state’s belly would also be one of the objectives of the massive air campaign that the U.S. government could and should orchestrate. “Orchestrate.” Not primarily wage.

Saudi Arabia has some 300 U.S. F-15 fighter planes plus another hundred or so modern combat aircraft, with bases that can be used conveniently for strikes against the IS. Because Saudi Arabia is key to the IS’s existence, to any campaign to destroy it, and to any U.S. decision regarding such a campaign, a word about the Saudi role is essential.

Wahabism validates the Saudis’ Islamic purity while rich Saudis live dissolute lives—a mutually rewarding, but tenuous deal for all.
The IS ideology is neither more nor less than that of the Wahabi sect, which is the official religion of Saudi Arabia, which has been intertwined with its royal family since the eighteenth century, and which Saudi money has made arguably the most pervasive version of Islam in the world (including the United States). Wahabism validates the Saudis’ Islamic purity while rich Saudis live dissolute lives—a mutually rewarding, but tenuous deal for all. But increasingly, the Saudi royals have realized they are riding a tiger. Wahabi-educated youth are seeing the royals for what they are. The IS, by declaring itself a Caliphate, explicitly challenged the Saudis’ legitimacy. The kingdom’s Grand Mufti, a descendant of Ab al Wahab himself, declared the IS an enemy of Islam. But while the kingdom officially forbids its subjects from joining IS, its ties with Wahabism are such that it would take an awful lot to make the kingdom wage war against it.

American diplomacy’s task is precisely to supply that awful lot.

Given enough willpower, America has enough leverage to cause the Saudis to fight in their own interest. Without American technicians and spare parts, the Saudi arsenal is useless. Nor does Saudi Arabia have an alternative to American protection. If a really hard push were required, the U.S. government might begin to establish relations with the Shia tribes that inhabit the oil regions of eastern Arabia.

Day after day after day, hundreds of Saudi (and Jordanian) fighters, directed by American AWACS radar planes, could systematically destroy the Islamic State—literally anything of value to military or even to civil life. It is essential to keep in mind that the Islamic State exists in a desert region which offers no place to hide and where clear skies permit constant, pitiless bombing and strafing. These militaries do not have the excessive aversions to collateral damage that Americans have imposed upon themselves.

Destruction from the air, of course, is never enough. Once the Shia death squads see their enemy disarmed and hungry, the United States probably would not have to do anything for the main engine of massive killing to descend on the Islamic State and finish it off. U.S. special forces would serve primarily to hunt down and kill whatever jihadists seemed to be escaping the general disaster of their kind.

That would be war—a war waged by a people with whom nobody would want to mess. Many readers are likely to comment: “but we’re not going to do anything like that.” They may be correct. In which case, the consequences are all too predictable.

Angelo M. Codevilla is a fellow of the Claremont Institute, professor emeritus of international relations at Boston University and the author of To Make And Keep Peace, Hoover Institution Press, 2014.
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: S.M.A. on August 31, 2014, 11:27:07
For those here who denigrated Maliki's US-trained Iraqi Army for losing the first major battles against ISIS, it seems the Iraqi Army actually starting to make some headway against ISIS now:

Military.com (http://www.military.com/daily-news/2014/08/31/iraqi-forces-break-militant-siege-of-shiite-town.html?comp=1198882887570&rank=1)

Quote
Iraqi Forces Break Militant Siege of Shiite Town

Associated Press | Aug 31, 2014 | by Sinan Salaheddin

Iraqi security forces and Shiite militiamen on Sunday broke a six-week siege imposed by the Islamic State extremist group on the northern Shiite Turkmen town of Amirli, following U.S. airstrikes against the Sunni militants' positions, officials said.

Iraq Army spokesman Lt. Gen. Qassim al-Moussawi said the operation started at dawn Sunday and the forces entered the town shortly after midday.
Speaking live on state TV, al-Moussawi said the forces suffered "some causalities," but did not give a specific number. He said fighting was "still ongoing to clear the surrounding villages."

(...EDITED)

Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: Humphrey Bogart on August 31, 2014, 11:46:42
For those here who denigrated Maliki's US-trained Iraqi Army for losing the first major battles against ISIS, it seems the Iraqi Army actually starting to make some headway against ISIS now:

Military.com (http://www.military.com/daily-news/2014/08/31/iraqi-forces-break-militant-siege-of-shiite-town.html?comp=1198882887570&rank=1)

It was only a matter of time.... Speaking of which!

(https://Army.ca/forums/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fcdn3.vox-cdn.com%2Fassets%2F4627259%2F450715274.jpg&hash=5c3220b6aa1e2e8a0edc5e33620dbbd5)

When can I start wearing a fedora in uniform???  This guy is my new hero, bringing style to the battlefield, one dead jihadi at a time!
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: tomahawk6 on August 31, 2014, 12:08:24
The Turkmen were rescued by a combined force of Iraqi Army,Kurds,Shiaa militias[read IRG],US airpower and probably TF Black assets.
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: S.M.A. on August 31, 2014, 22:08:17
No German-made vehicles for the Kurds then? 

Shanghai Daily/Xinhua (http://www.shanghaidaily.com/article/article_xinhua.aspx?id=238543)


Quote
Germany decides to deliver arms to Iraq

BERLIN, Aug. 31 (Xinhua) -- Germany decided on Sunday to provide anti-tank missiles and machine guns to the Kurds in northern Iraq to support the fight against the Islamic State (IS), German media reported.

The decision was made after a meeting attended by German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier and Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen.

Germany will send 16,000 assault rifles, 40 machine guns, 240 bazookas, 500 anti-tank missiles and 10,000 hand grenades to the Kurds, said a statement by the German Ministry of Defence.

(...EDITED)
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: Colin P on September 02, 2014, 12:12:12
It was only a matter of time.... Speaking of which!

(https://Army.ca/forums/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fcdn3.vox-cdn.com%2Fassets%2F4627259%2F450715274.jpg&hash=5c3220b6aa1e2e8a0edc5e33620dbbd5)

When can I start wearing a fedora in uniform???  This guy is my new hero, bringing style to the battlefield, one dead jihadi at a time!

Love the NC Star laser over top of the scope. I await NC Star booth at SHOT stating; "Combat Proven hardware"
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: Infantryman2b on September 02, 2014, 15:37:46
http://news.nationalpost.com/2014/09/02/isis-releases-video-purportedly-showing-execution-of-american-journalist-steven-sotloff/

Steven Sotlof was reported to have been beheaded by the same masked ISIS militant. Another threat has been made that a Briton named David Cawthorne Haines will be the next to be executed if the airstrikes dont stop. ISIS isn't backing down and continue to grow stronger and bolder. Large scale conflict will eventually take place if we want to stop this group from forming a large hostile state capable of launching large scale attacks on the homefront and in the middle east.
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: ShadyBrah on September 02, 2014, 16:09:21
If we don't go get them, they will come get us. It's obvious at this point that there isn't a diplomatic solution, and relying on the problem to solve itself is just stupid.

Our armed forces are for the protection of our country and our interests, but that doesn't mean we have to wait for the threat to come to our front door before blasting them away..
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: jollyjacktar on September 02, 2014, 18:42:12
Amnesty International is now braying that ISIS are conducting industrial scale ethnic cleansing.  No sh1t Sherlock. 

Now that AI is blowing the whistle on the gig, I am sure that ISIS will cut it out and behave.   :sarcasm:
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: S.M.A. on September 02, 2014, 19:46:27
An article to add to what was said in the above post:

Quote
Business Insider (http://www.businessinsider.com/amnesty-international-report-isis-ethnic-cleansing-2014-9)

New Report Details The Horrific 'Ethnic Cleansing' By ISIS In Iraq

On Aug. 15, extremists from the group calling itself the Islamic State (ISIS or ISIL) forced Elias Salah, a 59-year-old nurse, and about 20 others into the back of a Kia pickup truck in the Iraqi village of Kocho. The passengers were grouped into a tight cluster and photographed.

And then, backs turned, they were shot. Salah was hit in the left leg, falling forward. He immediately played dead, waited until the group from ISIS left, and fled the area.

(...SNIPPED)

In its report, Amnesty portrays stories like Salah's as one of many horrors committed by ISIS, the group that brutally executed American journalist James Foley last month. Beginning in June, ISIS made sweeping advances to gain control of large areas in northern and western Iraq.

Since then, according to Amnesty, ISIS has since only June "targeted non-Arab and non-Sunni Muslim communities" indiscriminately, killing or abducting hundreds and possibly thousands. And at least 830,000 others have been forced to flee in the face of the group.

"The massacres and abductions being carried out by the Islamic State provide harrowing new evidence that a wave of ethnic cleansing against minorities is sweeping across northern Iraq,"
said Donatella Rovera, the author of the report.

(...EDITED)

What happened next, as he relayed to Amnesty, has become all too familiar. ISIS took the villagers to the edge of a hill and told them to convert to Islam. When they didn't, the militants opened fire.

(...END EXCERPT)

Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: cupper on September 02, 2014, 20:44:03
If we don't go get them, they will come get us. It's obvious at this point that there isn't a diplomatic solution, and relying on the problem to solve itself is just stupid.

Our armed forces are for the protection of our country and our interests, but that doesn't mean we have to wait for the threat to come to our front door before blasting them away..

And what would you propose that our (or any other) armed forces do that isn't being done already?
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: Rifleman62 on September 02, 2014, 22:17:41
The problem will be, whoever fights them, what do you do if some surrender or attempt to surrender? Multiple problems to be solved.
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: S.M.A. on September 03, 2014, 04:01:22
From wearing fedoras on patrol (http://army.ca/forums/index.php/topic,116188.msg1325193.html#msg1325193) to wearing bandanas on APCs...

(https://Army.ca/forums/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fcmsimg.defensenews.com%2Fapps%2Fpbcsi.dll%2Fbilde%3FSite%3DM5%26amp%3BDate%3D20140902%26amp%3BCategory%3DDEFREG04%26amp%3BArtNo%3D309020033%26amp%3BRef%3DAR%26amp%3BMaxW%3D640%26amp%3BBorder%3D0%26amp%3BWhite-House-350-More-US-Troops-Heading-Iraq&hash=2a3477300c1e57779384585d9e80c99e)

Iraqi soldiers wave to a humanitarian aid convoy en route to Amerli on Sept. 1 after Iraqi forces broke through to the jihadist-besieged Shiite town the previous day. (JM Lopez / AFP)

White House: 350 More US Troops Heading to Iraq

[defense news (http://www.defensenews.com/article/20140902/DEFREG04/309020033/White-House-350-More-US-Troops-Heading-Iraq)] - Sep. 2, 2014

Quote
President Obama has approved sending roughly 350 more US troops to Iraq, the White House announced on Tuesday.

The new troops will protect US diplomatic facilities and personnel in Baghdad, allowing some US troops already in Iraq to leave, according to a statement from the White House press secretary.

“These additional forces will not serve in a combat role,” the statement says.

Troop numbers in Iraq fluctuate, so although 763 US troops are on the ground now, that number will change by the time the additional 350 troops arrive, according to the Defense Department.
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: tomahawk6 on September 03, 2014, 10:29:10
This deployment will increase the number of US troops to 1000.The 22d MEU has been extended in the AO 3 weeks.

http://www.armytimes.com/article/20140902/NEWS/309020059/22nd-MEU-deployment-extension-unlikely-change-Marines-op-tempo-much-remains-flux

The 21-day extension of the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit is unlikely to affect the deployment schedule for other MEUs, Marine officials tell Marine Corps Times.

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel ordered the Camp Lejeune, North Carolina-based 22nd MEU, deployed with the Bataan Amphibious Ready Group, to remain at its current location in the 5th Fleet area, near the Persian Gulf, until the beginning of October, according to an Aug. 30 announcement from the Navy.
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: Rifleman62 on September 03, 2014, 13:42:00
T6. FOX News is reporting 1,213 with the additional 350 tasked to protect US diplomatic facilities and personnel in Baghdad.

Here is the latest from the "leader" of the free world:

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2014/09/03/conflicting-signals-obama-vows-to-destroy-isis-make-it-manageable/

OBAMA: 'Degrade and destroy' ISIS
— but let's keep it 'manageable'


PRESIDENT OBAMA SENDS seemingly conflicting signals Wednesday about his ultimate goal in the fight against ISIS — after the group released a video showing the beheading of an American journalist Steve Sotloff, inset — saying at a press conference in Europe that the aim is to 'degrade and destroy' the terror group — but moments later, claiming he wants to make it a 'manageable problem.'
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: tomahawk6 on September 03, 2014, 14:02:52
Maybe its my fuzzy math,but the numbers are fluctuating. ;)
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: Technoviking on September 05, 2014, 09:28:53
Now Canada is going to be sending some advisors....


Link (http://news.ca.msn.com/world/canada-to-send-military-advisers-to-counter-isis-in-iraq)

From the link, this line caught my eye:

Quote
"Obviously I think that's a red line for everybody here: no boots on the ground," (Kerry) said.​

It's only my opinion, but if our key deciding factor is whether or not we have "boots on the ground", then we are bound to fail, because the other side has absolutely no qualms about having boots on the ground, and that, my friends, is necessary to win wars.

Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: S.M.A. on September 05, 2014, 09:44:21
Good. Decapitating the ISIS leadership one by one.

NBC news (http://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/isis-terror/aide-isis-leader-among-3-killed-u-s-strike-iraqi-n195601)

Quote
Aide to ISIS Leader Among 3 Killed in U.S. Strike: Iraqi Official

Three senior members of the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) - including an aide to its leader - were killed in a U.S. airstrike in Iraq, a senior Iraqi security official told NBC News Thursday. The strike on the ISIS stronghold of Mosul killed Abu Hajar Al-Sufi, an aide to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, as well as an explosives operative and the military leader of nearby Tel Afar, the source said on condition of anonymity. Al Arabiya cited the Iraqi Defense Ministry saying Baghdadi's aide had been killed.

Pentagon Spokesman Col. Steve Warren could not confirm the deaths and said ISIS leaders had not been targeted. But he added that if ISIS leaders were embedded "inside troop formations they are likely to be killed." The U.S. has been carrying out airstrikes across the country's north after the brutal terror group gained ground in a murderous sweep in June. The U.S. and the West have stepped up their rhetoric against the group after what Obama's opponents said was a slow start in articulating a solution to the crisis.

(...EDITED)

Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: cryco on September 05, 2014, 10:04:05

Good luck to those going
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: PPCLI Guy on September 05, 2014, 18:02:15
It's only my opinion, but if our key deciding factor is whether or not we have "boots on the ground", then we are bound to fail, because the other side has absolutely no qualms about having boots on the ground, and that, my friends, is necessary to win wars.

No US or Western boots.  Boots from people who live in the neighbourhood and have the most to lose?  Absolutely.
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: Chris Pook on September 05, 2014, 18:06:41
No US or Western boots.  Boots from people who live in the neighbourhood and have the most to lose?  Absolutely.

Does that include "deniable" boots and "PSCs"?  Or are we just talking about uniformed combatants?

Just askin'.  :)
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: Journeyman on September 05, 2014, 19:44:34
Good. Decapitating the ISIS leadership one by one.
Yes, working through the High-Value Target Capture/Kill list failed miserably in Afghanistan; I'm sure it will work out brilliantly this time though.   :nod:



[Opinions / Informed opinions]  :not-again:
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: S.M.A. on September 05, 2014, 23:19:22
Some strange bedfellows in the fight against ISIS in Iraq:

Huffington Post (http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2014/09/04/islamic-state-qassem-suleimani_n_5764928.html)

Quote
The Shadowy Iranian General Who's Fighting 'With The US' Against Islamic State
The Huffington Post UK    | By Jack Sommers

(https://Army.ca/forums/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fi1.huffpost.com%2Fgen%2F2022012%2Fthumbs%2Fn-QASEM-SOLEIMANI-large570.jpg&hash=6649f91ce8d0205f3799ad8d1fac4340) 

The most powerful man in the Middle East you have never heard is on the frontline in Iraq fighting Islamic State (IS) - which is remarkable, and not just because he's 57.

The Iranian military mastermind Qassem Suleimani, who remains virtually unknown outside the region, has been photographed in Iraq with those fighting the Sunni militants of IS.

Suleimani commands the elite Quds Force, which is part of Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and helps Tehran wage covert operations abroad. Fighters from the Quds Force are believed to have already played a key role in boosting Bashar al Assad's government forces in next-door Syria by engaging in combat with various Syrian rebel groups - including IS.

In a supreme irony, common in the Middle East of late, Suleimani is officially designated a terrorist by the US government - but is now fighting a terrorist group that has murdered at least two US citizens - James Foley and Steven Sotloff - and has been bombed by the US air force.

This image surfaced on Twitter on Tuesday and is believed to show the shadowy Iranian general on the ground in Amerli, the northern Iraqi town besieged by IS for two months until it was routed by Iraqi forces earlier this week, with the assistance of US air strikes. The town is not far from the Iranian border.

 (https://pbs.twimg.com/media/Bwr6iEIIgAA29I7.jpg:large) 

The war against IS have set the stage for the the United States and Iran to become unlikely allies - 12 years after George W Bush included the country in his "axis of evil".

In a long New Yorker profile last year, Suleimani was dubbed "the Shadow Commander" for his role in Middle East wars and regional politics.

His influence in Iraq has been so great, he has previously been accused of "secretly running" the country.

Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: Kilo_302 on September 06, 2014, 05:12:52
Iran was eager to help the US during the opening phases of Enduring Freedom as well. They provided much of the HUMINT for US forces in the first few months, as Iran had had an intelligence presence on the ground for some time (they weren't fans of the Taliban either). George W. was so grateful he included Iran in the famous "Axis of Evil" State of the Union speech in early January 2002. That move has got to be one of the biggest foreign policy blunders of the decade, as 18 months later the US was on the ground in Iraq fighting a growing insurgency that was supported by Iran. A genuine warming of relations between the two could have potentially made post-war Iraq a far easier situation to deal with.
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: S.M.A. on September 07, 2014, 12:45:05
A hint of things to come?

Military.com (http://www.military.com/daily-news/2014/09/07/us-expands-isil-airstrikes-closer-to-syria-border.html?comp=7000023317843&rank=1)

Quote
US Expands ISIL Airstrikes Closer to Syria Border

Associated Press | Sep 07, 2014 | by Lolita Baldor
TBILISI, Georgia -- The U.S. military said Sunday it launched airstrikes around Haditha Dam in western Iraq, targeting Islamic State insurgents there for the first time in a move to prevent the group from capturing the vital dam.

The strikes represented a broadening of the U.S. campaign against the Islamic State militants, moving the military operations closer to the border of Syria, where the group also has been operating.

Speaking in Georgia where he's meeting with government and defense officials, U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said that if the dam were to fall into the militant's hands "or if that dam would be destroyed, the damage that that would cause would be very significant and it would put a significant additional and big risk into the mix in Iraq" including U.S. interests there.

(...EDITED)

Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: tomahawk6 on September 07, 2014, 12:55:20
Just trying to keep IS away from the dam.
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: Hisoyaki on September 07, 2014, 22:15:36
Much blame can be put on the shoulders of Maliki, but we (the "West") are certainly not without faults.

The polls indicate the US population is at best split on staying in Iraq. The rest of the Western world(including Canada) wanted nothing to do with Gulf War II. The people want out of the region. 

Iran, by contrast, will always be there.

US aid is always conditional--- even if a client country tiptoe the US line.A bunch of leftist fops might take power and demand the demise of a pro-western ally. This is essentially the story of the second Indochina war.

There is no sane leader that believes the US (and by extension the West) is a reliable ally. It's no wonder then that Iran is stepping in to fill the vacuum.

The US has made a commitment to the Iraqi people and it should make sure that democracy flourishes in Iraq, if only to maintain the credibility of future promises.

Supposing that a region-wide blockade is possible (it isn't --- if illegal immigration in the EU and US are any indicators.Not to mention, how do you sell this option to a leftist populace?),  --- there's no guarantee that something like a democracy will come out on top.
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: S.M.A. on September 08, 2014, 16:41:19
The air strikes continue in Iraq even as Obama weighs whether expanding them into Syria is politically feasible:

Reuters (http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/09/08/us-iraq-crisis-usa-idUSKBN0H204I20140908)

Quote
Obama expands air strikes against Islamic State in Iraq, stops siege of vital dam
By: Ned Parker and Phil Stewart, Reuters
September 9, 2014 12:23 AM

BAGHDAD/TBILISI - US warplanes carried out five strikes on Islamic State insurgents menacing Iraq's Haditha Dam on Sunday, witnesses and officials said, widening what President Barack Obama called a campaign to curb and ultimately defeat the jihadist movement.

Obama has branded Islamic State an acute threat to the West as well as the Middle East and said that key NATO allies stood ready to back Washington in action against the well-armed sectarian force, which has seized expanses of northern Iraq and eastern Syria and declared a border-blurring religious caliphate.

The leader of a pro-Iraqi government paramilitary force in western Iraq said the air strikes wiped out an Islamic State patrol trying to attack the dam - Iraq's second biggest hydroelectric facility that also provides millions with water.

(...EDITED)


Military.com (http://www.military.com/daily-news/2014/09/08/analysis-us-wary-over-hitting-syrian-militants.html?comp=7000023317843&rank=6)

Quote
Analysis: US Wary Over Hitting Syrian Militants


Associated Press | Sep 08, 2014 | by Zeina Karam
BEIRUT -- The U.S. and its allies are trying to hammer out a coalition to push back the Islamic State group in Iraq. But any serious attempt to destroy the militants or even seriously degrade their capabilities means targeting their infrastructure in Syria.

That, however, is far more complicated. If it launches airstrikes against the group in Syria, the U.S. runs the risk of unintentionally strengthening the hand of President Bashar Assad, whose removal the West has actively sought the past three years.

Uprooting the Islamic State group, which has seized roughly a third of Syria and Iraq, may potentially open the way for the Syrian army to fill the vacuum.

(...EDITED)
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: cupper on September 08, 2014, 19:07:38
Much blame can be put on the shoulders of Maliki, but we (the "West") are certainly not without faults.

The polls indicate the US population is at best split on staying returning in Iraq. The rest Most of the Western world(including Canada) wanted nothing to do with Gulf War II. The people want out of the region. 

Iran, by contrast, will always be there.

US aid is always conditional--- even if a client country tiptoe the US line.A bunch of leftist fops might take power and demand the demise of a pro-western ally. This is essentially the story of the second Indochina war.

There is no sane leader that believes the US (and by extension the West) is a reliable ally. It's no wonder then that Iran is stepping in to fill the vacuum.

The US has made a commitment to the Iraqi people and it should make sure that democracy flourishes in Iraq, if only to maintain the credibility of future promises.

Supposing that a region-wide blockade is possible (it isn't --- if illegal immigration in the EU and US are any indicators.Not to mention, how do you sell this option to a leftist populace?),  --- there's no guarantee that something like a democracy will come out on top.

Couple of points:

Although Canada publicly rejected any involvement in the invasion in 2003, behind the scenes diplomatic discussions and offers were made to provide support of the invasion.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/weston-canada-offered-to-aid-iraq-invasion-wikileaks-1.1062501

You should go back and review why the US pulled out of Iraq. It was the failure to get an agreement on the status of forces with the Iraqi government that resulted in the 2011 deadline being set by the Bush Administration.
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: Hisoyaki on September 09, 2014, 00:10:17
It is extremely hard to believe that the US could not have put enough leverage on a client state whose army was/is dependent upon its generosity.

Fact is, US public opinion was turning against the Iraq War well before the 2011 deadline. 
http://www.pollingreport.com/iraq2.htm

Leaving Iraq was a major point of Obama's campaign. Regardless of the SOFA, the USA elected a president whose major campaign theme was withdrawal from Iraq.Hardly the stuff that would encourage an iraqi to embrace and fight for the US cause.  The SOFA is a convenient if lame excuse to save face and placate opposition at home.

As Donald Rumsfeld puts it (in regards to Afghanistan, but the point is equally valid for Iraq):

Quote from:  Donald Rumsfeld
"...we have status of forces agreements, probably with 100, 125 countries in the world. This administration, the White House and the State Department have failed to get a status of forces agreement. A trained ape could get a status of forces agreement. It does not take a genius. We have so mismanaged that relationship."
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: S.M.A. on September 09, 2014, 09:54:10
Hmm. I wonder if we'll see Turkey participating in the air campaign soon?

Defense News (http://www.defensenews.com/article/20140908/DEFREG03/309080025/Hagel-Meets-Turkish-Leaders-Discuss-Fight-Against-Islamic-State)

Quote
Hagel Meets Turkish Leaders To Discuss Fight Against Islamic State
Sep. 8, 2014 - 05:33PM   |   By BURAK EGE BEKDIL

ANKARA — US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel met here Monday with Turkish dignitaries to discuss possible cooperation against the Islamic State, also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), an army of radical Islamists that took large swathes of Iraqi and Syrian territory in July and August.

Hagel met with Turkey’s top soldier, Chief of General Staff Gen. Necdet Ozel, at the military headquarters, before having further meetings with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu and Defense Minister Ismet Yilmaz.

Turkish officials said Hagel’s visit was a follow-up to Erdogan’s meeting with US President Barack Obama on the sidelines of the NATO Summit in Wales last week during which nine NATO countries, including Turkey, as well as Australia, discussed the formation of a core group to “destroy ISIL.”

(...EDITED)

Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: tomahawk6 on September 09, 2014, 11:40:05
Turkey will be content to watch from the sidelines.
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: S.M.A. on September 10, 2014, 12:57:42
A parallel update at the Syria superthread:

Obama making big speech tonight on how he will fight ISIS (http://army.ca/forums/index.php/topic,19326.msg1327161/topicseen.html#new)

Obama will make a big speech tonight on how he will fight ISIS at 9 pm EST, 6 PM Pacific on North American networks.
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: cupper on September 10, 2014, 20:09:56
Turkey will be content to watch from the sidelines.

Maybe not. There could be some unforeseen effects on the Turkish economy which could force them to make a larger effort to address the ISIS presence within their own borders.

Case in point, the company I work for is involved in several construction projects in Turkey which we are trying to get past the start line. Latest word is that a couple of those projects that are situated around Adana and Osmaniye near the Syrian border are delayed because contractors cannot ensure the safety of workers due to death threats and vandalism. Some of the incidents have supposedly been linked to militants who came across from Syria claiming to be refugees displaced by the civil war.
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: GAP on September 10, 2014, 22:44:18
They will just keep paying the bribes/blackmail they have been paying all along....for protection from attack
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: S.M.A. on September 11, 2014, 18:08:27
A decision to recommit US ground forces to Iraq that will prove unpopular no matter who is in the White House...

Why use ground troops when the Iraqi Army and the Kurds can do it in Iraq?

Military.com (http://www.military.com/daily-news/2014/09/11/opponents-say-obama-will-need-ground-troops-against-isil.html?comp=1198882887570&rank=1)

Quote
Opponents Say Obama Will Need Ground Troops Against ISIL

Stars and Stripes | Sep 11, 2014 | by Chris Carroll

WASHINGTON — Conservatives pushed back Thursday against President Barack Obama's contention that the United States can stabilize Iraq without committing U.S. troops to a ground combat role in the country.

In a speech to the nation Wednesday night, Obama outlined a strategy that called for increased U.S. air attacks in support of Iraqi forces, coupled with increased training of the Iraqi military. The president said 475 additional troops would be sent to support the more than 1,000 others already on the ground in noncombat roles.

The chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, Rep. Buck McKeon, R-Calif., dismissed what he called Obama "minimalist" plan to the defeat Islamic State insurgents with the focus on air power. McKeon predicted that even in an advisory role, U.S. troops would likely end up in the thick of the fighting and would ultimately need to more, including fighting alongside Iraqi units, helping them with logistics and communications, and aiding in holding ground taken from the Islamic State, group also known by the acronyms ISIL and ISIS.

"American boots will be standing on sand. Americans will be shot at, and they will be shooting back,"
McKeon said in prepared remarks to an audience at the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative Washington think tank. "There's simply no other way to do this."

(...EDITED)

Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: cupper on September 11, 2014, 20:45:15
They will just keep paying the bribes/blackmail they have been paying all along....for protection from attack

No, both contractors have pulled men and equipment off the site, and moved to jobs elsewhere in the country until things settle down.
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: S.M.A. on September 12, 2014, 18:30:29
In the wake of Turkey refusing to assist coalition forces in the campaign against ISIS in northern Iraq, the US is still able to make do with land-based aircraft, aside from the usual carrier aircraft from the USS George H. W. Bush currently conducting most of the air campaign.

Quote
US war planes to fly from Iraqi air base: Pentagon

Washington (AFP) - US combat aircraft will soon start flying out of a base in the Kurdish region of northern Iraq as part of a "more aggressive" air campaign against Islamic State jihadists, the Pentagon said Thursday.

The use of Arbil air base reflects the broadening US offensive against the IS militants, though attack helicopters already have been flying out of bases in Iraq.

Pentagon spokesman Rear Admiral John Kirby confirmed "armed and manned" US aircraft would fly from Arbil, capital of Iraq's autonomous Kurdish region, but declined to provide more details.

American fighter jets and other war planes bombing IS militants in Iraq previously have been flying out of bases and from aircraft carriers in the region outside Iraq.

(...SNIPPED)

Yahoo News (http://news.yahoo.com/us-warplanes-fly-iraqi-pentagon-184428488.html)

Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: S.M.A. on September 13, 2014, 23:26:29
The monsters at it again:

Reuters (http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/09/13/us-iraq-crisis-execution-idUSKBN0H80SE20140913)

Quote
Islamic State video purports to show beheading of UK hostage David Haines
BY OLIVER HOLMES AND NED PARKER
BAGHDAD Sat Sep 13, 2014 7:55pm EDT

(Reuters) - Islamic State militants fighting in Iraq and Syria released a video on Saturday which purported to show the beheading of British aid worker David Haines.

Reuters could not immediately verify the footage. However, the images were consistent with that of the filmed executions of two American journalists, James Foley and Steven Sotloff, in the past month.

Haines, a 44-year-old father of two from Perth in Scotland, was kidnapped last year while working for the French agency ACTED.

(...EDITED)

Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: S.M.A. on September 13, 2014, 23:44:20
Let's see if they'll use these effectively against ISIS/ISIL forces in Iraq:

Quote
Iraq's First Mi-28 'Havoc' Attack Chopper Has Taken To The Air

Iraq's first Mi-28 Havoc 'Night Hunter' attack chopper has taken flight in Iraq. These are some of the most heavily armed and capable attack helicopters in the world. Three were delivered alongside four new Mi-35 'Hind' attack helicopters from Russia as part of an expedited order placed to help fight the spread of ISIS.

The Mi-28NE is roughly analogous to the US Army's AH-64D Apache and is adapted to fight at night and in adverse weather conditions. The chopper is armed with a chin-mounted 30mm cannon and can carry up to 16 guided missiles as well as 40 unguided rockets or two gun pods. Igla air-to-air missiles, mine dispensers and bombs can also be carried.


(...SNIPPED)


Video of aircraft embedded at story link:

Jalopnik.com (http://foxtrotalpha.jalopnik.com/iraqs-first-mi-28-havoc-attack-chopper-has-taken-to-the-1634427850/+ballaban)

Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: S.M.A. on September 15, 2014, 23:46:15
The air campaign continues:

CNN (http://www.cnn.com/2014/09/15/world/meast/iraq-isis-us-airstrikes/index.html?hpt=hp_c2)

Quote
U.S. airstrike hits ISIS target near Baghdad, first in 'expanded efforts'
By Jim Sciutto and Catherine E. Shoichet, CNN
updated 10:20 PM EDT, Mon September 15, 2014

(CNN) -- A U.S. airstrike near Baghdad on Monday marked a new phase in the fight against ISIS.

The airstrike southwest of the city appears to be the closest the U.S. airstrikes have come to the capital of Iraq since the start of the campaign against ISIS, a senior U.S. military official told CNN. And U.S. Central Command said in a statement that it was the first strike as part of "expanded efforts" to help Iraqi forces on the offensive against ISIS.

Monday's airstrike destroyed an ISIS fighting position that had been firing at Iraqi forces, Central Command said.

(...EDITED)

Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: Technoviking on September 16, 2014, 07:51:38
No US or Western boots.  Boots from people who live in the neighbourhood and have the most to lose?  Absolutely.
If we feel threatened, then we ought to be there, 100%.  If we don't feel threatened, then it's a regional thing, and we stay out.


/opinion.
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: S.M.A. on September 16, 2014, 13:58:04
US General Dempsey hints about advisers "changing hats" to combat troops if the situation warrants it:

Quote
Yahoo Finance/Business Insider (https://ca.finance.yahoo.com/news/americas-top-military-officer-just-152210095.html)

America's Top Military Officer Just Opened The Door To A Bigger Role For US Ground Troops Against ISIS
Business Insider
US President Barack Obama is greeted by Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff U.S. Army General Martin Dempsey and U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel as he takes the stage for remarks at the Memorial Day observances at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia, May 27, 2013.
Martin Dempsey, the top US military officer, hinted Tuesday that he would consider recommending a more direct involvement of US ground troops in the military's ongoing campaign against the extremist group Islamic State (also ISIS or ISIL).

In testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee on Tuesday, Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, opened the door to US ground troops taking a more direct role in the conflict in a couple different situations.

First, he said if the situation escalated to the point where ISIS became a direct threat to the US homeland, he would recommend the use of ground forces on specific ISIS-held targets. And he speculated on certain missions in which ground troops might be necessary. For example, he said, he would recommend US military advisers currently in Iraq join Iraqi Security Forces in a theoretical mission to retake Iraq's second largest city of Mosul.


"To be clear, if we reach the point where I believe our advisers should accompany Iraqi troops on attacks against specific ISIL targets, I will recommend that to the president," Dempsey said.

(...EDITED)

Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: tomahawk6 on September 16, 2014, 13:58:41
General Dempsey embarrassed himself today before Congress.He characterized IS as fighting because of "grievances".Time to retire Martin.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5LIlGyAzs2c
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: S.M.A. on September 17, 2014, 13:44:45
While all eyes are on the conflict against ISIS, China is adding yet another oil source to feed its energy-hungry economy.

Source: Reuters (http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/09/17/us-iraq-crisis-kurds-china-exclusive-idUSKBN0HC1QD20140917)

 
Quote
Exclusive: Iraqi Kurdistan oil heads to Asia, in talks with China
BY RON BOUSSO, JONATHAN SAUL AND DAVID SHEPPARD
LONDON Wed Sep 17, 2014 11:33am EDT

(Reuters) - At least 3 million barrels of Iraqi Kurdish oil are on ships heading to Asia, with trade sources naming China as a possible destination as the autonomous region expands efforts to establish independent oil sales in defiance of Baghdad.

Two sources with knowledge of the matter said Iraqi Kurdistan was in talks to potentially supply China with 4 million barrels of oil.

Reuters was unable to identify the Chinese parties involved in the talks, which the sources declined to name, and it was not clear if the cargoes currently on the water were part of the discussions.

(...EDITED)

Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: S.M.A. on September 19, 2014, 11:15:42
While Hollande vacillates on whether the Mistral sale goes through, he certainly has gone ahead to join the US air campaign against ISIS:

CBC (http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/france-joins-u-s-airstrikes-in-iraq-wipes-out-isis-target-1.2771357)

Quote
France joins U.S. airstrikes in Iraq, wipes out ISIS target
France becomes 1st foreign country to publicly add military muscle to United States airstrikes

Joining U.S. forces acting in Iraqi skies, French fighter jets struck Friday against the militant Islamic State group, destroying a logistics depot, Iraqi and French officials said.

A pair of Rafale fighter jets accompanied by support planes struck in northern Iraq on Friday morning, and the target was "entirely destroyed," President Francois Hollande said. Four laser-guided bombs struck the Iraqi military installation that had been overrun by the militants, and hit a munitions and fuel depot, a French military official said, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss operational details.

Iraq's military spokesman said dozens of extremist fighters were killed in four strikes.

(...EDITED)


Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: NSDreamer on September 19, 2014, 13:14:43
I don't believe we should be sending in any "token" troops as 'advisers".  I don't believe that we should be sending in a "token" Battle Group either.  We have seen Western nations "come to the rescue" in far flung nations in Africa, the Middle East and South West Asia in the past two decades with little or no solution to the problems.  Somalia is still a hotbed for Al Queda today.  We see the spread of their barbarianism throughout Africa, North Africa through Syria to Iraq, reemerging in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and even whiffs of their spread outside of those confines.
 
The West has no stomach to fight this war on the same scale as the previous two World Wars.  Western nations have to be prodded to make the minimal of contributions to stop the spread of this barbarianism.  They prefer, in their current safety, to turn a blind eye and hope that the problem will disappear on its own.  It may already be too late, as witnessed in Europe, South West Asia, and a smaller scale in North America, to stop the spread.   

Do I agree that we should send in troops?  Not on the scale that our government currently has indicated.  I believe the only way will be for the West, all the West, to come out of their complacency and step up to committing millions of troops, as in the previous two World Wars, to totally eradicate the barbarians.  I look at what the West is doing now as only a "Band-aid" solution that will allow the problem to fester and grow.  Sadly, there is currently no will to commit millions of troops and the problem will grow and spread.

 I feel the same. Everyone stands up and says we remember what went in the wars before, Remembrance day is important among other reasons, because of the things we fought for like freedom and to stop Genocide. I can't help, but see these ongoing situations as a put up or shut up situation. People say it's a lot more complicated then that, but I think the only solution is to throw ourselves so far into into it, and dedicate ourselves so whole heartedly that the concept of total war re-occurs, and the only way to come out of it is to find a success.

TL:DR Idealism is only not practical, because people lack the will to follow through when it gets tough.
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: Thucydides on September 19, 2014, 14:55:50
Some historical perspective from 2008. You can gague how far we've come, what we gained and what we lost by comparing then to now:

http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/014/879jpiay.asp?nopager=1#!

Quote
Five Years On
The war for Iraq and its lessons.

Mar 24, 2008, Vol. 13, No. 27• By JULES CRITTENDEN

The war started with an odd bit of air turbulence just before dawn. A waffling and whining noise, ironically enough. Hardly remarkable. Anyone who wasn't listening for it might have missed it.
 
I had just woken up on the Kuwait-Iraq border in a sleeping bag laid out on an armored vehicle's lowered ramp. I looked at my watch. It was 0429 hours on March 20, 2003. George W. Bush's deadline for Saddam Hussein to quit Iraq had passed half an hour earlier.
 
On the desert floor, our miles-long armored column was parked directly under the air corridor the Tomahawk cruise missiles would travel to Baghdad. Colonel David Perkins, commander of the 2nd Brigade of the 3rd Infantry Division, had informed us they'd fly 350 feet over our heads. A few minutes later, I heard them.
 
They were otherworldly, like ghosts in flight. They'd be arriving in Baghdad shortly, lighting up the palace district with dramatic effect for the world to see on CNN. It sounded like 20 of them. When the last one had past, I burrowed back into my sleeping bag to doze a little more before stand-to was called.









More by Jules Crittenden
Harvard's Warriors
Barack Obama's Leading Indicator
A Time for Thanksgiving


We would arrive where those missiles were going in 19 days, after an epic movement through Iraq's western desert and combat along the Euphrates and Tigris, filthy and transformed by our experiences. I was a reporter embedded with A Company of the 4/64 Armor Regiment, 2nd Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division. Designated to lead the assault on Saddam's seat of power on April 7, 2003, our armored column attacked Baghdad at dawn. No one expected to see dusk. What we expected was Mogadishu writ large. The Americans would win, that was indisputable. But we, the first in, embarked on it without expectation of survival. We prepared to make a good run of it, stripping soft gear off the outside of the Bradley that might burn if we got hit, loading up on water and ammo. Smitty, the Bradley's 20-year-old radio operator, was bounced to make room for a psyops soldier and the amplifiers that would blast the "surrender" messages. Smitty was angry.
 
"I don't wanna stay back!" he said.
 
"Smitty," I said. "We're gonna get f--ing killed. You get to live. Be happy."
 
"If y'all gonna get killed, I wanna get killed with you," Smitty said.
 
Captain Wolford, the company commander, told me later that he was praying when he fell asleep and praying when he woke up that morning. "I had never done that before," he said.

I was the only one in the company who had a choice in the matter. But the question of whether to ride with one's friends, when one has a job to do, when one has made a commitment, is not much of a question at all. There was heavy fire that day and for two days after. A lot of people died. But not us. We lived, and learned some of the many lessons that war has to offer.

Things rarely happen as expected. Once you start, you have to finish. You don't get to be the same again. There is nothing much good about any of it, but winning is better than losing. And there is no such thing as a safe place to which you can withdraw. The fate of two reporters demonstrated that last point when they chose not to accompany the assault into Baghdad, considering it too dangerous. They were killed along with three American soldiers when an Iraqi missile struck the brigade's field headquarters south of Baghdad. Two cameramen, believing themselves safe in Baghdad's Hotel Palestine, were killed the next day when American tankers, my friends, mistook them for Iraqi forward artillery observers and fired.

We're five years into the war in Iraq now. Nearly 4,000 Americans and tens of thousands of Iraqis have been killed. Thousands more Americans and Iraqis have seen their lives shattered in what became the premier killing zone of a global war. But death and combat no longer make the front pages; the drama has been bled out of it, and the war has taken a back seat in the presidential campaign. Rather than maturing in time of war, the American people seem eager to put it out of mind.

After 1989, we were encouraged to believe that war was history. This illusion made the shock of 9/11 all the worse. Even then some people wanted to believe it was an aberration, something we had brought on ourselves and could fix with kind words and deeds. The ease of the Taliban's ouster then created the false impression that we had managed to reinvent war in a more palatable form.

In fact, all we've managed to do as a nation over six-and-a-half years of war is confuse ourselves. This is not a simple war to understand, and it has been going on for decades. It has expressed itself with everything from low-grade terrorism to conventional war to nuclear threats, across multiple continents, and with many, seemingly unconnected, adversaries. Just the part of it we call the Iraq war has involved many different, and not always distinct, adversaries in numerous, overlapping conflicts. Faced with this kind of complexity, it isn't so surprising that vague messages of "hope" and "change" resonate with the American public, and politicians vie for the right to own those terms.
 
The shallowness of the debate suggests our nation is in danger of failing the test of our time. The abstract circumstances of cause and consequence in this war have fostered an avoidance of reality in some quarters--and at some of the highest levels of our leadership, often quite nakedly for purposes of political gain. Would-be leaders would rather play to emotions than make the hard calculations that adulthood forces on us.
 
Iraq has become the central battlefield in the 21st century's Islamic war, and may have been destined to be, with or without us. Lying geographically, ideologically, and culturally athwart the Middle East, rich in resources and boiling with rage long before we got there, it is the place where the war will either be settled or truly begun. It is a fitting role for the cradle of civilization to host a war in which the very progress of civilization is being challenged.
 
While there were terrible errors made in going to war in Iraq, the decision to go to war was not one of them.
 
Saddam Hussein convinced the world he had active weapons programs. The evidence now suggests he didn't, but how active his programs were, ultimately, is irrelevant. He had demonstrated his desire to dominate the region. Our European allies were eager to do business with him despite their own intelligence reports. Absent any containment, there was potential for more terrible and far-reaching wars. It was inevitable that Iraq would undergo a post-Saddam power struggle with massive ethnic conflict and with interference by Iran and Syria. The question was, and remains, how much influence we would wield in that event.
 
Five years on, the threat Saddam Hussein posed to regional stability--global stability, if you consider the resources he sought to control--has been neutralized. The toll in American and Iraqi lives to date may well have averted a far worse toll, though we can yet get the full accounting if we withdraw precipitously. The deadly influence of Iran remains limited by our presence in Iraq and by the still somewhat credible threat to use force against its nuclear ambitions. Iraqi genocide and the remaking of the map of the Middle East to the benefit of the Islamic Republic of Iran remain potent what-ifs.

The side benefits of the 2003 invasion included a briefly more compliant Iran and capitulation by Libya. The beacon of democracy shined, with successful, if sometimes problematic, democracies emerging in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Lebanon and with democratic movements making gains elsewhere in the Islamic world. Even the Palestinians had a crack at it and have learned that choices come with consequences. Those parties most threatened by civil order find themselves increasingly marginalized within the larger Islamic world, from Hamas in Gaza, to Syria and Hezbollah in Lebanon, to the Pakistani Taliban. Pakistan is only the most recent case of renewed democracy producing a victory over Islamism in elections supported by the United States--despite the widespread resentment of America's alliance with Pervez Musharraf, a seemingly contradictory situation that underscores the difficulty of our task in this war.

Those Americans who have sneered at these fits and starts of democracy are experiencing their own domestic political frustrations. Democrats are demanding more political cohesion from Iraq and Pakistan than they've been able to manage themselves. As Congress presses for disengagement with no practicable plan, we learn--thanks to the candor of a departing foreign policy adviser--that the leading Democratic candidate has no plan whatsoever for his campaign's central plank of withdrawal from Iraq.

The errors committed in this war have contributed greatly to American frustrations. There was a failure to recognize the extent of the challenge ahead, even as ambitious plans were being laid starting in late 2001. The Bush administration could have had a blank check and recruits lined up around the block, but instead insisted on taking us into war with a post-Cold War military that is only belatedly being built up. The administration failed to seize control of Iraq with sufficient urgency and, when a complex insurgency was well underway, failed to move with sufficient skill to quell it until late in the day. The greater failure was to not adequately communicate the mission to Americans and to the world.

All wars go through evolutions, and it is unrealistic to expect no missteps. In this case, however, they are cited most frequently not as arguments to improve the war effort, but as excuses for abandonment. The Bush administration has made good at last with a counterinsurgency strategy that has hobbled Al Qaeda in Iraq and has the Shiite militias in a box. Iraqi military capabilities are improving, and the next president appears likely to inherit a somewhat pacified, reconciled Iraq; an enhanced American position of influence in the Middle East; opposing terrorist organizations that are sharply compromised; and a string of nascent democracies. At considerable cost of American blood and treasure, the United States is now in a position of marked if precarious influence in the most dangerous part of the world. The new president will have to consider how much of that he or she wants to throw away or build upon.

The antiwar camp and their candidates hold a childish hope that our problems will just go away if we withdraw. They argue that Iraq was an artificial cause, that our presence fuels violence and our departure will end it, that Iran can be a helpful partner in this process, and that al Qaeda can be fought from afar. They desire nothing but a return to the innocence we enjoyed before September 11, 2001, ignoring the fact that our enemies had been emboldened by decades of American demurring, disengagement, and half measures.

The American people have been allowed to believe that getting out of Vietnam was the best thing we did there, and that there was no penalty for cutting our losses. It should not be surprising that so many believe the same of Iraq. Looking past the immediate victims of that historic abandonment, the Soviet Union was emboldened by our show of weakness, invading Afghanistan and triggering a fateful string of events. Iran, seized by Islamic zealots, staged the 1979 hostage crisis to kick off three decades of support for terrorism and a bid for regional domination. In both cases, the belligerents knew we would do nothing about it. Figures like Osama bin Laden, among others, noted this void, and created the circumstances we are currently compelled to address.

The United States has commitments to Iraq and the larger region and a pressing interest in the defense of free and open societies. If we avoid our responsibilities we simply plant the seeds of further conflict. The pressing question of the 2008 presidential campaign is whether the part of this global war that began five years ago will be prosecuted to a satisfactory conclusion, or whether the effort to end the Iraq war will be marked by a different kind of waffling, whining noise than that one I heard at dawn five years ago, followed by more devastating explosions.

Jules Crittenden is an editor at the Boston Herald and blogs at julescrittenden.com.
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: Ducimus BTC on September 22, 2014, 12:29:52
ISIS urges jihadists to attack Canadians: ‘You will not feel secure in your bedrooms’
Quote
The spokesman for the Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham called for attacks on Canadians on Sunday in an apparent attempt to deter members of the military alliance that has formed to challenge the terrorist group.

In a 42-minute audio speech, Abu Muhammad Al-Adnani urged ISIS supporters to kill Canadians, Americans, Australians, French and other Europeans, regardless of whether they were civilians or members of the military.

“Rely upon Allah, and kill him in any manner or way however it may be. Do not ask for anyone’s advice and do not seek anyone’s verdict. Kill the disbeliever whether he is civilian or military, for they have the same ruling,” he said.

“Both of them are disbelievers. Both of them are considered to be waging war. Both of their blood and wealth is legal for you to destroy, for blood does not become illegal or legal to spill by the clothes being worn.”

Canada is part of a U.S.-led alliance that has begun mobilizing to defeat ISIS, which has been committing widespread atrocities against Syrians and Iraqis in an attempt to impose its barbaric version of Islamic law in the region.

Reacting to the ISIS speech Monday, the Prime Minister’s Office said it would not be “cowed by threats while innocent children, women, men and religious minorities live in fear of these terrorists.

“We will continue to work with allies to push back against this threat,” Stephen Harper’s spokesman Jason MacDonald said in an emailed statement.

About 30 Canadians are taking part in the conflict in Syria, some as members of ISIS. The National Post revealed on Saturday that the government had begun revoking the passports of Canadians who had left to fight with ISIS.

Since President Barack Obama outlined a strategy last week to degrade and defeat ISIS, the terror group has ramped up its propaganda campaign, releasing several videos that appear designed to portray Western military intervention as futile.

The latest message goes a step further, warning of attacks inside Western nations. “You will not feel secure even in your bedrooms. You will pay the price when this crusade of yours collapses, and thereafter we will strike you in your homeland, and you will never be able to harm anyone afterwards,” Adnani said.

But it is unclear ISIS has the capability to strike beyond the swath of lawless land it occupies in Iraq and Syria. Last week, an alleged attempt by ISIS to carry out a beheading in Australia was disrupted by police, who arrested the suspects.


http://ww2.nationalpost.com/m/wp/blog.html?b=news.nationalpost.com/2014/09/21/isis-urges-jihadists-to-attack-canadians-you-will-not-feel-secure-in-your-bedrooms
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: cupper on September 22, 2014, 18:38:28
Well, at least I can feel safe in the rest of the house.

But definitely do not go anywhere near the bathroom. Phew! No one is safe in there.
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: George Wallace on September 22, 2014, 18:47:09
As Reservists, Regular Force and Veterans; should we not adopt the policy now that they had in Switzerland, where you kept your personal weapon at home and handy at all times?


jk



 >:D
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: wingman25 on September 23, 2014, 14:10:41
As Reservists, Regular Force and Veterans; should we not adopt the policy now that they had in Switzerland, where you kept your personal weapon at home and handy at all times?


jk



 >:D

Can you imagine the amount of NDs.......We wouldnt have to worry about IS in the bedroom,
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: tomahawk6 on September 23, 2014, 23:29:38
A division hq will be deploying to Iraq for command/control of the 1600 troops now in country.No telling where this is headed.The Pentagon has not announced which division hq will be sent.

http://www.armytimes.com/article/20140923/NEWS08/309230066/Army-chief-Division-headquarters-will-deploy-soon-Iraq
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: S.M.A. on September 24, 2014, 15:54:45
Despite support from coalition air strikes, the Iraqi Army doesn't seem to be faring better against ISIS in another part of the country:

Reuters (http://ca.reuters.com/article/topNews/idCAKCN0HJ1YP20140924)

Quote
Militants surround Iraqi base in west Iraq; incident exposes army weakness

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Around 200 Iraqi soldiers were trapped in an army camp in western Iraq on Wednesday, besieged by Islamic State militants who routed hapless army forces in a raid on a base close to Baghdad at the weekend.

A soldier cornered in the camp said food, weapons and ammunition were running short, with forces sent to rescue them struggling to clear a route.

(...EDITED)

"If we withdraw, will be killed."

Using similar tactics, Islamic State insurgents on Sunday overran an army base in Saqlawiya, just 50 km (30 miles) west of Baghdad, killing or capturing between 400 to 600 soldiers, a senior Iraqi security official said.

The heavy losses revealed once again the parlous state of the Iraqi army, which is riven by endemic corruption and low morale, and which crumpled this summer as Islamic State took control of roughly a third of the country.

(...EDITED)

Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: S.M.A. on September 24, 2014, 17:42:08
Cross posting this here to highlight some of the captured US equipment that ISIS has in Iraq, some of which might have been dispersed to Syria before the air campaign was expanded to include Syria:

Wall Street Journal (http://online.wsj.com/articles/michael-pregent-and-michael-weiss-exploiting-the-isis-vulnerabilities-in-iraq-1407884145)

Quote
Today, we estimate that ISIS has less than a total of 30 working M1 Abrams tanks and howitzers that are either self-propelled or towed behind trucks (based on our knowledge of how the Iraqi army is equipped and what divisions were in the north). These are the weapons that gave the Islamic State the advantage over the Peshmerga in recent firefights. Yet ISIS does not have the highly trained maintenance crews that are necessary to keep these weapons in good working order. The same problem exists for its armored Humvees and Mine Resistant Ambush Protected personnel carriers. Without maintenance, these captured U.S. vehicles and weapons will break down.

(...END EXCERPT)

Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: S.M.A. on September 24, 2014, 21:44:54
The question of the hour is: does the UK MoD have even enough assets to strike Iraq, and possibly Syria, aside from those few RAF aircraft in Cyprus?

Defense News (http://www.defensenews.com/article/20140924/DEFREG01/309240034/British-MPs-Vote-Friday-Anti-Airstrikes-Iraq)

Quote
British MPs to Vote Friday on Anti-IS Airstrikes in Iraq
Sep. 24, 2014 - 06:21PM   |  By AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

LONDON — The British Parliament will hold an extraordinary session on Friday to vote on whether to join US-led airstrikes against the Islamic State group in Iraq, Prime Minister David Cameron said on Wednesday.

He said he was “confident” the House of Commons would approve the action requested by Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar Al-Abadi during a meeting between the two leaders at the UN General Assembly in New York.

“I have been asked by the Iraqi government for our help and so I’ll be recalling the British parliament on Friday so that Britain can take part in international air strikes against ISIL (IS) in Iraq,” Cameron told Sky News television.

(...EDITED)
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: S.M.A. on September 25, 2014, 01:14:07
More European allies join in with their own 6-packs. Hint, hint. (http://army.ca/forums/index.php/topic,115340.msg1329473.html#msg1329473)

MSN News (http://arabia.msn.com/news/middle-east/4185906/battling-dutch-belgium-prepare-send-f/)

Quote
Posted : 2014/09/24 11:35 pm
Battling ‘IS’: Dutch, Belgium prepare to send F-16s

On Wednesday, leaders from the Netherlands and Belgium outlined plans to join the battle to stop advances by fighters for the 'Islamic State' (IS) in northern Iraq. Each nation would send six F-16 jets, which are likely to be based in Jordan.

Deputy Prime Minister Lodewijk Asscher said the Netherlands would also send about 130 military tutors to Iraq to train Kurdish and Iraqi fighters
battling IS militias.

Asscher said the move was in response to Iraq's appeals for help from the international community. He said he did not see a mandate for Syria.
'In Iraq's case there is a clear request,' Asscher said.
Belgium's involvement still depends on approval by its parliament. Defense Minister Pieter De Crem said Washington had sent a formal request on Tuesday. Foreign Minister Didier Reynders said the F-16s would be 'limited to Iraq.'

To be based in Jordan

Belgium's Defense Ministry announced that the F-16s would be based in Jordan, one of the five Arab nations that have joined the US-led coalition. The planes would be accompanied by around 120 personnel, the ministry announced. The Dutch planes would come with 250 pilots and support staff.


(...EDITED)
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: E.R. Campbell on September 25, 2014, 07:06:34
More European allies join in with their own 6-packs. Hint, hint. (http://army.ca/forums/index.php/topic,115340.msg1329473.html#msg1329473)

MSN News (http://arabia.msn.com/news/middle-east/4185906/battling-dutch-belgium-prepare-send-f/)


But, in this article which is reproduced under the Fair Dealing provisions of the Copyright Act from that newspaper, The Economist argues that airstrikes, alone, cannot work and, anyway, Belgium and the Netherlands (and Canada) are the wrong countries, the locals need to step up, with ground forces, and clean up the mess they made:

http://www.economist.com/blogs/democracyinamerica/2014/09/air-strikes-against-islamic-state
Quote
(https://Army.ca/forums/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fcdn.static-economist.com%2Fsites%2Fdefault%2Ffiles%2Fthe-economist-logo.gif&hash=cbb9d4d4dba0805ad9933c61057dc5d6)
Air strikes against the Islamic State
Consensus, but for what?

Sep 23rd 2014,

By Lexington | WASHINGTON, DC

WITH remarkable speed, a broad American consensus has formed in support of air strikes against the Islamic State, even if that means taking the fight across the Iraqi border into Syria. Republican and Democratic leaders in Congress have offered bipartisan support to a first wave of overnight strikes in Syria. This sends a “powerful” message of unity to the world, said President Barack Obama in a brief statement on September 23rd from the White House grounds.

The consensus involves the public, too. Since last year, Americans’ willingness to see air power used in Syria has doubled, a poll for the Washington Post shows. Support for arming the Kurdish forces battling IS in Iraq rose from 45% in August to 58% in the September survey. Yet if the new mood of unity is broad, it is also shallow. Americans know that they want to do something about IS. Air strikes currently fit the bill. But there is a striking lack of agreement about what this use of force is actually for. There is no consensus about whether America is projecting power to bring greater stability to the Middle East, or whether the mission is much narrower: a counter-terrorist operation, backed by regional allies, to neutralise threats at a distance, and thus protect Americans at home.

Last year, a war-weary America hated the idea of intervening in Syria’s tangled civil war. Many bombarded members of Congress with angry calls at the very idea of limited cruise-missile strikes to punish President Bashar Assad for using chemical weapons against civilians in his own country. There is little evidence that Americans are any less weary of war, especially when it comes to complex intra-Muslim conflicts.

What has changed, dramatically, is a perception that IS and other terrorists in Iraq and Syria imperil American safety, notably following the filmed beheadings of two American journalists and a British aid worker. Nine in ten Americans now see the militants as a serious threat to vital national interests, and roughly six in ten call them a very serious threat. That mood of public fear coincides with a collapse in public trust of Mr Obama’s foreign policy. Historians may ponder whether a consensus for air strikes in Iraq and Syria would have formed at all if those journalists had not been brutally murdered on camera. But in public, prominent members of both parties have offered their support. Senior Democrats applauded the president for taking action and finding regional allies to join him. Republican bigwigs welcomed action against IS while grumbling that the president had waited too long. A few hawks, such as Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, urged Mr Obama to add special forces on the ground to the mix.

For his part, Mr Obama has done little to clarify the precise nature of this mission. On the one hand he has called IS mainly a threat to the people of the Middle East, repeatedly declaring that “this is not America’s fight alone” and presenting his country’s military power as a tool of geopolitical influence, which—by being withheld or used in the right way—can prod others in the region to assume their responsibilities. He insists that in Iraq security can only be guaranteed by a multi-ethnic, non-sectarian unity government with the trust of its own people. In Syria, after (very belatedly) moving to ramp up the arming and training of a moderate opposition, Mr Obama calls such rebels the “best counterweight” both to IS and to the Assad regime.

On the other hand, as he seeks to rally public opinion, Mr Obama and his officials have made their mission sound overwhelmingly like a counter-terrorist operation. The president called the initial Syria strikes a sign that “we will not tolerate safe havens for terrorists who threaten our people.”

Much was made of a separate, American-only set of eight airstrikes on the night of September 22nd against the Khorosan Group, an al-Qaeda offshoot, at a base near the Syrian city of Aleppo. Though the American government first spoke of the group in public a week earlier, officials now say that they have been watching it for many months. A White House official told reporters that action was taken after intelligence services determined that Khorosan Group operatives were plotting imminent, major attacks in America or Europe, and that the Syrian government was not able to take action against that threat.

That fits with a domestic debate dominated by talk of securing America’s homeland. Several members of Congress, a few weeks ahead of mid-term elections, have demanded new laws that would cancel the American passports of those who sign up with IS, or would strip allied countries of their visa-free travel privileges if they failed to cooperate with American intelligence and security officials.

But this cannot remain a purely domestic debate for long. Politicians and the public will need to decide soon what they have begun, and what appetite they have for extended interventions far from home, involving painful trade-offs and deals with unsavoury partners.

Air strikes alone have a poor record of defeating enemies, especially when they can hide in urban areas. Though Mr Obama repeatedly says that American forces will not be sent into combat on the ground, military commanders have warned that, if the mission requires it, they may ask to deploy special forces to spot targets and help allies.

There has been much talk of the dozens of countries joining the anti-IS coalition, and the five Sunni-led nations—Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Jordan, Bahrain and Qatar—who joined the first night of strikes over Syria. Americans have little love for those Arab allies. But realpolitik may push the country towards still trickier partners. The White House confirmed that America’s UN ambassador had told her Syrian counterpart that action was coming and warned the Assad regime not to threaten American aircraft, though without providing precise timings or targets in advance. Pentagon officials said Syrian radar had been “passive” during the air raids. But Team Obama is adamant that Mr Assad’s regime cannot be part of the solution to the IS threat, just as its officials insist that no deal is possible with Iran that would trade help against IS with concessions over Iran’s nuclear ambitions.

On the morning after the first air strikes on Syria a Pentagon commander, Lt General William Mayville, said that this was just the beginning of a campaign that could last years. It is not yet clear that a fearful, terrorism-focused American public is listening closely to such warnings, or is ready to hear them. That is about to change.


Let me be clear: I would be happy to see lots and lots of dead IS** militants or fighters or whatever word the media uses to avoid calling them terrorists or war criminals, which is what they are. But, I suspect that IF we, those who oppose IS**, are going to put "boots on the ground," and I'm not sure we are, then they are unlikely to be the right boots.


Edited to add:

It is clear that the right Middle Eastern states, those who are, in the main, the authors al Qaeda and of IS** and so on, are doing a share (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/syria/11120629/Saudi-prince-and-Emirates-first-female-fighter-pilot-take-part-in-Syria-air-strikes.html) but, if, as many experts suggest, "boots on the ground" will be necessary, I wonder if (I doubt) they will be as willing.
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: tomahawk6 on September 25, 2014, 13:23:16
The 1st Infantry Division hq will deploy to Iraq.

http://www.armytimes.com/article/20140925/NEWS/309250057/-Big-Red-One-HQ-will-deploy-Iraq


The 1st Infantry Division headquarters will deploy to Iraq in the coming weeks as the U.S. expands its war against the Islamic State, officials announced Thursday.

The Big Red One, of Fort Riley, Kansas, will be the first division headquarters to go to Iraq since the U.S. withdrawal in 2011.

About 500 soldiers will deploy in late October to the Central Command area of operations, Pentagon Press Secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby said Thursday in a briefing with reporters.
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: S.M.A. on September 25, 2014, 18:30:11
And London announces their intent to join in:

Reuters (http://ca.reuters.com/article/topNews/idCAKCN0HJ1H120140925)

Quote
French, U.S. planes strike Islamic State; Britain to join coalition

(...SNIPPED)

Britain, the closest U.S. ally in the past decade's wars, finally announced on Thursday that it too would join air strikes against Islamic State targets in Iraq, after weeks of weighing its options. Prime Minister David Cameron recalled parliament, which is expected to give its approval on Friday.

While Arab countries have joined the coalition, Washington's traditional Western allies had been slow to answer the call from U.S. President Barack Obama. But since Monday, Australia, Belgium and the Netherlands have said they would send planes.

(...SNIPPED)

Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: cupper on September 25, 2014, 21:08:20
This is turning into the Brer Rabbit and the Tar Baby story. We have a hand stuck on and if we are not careful we'll have all four limbs stuck.....and we'll lose more troops. Let's hope it doesn't come to that.

Let's hope that someone will throw us into the briar patch if this gets too sticky.

Quote
"But do please, Br'er Fox, don't fling me in dat brier-patch"
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: Dimsum on September 25, 2014, 22:42:49
http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/isis-mission-canada-mulls-deploying-cf-18-jets-to-join-u-s-led-strikes-1.2778418

The federal cabinet will meet next week to discuss deploying Canada's CF-18 fighter jets to join a U.S.-led campaign against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, CBC News has learned.


I was waiting to see when this was going to happen, since everybody and their brother is sending fast air of some description.  I'm honestly surprised it took the UK this long to commit though.
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: S.M.A. on September 26, 2014, 13:20:54
And the motion to strike ISIS in Iraq passes in the UK House of Commons, as reported by the BBC (http://www.bbc.com/news/live/uk-politics-29362884):

Wheels up for Tonado jets from RAF Akrotiri in an hour?

Vote result:

Quote
Posted at17:15
The government wins the vote by 524 to 43 - a majority of 481, the Speaker announces.

Posted at 17:21:
MPs voted by a majority of 481 in favour of government plans to join air strikes against Islamic State (IS) in Iraq, following a six-hour debate in an emergency recall of Parliament.

Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: PPCLI Guy on September 26, 2014, 16:48:02
I was waiting to see when this was going to happen, since everybody and their brother is sending fast air of some description.  I'm honestly surprised it took the UK this long to commit though.

A little something called Scotland got in the way....
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: Old Sweat on September 28, 2014, 18:06:50
I could have posted this in any number of threads, but felt it fit here as the army of Iraq has not performed well in recent weeks. The link is to a 1999 article on why Arab armies do not do well. It may or may not be dated, but the argument is moot.

http://www.meforum.org/441/why-arabs-lose-wars
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: Thucydides on September 28, 2014, 22:28:42
Sigh

Why are we so keen to do Iran's dirty work and heavy lifting? IS** is a creature or creation of Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States, and is implicitly tolerated by the Turks as a counterbalance to Iran's regional ambitions. IS** has seriously damaged Iran's satellite Syria, and taken a fairly heavy toll on the Iranian proxy Hezbollah as a fighting force (they seem to have largely returned to Lebanon, lest they become ineffective there as well due to heavy casualties and disaffection). Let Saudi the Gulf States do what they will with IS** (for the longest time this was the preferred outlet for getting rid of radicals in the various Kingdoms) and Iran can expend its own blood and treasure (currently Quds forces and Hezbollah fighters) dealing with them.

I will repeat what I have said earlier: our only interests in this mess are to ensure that:

a: the spillover does not flow out of the Middle East;
b. The West institutes a "one way" gate, so anyone who wants to go over there as a Jihadi never comes back;
c. *We* provide enough arms and funding to select groups like Israel, the Kurds and others like the Baloch to remain viable and act as "points of entry" should there be any vital interest that requires us to go back there; and,
d. Canada plays its "high card" and starts supplying oil to our friends and allies (Europe, Japan, Korea, India etc.) to make up for the loss of ME oil.

If the Prime Minister wants to find appropriate places to exercise Canadian military and diplomatic power (such as it is), the Ukraine and the South China Sea are more profitable areas to focus on.
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: S.M.A. on September 30, 2014, 12:06:48
Not sure how credible this report is:

Daily Mirror(UK) (http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/isis-threatens-gas-british-troops-4347579)

Quote
ISIS threatens to gas British troops in Iraq: Soldiers ordered to carry chemical suits

Sep 29, 2014 22:30 By Chris Hughes
Spies warn IS fighters have stolen poison gas from Syrian forces and are plotting to attack British troops

British special forces in Iraq have been ordered to carry chemical protection suits amid fears Islamic State terrorists could be plotting to launch horror gas attacks.

Crack troops are in the north of the country training Kurdish Peshmerga fighters and ­identifying RAF bombing targets as part of ­Operation Shader.

And spies warn IS fighters have stolen poison gas from Syrian forces.

This could be unleashed on British troops in the wake of air strikes on the Islamic extremists in Iraq.

(...SNIPPED)

Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: S.M.A. on September 30, 2014, 12:39:30
Meanwhile, deep inside the ISIS-run pariah state...

Reuters (http://ca.reuters.com/article/topNews/idCAKCN0HP12J20140930)

Quote
Special Report: Islamic State uses grain to tighten grip in Iraq

By Maggie Fick


(...SNIPPED)

The group now controls a large chunk of Iraq’s wheat supplies. The United Nations estimates land under IS control accounts for as much as 40 percent of Iraq’s annual production of wheat, one of the country’s most important food staples alongside barley and rice. The militants seem intent not just on grabbing more land but also on managing resources and governing in their self-proclaimed caliphate.

Wheat is one tool at their disposal. The group has begun using the grain to fill its pockets, to deprive opponents – especially members of the Christian and Yazidi minorities – of vital food supplies, and to win over fellow Sunni Muslims as it tightens its grip on captured territory.
In Iraq’s northern breadbasket, much as it did in neighboring Syria, IS has kept state employees and wheat silo operators in place to help run its empire.

Such tactics are one reason IS poses a more complex threat than al Qaeda, the Islamist group from which it grew. For most of its existence, al Qaeda has focused on hit-and-run attacks and suicide bombings. But Islamic State sees itself as both army and government. 

(...SNIPPED)

Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: S.M.A. on September 30, 2014, 19:41:15
Another US carrier strike group is on its way to relieve the USS George W. Bush which has been conducting its portion of the coalition air campaign over Iraq and Syria:

*article edited to correct the name of the carrier from "Carl Vincent" repeated by the original writer of the article, to Carl Vinson, the actual name.  :facepalm:



Military.com (http://www.military.com/daily-news/2014/09/30/navy-replaces-ships-in-arabian-gulf-as-bombing-continues.html?comp=7000023317843&rank=1)

Quote
Navy Replaces Ships in Arabian Gulf as Bombing Continues

Sep 30, 2014 | by Richard Sisk
The U.S. Navy participated in 11 coalition air strikes over Iraq and Syria against the Islamic State Monday as the USS Carl Vinson aircraft carrier group prepared to relieve the USS George Bush now on assignment in the Arabian Gulf, Navy Secretary Ray Mabus told reporters Sept. 30.

The attacks against the Islamic State, referred to by the Pentagon as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL, included land-based fighter jets, F/A-18s and drones, according to U.S. Central Command.

Mabus said Navy assets were responsible for a quarter of the U.S. airstrikes over Iraq and Syria. The USS Bush aircraft carrier strike group, which has been deployed since February and conducted air strikes against ISIL since August, will be replaced by the USS Carl Vinson now on the way to the Arabian Gulf, Mabus said.

The USS Carl Vinson strike group, which is now in the Western Pacific, includes a guided missile cruiser – the USS Bunker Hill, and three guided-missile destroyers – the USS Gridley, USS Sterett and USS Dewey.

The ships supporting the Carl Vincent will replace existing vessels now serving as part of the USS Bush carrier strike group such as two destroyers, the USS Truxton and USS Roosevelt, and a guided-missile cruiser, the USS Philippine Sea.


(...SNIPPED)

Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: daftandbarmy on October 01, 2014, 17:43:00
I like this idea, which is strange because the author is a stinkn' Crab  ;D

Dealing with ISIS through “boots with wings”
(RUSI Analysis (London))


If we are to opt for ‘boots on the ground’ in confronting ISIS, military planners should consider airmobile forces that promise agility, force projection and most importantly, a temporary time-span.

Friday’s parliamentary debate put an end to the question over UK’s return to military involvement in Iraq with a positive vote for air strikes and the focus now shifts to the debate over boots on the ground.  Strong pros and cons on both sides of the argument make it a complex and emotional debate, and one which is unlikely to produce a good result whatever the choice.

Military leaders have compounded the problem by allowing their thinking to become constrained by a simple choice between no boots, boots only in the form of Special Forces, or long-term deployment of large numbers through Expeditionary forces.  The ISIS problem is too politically and militarily complex to be reduced to these two choices, and demands more agile thinking. Western countries have airmobile forces designed to deploy rapidly for small-scale short-term operations. Not used for decades, and it is this capability which could provide better military and political outcomes at lower risk.  If used effectively, airmobile forces have the potential to provide a meaningful boost to the Iraqi ground forces without the disadvantages of becoming targets of Iraqi militias or being seen as occupation forces.

Those who want boots on the ground rightly say that airpower is limited in its ability to degrade ISIS, and that eventually land forces will be needed.  Opponents point out that the Iraqi Army, Shia militias and the Peshmerga already provide ‘boots’ for that purpose, but sides of the coalition privately harbour doubts about the capability of Iraqis to recapture territory soon, increasing the time, the level of commitment and the risk burden on the West. However, foreign forces in Iraq are linked intrinsically to the idea of occupation and proponents of boots on the ground seem to have forgotten the 2004 massive allergic reaction from both Shia militias and Sunni insurgents which led to widespread attacks on coalition forces.  A bloody unstoppable revolt was only averted by the intervention of Iraq’s Grand Ayatollah Sistani, who persuaded the Shia militias to stop fighting the coalition.

With the possible exception of the Kurds, most in Iraq are violently opposed to the idea of Western forces fighting on the ground. Memories of the coalition’s large citadel bases and its belligerent convoys and thousands of civilian casualties of the fight between foreign forces and insurgents remain firmly in Iraqi minds. Western leaders understand that resentment of perceived occupation made coalition troops a perpetual target for Sunni insurgents and for the renegade Shia militias and that is why the US and UK governments currently are opposed to combat troops on the ground.


The case for Airmobile Forces
However, using airmobile forces as part of a well thought out land campaign designed to cut the current ISIS controlled territory into smaller dislocated chunks could make a decisive contribution to speeding up its degradation.  The UK’s 16 Air Assault Brigade claims to combine the “speed and agility of airborne an air assault troops with the potency of Apache attack helicopters’’ These troops can be deployed to locations by aircraft capable of landing on desert strips, by helicopters, and by parachute by day and night.  They are lightly armed but are capable of defeating small-scale armoured forces.  Their strength lies primarily in their ability to deploy quickly, manoeuvre rapidly during combat, seize and secure medium size objectives such as refineries, airfields, bridges etc., and then get out as soon as the job is done.

By seizing key facilities and ground that local forces would struggle to win and then handing it over to Iraqi forces to hold, such airmobile forces will not just make a valuable contribution to the fight, but also will also send out a very powerful political message.  This message will help destroy the myth that Western governments use these conflicts as a cover for occupation and control of Middle Eastern lands.

The UK’s Air Assault brigade is dwarfed by the USA’s capability which is supported by an awesome fleet of aircraft including the Osprey vertical take-off aircraft, and squadrons of helicopter gunships.  The coalition partner, Jordan, has a small but potentially formidable parachute force.  So, there is no lack of resources or doctrine, only an apparent inability and political will by governments and military advisors to think of existing capabilities in a new way. No matter how good a force or tactic is, its success or failure is dependent upon the effectiveness of the strategy within which it is employed.  Having set the grand strategic design of using foreign coalition airpower to support Iraqi ground forces as the primary means of degrading and destroying ISIS, President Obama now needs his generals to produce an effective land component strategy which is capable of exploiting the coalition’s huge air campaign advantage.

Iraqi land forces recently have conducted a few successful operations. The recapturing of the Mosul Dam, thwarting ISIS’s attack on the Haditha Dam, and lifting the Amerili siege have all been largely defensive operations. Wisely conducted at a pace that ensured necessary confidence-building through success; the speed of progress has revealed the Iraqi forces’ current inability to take the offensive, and their inability to exploit the advantage of rapid manoeuvre when it does.  This is where foreign airmobile forces can be a battle-winning combination. If used to seize ISIS held objectives quickly, for the Iraqis then to hold, and then surge, these airmobile forces could cut dramatically the time required to reduce ISIS territorial control and to degrade its capabilities.  If the strategy aims to cut ISIS’s long spines of territory into chunks, then it could destroy it as a cohesive force, dislocate it from the leadership, and isolate it from communication lines which sustain its fighters with money and supplies.

Like all capabilities, airmobile forces must be skilfully and sparing applied and overuse could be counterproductive.  They must not be seen as boots on the ground but as ‘boots with wings,’ which fleetingly walk the ground to catapult Iraqi land forces forwards.  That way they can make a valuable military contribution while at the same time avoiding the disadvantages of expeditionary land forces of the recent past.

Dr Afzal Ashraf was an Engineer officer in the Royal Air Force (RAF), retiring three decades later as a Group Captain.  His tours of duty included counter-insurgency and policing focussed operational tours in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: S.M.A. on October 01, 2014, 20:14:35
 :facepalm: :facepalm: This is from the same Iraqi military who crumbled against ISIS fighters merely on foot with RPGs and Ak47s, when the Iraqis were better armed with vehicles like Abrams tanks.

Quote
Iraqi Air Force Accidentally Delivers Food And Ammunition To ISIS Militants

Huffington Post (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/09/30/isis-iraqi-air-force_n_5908864.html)

Quote
WASHINGTON -- Iraqi pilots mistakenly delivered food, water and ammunition to Islamic State militants on a recent mission that was meant to supply their own service members with the supplies, NBC News reported.

"Some pilots, instead of dropping these supplies over the area of the Iraqi army, threw it over the area that is controlled by ISIS fighters,” Hakim Al-Zamili, a member of the Iraqi parliament and a senior security official, told NBC. “Those soldiers were in deadly need of these supplies, but because of the wrong plans of the commanders in the Iraqi army and lack of experience of the pilots, we in a way or another helped ISIS fighters to kill our soldiers."

A brigadier-general in Iraq’s Defense Ministry also confirmed the news to NBC, attributing it to pilots who were "young and new." The incident reportedly occurred on Sept. 19.

(...EDITED)


Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: S.M.A. on October 02, 2014, 18:21:00
Notable parallel update at the Syria superthread:

Turkey approves use of ground troops against ISIS in Syria and Iraq (http://army.ca/forums/index.php/topic,19326.msg1330811.html#msg1330811)
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: S.M.A. on October 03, 2014, 00:05:43
Australian F18s will be bombing ISIS targets in Iraq soon:

BBC (http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-29460743)

Quote
Australia approves strikes against IS in Iraq

The Australian cabinet has given its approval for fighter jets to join the US-led military action against Islamic State targets in Iraq.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott said IS was a "death cult" that had "declared war on the world" and must be stopped.

IS controls a broad swathe of territory, spanning a borderless stretch of Syria and Iraq.

The UN says the militant Islamists have committed a "staggering array" of human rights abuses.

(...SNIPPED)

Canberra has already sent 600 troops and warplanes to a US base in the United Arab Emirates.

Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: Dimsum on October 03, 2014, 00:24:23
Australian F18s will be bombing ISIS targets in Iraq soon:

BBC (http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-29460743)

Watching the Australian v. Canadian government responses for this operation has been interesting.  I would have thought that the responses would have been similar; both countries have a Conservative (they call it Liberal) government in power, either majority or a large minority, and public response to the situation and the ruling party is generally the same in both countries. 

But no; the Green Party leader had called for a vote but the PM ignored it and sent the force over - it had the support of the Labor Party already.  This latest story is just the final permission for fighters to actually drop bombs in Iraqi airspace.
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: E.R. Campbell on October 03, 2014, 07:30:25
Watching the Australian v. Canadian government responses for this operation has been interesting.  I would have thought that the responses would have been similar; both countries have a Conservative (they call it Liberal) government in power, either majority or a large minority, and public response to the situation and the ruling party is generally the same in both countries. 

But no; the Green Party leader had called for a vote but the PM ignored it and sent the force over - it had the support of the Labor Party already.  This latest story is just the final permission for fighters to actually drop bombs in Iraqi airspace.


We both share similar constitutions, each based on the Westminster system. In that system the decision to send military forces anywhere, for any reason is the exclusive prerogative of the crown, the executive, the cabinet. Parliament has neither the right nor the duty to decide that issue. The right, the power that Parliament, specifically the HoC in Ottawa, does have is to vote or withhold supply, the money. If the crown has no money it cannot sustain military operations and it must "go to the people" (seek re-election) to regain the confidence of the HoC.

Prime Minister Mackenzie-King started the (unnecessary) custom of calling on parliament to debate a war ... some PMs followed suit, others didn't. In any event, constitutionally there is no requirement for the HoC to say/do anything ... until it is time to pass a supply bill, like the Budget Implementation Bill or a request (from the government) for "interim supply."
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: Humphrey Bogart on October 03, 2014, 08:50:20
I like this idea, which is strange because the author is a stinkn' Crab  ;D

Dealing with ISIS through “boots with wings”
(RUSI Analysis (London))


If we are to opt for ‘boots on the ground’ in confronting ISIS, military planners should consider airmobile forces that promise agility, force projection and most importantly, a temporary time-span.

Friday’s parliamentary debate put an end to the question over UK’s return to military involvement in Iraq with a positive vote for air strikes and the focus now shifts to the debate over boots on the ground.  Strong pros and cons on both sides of the argument make it a complex and emotional debate, and one which is unlikely to produce a good result whatever the choice.

Military leaders have compounded the problem by allowing their thinking to become constrained by a simple choice between no boots, boots only in the form of Special Forces, or long-term deployment of large numbers through Expeditionary forces.  The ISIS problem is too politically and militarily complex to be reduced to these two choices, and demands more agile thinking. Western countries have airmobile forces designed to deploy rapidly for small-scale short-term operations. Not used for decades, and it is this capability which could provide better military and political outcomes at lower risk.  If used effectively, airmobile forces have the potential to provide a meaningful boost to the Iraqi ground forces without the disadvantages of becoming targets of Iraqi militias or being seen as occupation forces.

Those who want boots on the ground rightly say that airpower is limited in its ability to degrade ISIS, and that eventually land forces will be needed.  Opponents point out that the Iraqi Army, Shia militias and the Peshmerga already provide ‘boots’ for that purpose, but sides of the coalition privately harbour doubts about the capability of Iraqis to recapture territory soon, increasing the time, the level of commitment and the risk burden on the West. However, foreign forces in Iraq are linked intrinsically to the idea of occupation and proponents of boots on the ground seem to have forgotten the 2004 massive allergic reaction from both Shia militias and Sunni insurgents which led to widespread attacks on coalition forces.  A bloody unstoppable revolt was only averted by the intervention of Iraq’s Grand Ayatollah Sistani, who persuaded the Shia militias to stop fighting the coalition.

With the possible exception of the Kurds, most in Iraq are violently opposed to the idea of Western forces fighting on the ground. Memories of the coalition’s large citadel bases and its belligerent convoys and thousands of civilian casualties of the fight between foreign forces and insurgents remain firmly in Iraqi minds. Western leaders understand that resentment of perceived occupation made coalition troops a perpetual target for Sunni insurgents and for the renegade Shia militias and that is why the US and UK governments currently are opposed to combat troops on the ground.


The case for Airmobile Forces
However, using airmobile forces as part of a well thought out land campaign designed to cut the current ISIS controlled territory into smaller dislocated chunks could make a decisive contribution to speeding up its degradation.  The UK’s 16 Air Assault Brigade claims to combine the “speed and agility of airborne an air assault troops with the potency of Apache attack helicopters’’ These troops can be deployed to locations by aircraft capable of landing on desert strips, by helicopters, and by parachute by day and night.  They are lightly armed but are capable of defeating small-scale armoured forces.  Their strength lies primarily in their ability to deploy quickly, manoeuvre rapidly during combat, seize and secure medium size objectives such as refineries, airfields, bridges etc., and then get out as soon as the job is done.

By seizing key facilities and ground that local forces would struggle to win and then handing it over to Iraqi forces to hold, such airmobile forces will not just make a valuable contribution to the fight, but also will also send out a very powerful political message.  This message will help destroy the myth that Western governments use these conflicts as a cover for occupation and control of Middle Eastern lands.

The UK’s Air Assault brigade is dwarfed by the USA’s capability which is supported by an awesome fleet of aircraft including the Osprey vertical take-off aircraft, and squadrons of helicopter gunships.  The coalition partner, Jordan, has a small but potentially formidable parachute force.  So, there is no lack of resources or doctrine, only an apparent inability and political will by governments and military advisors to think of existing capabilities in a new way. No matter how good a force or tactic is, its success or failure is dependent upon the effectiveness of the strategy within which it is employed.  Having set the grand strategic design of using foreign coalition airpower to support Iraqi ground forces as the primary means of degrading and destroying ISIS, President Obama now needs his generals to produce an effective land component strategy which is capable of exploiting the coalition’s huge air campaign advantage.

Iraqi land forces recently have conducted a few successful operations. The recapturing of the Mosul Dam, thwarting ISIS’s attack on the Haditha Dam, and lifting the Amerili siege have all been largely defensive operations. Wisely conducted at a pace that ensured necessary confidence-building through success; the speed of progress has revealed the Iraqi forces’ current inability to take the offensive, and their inability to exploit the advantage of rapid manoeuvre when it does.  This is where foreign airmobile forces can be a battle-winning combination. If used to seize ISIS held objectives quickly, for the Iraqis then to hold, and then surge, these airmobile forces could cut dramatically the time required to reduce ISIS territorial control and to degrade its capabilities.  If the strategy aims to cut ISIS’s long spines of territory into chunks, then it could destroy it as a cohesive force, dislocate it from the leadership, and isolate it from communication lines which sustain its fighters with money and supplies.

Like all capabilities, airmobile forces must be skilfully and sparing applied and overuse could be counterproductive.  They must not be seen as boots on the ground but as ‘boots with wings,’ which fleetingly walk the ground to catapult Iraqi land forces forwards.  That way they can make a valuable military contribution while at the same time avoiding the disadvantages of expeditionary land forces of the recent past.

Dr Afzal Ashraf was an Engineer officer in the Royal Air Force (RAF), retiring three decades later as a Group Captain.  His tours of duty included counter-insurgency and policing focussed operational tours in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Sounds a lot like Operation Serval 2.0 ... I like it!
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: Rifleman62 on October 03, 2014, 12:21:42
The do nothing, useless UN has not endorsed, but the Pope has.
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: Marchog on October 03, 2014, 12:26:46
I stopped caring what the current version of the League of Nations has to say a long time ago.
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: S.M.A. on October 03, 2014, 18:16:05
Iraq situation map, courtesy of: Asian Defence News (http://www.asiandefencenews.com/2014/10/iraq-situation-report-september-30.html)

(https://Army.ca/forums/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2F4.bp.blogspot.com%2F-WvhKCILIQqc%2FVC1CZKbL1dI%2FAAAAAAAAMT4%2F13VOFb8HXbU%2Fs1600%2FIraq%252BSituation%252BReport%252BSeptember%252B30-October%252B1%252C%252B2014.png&hash=6327f87f605912448f9669cc58f7d287)
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: Infantryman2b on October 03, 2014, 18:22:58
Unfortunatly the dreaded news has come that British national Alan Henning has been beheaded by what seems to be the same English accented scum that was seen in the other videos. RIP  :salute:

http://news.nationalpost.com/2014/10/03/british-hostage-alan-henning-reportedly-beheaded-by-isis/?__federated=1
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: E.R. Campbell on October 04, 2014, 11:50:45
Here, reproduced under the Fair Dealing provisions of the Copyright Act from the Globe and Mail is the argument against what Presidents Hollande and Obama, Prime Ministers Abbot, Cameron and Harper, and many others are trying to do:

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/globe-debate/half-measures-in-fight-against-islamic-state-will-only-make-matters-worse/article20926294/?page=all#dashboard/follows/
Quote
(https://Army.ca/forums/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fbeta.images.theglobeandmail.com%2Fmedia%2Fwww%2Fimages%2Fflag%2Fgam-masthead.png&hash=19ff3553db0adc5a5af34a8cb80569c3)
Half measures in fight against Islamic State will only make matters worse

ROBERT R. FOWLER
Special to The Globe and Mail

Published Friday, Oct. 03 2014

It is a time of ruthless beheadings – and ill-conceived responses. Many Western commentators seem confident that the atrocious behaviour of the Islamic State is certain to build, legitimize and strengthen the anti-IS coalition, while weakening the authority of the IS itself. Such thinking, though, reeks of Western bias. What is reasonable or viable or even rational to us may not be, indeed is likely not, how the IS sees it; and, I’m afraid, not how many others in the world will see it, particularly throughout much of the Muslim ummah.

We got it wrong in Iraq, then again in Afghanistan, then in Egypt, then in Libya, and since the outset in Syria. Our values are not their values, nor are they universal (which is why Stephen Harper’s and John Baird’s trumpeting of a “values-based foreign policy” is ignorant and pretentious). However much we might wish it were so, there are effectively no universally agreed essential values, and we have had little success, anywhere in the world, forcing people to trade their values for ours. Despite our collective spending of trillions of dollars fighting the Taliban in Afghanistan to win over hearts and minds, many – perhaps most – Afghans do not want to see girls in school; have little interest in what we call democracy; believe our harping about corruption is extravagantly hypocritical; and would rather grow poppies than carrots.

Even the Canadian-authored Universal Declaration of Human Rights – of which we are so justifiably proud – is, in fact, not universally accepted. It was written in the late 1940s, when the infant United Nations was composed of a quarter of today’s membership.

The bulk of humanity was underrepresented. Present at the creation of the UN in 1945 and, three years later, when the Declaration was adopted, were few countries from what today we know as the Third World. China was but Taiwan, and the only African countries were Ethiopia, Egypt, Liberia and a very different South Africa. The colonial powers (Christian white guys all) believed they were the world. To an extent, we still do, tenaciously oblivious to the pervasive impact of our arrogance.

The IS, however, is well aware that we are perceived in such a light. They know the propaganda value of poking sticks into American eyes, or knives into Western throats. They understand the extent to which we in the West are casualty-shy, and that the effectiveness of our actions is crippled by collective attention deficit disorder. They know full well that ill-informed and poorly executed Western forays into “Muslim lands” have been disastrous for us – and they are anxious to lure us into further folly. They are confident that by so doing they will dramatically increase their recruiting base, their authority, and the scope and impact of their movement; and they simply do not give a damn about the numbers they will lose in the process. Truly, in their eyes, such losses are a blessing.

We Canadians are appalled by those grisly beheadings, outraged that anyone would – could – do such things to anybody, let alone to us. More personally, I am all too aware that what happened to journalist Daniel Pearl in 2002, to James Foley, Steven Sotloff and aid worker David Haines over the past month, and just last week to French tourist Hervé Gourdel, would almost certainly have happened to my colleague Louis Guay and me had our 2008 kidnapping in Mali happened today.

The Western reaction to these recent atrocities reveals yet more of our selective and self-absorbed world view. Our somewhat-allies in the “Syrian opposition” (by no means restricted to the bloodthirsty zealots of the al-Nusra Front), whom we are now so urgently arming, have – just like Bashar al-Assad’s murderous legions – been methodically torturing and slaughtering men, women and children, beheading and otherwise dismembering tens of thousands over the past three years. (All of this, of course, is exactly as Abu Musab al-Zarkawi was doing in Iraq; as the groups Abu Sayyaf and Jemaah Islamiyah were doing in faraway Mindanao; and as Boko Haram has been butchering – over 3,000, just this year – across the north of Nigeria, Africa’s largest economy and most populous state).

Yet now, suddenly, full of righteous indignation and disgust, we’ve thrown together another abstract, not very cohesive, not very committed coalition in response to the death of four innocent Westerners at the hands of ever-more extreme versions of al-Qaeda. We have, in other words, responded in precisely the way they counted on us to do.

Our coalition’s mission will inevitably creep. And our incapacitating allergy to boots-on-the-ground and our refusal to accept that it is impossible to control great swaths of territory from the air (just look at Libya today) will mean – as in Afghanistan and Iraq – that we will bomb ever more; that predators will hunt more widely and more indiscriminately; and that we will kill and maim many, many more innocent civilians than the caliphate could behead in its wildest dreams.

Everyone will know, however, that way up there in the sky and well behind those front lines, we have little skin in the game. As is our wont, though, we will exhort our supposedly better-trained, disparate and temporary Middle Eastern allies to acts of bravery in a struggle few of them will hold as their own – and, again, we will be disappointed. We will, for a while, degrade the Islamic State’s military effectiveness on the ground in northern Syria and Iraq, as its authority and operations continue to blossom throughout too much of the world. Then – soon, by any realistic timetable – we will leave, and our actions and motives will be reviled for a great deal longer.

In sum, and however much I regret so concluding, we will fail in our arm’s-length attempts to safely confront and effectively limit the predations of al-Qaeda and the Islamic State because we do not have the will – the necessary stuff – to prevail.

We appear to have lost the capacity to play the long game. We seem incapable of making the case, even to ourselves, that if these guys really represent a threat to our way of life, then it behooves us to do the nasty necessary to eradicate that threat. We, neither the elected nor the electorate, neither in Canada nor more broadly in the West, appear willing to commit to going the distance, to doing what needs to be done to defeat such an essentially hostile ideology.

This indecisiveness and lack of self-confidence are exacerbated by the stark fact that, while we assuredly broke it in 2003, with implications far beyond Iraq, we know we can’t own it, and just as assuredly don’t know how to fix it. That genie is well out of the bottle. Any long-term solution must come from within the Muslim community – particularly, of course, the Arab world. All our efforts to date have made matters worse, deepened the hatred toward the West, and broadened the suspicion of our motives. The best thing we can and should do is get the hell out of there.

But … were we to depart precipitately, we would be leaving in our wake a dangerous geostrategic mess and a humanitarian catastrophe: dangerous to the people of the Islamic world and Israel – and, yes, very dangerous to us, here at home. We in the West have awakened and fed the beast, and before we abandon that tumultuous region and its long-suffering people, we ought at least to attempt to “reset” the situation to the status quo ante, to its pre-2003 condition. We ought, that is, to so damage al-Qaeda and its fissiparous clones, such as the IS, that those who would be left to manage the ensuing muddle might have a fighting chance of being able to do so.

Were we, though, to seriously seek to excise the jihadi malignancy – to stop those who are so clearly bent on destroying the underpinnings of our civilization – we would have to engage far more thoroughly than we seem willing to do. We would have to convince our so-called friends in Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States to stop – really stop – financing jihadi preaching and terror networks throughout the world. At home, we would need to make very clear that we will not abide jihadi teaching, jihadi recruiting, or the dissemination of jihadi propaganda.

Should we seriously seek to damage the barbarous IS, we would have to prepare for and then commit to a long and ugly war against an implacable enemy who is genuinely anxious to die in battle with us. In addition, we would have to abandon the inane restrictions we have so hurriedly and complacently put in place (arbitrary time frames, no-boots-on-the-ground), and accept that it will take some up-close and personal combat to get the job done and that there will be casualties, among them a full share of innocents.

Finally, and however improbably in today’s politically correct context, we would have to “maintain the aim” – the removal of an existential threat to our way of life through the crippling degradation of al-Qaeda and its clones – and make it abundantly clear that until that mission were truly accomplished, such a struggle would not be about those nice, distracting things politicians would much rather talk about when they talk about such engagements: development, jobs, democracy, corruption, individual rights, gender equality, faith.

We would also have to accept that, to achieve such an objective, it would take vast budgets and clear-eyed focus over the long haul to convince Muslims in the West and throughout the world that such an engagement had nothing to do with jihadi allegations about crusades; indeed, little to do with religion of any stripe, but rather that global jihad was simply inimical to a peaceful world. Once such a mission were truly accomplished, then and only then could we turn our attention to reconstruction and development.

Short of all this, it’s not worth attempting, and we should walk away, right now: A flaccid attempt, such as that upon which we now seem to be embarked, will undoubtedly make matters worse.

Robert R. Fowler is a Senior Fellow at the University of Ottawa’s Graduate School of Public and International Affairs and the author of A Season in Hell: My 130 Days in the Sahara with Al Qaeda. He has served as a foreign-policy adviser to three Canadian prime ministers, as personal representative to Africa for three others, and as deputy minister of national defence, and was Canada’s longest-serving ambassador to the United Nations.


Now, I do not agree with everything Mr Fowler says, but I do agree that our values are anything but universal. That doesn't mean, however, that our values are not worth protecting, defending and propagating. It also doesn't mean that all other values are acceptable in civilized societies. There is, it seems to me, a good argument for eradicating IS** and the societies that help make it possible.

I agree that half measures are most likely to fail.

So, what are the "full measures?"

Total war against the Muslims in Africa, the Middle East and West Asia, from Morocco to Pakistan, with unconditional, abject surrender as the only possible outcome is one "full measure." Million, tens of millions, will have to die; great cities, Algiers, Baghdad, Cairo, Damascus, Doha, Karachi, Muscat, Riyadh, Tripoli and, indeed, Mecca itself, will lie in smoking ruins; all princes and potentates will be hanged in public and Western governors general and Western bureaucrats and Western judges and so on will be installed everywhere. We can civilize the Africans and Arabs and Persians and so on - with schools and courts and the lash and the noose. After about 200 years we will decamp and say, "OK, govern yoursleves, but if you screw up again we will utterly destroy you."

I doubt there is much in between that horrible thought and useless half measures.
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: Technoviking on October 04, 2014, 12:15:11
So, what are the "full measures?"

Total war against the Muslims in Africa, the Middle East and West Asia, from Morocco to Pakistan, with unconditional, abject surrender as the only possible outcome is one "full measure." Million, tens of millions, will have to die; great cities, Algiers, Baghdad, Cairo, Damascus, Doha, Karachi, Muscat, Riyadh, Tripoli and, indeed, Mecca itself, will lie in smoking ruins; all princes and potentates will be hanged in public and Western governors general and Western bureaucrats and Western judges and so on will be installed everywhere. We can civilize the Africans and Arabs and Persians and so on - with schools and courts and the lash and the noose. After about 200 years we will decamp and say, "OK, govern yoursleves, but if you screw up again we will utterly destroy you."
I'd be good with that....
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: E.R. Campbell on October 04, 2014, 12:21:34
Here's another "full measure:" Turkey invades Syria and Iraq, and then Saudi Arabia, Yemen and the other Gulf States, and established its own caliphate.
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: S.M.A. on October 04, 2014, 12:39:20
Here's another "full measure:" Turkey invades Syria and Iraq, and then Saudi Arabia, Yemen and the other Gulf States, and established its own caliphate.

Didn't the old Ottoman Empire replicate some western institutions? Their armies certainly used some western equipment during the First World War and made the Allies pay dearly during the Gallipoli landings.

Or am I thinking more of what happened after/during Ataturk's time?
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: Baden Guy on October 04, 2014, 21:49:20
Here, reproduced under the Fair Dealing provisions of the Copyright Act from the Globe and Mail is the argument against what Presidents Hollande and Obama, Prime Ministers Abbot, Cameron and Harper, and many others are trying to do:

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/globe-debate/half-measures-in-fight-against-islamic-state-will-only-make-matters-worse/article20926294/?page=all#dashboard/follows/

Now, I do not agree with everything Mr Fowler says, but I do agree that our values are anything but universal. That doesn't mean, however, that our values are not worth protecting, defending and propagating. It also doesn't mean that all other values are acceptable in civilized societies. There is, it seems to me, a good argument for eradicating IS** and the societies that help make it possible.

I agree that half measures are most likely to fail.

I agree with Mr.Fowler that the "half measures" Harper has enlisted our military in against ISIS, being limited to Iraq, are bound to be unable to affect real change.
I would hope that Mr.Harper appreciates this, his motives for action while justifiable may also include a strong political self interest.
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: E.R. Campbell on October 05, 2014, 09:04:08
Prime Minister Harper and his fellow presidents and prime ministers are all driven, to some, often very, very large degree, by their own "political self interest." In fact, in this case, in contrasts to, say, Ukraine, I would argue that there is no strategic interest, it is all to placate fears that have been stirred up by IS** and a compliant media.
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: S.M.A. on October 05, 2014, 12:10:54
ISIS gaining ground in Iraq, again:

Reuters (https://ca.news.yahoo.com/islamic-state-fighters-iraq-beat-back-armed-forces-134148037.html)

Quote
Islamic State fighters in Iraq beat back armed forces in Sunni town: police
Reuters – 1 hour 18 minutes ago

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Islamic State fighters in Iraq recaptured about one half of the town of Dhuluiya, one day after it was won by Iraqi forces, and attacked a neighboring town just 70 km (45 miles) north of Baghdad, police officers and witnesses said on Sunday.

The radical Sunni militants have seized large chunks of territory in Iraq since the beginning of the year, first in western Iraq and after June across the country's north, imposing strict Islamic rule and forcing thousands to flee.
A stalemate exists in the country, with territory regularly switching hands between the Iraqi government and Islamic State.

(...SNIPPED)

Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: S.M.A. on October 06, 2014, 10:44:27
Apaches back in action over Iraq for the first time since the US withdrawal back in 2011:

Defense News (http://www.defensenews.com/article/20141005/DEFREG04/310050007/US-Army-Apache-Helos-Used-Strikes-Against-Islamic-State)

Quote
US Army Apache Helos Used in Strikes Against Islamic State
Oct. 5, 2014 - 01:47PM   |   By PAUL McLEARY

WASHINGTON — US Army pilots for the first time used an Apache attack helicopter to strike Islamist militant targets in Iraq over the weekend, according to a statement by CENTCOM.

On Oct. 4, “US military forces used attack bomber, fighter and helicopter aircraft to conduct six airstrikes against ISIL in Iraq” the command said in a Sunday morning release, and a CENTCOM official confirmed to Defense News that the helicopter was a US Army Apache attack helicopter, but would not specify where it flew from or what munitions it used.

Apaches can fire Hellfire missiles from a significant standoff distance, and are capable of “teaming” with manned and unmanned aircraft to share information, and designate targets.

(...SNIPPED)

Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: S.M.A. on October 06, 2014, 16:49:01
More barbarism by ISIS:

Military.com (http://www.military.com/daily-news/2014/10/06/islamic-state-group-publicly-kills-6-iraqi-troops-in-town-of-hit.html?comp=7000023317843&rank=3)

Quote
Islamic State Group Publicly Kills 6 Iraqi Troops in Town of Hit

BAGHDAD — Militants from the Islamic State group on Sunday publicly killed six Iraqi soldiers captured in an embattled western province where the extremists continue to advance despite an expanding U.S.-led campaign of airstrikes, residents said.

The killings took place in the town of Hit, about 140 kilometers (85 miles) west of the capital, Baghdad, which the Islamic State fighters overran on Thursday night.
The Iraqi soldiers — one in uniform and five in civilian clothes — were lined up against a wall in Hit and shot in the head, the residents said, speaking on condition of anonymity because they feared for their own safety. The militants also bombed a police station in Hit, they said.

The fall of Hit was the latest victory by the Islamic State group as it battles the Iraqi military in western Anbar province.

(...SNIPPED)
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: S.M.A. on October 08, 2014, 22:01:05
The threat of MANPADS again:

Canadian Press (https://ca.news.yahoo.com/officials-islamic-state-group-downs-iraqi-military-helicopter-090700475.html)

Quote
Islamic State group downs Iraqi military helicopter near refinery town, killing 2 pilots
The Canadian Press

By Qassim Abdul-Zahra, The Associated Press

BAGHDAD - Militants with the Islamic State group on Wednesday shot down an Iraqi military attack helicopter, killing the two pilots on board in the second such incident in a week and raising concerns about the extremists' ability to attack aircraft amid ongoing U.S.-led airstrikes.

According to two Iraqi officials, the militants used a shoulder-fired missile to take down the Bell 407 helicopter, which crashed just north of the refinery town of Beiji, located about 200 kilometres (130 miles) north of Baghdad.

The pilot and co-pilot were both killed in the attack, a military aviation official told The Associated Press. A Defence Ministry official confirmed the information. Both officials spoke on condition of anonymity in line with regulations.

This is the second Iraqi military helicopter shot down by the Islamic State group over Beiji in one week. Militants shot down an Mi-35 helicopter near Beiji on Friday, also killing the pilot and co-pilot.


(...SNIPPED)

Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: milnews.ca on October 09, 2014, 17:33:28
A few maps to help orient - the first one's from August re:  who's where (via Business Insider, Singapore (http://www.businessinsider.sg/aftermath-of-the-battle-for-the-mosul-dam-2014-8/)), the second one's who's been doing what at this point (via BBC (http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-27838034)) and the last is what what the ISIS wants (via analyst/terrorist propaganda watcher Aaron Zelin (https://twitter.com/azelin/statuses/476702746007961600)).
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: Humphrey Bogart on October 09, 2014, 20:06:51
A few maps to help orient - the first one's from August re:  who's where (via Business Insider, Singapore (http://www.businessinsider.sg/aftermath-of-the-battle-for-the-mosul-dam-2014-8/)), the second one's who's been doing what at this point (via BBC (http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-27838034)) and the last is what what the ISIS wants (via analyst/terrorist propaganda watcher Aaron Zelin (https://twitter.com/azelin/statuses/476702746007961600)).

I think I need a mind manager license at work just to keep track of who exactly is on whose side in this conflict.

If I were to chart the numerous players alliances/enemies I am sure the diagram would come out looking something like this:

(https://Army.ca/forums/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fspideltech.com%2FPhotos%2FTaxonomy.gif&hash=5bdc14c212a7d25278f6be4a875cf134)

Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: E.R. Campbell on October 09, 2014, 20:44:52
I think I need a mind manager license at work just to keep track of who exactly is on whose side in this conflict.
...


That's one of the points Emile Simpson makes in his book War From The Ground Up ... our traditional view of war is that it exists between two antagonists, us and them, so to speak. War in the 21st century, Simpson suggests, is multilateral and we may not understand which of the many sides is which, we might not even understand which side we are on.
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: George Wallace on October 10, 2014, 00:21:59
This is something that we have legislated against and as civilized nations condemned; the use of Child Soldiers.  It was prevalent in Africa when we found it to be offensive to modern expectations of society and created the Laws against use of children as soldiers.  Now we find the barbarianism we have seen in the Middle East and South West Asia is being indoctrinated into the young males of the region and creating Child Soldiers for their cause.

Here are reports of a 12 year old being indoctrinated and trained to behead their enemy.  This is a graphic video from 2011.

 http://www.barenakedislam.com/2009/08/13/12-year-old-taliban-boys-first-beheading-warning-extremely-graphic-images/

CBS coverage:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HW2907EaNow#t=56
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: E.R. Campbell on October 11, 2014, 11:22:05
I think I need a mind manager license at work just to keep track of who exactly is on whose side in this conflict.

If I were to chart the numerous players alliances/enemies I am sure the diagram would come out looking something like this ...


KAL, the editorial cartoonist in The Economist, gets it right (as he so often does):

(https://Army.ca/forums/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fcdn.static-economist.com%2Fsites%2Fdefault%2Ffiles%2Fimagecache%2Ffull-width%2Fimages%2F2014%2F10%2Farticles%2Fmain%2F20141011_wwd000.jpg&hash=2f15ced81bb35f9732483409499f744b)
Source: http://www.economist.com/news/world-week/21623791-kals-cartoon
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: S.M.A. on October 15, 2014, 15:32:19
The name of the current operation has been chosen:

Defense News (http://www.defensenews.com/article/20141015/DEFREG04/310150045/Campaign-Against-Islamic-State-Named-Operation-Inherent-Resolve-)

Quote
Campaign Against Islamic State Named 'Operation Inherent Resolve'

The war against the Islamic State now has a name: “Operation Inherent Resolve.”

That announcement by the Joint Staff comes almost 10 weeks after the US began airstrikes in Iraq and later Syria to blunt the Islamic State, which has carved out a Taliban-like caliphate in both countries.

The Wall Street Journal reported Oct. 3 that US military leaders had rejected the name “Operation Inherent Resolve” because of a feeling that it was “just kind of ‘bleh,’ ” one unidentified military office told the newspaper.

Air Force Col. Ed Thomas, a spokesman for the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, declined to comment on whether the top brass initially had rejected the name and then reconsidered it.

According to CENTCOM, the name “is intended to reflect the unwavering resolve and deep commitment of the US and partner nations in the region and around the globe to eliminate the terrorist group ISIL and the threat they pose to Iraq, the region and the wider international community. It also symbolizes the willingness and dedication of coalition members to work closely with our friends in the region and apply all available dimensions of national power necessary — diplomatic, informational, military, economic — to degrade and ultimately destroy ISIL.”

(...SNIPPED)
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: MilEME09 on October 15, 2014, 17:37:06
NY Times article about the Pentagon covering up Chemical weapons exposure to US and Iraqi troops, and the new threat of those agents falling into the hands of ISIS.

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2014/10/14/world/middleeast/us-casualties-of-iraq-chemical-weapons.html

its way to long to direct post, but the threat of Chemical IED's has already happened, and knowing the ISIS hand book so far, it could get worse.
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: tomahawk6 on October 15, 2014, 21:54:22
NYT article is suspect.
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: S.M.A. on October 21, 2014, 13:10:35
Anbar province again..

Reuters (http://ca.reuters.com/article/topNews/idCAKCN0IA1PY20141021)

Quote
Consumed by Islamic State, Iraq's Anbar province a key battleground again
Tue Oct 21, 2014 10:46am EDT

By Ahmed Rasheed, Saif Hameed and Ned Parker

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - In recent weeks, the world has watched the battle to save Syria’s border town of Kobani from Islamic State. But the radical jihadists have for longer been engulfing another strategically more vital target - Iraq’s western Anbar province and its road to Baghdad.

The vast desert region - where Sunni tribes rose up in 2006 and 2007 to drive out al-Qaeda with the Americans - has throughout 2014 been parcelled up, city by military camp, before the Iraqi government and U.S. forces could act.

Now Anbar's largest airbase Ain al-Asad, the Haditha Dam – a critical piece of infrastructure - and surrounding towns are encircled by Islamic State to the west from the Syrian border and to the east from militant-controlled sections of Ramadi.

(...SNIPPED)

Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: S.M.A. on October 23, 2014, 15:23:27
ISIS on the move again in Iraq:

Reuters (http://ca.reuters.com/article/topNews/idCAKCN0IC22B20141023)

Quote
Islamic State militants seize Iraq village, press assault on Yazidis
Thu Oct 23, 2014 12:58pm EDT

By Saif Sameer and Ned Parker

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Islamic State wrested a Sunni Muslim village in western Iraq on Thursday from tribal defenders who put up weeks of fierce resistance, and the insurgents tightened a siege of the Yazidi minority on a mountain in the north.

The attacks showed Islamic State's continued operating resilience despite air strikes by U.S.-led coalition forces aimed at defeating the ultra-radical Sunni jihadist group, which has captured large expanses of Iraq and neighboring Syria, beheaded prisoners and massacred people from other religious communities, and declared a medieval-style caliphate.

The Albu Nimr tribe had been fending off Islamic State (IS) since early October but finally lost the village of Zauiyat albu Nimr in the western province of Anbar overnight on Thursday.

(...SNIPPED)

Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: S.M.A. on October 24, 2014, 02:57:23
Just how long will it take to turn the Iraqi Army into an effective fighting force so that next time, they don't abandon their Abrams tanks in the face of screaming ISIS fighters with just AK47s and RPGs?

Defense News (http://www.defensenews.com/article/20141023/DEFREG04/310230042/US-Official-Iraq-Army-Not-Ready-Repel-Islamic-State)

Quote
US Official: Iraq Army Not Ready To Repel Islamic State
Oct. 23, 2014 - 08:45PM   |   By JIM MICHAELS

MACDILL AIR FORCE BASE, FLA. — US airstrikes and Iraqi ground forces have blunted an Islamic State offensive in Iraq, but it will be months before Iraq can mount a sustained counteroffensive to take terrain back, a senior US military official said Thursday.

The official, who is involved in directing the military’s campaign against the militants, said Iraq’s security forces have been able to mount some limited counterattacks with the help of US airstrikes.

The official, who briefed reporters on the situation in Iraq, asked not to be identified because he was not authorized to speak publicly about the strategy. The official did not say exactly how long it would take to rebuild Iraq’s forces so they could repel the militants, but indicated it would be less than a year.

Four Iraqi divisions collapsed when the Islamic State attacked Mosul in June, allowing militants to grab large swaths of the country.

(...SNIPPED)
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: S.M.A. on October 24, 2014, 12:08:34
Yet another ISIS atrocity:

Military.com (http://www.military.com/daily-news/2014/10/24/report-islamic-state-used-chlorine-gas-on-iraqi-police.html?comp=7000023317843&rank=1)

Quote
Report: Islamic State Used Chlorine Gas on Iraqi Police

Stars and Stripes | Oct 24, 2014
The Islamic State group used chlorine gas against Iraqi police officers in what appears to be the first confirmed use of chemical weapons by the militants, according to a Washington Post report.

The attack on 11 Iraqi police occurred Sept. 15, about 50 miles north of Baghdad, according to an Iraqi defense ministry official cited by the Post.


The Iraqi police had been guarding a town under heavy assault for days when they saw IS fighters retreat from their position, according to the report. They heard a boom, then saw yellow smoke drift toward them.

The four doctors who later treated them said there was no question that they were attacked with chlorine gas, the Post reported. The police officers were rushed to a hospital in Balad, where they vomited and struggled to stand, according to the report. 

(...SNIPPED)

Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: cryco on October 24, 2014, 16:02:45
Murdering thugs. I wonder what the Iraqis will do to them when the tide of this war will eventually turn (when the west sends in ground troupes)
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: S.M.A. on October 25, 2014, 15:19:31
The air campaign continues:

Reuters (http://ca.reuters.com/article/topNews/idCAKCN0IE0H820141025)

Quote
U.S., allies stage 22 air strikes in Iraq: U.S. Central Command
Sat Oct 25, 2014 10:14am EDT

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States and its allies conducted 22 air strikes against Islamic State forces in Iraq on Friday and Saturday, the U.S. Central Command said.

U.S. warplanes also destroyed an Islamic State artillery piece near Kobani, Syria, officials said Saturday.

The 22 strikes in Iraq included attacks in the frequently targeted areas near the vital Mosul dam, the city of Fallujah and the northern city of Bayji, home of an oil refinery.


(...SNIPPED)

Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: S.M.A. on October 25, 2014, 20:48:52
Will an eventual ground victory in Iraq simply mean recapture of the ground lost to ISIS? Or capture or killing all its members in the region? Some will no doubt hide among the population for later attacks.

Reuters (http://ca.reuters.com/article/topNews/idCAKCN0IE0I820141025)

Quote
Iraqi security forces and Kurds gain ground against Islamic State
Sat Oct 25, 2014 6:55pm EDT

By Ahmed Rasheed and Isabel Coles

BAGHDAD/ARBIL Iraq (Reuters) - Iraqi government forces and Shi'ite militias seized control of the strategic town of Jurf al-Sakhar near Baghdad from Islamic State on Saturday and Kurdish fighters made gains in the north after heavy coalition air strikes against the Sunni militants.

Iraqi troops and their Shi'ite allies broke the grip of Islamic State in Jurf al-Sakhar after months of fighting against insurgents determined to march on the capital.

"Our forces with the support of the volunteers are in total control over Jurf al-Sakhar now and the terrorists fled to the southwest areas of the town," a spokesman for security forces there said.

(...SNIPPED)
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: S.M.A. on October 26, 2014, 15:00:23
ISIS MANPADS?

Don't most airlines headed from Europe to Asia or vice-versa already avoid the Middle East altogether in their flight plans?

Defense News (http://www.defensenews.com/article/20141026/DEFREG04/310260012/German-Spies-Warn-Islamic-State-Has-Anti-Aircraft-Rockets-Report-Says)

Quote
German Spies Warn Islamic State Has Anti-Aircraft Rockets, Report Says
Oct. 26, 2014 - 12:14PM   |   By AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE 

BERLIN — Germany’s intelligence service believes Islamic State jihadist fighters in northern Iraq possess anti-aircraft weapons that could take down passenger jets, according to a newspaper report Sunday.

The BND federal intelligence service had told German lawmakers about its suspicion in a confidential briefing late last week, reported the Bild am Sonntag newspaper without citing named sources.

In the briefing, the BND reportedly warned that IS fighters possess portable rocket launchers captured from Syrian army stocks. Some dated from the 1970s, while others were modern and advanced.

(...SNIPPED)

Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: S.M.A. on October 27, 2014, 00:12:35
It should be clear the Iraqi forces and Shia militia wouldn't have been able to do this without US-coalition airpower:

Military.com (http://www.military.com/daily-news/2014/10/26/iraqi-troops-retake-control-of-sunni-town-from-islamic-state.html?comp=1198882887570&rank=1)

Quote
Iraqi Troops Retake Control of Sunni Town from Islamic State

Associated Press | Oct 26, 2014

Iraqi soldiers backed by Shiite militiamen retook control Sunday of a Sunni town seized previously by Islamic militants, said an Iraqi official and state-run TV, a rare victory for Iraqi security forces that have been battling to regain areas lost to the militants.

The provincial official said that government forces entered Jurf al-Sakhar, which fell to fighters from the Islamic State group in late July.

Col. Muthana Khalid, spokesman of the Babil provincial police, said the battle over the town left dozens of militants dead or wounded.

(...SNIPPED)

Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: S.M.A. on October 27, 2014, 15:34:34
...while resistance by ISIS fighters continues to remain fierce...

Reuters (http://ca.reuters.com/article/topNews/idCAKBN0IG15G20141027)

Quote
Suicide bomber kills 27 militiamen south of Iraqi capital
Mon Oct 27, 2014 12:41pm EDT

By Michael Georgy

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - A suicide bomber killed at least 27 Shi'ite militiamen on the outskirts of the Iraqi town of Jurf al-Sakhar on Monday after security forces pushed Islamic State militants out of the area over the weekend, army and police sources said.

The attacker, driving a Humvee vehicle packed with explosives and likely stolen from defeated government troops, also wounded 60 Shi'ite militiamen, who had helped government forces retake the town just south of the capital.

Holding Jurf al-Sakhar is critical for Iraqi security forces who finally managed to drive out the Sunni insurgents after months of fighting.

(...SNIPPED)

Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: S.M.A. on October 29, 2014, 00:52:37
full article: A month ago, ISIS’s advance looked unstoppable. Now it’s been stopped. (http://www.vox.com/2014/10/28/7079695/isis-iraq-syria-defeat)

Source for article and map below: Vox.com

  ISIS's defeats in Iraq are more important than its gains

(https://Army.ca/forums/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fcdn1.vox-cdn.com%2Fthumbor%2Fw2TyUNE0l2qrcQGEvs23Lo_BfRs%3D%2F800x0%2Ffilters%3Ano_upscale%28%29%2Fcdn1.vox-cdn.com%2Fuploads%2Fchorus_asset%2Ffile%2F2399700%2F2014-10-26_Control_Zone_Map.png_HIGH-01.0.png&hash=d32cdf47fcbad2c7b09c8eaf1d9547d7)
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: S.M.A. on October 29, 2014, 13:21:47
Iraqi Kurds helping their Syrian cousins:

Reuters (http://ca.reuters.com/article/topNews/idCAKBN0II09X20141029)

Quote
Iraqi peshmerga poised to join battle against Islamic State in Syria
Wed Oct 29, 2014 9:02am EDT

By Dasha Afanasieva and Alexander Dziadosz

SURUC Turkey/BEIRUT (Reuters) - Iraqi peshmerga fighters arrived in southeastern Turkey on Wednesday en route for the Syrian town of Kobani to try to help fellow Kurds break an Islamic State siege which has defied U.S.-led air strikes.

Kobani, on the border with Turkey, has been under assault from Islamic State militants for more than a month and its fate has become a test of the U.S.-led coalition's ability to combat the Sunni insurgents.

Weeks of air strikes on Islamic State positions around Kobani and the deaths of hundreds of their fighters have failed to break the siege. Syrian Kurds and their international allies hope the arrival of the peshmerga, along with heavier weapons, can turn the tide.

(...SNIPPED)

Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: S.M.A. on November 01, 2014, 14:17:00
Another update: the French carrier Charles de Gaulle joining Iraq strikes next year?

Defens-aero.com (http://www.defens-aero.com/2014/11/le-porte-avions-charles-de-gaulle-s-appreterait-a-entrer-en-action-en-irak-debut-2015.html)

Quote
Le porte-avions Charles de Gaulle s’apprêterait à entrer en action en Irak début 2015
1 Novembre 2014

Au fil des semaines et des mois, l'opération Chammal en Irak se renforce et devient une opération où la France s'y consacre pleinement puisqu'elle déploie neuf Rafale de l'Armée de l'Air, un ravitailleur C-135FR, un avion de patrouille maritime Atlantique 2 de la Marine Nationale, la frégate antiaérienne Jean Bart, ainsi que des forces spéciales afin d'entraîner les forces armées irakiennes avec le matériel que la France leur a livré. Mais cet engagement pourrait encore s’accroître dans les semaines à venir, avec l'arrivée dans le golfe arabo-persique du porte-avions français Charles de Gaulle.

En effet, selon le quotidien français Le Télégramme, qui révèle l'information dans un article au sujet des coupes budgétaires, "le porte-avions Charles-de-Gaulle qui se prépare en secret à un appareillage vers le Golfe arabo-persique", devrait arriver sur zone "au début de 2015".

(...SNIPPED)

Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: S.M.A. on November 06, 2014, 03:09:13
Too bad the Kiwis didn't replace their Skyhawks and did away with their fighter arm so airpower isnt an option for them...

Defense News (http://www.defensenews.com/article/20141105/DEFREG03/311050033/New-Zealand-Rules-Out-Combat-Troops-Fight-Islamic-State)

Quote
New Zealand Rules Out Combat Troops To Fight Islamic State
Nov. 5, 2014 - 04:39PM   |   By AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND — New Zealand will not send combat troops to battle the Islamic State (IS) group but is prepared to help boost the Iraqi military’s capacity to fight the jihadists, Prime Minister John Key said Wednesday.

Key unveiled a range of policies aimed at countering the threat from IS both at home and abroad, including boosting domestic intelligence agencies to guard against a Canada-style attack.

He said the emergence of IS, also known as ISIS or ISIL, was a “game changer” for Western nations, because it not only destabilized the Middle East but also increased the risk of domestic attacks by radicalized extremists.

(...SNIPPED)

Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: S.M.A. on November 06, 2014, 11:40:55
The Al-Nusra group is now a new target in the coalition air campaign:

Reuters (http://ca.reuters.com/article/topNews/idCAKBN0IQ0J820141106)

Quote
U.S.-led air strikes hit al Qaeda affiliate in Syria
Thu Nov 6, 2014 9:35am EST

AMMAN (Reuters) - Air strikes by a U.S.-led coalition set up to fight Islamic State hit the al Qaeda-linked Nusra Front in northwest Syria overnight, rebels and residents said on Thursday.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a monitoring group, said the strikes were on an office and a vehicle in Idlib province in northwest Syria, where last week the group routed Western-backed Syrian rebels.

Residents said one strike targeted a car used by Nusra commanders, near an internet cafe in the Nusra-controlled town of Sarmada close to the Turkish border.

(...SNIPPED)

Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: S.M.A. on November 07, 2014, 23:57:26
More US troops headed to Iraq:

Defense News (http://www.defensenews.com/article/20141107/DEFREG04/311070020/Obama-Authorizes-1-500-More-US-Troops-Iraq)

Quote
Obama Authorizes 1,500 More US Troops for Iraq
Nov. 7, 2014 - 06:06PM   |   By Michelle Tan and Andrew Tilghman Staff writers 

President Obama on Friday authorized up to 1,500 more U.S. troops to join the training and advise-and-assist mission in Iraq against Islamic militants, the White House announced.

The new mission will greatly expand the geographical reach of the U.S. mission that until now has been limited to the Baghdad area and the Kurdish city of Irbil, and is aimed at pushing back into areas that had been overrun earlier this year by Islamic State militants.

“This is a change in geography. We are going to now put advisory teams out in what we consider to be expeditionary geography where the Iraqis are taking the fight to the enemy,” Pentagon spokesman Rear Adm. John Kirby said Friday.

(...SNIPPED)

Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: S.M.A. on November 10, 2014, 13:13:13
Where could ISIS leader Baghdadi be hiding?

Reuters (http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/11/09/us-mideast-crisis-iraq-baiji-idUSKBN0IT0AP20141109)

Quote
Iraqi military reach Baiji; Baghdadi's fate unclear
BY AHMED RASHEED
BAGHDAD Sun Nov 9, 2014 5:32pm ES

(Reuters) - Iraqi military forces reached the center of the northern city of Baiji on Sunday in an effort to break an Islamic State siege of the country's biggest refinery, triggering fierce clashes with the militants, according to an army colonel and a witness.

Separately, contradictory reports emerged over the fate of Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi after U.S.-led air strikes against the group in at least two locations in Iraq on Friday night.

The United States said it had no information to indicate Baghdadi had been hit. State television cited reports that Baghdadi had been wounded. It gave no further details.

(...SNIPPED)

Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: tomahawk6 on November 10, 2014, 14:13:54
By all accounts he has either been seriously wounded or killed,along with alot of IS leaders.The air campaign is making life hard for the islamists.
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: S.M.A. on November 13, 2014, 12:18:38
Back to "shock and awe" on a greater scale?

Reuters (http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/11/13/us-mideast-crisis-usa-hagel-idUSKCN0IX1V420141113)

Quote
Hagel says air war against Islamic State will intensify
WASHINGTON Thu Nov 13, 2014 10:47am EST

(Reuters) - Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said on Thursday the U.S.-led air war against Islamic State militants will intensify in the future as Iraqi ground forces improve and become more effective.

Defending the U.S. strategy during a House of Representatives hearing, Hagel said, "As Iraqi forces build strength, the tempo and intensity of our coalition's air campaign will accelerate in tandem."

Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: Kilo_302 on November 13, 2014, 12:35:40
Interesting analysis from a retired US Army Lt General. We need to have more debates like this before we do things like get involved with fighting ISIS.

http://www.democracynow.org/2014/11/12/why_we_lost_retired_us_general (http://www.democracynow.org/2014/11/12/why_we_lost_retired_us_general)
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: S.M.A. on November 13, 2014, 14:19:17
"Can the US and other allied advisers actually train that many, and train them effectively, before ISIS starts advancing again? is the question that needs to be asked.

Is anyone here aware of the rate at which Afghan troops for the ANA were trained by NATO/ISAF?

Reuters (http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/11/13/us-mideast-crisis-usa-hagel-idUSKCN0IX1V420141113)

Quote
Iraq needs 80,000 good troops to retake lost territory: U.S. general
WASHINGTON Thu Nov 13, 2014 1:08pm EST

(Reuters) - Iraq will need about 80,000 effective military troops to retake the terrain it lost to Islamic State militants and restore its border with Syria, the top U.S. general said on Thursday.

"We're going to need about 80,000 competent Iraqi security forces to recapture territory lost, and eventually the city of Mosul, to restore the border," Army General Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of staff, told a congressional hearing.

(...SNIPPED)

Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: Thucydides on November 13, 2014, 22:31:41
I'm of two minds about this.

On one hand, I am aware of the general consensus that it takes decades to build an effective, competent and professional military force. For the most part that is true, but I think this really speaks more of the building and staffing of the "institutional" army, the logistical and professional training and evaluation backbone that allows the military to have institutional memory, pass on lessons learned, develop new doctrine and TTP's and raise the next generation of service members. This is pretty hard to do (one only has to look at the "Institutional Army" in Canada to see issues), and also very hard to sustain (look up Jerry Pournelle's "Iron Law of Bureaucracy" to see where the danger lies).

OTOH, large and effective field armies have been raised and marched into battle in remarkably short periods of time throughout history (examples can be found as far back as ancient Greece), and we have done the same during the Great War and WWII. I don't know if the circumstances in Iraq would allow for this, since I think one of the important ingredients to successfully raise a field force like this needs to be cultural (think of the Levée en masse in the French Revolution; it required a sense of national identity and an adherence to the ideals of the Revolution against a seemingly existential threat, otherwise few would have flocked to the colours).

If enough Iraqis feel an adherence to the idea of "Iraq", then perhaps this may be possible. However, few of the people there see themselves as "Iraqi's". The Kurds are building their own force, and the tribal militias in Anabar represent another sort of Levée en masse, so any attempt to oust ISIS by a unitary of Federal Iraqi force will be problematic at best. Even if the Iraqi's "win", will the Kurds and tribal groups in Anabar submit to some form of Federal authority?
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: S.M.A. on November 14, 2014, 21:58:55
The Iraqi military finally getting their act together with this victory?

Associated Press (https://ca.news.yahoo.com/iraqi-officials-government-forces-driven-militants-refinery-town-111822998.html)

Quote
Iraqi forces score major victory over IS, drive militants out of key oil refinery town
By Hamza Hendawi And John Heilprin, The Associated Press

BAGHDAD - Iraqi forces drove Islamic State militants out of a strategic oil refinery town north of Baghdad on Friday, scoring their biggest battlefield victory since they melted away in the face of the terror group's stunning summer offensive that captured much of northern and western Iraq.

The recapture of Beiji is the latest in a series of setbacks for the jihadi group, which has lost hundreds of fighters to airstrikes by a U.S.-led coalition in a stalled advance on the Syrian town of Kobani. On Friday, activists there reported significant progress by Kurdish fighters defending the town.

Iraqi security officials said government forces backed by allied militiamen took control of Beiji and also lifted a monthslong Islamic State siege on its refinery — Iraq's largest. However, two military officials reached by telephone in Beiji late Friday said there was still some fighting going on at the refinery, but reinforcements had been sent in and Iraqi forces were poised to retake it.

(...SNIPPED)

Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: S.M.A. on November 19, 2014, 12:53:41
The French launching more strikes against ISIS:

Reuters (http://ca.reuters.com/article/topNews/idCAKCN0J316B20141119)

Quote
France says jets strike IS targets to break Kirkuk frontline
Wed Nov 19, 2014 10:48am EST

PARIS (Reuters) - France said on Wednesday that Rafale jets had struck Islamic State targets alongside coalition planes near the northern Iraq city of Kirkuk to help breach the group's frontlines, and was sending six fighter jets to Jordan to ramp up its strikes.

Two Dassault-built Rafale fighters, both armed with four missiles, targeted trenches used by Islamic State to besiege the oil city at around 0330 GMT (10:30 p.m. ET), the ministry said in a statement.

(...SNIPPED)

Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: S.M.A. on November 20, 2014, 09:58:42
Good.

Reuters (http://ca.reuters.com/article/topNews/idCAKCN0J41FC20141120)


Senior Islamic State figure killed in Mosul: sources

Quote
They said Radwan Taleb al-Hamdouni, who they described as the radical militant group's leader in Mosul, was killed with his driver when their car was hit in a western district of the city on Wednesday afternoon.

Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: tomahawk6 on November 20, 2014, 10:02:34
Jihad John must be the luckiest tango this side of paradise.NATO is targeting him and he still is beheading people.
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: Thucydides on November 24, 2014, 22:47:13
More surprises popping up from the past:

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/23/world/middleeast/thousands-of-iraq-chemical-weapons-destroyed-in-open-air-watchdog-says-.html?mabReward=RI%3A7&action=click&contentCollection=Energy%20%26%20Environment%20&region=Footer&module=Recommendation&src=recg&pgtype=article&_r=0

Quote
Thousands of Iraq Chemical Weapons Destroyed in Open Air, Watchdog Says
By C. J. CHIVERSNOV. 22, 2014

The United States recovered thousands of old chemical weapons in Iraq from 2004 to 2009 and destroyed almost all of them in secret and via open-air detonation, according to a written summary of its activities prepared by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, the international body that monitors implementation of the global chemical weapons treaty.

The 30-page summary, prepared after quietly held meetings between the organization’s technical staff and American officials in Washington in 2009, was provided to The New York Times by the Pentagon on Friday.

It included a table disclosing limited details on 95 separate recoveries and destructions of chemical warheads, shells or aviation bombs, for a total of 4,530 munitions from May 2004 through February 2009 — a period of often intense fighting in Iraq.

The United States later recovered more Iraqi chemical weapons, pushing its tally to 4,996 by early 2011, according to redacted intelligence documents obtained by The Times via the Freedom of Information Act.

The weapons destroyed through early 2009, the newly released report said, included some that contained chemical agents, others that were corroded and degraded, and some that appeared to have been previously demilitarized but that the United States destroyed “to err on the side of safety and security.”

Its authors noted that none of the weapons had been recently manufactured. All were legacy items from Iraq’s chemical weapons program in the 1980s and early 1990s. That program had been rushed into production during the Iran-Iraq War and then destroyed in the 1991 Gulf War and the period of United Nations inspections that followed.

“All munitions found were left over from pre-1991 Iraqi program,” the report said.

The report by the organization, which has its headquarters in The Hague and is often referred to as an international watchdog on chemical weapons and treaty compliance, was a result of an unusual moment in the American occupation.

In early 2009, at American prodding, Iraq’s fledgling government joined the Chemical Weapons Convention, the international treaty that has largely banned chemical weapons worldwide. With that, Iraq assumed obligations to declare and ultimately destroy under the organization’s supervision any chemical weapons remaining from Saddam Hussein’s rule.

Until that point, American forces had been quietly finding and destroying old chemical weapons in the country; at times, the weapons were being used by militants in improvised bombs.

As American forces took possession of the weapons, the United States government had kept the bulk of these activities and their complications secret, including chemical wounds, especially from sulfur mustard blister agent, sustained by American troops.

Once Iraq joined the convention, however, the United States shifted its stance and proposed a more thorough disclosure. It invited the organization’s specialists to review, in private, records of the military’s activities.

The report, prepared by the organization’s Technical Secretariat, recounted elements of that review, which was held in summer 2009.

Its authors appeared to choose words carefully, relating information and positions that the American government had shared with them without passing judgment on their contents.

The report explicitly noted that in many cases the American records were scarce, and that “this activity was not a verification measure” and “was not conducted in accordance with rules contained in the Verification Annex” — the part of the treaty that delineates procedures for destroying chemical weapons and confirming compliance.

The report’s purpose, the authors noted, was “to allow the U.S. to provide assurance that it acted in the spirit of the Convention.”

A spokesman for the organization, reached late Friday, said he had not seen the document.

The Pentagon’s release of the report was a partial departure from its nearly decade-long posture of secrecy.

In 2004, Charles A. Duelfer, who led the Iraq Survey Group, a task force established by the C.I.A. after the American-led invasion, published a lengthy compendium on the state of Iraq’s weapons-of-mass-destruction programs, which included sections describing the American recovery and destruction of a small number of chemical warheads and shells that year. An early 2005 addendum updated the information.

The United States then fell nearly silent as troops encountered more chemical shells, publicly releasing only snippets in 2006. By then, the number of encounters with chemical weapons in improvised bombs had increased. Soon more troops were wounded by them, as secrecy prevailed.

The Technical Secretariat noted, for instance, that even when the United States sent a letter in 2006 to The Hague disclosing that it had encountered chemical munitions and expected to encounter more, it guarded the details and asserted that “efforts to recover and destroy chemical munitions remained an extremely sensitive matter.”

The contents of the newly released report suggest that there were limits to American information-sharing in 2009, even with the watchdogs.

Almost no reference is made to people wounded while handling the chemical weapons. And the list of incidents is not complete; it is missing, for instance, the September 2006 recovery of a repurposed mustard shell from an improvised bomb that wounded two Navy ordnance disposal techs — Chief Petty Officer Ted Pickett and Petty Officer Third Class Jeremiah Foxwell.

Further, the United States declined to share precise locations for the recoveries of chemical munitions. “U.S. representatives indicated that the exact locations are considered sensitive,” the report said.

Jeffrey Lewis, a nonproliferation analyst at the Monterey Institute of International Studies, upon reviewing the newly released document on Friday, also said that what the report described of American actions appeared to be unsafe to American troops and Iraqis alike.

“The thing I take away from this is, ‘God, they blew all of this up in open pits?’ ” he said. “There is a reason that is arguably incompatible with our treaty obligations. There is no universe where this is a safe and ecologically appropriate way to dispose of chemical weapons.”

The Pentagon has said the exigencies of war required that the weapons be destroyed hastily and in the open.

Mr. Lewis said he understood that troops who assumed disposal missions, typically while on missions to counter improvised bombs, lacked the equipment and time to handle chemical weapons more deliberately and with less risk. He suggested the Pentagon had failed them by being unprepared and careless.

“When you step back to look at the broader responsibilities we have as a country, we rolled into Iraq, we had no plan, we were not very focused, and so we stumbled onto this stuff,” he said. “I am totally sympathetic to the guys on the ground who had to deal with this, but I just can’t get away from the fiasco that put them in this situation in the first place.”

The released documents also included six pages on a similar visit by the organization’s technical staff to England, where they reviewed records provided by the British government of a far smaller set of destructions disclosed by British forces — 21 Borak rockets containing sarin nerve agent in early 2006.

The British government, in contrast to the United States government, had in 2010 publicly released details of the Borak destructions after Iran complained to the watchdog group of the “clear violation of the United States and the United Kingdom obligations under the Convention.”

I hope that they finally are able to account for everything (or at least a very large fraction), otherwise, this stuff will continue to turn up, and increasingly in the hands of IS** and their friends.
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: S.M.A. on December 01, 2014, 21:43:11
Notable update at the Iran super thread:

Iranian F4 Phantom jets join air strikes against ISIS targets in Iraq (http://army.ca/forums/index.php/topic,25516.msg1340513.html#new)
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: S.M.A. on December 03, 2014, 11:40:26
Anyone else see updates on Baghdadi's whereabouts?

Quote
ISIS leader's wife, son have been detained in Lebanon

Lebanese officials say authorities have detained a wife and son of the Islamic State’s leader.

The two were detained 10 days ago using fake identification cards.

Both officials refused to give any details about the woman who is believed to be one of the wives of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the group's reclusive leader.

(...SNIPPED)

More at: Fox News (http://www.foxnews.com/world/2014/12/02/isis-leader-wife-son-reportedly-detained-in-lebanon/)

Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: S.M.A. on December 18, 2014, 23:37:23
US military "advisors" reportedly clash with ISIS fighters for the first time in Iraq:

Source: Opposing Views (http://www.opposingviews.com/i/society/us-ground-troops-clash-isis-fighters-first-time-iraq)

Quote
U.S. Ground Troops Clash With ISIS Fighters In Iraq For The First Time

(...SNIPPED)

"American ground troops in Iraq have reportedly, for the first time, clashed with fighters from the Islamic State as the militants attempted to overrun an Iraqi military base. The Daily Mail reports members of the Islamic State, the group commonly referred to as ISIS, attacked Ein al-Asad airbase in the early hours of Sunday morning where more than 100 U.S. troops are stationed in support of the base’s Iraqi troops."

(...SNIPPED)


Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: S.M.A. on January 06, 2015, 00:38:52
Military.com (http://www.military.com/daily-news/2015/01/05/isis-fires-mortars-near-marines-deployed-to-train-iraq-forces.html?comp=1198882887570&rank=1)

Quote
ISIS Fires Mortars Near Marines Deployed to Train Iraq Forces

Jan 05, 2015 | by Richard Sisk
Marines at a forward training base for the Iraqi security forces in western Anbar province have come under "regular" but spotty indirect fire in recent weeks from ISIS, mostly from mortars, the Pentagon said Monday.
"It's fair to say the al-Asad command has come under regular fire" but "the fire has been completely ineffective. These are purely nuisance attacks," Army Col. Steve Warren, a Pentagon spokesman, said of the sprawling outpost of the Iraqi army at the former al-Asad airbase west of Baghdad.
U.S. troops, who have been barred from ground combat by President Obama, have not returned fire and left the Iraqi national security forces to deal with the indirect fire threat from the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

(...SNIPPED)

Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: S.M.A. on January 11, 2015, 10:11:02
The battle for Iraq continues:

Reuters (https://ca.news.yahoo.com/islamic-state-kills-24-kurds-surprise-attack-north-122132444.html)

Quote
Islamic State kills 24 Kurds in surprise attack in North Iraq
Reuters

ARBIL, Iraq (Reuters) - Islamic State militants have killed at least 24 members of the Kurdish security forces in a surprise attack in northern Iraq, Kurdish officials said, in one of the deadliest single battles for the Kurds since last summer.

Three Kurdish officers reported continued clashes with Islamic State on Sunday, one day after the deaths, near Gwer, a town some 40km (25 miles) southwest of the autonomous Kurdish region's capital Arbil.
Kurdish-controlled Gwer is likely to be a launch-pad for any future attempt by Iraqi and Kurdish forces to retake Mosul, the biggest city in northern Iraq which Islamic State seized last June.

(...SNIPPED)


Al Jazeera (http://www.aljazeera.com/news/middleeast/2015/01/iraqi-army-readies-assault-mosul-2015110164639347982.html)

Quote
Iraqi army readies for assault on Mosul

The Iraqi government is preparing an offensive against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) group in the country's second biggest city, Mosul.

The Iraqi army and Sunni tribal fighters are expected to take on ISIL in the coming days, with the US-led coalition providing them with air support. Osama al-Nujaifi, Iraqi vice president, and Khaled al-Obeidi, defence minister, who are both from Mosul, have been visiting Erbil to gain the support of the Kurdish Peshmerga forces for the planned offensive in Mosul.

(...SNIPPED)

Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: S.M.A. on January 19, 2015, 18:59:38
The battle lines drawn back to Fallujah again...

Military.com (http://www.military.com/daily-news/2015/01/18/isis-maintains-control-over-fallujah-despite-us-airstrikes.html?comp=1198882887570&rank=2)

Quote
ISIS Maintains Control Over Fallujah Despite US Airstrikes

Associated Press | Jan 18, 2015 | by Vivian Salama
BAGHDAD — Nearly every night for a year, mortar and sniper fire from Islamic State group militants has pinned down outgunned Iraqi troops on the edge of Fallujah.

The city, the first to fall to the Sunni extremists a year ago this month, exemplifies the lack of progress in Iraq's war against the Islamic State group, which holds a third of the country. U.S.-led airstrikes and Iranian aid have helped Iraqi troops, militiamen and Kurdish fighters take back bits around Islamic State-held territory, but recapturing it all remains far out of reach.

"We are constantly on alert and don't sleep very much," said Saad al-Sudani, an Iraqi soldier among the beleaguered troops outside of Fallujah. "We are waiting for any kind of support."

(...SNIPPED)

Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: tomahawk6 on January 19, 2015, 19:46:10
Canadian SF took it to ISIS after coming under fire. :salute:

http://news.yahoo.com/canada-special-forces-clash-iraq-195504092.html

Ottawa (AFP) - Canadian special forces exchanged gunfire with Islamic State fighters in Iraq in recent days, in the first confirmed ground battle between Western troops and IS, a senior officer said Monday.

The Canadians came under mortar and machine gun fire while training Iraqi troops near front lines and shot back in what Canadian special forces commander Brigadier General Michael Rouleau described as self-defense, killing the IS fighters.

Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: cryco on January 20, 2015, 01:02:49
fear the snipers!
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: Thucydides on January 20, 2015, 10:27:29
A German reporter "embedded" with ISIS describes his time with them. Obviously their morale is quite high at this point, so messaging and bombing is having only a limited effect:

http://www.breitbart.com/national-security/2015/01/18/german-embed-reporter-isis-plans-on-killing-hundreds-of-millions-in-religious-cleansing/

Quote
Jurgen Todenhofer, the first Western reporter to embed with Islamic State fighters and not be killed in the process, spoke to Al Jazeera about his time with the terror group.
 
Todenhofer lived side by side with the jihadist fighters for ten days in the Islamic State-stronghold city of Mosul, Iraq. He was accompanied only by his son, who served as his cameraman.
 
“I always asked them about the value of mercy in Islam,” but “I didn’t see any mercy in their behavior,” explained Todenhofer. He added, “Something that I don’t understand at all is the enthusiasm in their plan of religious cleansing, planning to kill the non-believers… They also will kill Muslim democrats because they believe that non-ISIL-Muslims put the laws of human beings above the commandments of God.”
 
The German reporter then elaborated on how shocked he was about how “willing to kill” the ISIS fighters are. He said that they were ready to commit genocide. “They were talking about [killing] hundreds of millions. They were enthusiastic about it, and I just cannot understand that,” said Todenhofer
 
He warned that the Islamic State “is much stronger than we think,” and that their recruiting has brought motivated jihadis from across the globe. “Each day, hundreds of new enthusiastic fighters are arriving,” explained Todenhofer. “There is an incredible enthusiasm that I have never seen in any other war zones I have been to.”
 
The journalist asserted that the U.S.-led bombing campaign was not going to stop the Islamic State and its continuing jihad. He told Al Jazeera that he believed the terror group would only be stopped if fellow Sunni Iraqis would rise up against them.
 
Follow Jordan on Twitter @JordanSchachtel
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: tomahawk6 on January 20, 2015, 12:22:09
If you are seeking paradise,then you wouldnt fear death.One would welcome it.
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: YZT580 on January 20, 2015, 13:02:52
If you are seeking paradise,then you wouldnt fear death.One would welcome it.

Isn't it a wonderful sacrifice that their leaders make.  They deliberately forego their own opportunities for paradise in order to permit their followers to proceed ahead of them. 
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: Rifleman62 on January 29, 2015, 12:55:31
http://www.nationalreview.com/article/397240/obamas-confused-iraqi-policy-bing-west-owen-west

National Review - January 27, 2015 -  Bing West & Owen West

Obama’s Confused Iraqi Policy
U.S. air, aid, and advisers in Iraq are currently furthering Iran’s interests, not America’s.

Today in Iraq, American advisers stay in safe shelters, while Iranian soldiers and generals fight alongside Shia militias and Iraqi soldiers on the front lines. Our bombing supports Iranian-directed movements on the ground. This bizarre situation bring into question American policy goals. Are the administration’s actions ad hoc and poorly thought out, or is there a hidden, more foreboding agenda?

In the State of the Union address, President Obama said that “in Iraq and Syria, American leadership — including our military power — is stopping ISIL’s advance.” Actually, America is following Iranian leadership inside Iraq. In 2007, when President Bush surged more than 20,000 American troops into Iraq, Iran responded with explosive devices and assassination teams to kill our soldiers. Eight years ago, it would have been risible to predict that American troops would deploy a second time to support Iran’s Republican Guard. Yet that is what we have done.

How did we get to this stage? After the president pulled all our forces out of Iraq in 2011, the majority-Shia government oppressed the minority Sunni and Kurdish tribes. The sectarian Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki deployed Iraqi military units commanded by Shia political hacks into the Sunni areas. When the Sunni Islamists invaded from Syria, those Iraqi units ran away. Iran rushed in troops to prevent Baghdad from falling.

In response, President Obama has provided air strikes, while forbidding any American to engage in combat. Canadian advisers have been in combat on the front lines, marking targets for U.S. aircraft. The American advisers must stay in the rear. This is publicly embarrassing and militarily zany.

Iran is pursuing a consistent policy to extend its influence. Inside Syria, Iran has sent in its Hezbollah militia from Lebanon to fight for Assad, its client. We are bombing the Sunni terrorists. Mr. Obama has designated the Assad forces off limits. Rhetorically he declaims against Assad and Hezbollah, but he refrains from action. In contrast, last week in Syria, our ally Israel bombed and killed several Hezbollah leaders and the Iranian general who was advising them.

Inside Iraq, it is again the Iranians who display more consistency than the administration. In Baghdad, houses are searched by Shia militias, supervised by Iranian advisers. Other Iranians are on the battlefields and inside the operations centers of the Iraqi army, where they study our techniques and learn how we think and plan campaigns. Iranian aircraft are transiting Iraqi airspace to supply the Assad regime and are bombing targets inside Iraq.

Addressing those Iranian strikes, Secretary of State John Kerry said, “The net effect is positive. . . . The Iraqis have the overall responsibility for their own ground and air operations, and what they choose to do is up to them.”

How is the effect “positive” when the end state is an Iraq more closely tied to Iran? About 7,000 Iranian soldiers are committed to the fight, while 3,000 American advisers stay safe in the rear. Given its close control of Shia militias, Iran can, whenever it chooses, engineer bombings that will drive us out of the country. We stay at Iranian sufferance. That will end someday, as it did in Lebanon when Hezbollah, trained by Iran’s Revolutionary Guard, blew up U.S. barracks in Beirut, killing 241 Marines. When it is in Iran’s interests, we will be pushed out of Iraq.

The 1916 map of Mesopotamia drawn by the British and French is being redrawn by the 21st-century Islamic upheaval. Iran is consolidating power on the Shia side. On the Sunni side, the Obama administration has antagonized both Egypt and Saudi Arabia, while no Sunni coalition of religious and military leaders has emerged to destroy the extremist movement within Sunni Islam.

Inside Iraq, the Sunni and Kurdish tribes will not accept a return to the status quo ante. The tribal and political dynamics that caused Iraq’s disintegration remain in place. No offensive to drive out the Islamists can succeed without Americans on the front lines calling in air strikes. Obama will be forced to play that trump card before leaving office, despite his denials to date. In return, he should demand an Iraqi federation with largely self-rule for Kurds and Sunnis.

On two levels, the administration’s policy in Iraq is confusing and suspect. First, Obama will not acknowledge the religious base of our enemy. He calls them “violent extremists” while insisting that “the vast majority of Muslims share our commitment to peace.” But he refuses to join France, England, Germany, Egypt, and other nations in calling on peaceful Muslim leaders to speak up.

“They [ordinary citizens] ask how they can trust the phrase that murderers who claim to act in the name of Islam have nothing to do with Islam,” German chancellor Angels Merkel said last week. “We urgently need a clarification of these questions by Islam’s religious leaders. This issue can’t be evaded any longer.”

Obama, however, persists in evading it. As long as he refuses to recognize the self-professed motivation of our Islamist enemies, he cannot take steps to remove their support system among the too-silent majority of peaceful Muslims.

On the second level, the policy is foreboding. For Egypt, Jordan, Israel, Lebanon, and Saudi Arabia and the other Gulf States — all allied with America for the past half-century — our aligning with Iranian forces inside Iraq increases their concerns that America has switched sides. Obama is pleading with Iran for a deal about its nuclear-weapons program. It represents the last, best hope for his legacy in foreign policy, which he has botched. And so he will not upset Iran by frowning on its military presence and increasing influence inside Iraq. Our traditional allies in the region believe that the administration is allowing the balance of power to shift against them, as Iran consolidates its influence in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, and Yemen.

Congress has a role to play. The administration has asked for funding and authorization to continue to use force against the Sunni Islamists in Iraq, Syria, and other countries. Congress should insist on three provisions relative to Iraq.

First, no aid, or bombing will be delivered, unless Iraq places limits on the number of Iranian military and on their linkages with Shia militias.

Second, insist on a compact with Iraq for a long-term American military presence. We should not fight and leave the political victory to Iran. Some in our military are whispering, “Don’t worry, the Iraqi mullahs don’t like the Iranian mullahs.” Perhaps true, but irrelevant. Their power positions are scarcely equivalent. Shia mullahs rule in Iran and pontificate in Iraq.

Third, all U.S. aid must flow directly to the end recipient, whether that be the Iraqi army or a Sunni or Kurdish tribe. The Iraqi government should be notified of our aid but not given control of it.

American air, aid, and advisers in Iraq must further American interests, not Iran’s.

— Bing West served in Vietnam as an adviser and has written three books about the Iraq war. Owen West served two tours in Iraq and wrote the book The Snake Eaters about his advisory team in Anbar Province, now controlled by the Islamists.

Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: S.M.A. on January 30, 2015, 12:54:51
Seems at least one of those ISIS-operated Abrams tanks survived the air strikes to find its way to another Iraqi faction:

Quote
Iraqi Shia militia spotted with Abrams tank

 IHS Janes 360 (http://www.janes.com/article/48411/iraqi-shia-militia-spotted-with-abrams-tank) - 28 January 2015

The convoy was made up of at least 130 vehicles, almost all of them flying the group's distinctive flag.

Most of the vehicles are civilian pick-ups, minivans and trucks, some converted into weapons platforms, as well as supporting tankers and ambulances.

It also included eight Iranian-made Safir jeeps, the majority of them carrying 107 mm multiple rocket launchers, as well as several Humvees and mine-protected armoured vehicles.

At least six M113 armoured personnel carriers and a lone M1A1 tank were carried by heavy transporters at the rear of the convoy.

While Iraqi militias have been seen operating Humvees, M113s and Soviet-designed tanks before, this is the first time that one has been seen with an M1A1, a type that is only operated by the Iraqi Army's 9th Armoured Division.


(https://Army.ca/forums/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.janes.com%2Fimages%2Fassets%2F411%2F48411%2F1628635_-_main.jpg&hash=c3f3ab0413e9abb844c84e8e358a1d67)
A still from a video that emerged on 22 January shows an M1A1 Abrams tank in a large convoy of vehicles flying flags of the Iraqi Shia militia Kataib Hizbullah.

Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: tomahawk6 on January 31, 2015, 09:16:30
Probably on loan from the Iraqi Army. :camo:
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: S.M.A. on January 31, 2015, 14:27:52
Mission creep?

These comments were similar to a statement made by Sen. McCain earlier this month, if I can recall correctly.

Military.com (http://www.military.com/daily-news/2015/01/31/hagel-says-us-may-need-to-put-ground-troops-in-iraq.html?comp=1198882887570&rank=1)

Quote
Hagel Says US May Need to Put Ground Troops in Iraq

Jan 31, 2015 | by Bryant Jordan

Departing Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel says the U.S. may have to put American troops back on the ground in Iraq to help that country n its fight against Islamic State.
"I think it may require a forward deployment of some of our troops,” Hagel as quoted telling CNN. "Not doing the fighting. Not doing the combat work that we did at one time for six years in Iraq ... But to help airstrike precision ... Those are things where we could continue support."
"It could be necessary," Hagel said. "It could be, but I'm not willing to say that it will be necessary."

(...SNIPPED)

Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: krimynal on February 02, 2015, 12:21:58
my girlfriend yesterday was in a Tim Horton's , and she saw on the screen that 3 Americans pilot were captive by some ISIS member , and there was an exchange going on ....

anyone knows if there is any true to that ???
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: Old Sweat on February 02, 2015, 12:27:40
I am wintering in the US and there has been nothing reported. There were three American contractors killed in, I think Afghanistan, last week.
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: George Wallace on February 02, 2015, 12:30:27
my girlfriend yesterday was in a Tim Horton's , and she saw on the screen that 3 Americans pilot were captive by some ISIS member , and there was an exchange going on ....

anyone knows if there is any true to that ???

There has been a report on the UK's Daily Mail online ( http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-173168/Downed-US-pilot-captured-claims-Iraq.html ) that reports ISIS officials claiming this, and at the same time, the US denying any aircraft have been shot down.
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: uncle-midget-Oddball on February 02, 2015, 12:57:17
There has been a report on the UK's Daily Mail online ( http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-173168/Downed-US-pilot-captured-claims-Iraq.html ) that reports ISIS officials claiming this, and at the same time, the US denying any aircraft have been shot down.

GW, I can not find a date attached to the article you linked anywhere. Also, in the article itself it mentions that Iraqi Security Forces were responsible for "capturing" the pilot. With the Iraqi forces being an ally in this current fight I find it odd that the word "captured" was used. As well it that this was shortly after air raid sirens were sounded in Baghdad which AFAIK has not been subject to any of the recent strikes which leads me to believe that this is a very old article from either 2003, or earlier  ;)
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: Old Sweat on February 02, 2015, 13:09:03
The Daily Mail story mentions Defense Secretary Rumsfeld, so it is from 2003.
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: krimynal on February 02, 2015, 13:10:52
then why in the world would Tim Horton's put that into Breaking News , lol , guess someone didn't have their coffee yesterday morning lol !
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: Humphrey Bogart on February 02, 2015, 13:14:45
GW, I can not find a date attached to the article you linked anywhere. Also, in the article itself it mentions that Iraqi Security Forces were responsible for "capturing" the pilot. With the Iraqi forces being an ally in this current fight I find it odd that the word "captured" was used. As well it that this was shortly after air raid sirens were sounded in Baghdad which AFAIK has not been subject to any of the recent strikes which leads me to believe that this is a very old article from either 2003, or earlier  ;)

You are correct

Quote
British officials said they had no information about any downed plane, but US Defence Secretary Rumsfeld   later said there had been a report of a missing aircraft.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-173168/Downed-US-pilot-captured-claims-Iraq.html#ixzz3QboArrq2
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: George Wallace on February 02, 2015, 13:19:52
Shoddy website management on the part of The Daily Mail.  At the top of the page they have today's date and weather:  "Monday, Feb 2nd 2015 1PM  -16°C 4PM  -16°C "

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-173168/Downed-US-pilot-captured-claims-Iraq.html#ixzz3QbpRs1Kw
Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: George Wallace on February 03, 2015, 13:41:37
This is a sad development, and one that may escalate Jordan's stance towards ISIL and possibly the carrying out of their threat to execute ISIS/ISIL prisoners:

Reproduced under the Fair Dealings provisions of the Copyright Act.

Quote
Jordan pilot hostage Moaz al-Kasasbeh 'burned alive' (http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-31121160)
BBC News, Middle East
3 February 2015 Last updated at 12:29 ET

A video published online by Islamic State (IS) militants claims to show Jordanian pilot Moaz al-Kasasbeh being burned alive.

The video, which could not immediately be verified, showed a man standing in a cage and engulfed in flames.

Lt Moaz al-Kasasbeh was captured when his plane came down near Raqqa, Syria, in December on a mission to support the US-led military coalition against IS.

Jordanian state TV reported that he had been killed one month ago.

The video posted online on Tuesday was distributed via a Twitter account known as a source for IS propaganda.

A relative of Lt Kasasbeh told Reuters news agency that the Jordanian armed forces had informed the family that he had been killed.

Jordan had been attempting to secure Lt Kasasbeh's release as part of a prisoner swap.

It had offered to free Sajida al-Rishawi, who is on death row in Jordan for her role in hotel bombings in Amman in 2005, in return for the release of Lt Kasasbeh.



More on LINK (http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-31121160).
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: cupper on February 03, 2015, 21:26:52
This just reveals a new level of evil, and that these crap hats are no better than the scrapings from the bottom of my shoes.
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: S.M.A. on February 12, 2015, 23:18:56
ISIS on the move again, threatening an airbase where some 300+ US Marines are training Iraqi troops:

Reuters (http://ca.reuters.com/article/topNews/idCAKBN0LG23120150213)

Quote
Islamic State fighters seize parts of western Iraqi town: officials

(...SNIPPED)

Al-Baghdadi, about 85 km (50 miles) northwest of Ramadi in Anbar province, has been besieged for months by the radical Sunni Islamist militants who captured vast swathes of northern and western Iraq last year.

Militants attacked al-Baghdadi from two directions earlier in the day and then advanced on the town, intelligence sources and officials in the Jazeera and Badiya operations commands said.

The officials said another group of insurgents then attacked the heavily-guarded Ain al-Asad air base five km southwest of the town, but were unable to break into it.

About 320 U.S. Marines are training members of the Iraqi 7th Division at the base, which has been struck by mortar fire on at least one previous occasion since December.

(...SNIPPED)

Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: S.M.A. on February 13, 2015, 11:35:11
And the Iraqi Army repels on the ISIS attack on the airbase:

Reuters (http://ca.reuters.com/article/topNews/idCAKBN0LH1JD20150213)

Quote
Iraqi army repels attack on base hosting U.S. Marines: officials

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Iraqi security forces on Friday repelled an attack by Islamic State insurgents against an air base in Anbar province where U.S. Marines are training Iraqi troops, Iraqi and U.S. military officials said.

Militants from the jihadist group had attacked the Ain al-Asad base and the nearby town of al-Baghdadi a day earlier, leading to sporadic clashes in the town overnight.

Al-Baghdadi has been besieged for months by Islamic State, which captured swathes of northern and western Iraq last year, prompting a campaign of U.S.-led air strikes and the deployment of hundreds of U.S. military advisers to the country.

(....SNIPPED)

Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: tomahawk6 on February 14, 2015, 17:56:04
The situation is Anbar province is bad and getting worse.The Iraqi Army is close to collapse in the province.The Marines there will have to be reinforced IMO.Of course if the Iraqi Army abandon's the province then ISIS will be ready to move on Baghdad.The air campaign hasnt done much and US Apache gunships are now supporting our allies in Anbar.Its going to take a couple of heavy divisions to push ISIS out of Iraq.The decision to pull troops out of Iraq by the administration isnt looking good.
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: S.M.A. on February 14, 2015, 18:27:56
US Army Air Corps Apaches back in action over Iraq:

International Business Times (http://www.ibtimes.com/us-apache-helicopters-attack-isis-base-report-1816402)

Quote
US Apache Helicopters Attack ISIS Base: Report

American helicopters engaged Islamic State group fighters in Iraq on Friday, according to CNN’s Chief National Security Correspondent Jim Sciutto. The deployment of helicopter gunships comes days after U.S. President Barack Obama submitted a request to Congress for authorization to wage war against the Islamic State group, also known as ISIS.

Helicopter gunships engaged fighters in al-Baghdadi, an area almost completely controlled by ISIS. The U.S. has led a coalition of Western and Arab nations to conduct airstrikes against the Islamic State group in Iraq since June 2014 and in Syria since September 2014 as part of Operation Inherent Resolve. Those airstrikes have consisted of long-range bombing and missile strikes from fixed-wing aircraft. Helicopter operations would require pilots to fly much closer to the combat area.

(...SNIPPED)

Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: S.M.A. on February 15, 2015, 11:37:32
This is a different group from the Kurdish rebels who have also allowed Westerners/foreigners to fight for them in the past:

Reuters (http://ca.reuters.com/article/topNews/idCAKBN0LJ0LI20150215)

Quote
Westerners join Iraqi Christian militia to fight Islamic State

(...SNIPPED)

Thousands of foreigners have flocked to Iraq and Syria in the past two years, mostly to join Islamic State, but a handful of idealistic Westerners are enlisting as well, citing frustration their governments are not doing more to combat the ultra-radical Islamists or prevent the suffering of innocents.

The militia they joined is called Dwekh Nawsha – meaning self-sacrifice in the ancient Aramaic language spoken by Christ and still used by Assyrian Christians, who consider themselves the indigenous people of Iraq.

A map on the wall in the office of the Assyrian political party affiliated with Dwekh Nawsha marks the Christian towns in northern Iraq, fanning out around the city of Mosul.

(...SNIPPED)

Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: tomahawk6 on February 15, 2015, 19:31:30
3d Armored Brigade Combat Team from Ft Carson with 4000 troops are deploying to Kuwait.

http://www.stripes.com/news/army/fort-carson-brigade-headed-to-kuwait-for-possible-showdown-with-the-islamic-state-1.329247
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: tomahawk6 on February 17, 2015, 12:30:14
The 3d Brigade 82d Airborne is already in country training the Iraqi Army.It would be nice to catch them in the open where we can defeat them in detail.

http://www.fayobserver.com/news/local/paratroopers-from-panther-brigade-headed-to-iraq-this-week/article_9c551cb3-c72c-55cf-9214-a0d44c92b105.html
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: Thucydides on February 24, 2015, 10:55:22
The 3d Brigade 82d Airborne is already in country training the Iraqi Army.It would be nice to catch them in the open where we can defeat them in detail.

http://www.fayobserver.com/news/local/paratroopers-from-panther-brigade-headed-to-iraq-this-week/article_9c551cb3-c72c-55cf-9214-a0d44c92b105.html

Of course the entire point for "them" is to avoid being in the open where superior Western sensors and weapons can get at them. This was a lesson learned as far back as the Viet Nam war, where VC and NVA units learned to "hug the belt" of American units in contact to prevent superior American air and artillery from beig turned on them (since they were well within the danger close distance).

I'm sure that there are examples from earlier conflicts as well (one can think of Pancho Villa being close enough to see the American troops hunting him in Mexico, or George Grivas having British troops come very close to his hiding place in Cyprus). The PIRA "Brigades" in Ireland were also well hidden in the local community during the "Troubles", preventing British Army units or the Ulster Constabulary form getting to grips with them.

To date, the only really successful ways of dealing with this sort of threat have been developed by the Romans ("They create a wilderness, and call it peace"), the British in South Africa (the "blockhouse" system to eliminate Boer mobility) and the French Colonial forces in the 1800's (tache d'huile , pioneered by Hubert Lyautey and Joseph Gallieni). Some variation of one of these methods will be needed to achieve a successful outcome against ISIS.
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: Old Sweat on February 24, 2015, 11:25:39
The British "blockhouse" method worked because they also had rounded up the rural population and housed them in concentration camps, while collecting their animals and destroying their crops and buildings. That wouldn't fly today, although if you look at a couple of the other "campaigns" you cite, depopulating selected areas would have provided a solution.

The challenge is how to separate the enemy from their base, or at least refuges in the country. Maybe a combination of massive bribes, targeted assassinations and resettlement, as well as a restructuring of the country into autonomous regions (which could help with the Sunni-Shia mutual dislike) might be a start.
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: S.M.A. on March 01, 2015, 16:13:06
The Iraqi Army launches another offensive against ISIS:

Reuters (http://ca.reuters.com/article/topNews/idCAKBN0LX1QL20150301)

Quote
Iraq says launches offensive on Islamic State north of Baghdad

By Dominic Evans

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Iraq's army and Shi'ite militia have launched a long-awaited offensive against Islamic State in Salahuddin province, a stronghold of the radical Islamist fighters north of Baghdad, Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said on Sunday.

The ultra-radical fighters control several strongholds in the mainly Sunni Muslim province of Salahuddin, including Tikrit, hometown of executed former president Saddam Hussein.

They also hold other towns on the Tigris river, north of the government-held city of Samarra which Abadi visited on Sunday.

"The prime minister and armed forces chief ... announce the start of the security campaign to liberate Salahuddin," a statement issued by Abadi's office said as he met military leaders in the province, where thousands of troops and militia have gathered for battle.

(...SNIPPED)

Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: S.M.A. on March 10, 2015, 00:10:28
PMCs/contractors back in demand in Iraq?

Defense News (http://www.defensenews.com/story/defense/2015/03/09/us-private-contractor-iraq-isis/24654439/)

Quote
US Looking for Contractors to Help in Iraq

WASHINGTON — The Department of Defense only has about 250 civilian contractors in Iraq supporting the 2,700 US troops deployed there; but a handful of new solicitations and potential contracts may soon add to that number, according to items posted to a federal contracting Web site.

For the past two decades, the resource-heavy American way of war has dictated that where US troops go, civilian contractors follow. It's a way of doing business that has become ingrained in the Pentagon's culture as end strength has slowly been whittled away while global commitments show no sign of slackening

(...SNIPPED)

Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: KevinB on March 10, 2015, 11:15:04
DoS is sending a lot of WPS folks over.
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: S.M.A. on March 10, 2015, 12:23:25
More on the above:

Quote


(...SNIPPED)

And its not only civilian personnel that are being tapped to support the uniformed personnel in Iraq. On Feb. 27, the US Transportation Command issued a Request for Information looking for a contractor to provide eight "heavy Rotary Wing aircraft."

While not an official solicitation just yet, the US government said that it is looking to identify contractors who can provide birds that can each ferry a minimum of 12 passengers and move a load of at least 5,000 pounds. The aircraft and their civilian crews would be positioned at the Baghdad Diplomatic Support Center, and "missions may involve destinations throughout Iraq" transporting troops, food and water, fuel, and ammunition.

Source: Defense News (http://www.defensenews.com/story/defense/2015/03/09/us-private-contractor-iraq-isis/24654439/)
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: S.M.A. on March 11, 2015, 11:24:57
Refurbishing equipment like worn-out T62s and T-55s used in the Iran-Iraq War?

Reuters (http://ca.reuters.com/article/topNews/idCAKBN0M718T20150311)

Quote
Iraq's newest conflict rescues rusting tanks from scrapheap

By Aref Mohammed


(...SNIPPED)

Baghdad's Shi'ite-led government appealed for reinforcements from across the world to help it fight back. But for retired military mechanic Madhi al-Sukaini, the answer lay nearer to home.

"The scrap yard where thousands of bits of army equipment are dumped is close to where I live and it was a constant reminder of the long war with Iran," Sukaini said, referring to the relics from the 1980-88 conflict.

The scrap yard also contains guns, vehicles and tanks - some of them identifiable only by barrels still poking through the sand - from Iraq's 1990-91 occupation and defeat in Kuwait and from the 2003 U.S.-led invasion to overthrow Saddam Hussein.


"One time I passed by and an idea flashed in my mind: Why don’t I repair some of the dumped armored vehicles to help in the war against Daesh?" he said, referring to the Islamic State by its Arabic acronym.

So the 65-year-old veteran of Saddam's army set to work with his sons to restore some of the old vehicles and supply them to Shi'ite militias now fighting to push Islamic State out of the late dictator's home city of Tikrit, north of Baghdad.

(...SNIPPED)

Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: KevinB on March 11, 2015, 13:15:52
Several of the airbases had a lot of mothballed equipment when I was there last ('08) a lot of running Tanks, SPG etc.
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: MCG on March 14, 2015, 18:25:31
ISIS unsuccessfully attacked Kurdish position in Iraq with chlorine gas.

http://www.ctvnews.ca/world/kurdish-officials-claim-isis-used-chemical-weapons-on-peshmerga-forces-1.2279773
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: S.M.A. on April 10, 2015, 11:52:09
More barbarism on the part of ISIS fighters:

Daily Mail (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3033329/ISIS-execute-ten-doctors-bullet-head-refused-treat-wounded-members-terror-group-Iraq.html?ITO=1490&ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490)

Quote
Killed with a bullet to the head: ISIS execute ten doctors after they refused to treat wounded members of the terror group in Iraq

Jihadis were fighting in Hammam al-Alil, south of their Mosul stronghold

Several of them sustained injuries so visited local doctors for treatment

Doctors reportedly refused to help because they did not support ISIS

Terrorists then dragged the 10 men out in to the desert and shot them

(...SNIPPED)

Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: George Wallace on April 10, 2015, 13:52:25
More barbarism on the part of ISIS fighters:

Daily Mail (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3033329/ISIS-execute-ten-doctors-bullet-head-refused-treat-wounded-members-terror-group-Iraq.html?ITO=1490&ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490)

That logic really escapes me.
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: E.R. Campbell on May 20, 2015, 12:01:51
Ian Bremmer (http://www.eurasiagroup.net/about-eurasia-group/who-is/ian-bremmer) tweets:

"Actually, Critics: No US Plan Before Fall of Ramadi"

(https://image-store.slidesharecdn.com/9ef0554b-2c74-4258-8e69-348a5b5cf2b1-medium.jpeg)

In my opinion, there has been no coherent American strategic plan for anything, anywhere, since about 1970 (Nixon's pivot to China); what passed for a strategic plan under President Reagan (1980s) was, really, just listening to Prime Minister Thatcher. There has been no strategic vision or planning or any sort post Reagan.
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: Colin P on May 20, 2015, 12:50:17
The British "blockhouse" method worked because they also had rounded up the rural population and housed them in concentration camps, while collecting their animals and destroying their crops and buildings. That wouldn't fly today, although if you look at a couple of the other "campaigns" you cite, depopulating selected areas would have provided a solution.

The challenge is how to separate the enemy from their base, or at least refuges in the country. Maybe a combination of massive bribes, targeted assassinations and resettlement, as well as a restructuring of the country into autonomous regions (which could help with the Sunni-Shia mutual dislike) might be a start.

The painful reality is that the Sunni Tribes have nowhere else to go but to the ISIS, the Baghdad Shia's and their Iranian friends made sure of that. Carve out the Anabar region into a Sunni state with SA as their patron and use the tribes to dismantle ISIS, Give the Northern Regions to the Kurds and the Shia the rest. Iraq as a country is done, way better to accept it now. The Iraqi Shias will be a nice drain on the Iranian purse. There was a moment when Iraq might have pulled it off as a country, but that moment is now long gone.
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: Eye In The Sky on May 23, 2015, 17:25:48
Carving out Anbar province, etc will not solve anything without the forces to re-establish and hold the northern border that is now an imaginary line.  The same can be said for northern areas.

 :2c:
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: Infanteer on May 24, 2015, 12:39:12
...meanwhile, Ramadi is lost and the Iraqis may not have the will to fight.

http://www.ctvnews.ca/world/u-s-defence-secretary-questions-iraq-s-will-to-fight-after-ramadi-defeat-1.2388434
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: Eye In The Sky on May 24, 2015, 13:01:32
They need to get to the deeper fight IMO.  Until then they are robbing Peter to pay Paul.  Secure the NW border, cut off their LOC and FOM, then find fix and destroy.  My  :2c:
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: George Wallace on May 24, 2015, 14:59:51
...meanwhile, Ramadi is lost and the Iraqis may not have the will to fight.

http://www.ctvnews.ca/world/u-s-defence-secretary-questions-iraq-s-will-to-fight-after-ramadi-defeat-1.2388434

Sorry.  If they don't have the will to fight, why are we doing it for them?  It may be time to STOP; Create a CORDON (Nothing IN/Nothing OUT); and let the chips fall where they may.  These 'cesspools' don't seem to want to be 'cleaned up' and slide further into the depths as soon as we pull out our troops along with financial and humanitarian support.  Let Darwin's rules take over.
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: Infanteer on May 24, 2015, 15:23:40
http://www.understandingwar.org/report/isis-defense-iraq-and-syria-countering-adaptive-enemy

ISW's reports are, in my view, some of the best open source reports out there.  Note the detailed breakdown of ISIL's campaign history, starting far before we all took notice in July 2014.
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: Humphrey Bogart on May 24, 2015, 16:59:00
I don't believe we are losing against ISIS, we don't really have anything to lose other than maybe political face?  Besides, it's not as if Iraq is even really a country anymore anyways.  Looking at the entire region we really have Salafistan (disguised as Sunnistan), headquartered in Riyadh (with satellite campuses in Raqqa and Mosul) vs pretty much everyone else with the biggest adversary being Shiitestan headquartered in Tehran.

We don't need to annihilate ISIS, we merely need to hold them at bay long enough so they burn out.  A handful of pyrrhic victories on their part doesn't mean they are all of a sudden making sweeping gains.  Our present commitment can pretty much be sustained indefinitely and I think would further benefit from the occasional targeted surge to deny the Salafists freedom of movement.

If any ground force is to be committed against ISIS, it needs to be with a specific objective in mind.  In my opinion, the most logical area for a ground force is in the Syrian Desert/Anbar Province along the periphery of the Euphrates river system.  We would then deny use of this area to the Salafists, an area which is really the soft underbelly of the Iraqi government.  This would also allow us to launch raids against Salafist supply lines and operate in terrain that is favorable to our forces.

Meanwhile, the moderate Sunni and Shiite could do the heavy lifting along the Euphrates river system making good use of our air power. 

Something else that has never been mentioned, but something that I think the Iraqi Government should strongly consider is forced resettlement, with Western money of course.  This would be a mixed of scorched-earth, i.e. bulldozing down entire villages in order to deny their use to the enemy which will have the effect of stretching his supply lines, hopefully to the breaking point.  Along with this plan though, they should replace these now bulldozed villages/towns with a smaller number of strategically located, heavily fortified cantonments that not only improve security but also have the effect of improving the local populaces quality of life.





Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: Ostrozac on May 24, 2015, 17:06:19

Something else that has never been mentioned, but something that I think the Iraqi Government should strongly consider is forced resettlement, with Western money of course.  This would be a mixed of scorched-earth, i.e. bulldozing down entire villages in order to deny their use to the enemy which will have the effect of stretching his supply lines, hopefully to the breaking point.  Along with this plan though, they should replace these now bulldozed villages/towns with a smaller number of strategically located, heavily fortified cantonments that not only improve security but also have the effect of improving the local populaces quality of life.

Nobody would stay in Al-Anbar. If you bulldoze their home villages, they will become IDPs in Sunni neighbourhoods in Baghdad, they won't move from their home village to another village, even if it's more fortified than the old one. Now, if Baghdad was a success story, with lots of jobs and decent security (like Saigon was 1965-1972) then forced relocation can work to a degree. But forcing more IDPs into Baghdad at this stage probably isn't a great idea, you just risk making the security situation in the capital even worse than it is, and pissed off refugees make excellent suicide bombers.
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: Humphrey Bogart on May 24, 2015, 17:30:56
Nobody would stay in Al-Anbar. If you bulldoze their home villages, they will become IDPs in Sunni neighbourhoods in Baghdad, they won't move from their home village to another village, even if it's more fortified than the old one. Now, if Baghdad was a success story, with lots of jobs and decent security (like Saigon was 1965-1972) then forced relocation can work to a degree. But forcing more IDPs into Baghdad at this stage probably isn't a great idea, you just risk making the security situation in the capital even worse than it is, and pissed off refugees make excellent suicide bombers.

You are implying that we would give them a choice to move to the new village or not.  If I had my way, they wouldn't have a choice.  It would essentially be 1) Move to this new village we built for you or.... 2) Head West towards Raqqa and hang out with your Salafist friends.

Harsh but it worked for the Brits in Malaya and the Portuguese in Angola.
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: tomahawk6 on May 24, 2015, 17:36:52
The problem as others have noted is that the Shia majority have marginalized the Sunnis.For the time being they would prefer to live under the IS.As we discovered when we invaded Iraq the Iraqi Army was a poor performer.Against a motivated force of fanatics,they are no match.They wont fight even knowing that IS will kill them if captured.Unless Iran takes over the shia areas,the black flag will be flying over Baghdad and the US will be facing a very public humiliation.
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: Humphrey Bogart on May 24, 2015, 17:48:36
The problem as others have noted is that the Shia majority have marginalized the Sunnis.For the time being they would prefer to live under the IS.As we discovered when we invaded Iraq the Iraqi Army was a poor performer.Against a motivated force of fanatics,they are no match.They wont fight even knowing that IS will kill them if captured.Unless Iran takes over the shia areas,the black flag will be flying over Baghdad and the US will be facing a very public humiliation.


The Iraqi Army is a farce because Iraq isn't a real state.  If we support the Iraqi government it means we support the Shiites, if that means supporting Shiite militia then so be it.  I'll take Iranians over Salafists any day.  Same goes for Assad over Jihadists which is what will ultimately replace him if he falls. 

I don't think ISIS has the power to take on Baghdad.  ISIS is seeking to consolidate the gains it has already made while trying to show, through targeted operations such as what we are seeing in Ramadi and Palmyra that they are strong, which plays to propping up their power base. 

Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: tomahawk6 on May 24, 2015, 17:54:10
They routed the IA in Ramadi with 400 fighters.They were outnumbered by the IA and yet they now hold a huge territory from Syria through Iraq mainly through fear.
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: Humphrey Bogart on May 24, 2015, 17:59:31
They routed the IA in Ramadi with 400 fighters.They were outnumbered by the IA and yet they now hold a huge territory from Syria through Iraq mainly through fear.

My point exactly, the Iraqi Army isn't a real army, the real Army is the Shiite militia.  If you want to get rid of ISIS, support them.
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: tomahawk6 on May 24, 2015, 18:34:38
The shiite militias are funded and supported by Iran.Latley though Iran's proxies havent done well against IS.The Kurds on the other hand have done much better.A partition of Iraq and Syria is probably going to happen.
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: tomahawk6 on May 29, 2015, 11:37:18
Link to an interview with General John Allen,USMC Retired.Walking the proverbial tightrope so as not to offend the Iraqi's and the boss in DC.

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/gen-john-allen-reflects-on-fall-of-ramadi/?ftag=YHF4eb9d17

The fall of Ramadi to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) happened in part because tired Iraqi forces faced off against a "pretty good" group of militant fighters, Gen. John Allen told CBS News Foreign Affairs Correspondent Margaret Brennan.

Allen, who is the presidential envoy for the coalition fighting ISIS, sat down with Brennan to talk about the state of the conflict. Last weekend, Defense Secretary Ash Carter angered some Iraqi officials when he said that their troops responsible for defending the city "showed no will to fight."
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: milnews.ca on June 05, 2015, 07:42:44
Really? (http://www.basnews.com/en/news/2015/06/04/iraqi-pilots-go-on-strike-after-salaries-cut-by-80/)
Quote
Iraqi military pilots in Jordan have gone on strike after their salaries were cut by 80% following an order from Defence Minister Khaled al-Obeidi and Finance Minister Hoshyar Zebari.

The 475 trainees, in Amman to receive instruction on the F-16 jets that are due to be delivered to Iraq this year. The 35 aircraft scheduled arrival has been delayed due to security concerns at Balad Air Base.

The American instructors are asking the Iraqis to sign documents confirming their unwillingness to train, which would be a serious blow to Iraqi efforts in the war against Islamic State (IS).

The Iraqi air force is currently relying on Saddam-era Sukhoi jets in its bombing campaign against IS positions in the north and west of the country.

The Russian aircraft were used in the war against Iran and the Kuwait campaign of 1991.

The striking technical trainees remain in their hotel in Amman.
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: Spencer100 on June 05, 2015, 10:00:14
ISIS is get very well armed

http://www.foxnews.com/world/2015/06/04/isis-shows-off-us-gear-seized-from-iraqis-in-fighting-near-fallujah/ (http://www.foxnews.com/world/2015/06/04/isis-shows-off-us-gear-seized-from-iraqis-in-fighting-near-fallujah/)

Pretty soon they will be better equipped them the CAF  >:D
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: George Wallace on June 05, 2015, 10:17:36
ISIS is get very well armed

http://www.foxnews.com/world/2015/06/04/isis-shows-off-us-gear-seized-from-iraqis-in-fighting-near-fallujah/ (http://www.foxnews.com/world/2015/06/04/isis-shows-off-us-gear-seized-from-iraqis-in-fighting-near-fallujah/)

Pretty soon they will be better equipped them the CAF  >:D

It is one thing to capture equipment, and another thing to know how to use it effectively.  Not to mention resupplies of ammo, fuel and spare parts necessary to keep it operational.

As for being better equipped than the CAF, that would not be surprising, but then I refer back to previous point.
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: Thucydides on June 11, 2015, 12:29:31
One interpretation of the strategic alliances and groupings forming up in the "new and improved" Middle East. In rather Kaplanesque fashion, you can actually see the groupings as being centered on geographical "redoubts" in the region:

http://pjmedia.com/blog/middle-eastern-trompe-loeil/?print=1

Quote
Trompe L’oeil Tactics Conceal the Actual Middle Eastern Strategy in Play

Posted By Avner Zarmi On June 11, 2015 @ 12:01 am In Iran,Iraq,Middle East,Syria | 4 Comments
 
In an unguarded moment at the G-7 summit meeting in Schloss Elmau, temporarily free of his handlers, Obama let drop what is a startling revelation only to those who have not been watching for the last two years, namely, that he does not “yet” have a strategy for dealing with the jihadi depredations of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’s misbegotten “Islamic” State. However, for those who have been able to tear their eyes away from the trompe l’œïl tableau of the sputtering talks with the Iranians, the strategies of the two contending jihadi powers, the twin clusters of Sunni and Shi’i groups, are perfectly obvious.
 
First, it must be noted that in recent months, a tacit alliance has begun to take shape between Israel and several Muslim-majority states on Israel’s periphery. To the west, we find Egypt, profoundly rocked by the near-death experience of the so-called “Arab Spring” which brought down long-time Arab nationalist dictator Hosni Mubarrak, only to be replaced by an Ikhwanist (ikhwan, “brotherhood,” is the real name of the Sunni jihadi movement commonly called the “Muslim Brotherhood”) regime so arrogantly overreaching that it was in turn overthrown by popular revolt under the leadership of the traditional Muslim General Abdul Fattah as-Sisi. The Sisi regime has mobilized the moral force of Al-Azhar University, widely regarded as the premier Sunni Muslim institution in the world, whose rector and faculty have roundly condemned the horrific barbarity of the incipient Ikhwanist entity which calls itself so beguilingly the “Islamic State,” serially denouncing its minions’ slaughter of Christian prisoners [1] and the destruction of priceless ancient relics in Mesopotamia. [2]
 
On Israel’s eastern border, King Abdullah II of Jordan has quietly strengthened diplomatic ties with Israel (returning the Jordanian ambassador who had been recalled in protest over violent incidents in Jerusalem, and signing a new accord governing the strategic management of water resources and the Dead Sea), while at the same time fighting actively in what he now terms the Third World War [3] against the jihadis in the name of rescuing the traditional Muslim religion from their evil ideology [4].
 
To the southeast, on Jordan’s southern border, lies Saudi Arabia, increasingly alive to the danger which the Ikhwanist regime poses to King Salman’s rule (for which reason a formidable border fence [5] is being erected in the north), as well as the less imminent but no less potent danger posed by the Khomeinist variant of jihadism, centered in Iran. There have been reports of discreet contacts [6] between Israeli and Saudi diplomats in various European venues, and persistent rumors of discussions concerning possible military co-operation between them to deal with Iran.
 
And then, further to the east, there are the Gulf states, the UAE and Bahrain, also actively engaged in the anti-jihadi fight; the UAE in particular has squadrons of aircraft operating from forward bases in Jordan and Egypt, and is providing much-needed funding to Egypt as as-Sisi fights both a jihadi guerilla insurgency in Sinai and jihadis who have proclaimed the western Libyan city of Darna a province of al-Baghdadi’s “Islamic State,” [7] having demonstrated their fealty by beheading Coptic Christians who fell into their hands.
 
The “strategic kernel” generated by this tacit alliance, which in some ways evokes the forced alliance between the Western powers and the USSR in the Second World War against National Socialist Germany and her allies, is real, though not formally recognized between the parties. Each of the two rival jihadi parties threatens to encircle it and cut it off; careful consideration of a map/of the region and recent events reveals how.
 
The Khomeinist flavor of jihadism is based upon the Shi’ite denomination of Islam and seeks to play upon the emotions and rivalries of Shi’ite Muslims, who are largely repressed everywhere in the Muslim world but Iran. On the northern periphery of the strategic Jewish-Muslim kernel, the Iranians are trying to dominate what has been called the “Shi’ite Crescent.” They are doing this by extending their power westward across what must now be regarded as the failed colonial state of Iraq.
 
Never a nation-state in any western sense of the word, Iraq (the word simply means “plain,” in Arabic) was established by the British for their convenience after the Great War of 1914-18, to enable the Royal Navy to exploit the strategic oil reserves around Mosul and Kirkuk. In the wake of Obama’s retreat from the region in fulfillment of his campaign promises, the Mesopotamian region is now effectively divided into three states.
 
In the south, there is a Shi’ite enclave around Baghdad which has, under the pressure of the Sunni assault, effectively become a Persian “satrapy,” a wholly owned subsidiary of the Iranians. The western and central part of the region is inhabited by Arabic-speaking Sunnis, who have largely been overrun and subsumed in Baghdadi’s “state,” into whose arms they are increasingly driven by Shi’ite excesses in the fighting around Tikrit and Ramadi. And in the north, there is a  de facto ethnic Kurdish Muslim state (yes, the Kurds are as Muslim as any of their opponents) with its capital at Irbil, and which incorporates the other ethno-religious minorities of the region, such as Yazidis, Muslim Turkomans, and Chaldæan and Assyrian Christians.
 
The “Shi’ite crescent” would be completed by linking the satrapy of the south with the allied Assad regime in Syria and the Hizbullah-dominated parts of Lebanon.
 
On the southern periphery of the kernel, in recent days Shi’ite Houthi rebels have overthrown the Sunni-dominated government of Yemen, and made common cause with the Iranians, who continue to foment trouble amongst the Shi’ite minorities resident in Bahrain, Saudi Arabia (where they occupy the strategically important eastern province where nearly all the oil is), and the Gulf states.
 
Though primarily relying on Shi’ite factions, the Iranians have attempted to diversify. The Sunni and originally Ikhwanist organization Hamas, centered in the Gaza Strip, has increasingly come under Iranian influence (the source of many of the more sophisticated missiles [8] used in last summer’s Gaza War, as well as other weapons and supplies, was Iran), particularly since as-Sisi overthrew the Ikhwanist attempt to seize control of Egypt, and sealed the border with Gaza.
 
The Sunni arm of the jihadist movement, for its part, seeks to break the “Shi’ite Crescent” in the north, having occupied most of Syria and the central third of Iraq, dominated by Arabic-speaking Sunni Muslims. The forces affiliated with al-Baghdadi and a kindred jihadi organization, Jabhat an-Nusra li’ahli ash-Sham (“The Support Front of the People of Syria”), have now cut the territory still controlled by Assad in two, and are engaged in desperate fighting in the Qalamoun Mountains on the Lebanese border [9], where the Lebanese army has also been drawn in. They fight simultaneously against Assad, Hizbullah, and Iranian troops in Syria, and against Iranian-led Iraqi Shi’ites in the east (as well as against Kurds of northern Syria and Iraq). We have already noted the jihadist province allied with al-Baghdadi’s nascent, so-called “Islamic State” on Egypt’s western border; the Iranian seduction of Hamas has now given rise to a faction of disgruntled Sunnis in Gaza who have affiliated themselves with Baghdadi’s “state.” [10]
 
Al-Baghdadi’s “state” is the latest offshoot of the Ikhwanist al-Qa’da movement which, it will be remembered, found a home in Sunni Taliban-dominated Afghanistan. The Ikhwanist Taliban continue (taliban is a plural noun; the word talib means roughly “student”) to exert pressure on predominately Sunni Pakistan in the south, and threaten to take control there. Should they ever actually succeed in destabilizing Pakistan’s government and military, this would give the Ikhwanists nuclear weapons, to rival those whose development is the subject of the negotiations in Geneva.
 
Thus, we see a double attempt at enveloping, isolating, and destroying Israel and those states governed by traditional Muslims who have increasingly come alive to the danger of the evil ideologies which arose from their midst. The saving grace, if there is one, is that the two arms of jihadism are as much at war with each other as they are with Israel and traditional Muslims. Unlike the rest of world, whose gaze has been focused on the distraction going on in Washington and Geneva, you now understand the key, and can discern the hidden picture.
 
(Artwork created using multiple Shutterstock.com [11] images.)
 
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Article printed from PJ Media: http://pjmedia.com

URL to article: http://pjmedia.com/blog/middle-eastern-trompe-loeil/

URLs in this post:

[1] its minions’ slaughter of Christian prisoners: http://www.news.va/en/news/muslims-and-christians-in-egypt-condemn-the-killin

[2] the destruction of priceless ancient relics in Mesopotamia.: http://pjmedia.com../AppData/Roaming/Microsoft/Word/(http:/english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2015/03/07/Azhar-slams-ISIS-for-bulldozing-Nimrud.html_.

[3] Third World War: http://insider.foxnews.com/2015/03/02/jordans-king-abdullah-ii-isis-third-world-war

[4] the traditional Muslim religion from their evil ideology: http://www.jpost.com/Arab-Israeli-Conflict/Jordan-to-return-ambassador-to-Tel-Aviv-citing-Israels-steps-to-ease-Temple-Mount-tensions-389723

[5] formidable border fence: http://hotair.com/archives/2015/01/15/saudi-arabia-building-massive-wall-along-border-to-keep-out-isis/)

[6] discreet contacts: https://consortiumnews.com/2015/02/04/al-qaeda-saudi-arabia-and-israel/

[7] a province of al-Baghdadi’s “Islamic State,”: http://www.bostonglobe.com/news/world/2015/02/17/egypt-conducts-airstrikes-islamic-state-targets-libya/GK5mFg0Sl0B43cYQMvijgO/story.html

[8] the source of many of the more sophisticated missiles: http://www.timesofisrael.com/iran-boasts-of-rocket-aid-to-palestinians-hezbollah/

[9] in the Qalamoun Mountains on the Lebanese border: http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/isis-lebanon-hezbollah-lebanese-army-pincer-islamic-state-jihadists-qalamoun-mountains-1505210

[10] have affiliated themselves with Baghdadi’s “state.”: http://www.debka.com/article/24652/ISIS-purloined-rockets-from-Hamas-production-lines-to-attack-Israel-Netanyahu-marks-out-wide-sterile-zone-
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: Thucydides on June 11, 2015, 13:40:39
“We have given him lots of options, he just hasn’t acted on them.” pretty much sums up the situation:

http://pjmedia.com/tatler/2015/06/08/pentagon-official-reacts-to-obamas-isis-strategy-claim-what-the-f-was-that/?print=1

Quote
Pentagon Official Reacts Angrily to Obama’s ISIS Strategy Claim: ‘What the F— Was That?’
Posted By Debra Heine On June 8, 2015 @ 6:00 pm In War

According to Fox News, a military official is taking issue with the president’s claim that he is waiting for a plan from the Pentagon to come up with a complete strategy to degrade and defeat ISIS.
 
On Special Report tonight, Charles Krauthammer noted that Obama occasionally stumbles on the truth, as he did when he admitted that his administration does not yet have a strategy to defeat ISIS; but as is always the case with this president it’s never his fault when something goes wrong.
 

“The reason is Obama’s entire strategy rests on the notion that trained Iraqis under this government are going to carry the fight to ISIS,” Krauthammer said, noting that strategy has failed in Mosul, Ramadi and Fallujah.
 
“This is a country that was abandoned by Obama in 2011 and threw in its lot with other players. And now we’re trying to reclaim that. It cannot be done,” Krauthammer said.
 
“The idea that he would now put the blame on the Pentagon for having lacked in offering him plans is exactly consistent with Obama’s method, which is to always blame others.”
 
One military official reacted angrily to Obama’s blamesmanship:
 
“What the f— was that,” the official told Fox News. “We have given him lots of options, he just hasn’t acted on them.”
 
Meanwhile, an overwhelming majority of the Americans agree with Obama that he has no strategy to defeat ISIS. An astounding 71% say he does not have a clear strategy, while a mere 19% say he does.
 

Vast majority of voters still don’t think @POTUS has a clear strategy to defeat ISIS. #SpecialReport pic.twitter.com/OZPffPj2f5
 
— Fox News (@FoxNews) June 8, 2015
 
Lt. Col Ralph Peters (Ret.) expressed his opinion why this is the case. “The reason we don’t (have a strategy) is because Obama wants the impossible.” Peters explained. “He wants to defeat the Islamic State, but he doesn’t want to hurt anyone. He doesn’t want collateral damage. He doesn’t want civilian casualties. You can’t do it! And this *clown coo-coo-land that Obama and his Paladins live in — it’s so dangerous to us all — on such a wide range of issues. But if you are unwilling to fight with no-holds-barred, with an enemy who’s going to fight with no-holds-barred, the enemy with no-holds-barred is going to get the better of you despite the technology, despite all your wealth.”
 
Charles Krauthammer told Bill O’Reilly Monday evening that Obama actually does have a strategy: “Just make it through to January 2017 and turn it over to the next president.”
 
*Correction! He said Cloud Cuckoo land.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Article printed from The PJ Tatler: http://pjmedia.com/tatler

URL to article: http://pjmedia.com/tatler/2015/06/08/pentagon-official-reacts-to-obamas-isis-strategy-claim-what-the-f-was-that/
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: Colin P on June 15, 2015, 16:25:26
I can sell him mine

Tell Baghdad and the Shia’s your on your own now and you can control any “Shia territory” and tell Iran, “Enjoy your step child” Layoff the Sunni’s and Kurds

Designate Anabar a “Sunni territory” administered by the Tribes and backed by Saudi Arabia, who will also be Jordon’s Patron

The US backs the Kurds in the old Iraq and portions of Syria, tells them this is the best opportunity you will ever get to have a Kurdistan, so get to it. Tell Turkey, “deal with it” But we will make the Kurds police their border (along with US observers) to prevent attacks on you and not to have aims on your territory(what their own kurds do is their business). Tell the Kurds they need to make businesses deals with Turkey and are free to make business deals with Iran. The US guarantees to stick with the Kurds for 20 years, with arms, money, trade and soldiers.

Not perfect and not everyone is going to be happy, but you work with what you have. Plus if Turkey gets uppity, the US can start arming Greece.
Title: US Gen Odierno: US troops needed on ground in Iraq to fight ISIL
Post by: S.M.A. on August 13, 2015, 01:35:02
More talk about returning US troops to Iraq again:

Reuters (http://ca.reuters.com/article/topNews/idCAKCN0QH2MT20150812)

Quote
Some U.S. troops may be needed on ground in Iraq: retiring Army chief
Wed Aug 12, 2015 6:16pm EDT

By David Alexander

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The fight against Islamic State rebels is at a stalemate and if the U.S. military does not see progress in the coming months it should consider putting support troops on the ground with Iraqi forces, Army General Ray Odierno said on Wednesday.

Odierno, the outgoing Army chief of staff, backed the current strategy against Islamic State, telling his last Pentagon news conference that while U.S. troops could defeat the militants, they could not solve the broader political and economic problems besetting Iraq and Syria.

"We could probably go in there with a certain amount of American force and ... defeat ISIL. The problem is we would be right back where we are today six months later," he told reporters, using an acronym for Islamic State.

(...SNIPPED)


Plus, the current Iraqi PM does a major government re-shuffle, but will it be enough to help kickstart his reforms?

Reuters (http://ca.reuters.com/article/topNews/idCAKCN0QG0UI20150812)

Quote
Iraq PM sacks cabinet officials, says reform drive under threat
Wed Aug 12, 2015 2:47pm EDT

By Ahmed Rasheed and Saif Hameed

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Iraq's prime minister dismissed his cabinet secretary on Wednesday as part of an ambitious reform drive he said was under threat from corrupt politicians and Shi'ite militia leaders who use their armed followers for political ends.

A year in office, Haider al-Abadi has launched the biggest overhaul of the political system since the end of U.S. military occupation, enacting a risky package of measures designed to enhance his own power and strip authority from political chieftains who have run Iraq since the fall of Saddam Hussein.

Lawmakers unanimously voted on Tuesday to eliminate a layer of senior government posts, scrap sectarian and party quotas for state positions, reopen corruption investigations and give Abadi power to fire regional and provincial bosses.

(...SNIPPED)

Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: MCG on August 13, 2015, 01:45:16
General Odierno did not say that US troops are needed on the ground.  He said US troops would be needed if a strike against the US were immenent, but that the solution must come from the nations and peoples of the region.

Quote
Odierno Reviews Iraq, Islamic State in Final Briefing
DefenceNews
12 Aug 2015

...

"Here's what I've learned over the last 10 years or so: There's limits to military power," Odierno said. "We can have an outcome, but again, the problem is sustainable outcomes. We've had outcomes but they've been short-term outcomes because we haven't looked at the political and economic side. You have to look at all three together, and if you don't do that, it's not going to solve the problem."

Odierno made the comments in a wide-ranging Pentagon press conference, his last before he retires this month.

Odierno did not rule out increased military action, saying the US would "have to look at putting troops on the ground" if the Islamic State planned an imminent attack on the US. Yet he said to end the Islamic State's quest to become a long-term influence in the Middle East, "you need the countries of the Middle East and those that surround the Middle East to be involved in the solution," Odierno said.


...
http://www.defensenews.com/story/defense/policy-budget/leaders/2015/08/12/odierno-reviews-iraq-islamic-state-final-briefing/31554817/
Title: Kurds suspect ISIS conducted chemical attack in Iraq
Post by: S.M.A. on September 01, 2015, 17:41:53
ISIS now using chemical weapons in Iraq?

Reuters (http://ca.reuters.com/article/topNews/idCAKCN0R14DZ20150901)

Quote
Kurds suspect another chemical attack by Islamic State in Iraq
Tue Sep 1, 2015 1:27pm EDT
ERBIL, Iraq (Reuters) - Kurdish authorities said on Tuesday they suspected a homemade rocket fired by Islamic State at their peshmerga forces in northern Iraq contained chemical substances, accusing the Islamist insurgents of an increasing use of chemical weapons.

The Kurdistan Region's Security Council (KRSC) said the attack had taken place along the front line north of Mosul on Aug. 31, and one peshmerga fighter was receiving treatment in hospital.

A "considerable amount" of yellow smoke was produced, it said.

Samples taken from the site of another attack earlier this year tested positive for chlorine, and at least two other incidents are being investigated.

"This is one of an increasing number of attacks in recent months suspected of carrying chemical substances," the KRSC said in a statement.

(...SNIPPED)
Title: iraqi AF now using its new F16s to bomb ISIS
Post by: S.M.A. on September 07, 2015, 14:05:39
Iraq is now using its new F16s in CAS ops against ISIS!

Washington Post (https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/checkpoint/wp/2015/09/06/iraq-has-finally-started-using-the-f-16-fighter-jet-in-combat-operations/)

Quote
Iraq has finally started using the F-16 fighter jet in combat operations
Resize Text Print Article Comments 27

By Dan Lamothe September 6 at 9:24 PM 
 
The Iraqi military has used the F-16 fighter jet in combat operations for the first time, more than a year after Iraqi officials began pressing Washington to deliver them to assist in the fight against Islamic State militants.

Defense officials in Iraq and Washington on Sunday confirmed the operations, which should significantly upgrade the Iraqi military’s ability to strike Islamic State militants in coming months. Iraqi Lt. Gen. Anwar Hama Amin told media outlets in Baghdad that the Iraqi military had carried out 15 airstrikes using the fighters in the past four days, striking north of the capital city in Salaheddin and Kirkuk provinces.

(...SNIPPED)
Title: Turkish jets bomb Kurdish camps in Iraq
Post by: S.M.A. on September 19, 2015, 17:53:24
Even the Kurdish groups in Iraq know no refuge from Turkey's air campaign:

Reuters (http://ca.reuters.com/article/topNews/idCAKCN0RJ0EX20150919)

Quote
Turkish jets hit Kurdish militant camps in Iraq, at least 55 killed: sources
Sat Sep 19, 2015 7:23am EDT
DIYARBAKIR, Turkey (Reuters) - At least 55 militants were killed when Turkish warplanes hit Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) camps in northern Iraq overnight, security sources said on Saturday, as Ankara shows no sign of easing up strikes on insurgents ahead of a Nov. 1 election.

The jets took off from a base in Diyarbakir, in Turkey's southeast, and later returned without damage, the sources said.

Turkey's largely Kurdish southeast has been hit by almost daily waves of deadly fighting between PKK militants and security forces since the collapse of a ceasefire in July.


(...SNIPPED)
Title: ISIS draws on ex-Iraqi Army officers for leadership
Post by: S.M.A. on October 12, 2015, 17:00:54
Not really surprising that Sunni ex-Iraqi Army officers would join ISIS when the Iraqi government is still predominantly run by the Shia even after Maliki is not the leader anymore.

Reuters (http://ca.reuters.com/article/topNews/idCAKCN0S61II20151012)

Quote
Islamic State can draw on veteran jihadists, ex-Iraq army officers for leadership
Mon Oct 12, 2015 10:00am EDT

By Michael Georgy and Mariam Karouny

CAIRO/BEIRUT (Reuters) - Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, one of the world's most wanted men, is counting on veteran jihadis and former Iraqi army officers who form the core of the militant movement to take over if he is killed.

New questions arose over Islamic State's leadership structure and who might succeed Baghdadi after Iraq's military said on Sunday air strikes had hit a convoy carrying him, though Iraqi security officials later denied this.

Baghdadi, who rarely appears in public and delivers few audio speeches, makes the vast majority of decisions, including which of the group's enemies should be killed.

(...SNIPPED)
Title: Iraqi Army adds Russian guns to US Abrams tanks
Post by: S.M.A. on October 16, 2015, 19:47:23
Is it really that strange to find Russian MGs on a US vehicle? Weren't there stranger combinations dating all the way from the Second World War? (e.g. the Soviet-era Su85i tank destroyer, made out of a captured chassis of German Panzer III tanks after Stalingrad)

Defense News (http://www.defensenews.com/story/defense/2015/10/15/iraq-russian-gun-iranian-ammo-found-us-origin-tank/73999398/)

Quote
Iraqi Forces Add Russian Guns to US Tanks for ISIL Fight
By Barbara Opall-Rome, Joe Gould and Awad Mustafa3:31 p.m. EDT October 15, 2015
New Alliances Breed Hybrid Hardware, Challenge US End-Use Monitoring Regime

TEL AVIV, Israel — Earlier this month, Shia militiamen in Iraq dropped off an American-supplied Abrams tank at a US-supported repair facility where workers were surprised to find an attached Russian machine gun plus Iranian ammo, Defense News has learned.

The MIA1 main battle tank — one of 146 frontline tanks the US sold to Baghdad — was transported through the Green Zone to a US-supported Iraqi service facility at al-Muthanna that was established as part of the Pentagon’s Foreign Military Sales (FMS) program.

The tank was equipped with a Russian .50-caliber machine gun and Iranian-stamped 12.75-mm ammunition, according to a source at the facility.

(...SNIPPED)
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: Eye In The Sky on October 20, 2015, 19:21:28
Not sure how much they care about brand loyalty...
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: tomahawk6 on October 22, 2015, 13:35:41
Iraqi SF with US SF mounted a hostage rescue mission that freed 70 IS prisoners.Sadly one US SF soldier was killed in the operation.

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/us-special-forces-reportedly-mounted-131628681.html
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: Eye In The Sky on October 22, 2015, 16:49:17
RIP
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: jollyjacktar on October 22, 2015, 16:50:14
RIP.   :salute:
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: tomahawk6 on October 22, 2015, 20:29:14
A bit of an update.The US SF were none other than Delta operators.Nothing but the best of our best. :salute:

http://news.yahoo.com/u-commandos-made-last-minute-212229479.html
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: tomahawk6 on October 25, 2015, 12:28:14
A video of the raid taken from inside the prison after the defenses had been breached.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UNvs0dvtoc0
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: milnews.ca on December 06, 2015, 20:45:47
What could possibly go wrong here?
Title: US strike mistakenly kills some Iraqi soldiers
Post by: S.M.A. on December 20, 2015, 02:14:33
"Friendly fire" ?

Canadian Press (https://ca.news.yahoo.com/pentagon-chief-us-strike-killed-iraqi-soldiers-seems-124228957.html)

Quote
Pentagon chief: US strike that killed Iraqi soldiers seems to be 'mistake' involving 2 sides
[The Canadian Press]
Lolita C. Baldor, The Associated Press
The Canadian Press
December 19, 2015

The American airstrike that may have killed a number of Iraqi soldiers on Friday seems to be "a mistake that involved both sides," U.S. Defence Secretary Ash Carter said Saturday. Iraq pledged to punish those responsible.

Speaking to reporters during a visit to the USS Kearsarge in the Persian Gulf, Carter said the incident near the western Iraqi city of Fallujah was "regrettable." He called Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi to express condolences.

"These kinds of things happen when you're fighting side by side as we are," Carter said. He said the airstrike Friday "has all the indications of being a mistake of the kind that can happen on a dynamic battlefield."

(...SNIPPED)
Title: Iraqi forces retake Ramadi from ISIS
Post by: S.M.A. on December 28, 2015, 20:57:13
Iraqi forces increasing in effectiveness? Or only a symbolic victory at best?

BBC (http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-35186105)

Quote
Iraq forces in 'full control' of central Ramadi

    28 December 2015


Iraqi officials say the army is now in "full control" of central Ramadi, where so-called Islamic State (IS) has been resisting an army offensive.

A former government compound, where IS fighters had been holding out, has been retaken, Iraqi security sources say.

However there were still "pockets of resistance" in parts of the city, the provincial governor's spokesman said.

(...SNIPPED)

Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: Eye In The Sky on December 30, 2015, 14:14:58
Taking ground back is a sign isn't just a symbolic anything IMO.   FIBUA is a long hard fight.
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: tomahawk6 on December 30, 2015, 21:00:51
As always its the political battle that has yet to be fought if Iraq is to keep its gains.The shia will have to bury the hatchet and accomodate the sunni's or there will never be peace.
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: S.M.A. on February 29, 2016, 23:03:09
A potential 70-foot high flood coming...  :o

Reuters (https://ca.news.yahoo.com/u-warns-citizens-ready-leave-iraq-mosul-dam-145814434.html)

Quote
U.S. warns citizens to be ready to leave Iraq if Mosul dam collapses

Reuters
February 29, 2016

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - The United States warned its citizens to be ready to leave Iraq in the event of what it has said could be a catastrophic collapse of the country's largest hydro-electric dam near Mosul.

Iraqi officials have sought to play down the risk but Washington urged its citizens to make contingency plans now.

A U.S. security message cited estimates that Mosul, which is northern Iraq's largest city and under control of Islamic State insurgents, could be inundated by as much as 70 feet (21 meters) of water within hours of the breach.

(...SNIPPED)
Title: Italian Mangusta attack helos sent to Iraq
Post by: S.M.A. on March 03, 2016, 12:09:08
Mangustas to see action against ISIS soon?

Aviationist (http://theaviationist.com/2016/03/03/italy-deploys-helicopter-force-including-aw-129-mangusta-attack-choppers-to-iraq/)

Quote
Italy deploys Helicopter Force (including AW-129 Mangusta attack choppers) to Iraq
Mar 03 2016 -
By David Cenciotti
NH-90 and AW-129 helicopters to be deployed to Erbil “very soon.”

The Italian Army is going to deploy a Helicopter Force made of four NH-90 multirole choppers and four AW-129 Mangusta attack helicopters to Iraq, “very soon” the Italian MoD announced on Mar. 2, 2016.

The helicopters, along with 130 military, will be based at Erbil, in the northern part of the country, and their primary mission will be Personnel Recovery and CSAR (Combat SAR) missions. However, they are likely to be there to protect the Italian team working on repairing the Mosul Dam too: on the same day the Italian MoD announced the deployment of the helicopters, the Iraqi government signed an agreement with the Italian Trevi company (worth 273 million Euro) to repair the Mosul damn, located 130 km to the northwest of Erbil.

(...SNIPPED)
Title: Turkish UAVs over Iraq?
Post by: S.M.A. on March 13, 2016, 21:50:51
The Turks keeping tabs on the Iraqi Kurds:

Aviationist (http://theaviationist.com/2016/03/13/is-a-turkish-uav-currently-operating-inside-the-iraqi-airspace/)

Quote
Is a Turkish UAV currently operating inside the Iraqi airspace?
Mar 13 2016

By David Cenciotti
What might be an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle is circling over the border between Turkey and Iraq.

Increasingly, military aircraft as well as UAVs can be tracked online thanks to the emissions of their Mode-S ADS-B-capable transponders.

In fact, these aircraft do not broadcast their ADS-B data but their position can be determined by means of Multilateration (MLAT).

MLAT (used by Flightradar24.com) uses Time Difference of Arrival (TDOA): by measuring the difference in time to receive the signal from aircraft from four different receivers, the aircraft can be geolocated and followed even if it does not transmit ADS-B data.

(...SNIPPED)

Meanwhile more British troops are coming to train Iraqis:

Defense News (http://www.defensenews.com/story/defense/2016/03/13/britain-sends-troops-train-iraqis-fighting-isis/81727234/)

Quote
Britain Sends More Troops To Train Iraqis Fighting ISIS
Agence France-Presse 11:02 a.m. EDT March 13, 2016


LONDON — Britain said Saturday it was sending more troops to Iraq to bolster its mission training up the armed forces taking on the Islamic State jihadist group.

Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said a further 30 troops would be deployed to provide training in logistics and bridge-building, as well as specialist medical staff.

The move would take the total number of British personnel on training missions inside Iraq to 300.

(...SNIPPED)
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: S.M.A. on March 14, 2016, 13:28:53
Another John Walker Lindh?

Associated Press (https://ca.news.yahoo.com/iraqi-general-palestinian-american-member-surrenders-131359729.html?nhp=1)

Quote
Iraqi general: Palestinian-American member of IS surrenders
[The Canadian Press]
Balint Szlanko, The Associated Press

March 14, 2016

IRBIL, Iraq - A Palestinian-American member of the Islamic State group gave himself up to Iraqi Kurdish forces in the country's north on Monday, an Iraqi Kurdish general said, a rare instance of a voluntary surrender of a militant fighting with the extremist group in Iraq.

The man had been "lurking near the peshmerga lines" since late Sunday night, according to Maj. Gen. Feisal Helkani of the Iraqi Kurdish peshmerga forces, which are playing key role — along with the Iraqi military — in battling the extremist IS group.

Helkani said his troops first tried to shoot the man, assuming he was a would-be suicide bomber.


(...SNIPPED)
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: jollyjacktar on March 14, 2016, 13:42:40
Another John Walker Lindh?

Associated Press (https://ca.news.yahoo.com/iraqi-general-palestinian-american-member-surrenders-131359729.html?nhp=1)

Marksmanship training needs to be done it seems.  Tsk tsk tsk.
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: E.R. Campbell on March 14, 2016, 19:26:04
BGen Dave Anderson to command Canadians and coalition team in Iraq: http://news.nationalpost.com/news/canadian-to-command-coalition-team-working-with-iraqi-security-before-isil-battle
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: Journeyman on March 14, 2016, 20:09:52
BGen Dave Anderson ....
Well, at least he got the first line....then it's all "Hi, I'm Steve..."    ;D
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: tomahawk6 on March 14, 2016, 20:27:41
I guess he will be held in Iraq,until the administration decides how they want to handle this.This may just be the first US citizen to surrender.
Title: US planning to send more combat troops to Iraq- March 2016
Post by: S.M.A. on March 29, 2016, 00:21:18
Speaking of which, please note the incident reported on this other thread that involved a USMC artillery unit in Iraq (http://army.ca/forums/index.php/topic,122537.0.html).

Defense News (http://www.defensenews.com/story/military/2016/03/25/more-troops-likely-deploy-iraq-top-officer-says/82253250/)

Quote
The Pentagon is planning to send more combat troops into Iraq
Andrew Tilghman, Military Times 12:45 p.m. EDT March 25, 2016

The Pentagon will likely send more troops into Iraq in the coming weeks to support operations against Islamic State militants in Mosul, the military's top officer said Friday.

Marine Corps Gen. Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said that he and Defense Secretary Ash Carter will recommend to the White House expanding the U.S military footprint there as Iraqi forces undertake a complicated, large-scale offensive to oust ISIS from its stronghold in the country's north.

“We have a series of recommendations that we will be discussing with the president in the coming weeks to further enable our support for the Iraqi security forces,” Dunford said during a press briefing. “The secretary and I both believe that there will be an increase to the U.S. forces in Iraq in the coming weeks but that decision hasn’t been made."

(...SNIPPED)


Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: S.M.A. on April 02, 2016, 01:40:12
The slow grind towards the heartland of IS territory:

Associated Press (https://ca.news.yahoo.com/trapped-civilians-stall-iraqi-forces-battling-anbar-123901120.html)

Quote
Trapped civilians stall Iraqi forces battling IS in Anbar
Susannah George, The Associated Press
The Canadian Press
April 1, 2016


BAGHDAD - Tens of thousands of trapped Iraqi civilians have stalled the government's advance in the battle against the Islamic State group in the western Anbar province, the spokesman for Iraq's elite counterterrorism said Friday.

The civilians are trapped between the Iraqi forces' lines and the IS extremists hunkered down in the centre of the town of Hit, 85 miles (140 kilometres) west of Baghdad, the official told The Associated Press.

Meanwhile, IS claimed responsibility for two suicide car bombings that killed 11 security forces late Thursday night southeast of the city of Mosul, which is controlled by IS.

Early Thursday morning, Iraqi forces re-launched an offensive on Hit under cover of heavy U.S.-led coalition airstrikes, said the counterterrorism chief, Sabah al-Numan. Over the past week the coalition launched 17 airstrikes in and around Hit, according to Pentagon statements.

(...SNIPPED)
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: S.M.A. on April 20, 2016, 03:21:17
The latest IS atrocity:

Associated Press via New York Times (http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2016/04/19/world/middleeast/ap-ml-iraq-mass-grave.html?_r=0)

Quote
Iraqi police find 2 mass graves in Islamic State-free Ramadi
By Sinan Salaheddin (Associated Press) | Updated April 20, 2016 - 3:47am

BAGHDAD — Iraqi police on yesterday unearthed two mass graves in the western city of Ramadi, with bodies of about 40 people killed by Islamic State militants during the militant Sunni group's reign of terror in the city, officials said.

The officials said IS militants who were captured and arrested after Iraqi forces routed the extremists from the Anbar provincial capital led authorities to the site of the mass graves, inside the city's soccer stadium.

Bodies of women and children were among those found in the two graves, along with bodies of men in civilian clothes, said the officials, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to reporters.

(...SNIPPED)
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: milnews.ca on May 18, 2016, 16:01:22
A couple of related stories ...
Title: Fallujah: Iraqi forces claim victory in retaking city despite continued fighting
Post by: S.M.A. on June 19, 2016, 16:05:17
Already posted in the Pan-Islamic Civil War thread, but worth reposting here: a major turning point and a sign of redemption for the Iraqi Army?

Washington Post (https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/iraqi-forces-make-rapid-advances-in-islamic-state-held-fallujah/2016/06/17/a636b098-5864-4d2d-a3f3-b76461094e43_story.html)

Quote
Iraqi forces claim victory over the Islamic State in Fallujah

By Loveday Morris and Mustafa Salim June 17 at 2:16 PM

BAGHDAD — Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi on Friday declared victory over the Islamic State in Fallujah after a day of rapid advances as security forces pushed deep into the city center, dislodging the militants who have controlled it for nearly 2½ years.

In a televised address, Abadi said that some “pockets” of resistance remained in the city, about 45 miles west of Baghdad, but that it was largely under the control of security forces. Earlier in the day, Iraqi forces raised the country’s flag over the local council building, while commanders reported that they had retaken a string of neighborhoods as the militants abandoned their positions.

The Islamic State has been “broken” in the city, said Col. Abdelrahman al-Khazali, a police spokesman.

(...SNIPPED)
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: milnews.ca on July 03, 2016, 21:45:50
I'm no IED expert, but I think this might help (http://tmsnrt.rs/29rNlBn) ...
Quote
Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi ordered security services on Sunday to stop using fake bomb detectors at checkpoints after a bombing killed at least 120 people in Baghdad in an attack claimed by Islamic State.

Reacting after the deadliest attack so far this year, Abadi also ordered a new investigation at the interior ministry into "corrupt deals" to buy ADE 651 devices developed as lost golf balls finders and sold to Iraq and other nations as hand-held bomb detectors.

A police officer earlier confirmed to Reuters that these devices, commonly known as the "magic wand", were still in use five years after the scandal about the sale to Iraq broke out.

The British businessman who sold the detectors to Iraq and other countries, James McCormick, was sentenced in 2013 in Britain to 10 years in jail for endangering lives for profit.

McCormick earned more than $40 million from sales in Iraq alone, British police said at the time. His customers also included the United Nations ...
Go war marketeers!

More backstory on the fake detectors from the BBC here (http://bbc.in/29dexCc).
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: S.M.A. on August 30, 2016, 16:11:38
Child soldiers used by both sides in Iraq:

Canadian Press (https://ca.news.yahoo.com/suicide-bomber-strikes-wedding-iraq-083123406.html)

Quote
HRW: Iraqi militias recruiting children ahead of Mosul push
The Canadian Press
August 30, 2016

IRBIL, Iraq — Iraqi militias are recruiting children from camps for civilians displaced by conflict ahead of the long-awaited operation to retake militant-held Mosul, according to a report from Human Rights Watch Tuesday.

Citing testimony from witnesses and relatives, HRW said two tribal militias in the Kurdish region of Iraq recruited children from a camp south of Irbil and drove them away to a town near Mosul.

The group said the recruits are intended to reinforce frontline positions against the Islamic State group in Nineveh province, where Mosul is located.

IS uses children as both frontline fighters and suicide bombers in Iraq and Syria. The group maintains an army of child soldiers, which it calls "cubs of the caliphate." Islamic State videos have shown boys killing IS opponents through beheadings and shootings.

(...SNIPPED)
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: milnews.ca on October 17, 2016, 07:18:28
Prepare to move -- move now ...
:pop:
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: tomahawk6 on October 17, 2016, 10:49:23
The assault on Mosul seems to be going well supported by 90 Iraqi/coalition aircraft.I think the IS has pulled many of its fighters out of the city leaving behind their most fanatical fighters.It may well degenerate into classic block by block fighting.If that happens the real losers will be the civilian population.

http://edition.cnn.com/2016/10/17/middleeast/mosul-isis-operation-begins-iraq/
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: jollyjacktar on October 17, 2016, 11:15:24
If that happens the real losers will be the civilian population.
http://edition.cnn.com/2016/10/17/middleeast/mosul-isis-operation-begins-iraq/

As always, they're the poor bastards who get it in the neck.
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: milnews.ca on October 23, 2016, 10:01:18
This appears to be a bit of a bolt out of the blue (http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-37743180) ...
Quote
Parliament in Iraq has voted to ban the sale, import and production of alcohol, with backers of the move arguing that its availability contradicts Islam and is unconstitutional.

Opponents argue that the vote infringes constitutional guarantees of freedom of religious belief for minority groups such as Christians.

They say they will appeal against the surprise decision in the courts.

An official said that the ban was a last-minute move by conservatives.

Since the fall of Saddam Hussein, activities perceived to be contrary to the moral code of Islam have come under repeated attack, with alcohol shops targeted in Baghdad and other cities.

While alcohol is not commonly found in restaurants and hotels in Iraq, correspondents say its consumption is relatively widespread in the scores of small shops and bars in Baghdad.

Correspondents say the new law has been passed at a time when attention is focused on the battle to wrest control of Mosul from the militant group known as Islamic State ...
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: SeaKingTacco on October 23, 2016, 10:36:32
Well, who would have seen that coming?
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: Dimsum on October 23, 2016, 13:33:36
Well, who would have seen that coming?

Surely not I.   ::)
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: milnews.ca on October 23, 2016, 14:22:40
Meanwhile ...
"Analysis: Which Iraq will triumph in Mosul?" (http://www.jpost.com/Middle-East/ISIS-Threat/Analysis-Which-Iraq-will-triumph-in-Mosul-470732)
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: milnews.ca on October 30, 2016, 09:54:04
Alcohol ban law firing alright, law - STOPS (http://basnews.com/index.php/en/news/iraq/308200)!
Quote
Iraqi President Fuad Masoum has refused to approve the law banning alcohol which has recently been passed by the parliament.

Ameer Kinani, an advisor to the Iraqi president, said in a press conference that after the bill of prohibiting alcohol was passed by the Iraqi parliament, it was sent to the Iraqi president for approval. The president, however, has refused to approve the law, he said, noting that the president is defending the rights and freedom of the Iraqi people as prescribed in the federal constitution.

The Iraqi parliament passed a law on October 22 which prohibits the import, production and sales of alcoholic beverages. The law however angered many in the country’s Christian community who rely on the business ...
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: tomahawk6 on November 03, 2016, 12:56:35
French Army Caesar artillery battery supporting Mosul operation as part of TF Wagram..

https://www.yahoo.com/news/south-mosul-french-guns-back-iraqi-forces-163257942.html


"We are providing permanent support to the Iraqi troops, 24 hours a day," says Captain Alexandre, whose full name is being withheld for security reasons.

The captain is in charge of five CAESAR artillery vehicles -- trucks mounted with eight-metre-long 155mm howitzers, which have been deployed previously on French military operations in Afghanistan and Mali.

The guns are each operated by five soldiers and can fire up to six times a minute.

"We have different types of munitions: explosives that can neutralise or destroy; but also that can light up the battlefield or blind with a curtain of smoke," the captain says.

About 100 French troops have been deployed since early September as part of the task force, mainly from artillery units.

Its commander, Colonel Benoit, says the name of the task force is especially appropriate.

"Wagram is a reference to the Napoleonic battle of 1809, a victory in which the use of artillery was decisive and which was won by the Grande Armee, which was also a coalition," the colonel says.

The French soldiers are based at Qayyarah, which lies about 60 kilometres (40 miles) south of Mosul and is the main staging point for the southern front.
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: daftandbarmy on November 06, 2016, 13:30:24
Looks like we'll have quite a while to figure this all out:


BBC: UK ambassador - Gulf crisis 'could last 10-15 years'

https://www.iiss.org/en/expert%20commentary/blogsections/2015-23ef/february-9d08/gulf-crisis-could-last-10-15-years-d803
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: Journeyman on November 06, 2016, 13:51:05
BBC: UK ambassador - Gulf crisis 'could last 10-15 years'
Sounds like a bit of an optimist.  ;)
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: Eye In The Sky on November 08, 2016, 03:06:31
Few more recent developments. 

Iraqi Shi’ite militias [PMF] say offensive toward Tal Afar started (http://www.atimes.com/article/un-reports-executions-mosul-advance-pauses/)

ISIL captures Iraq town of Rutba as Mosul battle rages (http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2016/10/isil-captures-iraq-town-ratba-mosul-battle-rages-161024191517704.html)

Iraqi Forces Battle ISIS in Western Town, Far From Mosul (http://www.nbcwashington.com/news/national-international/Iraqi-Forces-Battle-ISIS-Western-Town-Far-From-Mosul--398325001.html)

* Rutba or Ar Ruthbah is in Western Anbar, basically SW of Al Qaim in the middle of BFN.  Primarily Sunni area.
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: GAP on November 08, 2016, 10:21:26
Hoping to make it a diversion?
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: Eye In The Sky on November 08, 2016, 17:15:21
Ya - there, Kirkuk, a few smaller actions too...
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: dapaterson on December 28, 2016, 00:54:51
Interesting article in the New Yorker - apparently the Mosul dam was built on soluble rock, so there's a constant stream of concrete poured into the foundation to keep it stable.  Allegedly US diplomats reported “Mosul Dam faces a serious and unprecedented risk of catastrophic failure with little warning”.

Full article at: http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2017/01/02/a-bigger-problem-than-isis
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: daftandbarmy on March 05, 2017, 10:46:56
Let's go Canada... with at least an armoured Division +  :tank2:

Why Canada has a major role to play in rebuilding Iraq

As the fight for western Mosul continues, with thousands of troops massed on the Tigris River bank, Brig. Gen. David Anderson, the Canadian senior officer in the coalition headquarters in Baghdad tells Maclean’s, “What happens here affects the rest of the world. Iraq is the focal point of a conflict between a violent extremism and a regional approach. It’s a geopolitical game. Taking Daesh, a truly evil enemy, out is having a big impact on their ability in the rest of the world. By stopping them here, we’re stopping the ISIL-inspired attacks elsewhere.”

http://www.macleans.ca/news/world/why-canada-has-a-major-role-to-play-in-rebuilding-iraq/

Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: Eye In The Sky on March 05, 2017, 12:44:51
Thanks for that one.
Title: Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
Post by: Loachman on July 17, 2017, 17:31:24
http://www.nationalreview.com/article/449540/brave-ladys-fight-against-isis-vian-dakhil-yazidi-parliamentarian?utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=170717_Jolt&utm_term=Jolt

A Brave Lady’s Fight Against ISIS

by Jay Nordlinger July 17, 2017 12:00 AM

Vian Dakhil, Yazidi parliamentarian

There are millions of videos floating around the Internet, of various kinds. Like you, I have seen many of these videos. And I suppose the most moving one I have ever seen is of Vian Dakhil, a Yazidi member of the Iraqi parliament. In August 2014, she pleaded for help against ISIS, who were raping and destroying her people. She explained this. Then she said, “Save us, save us,” until she collapsed.

Dakhil was a guest at the Oslo Freedom Forum earlier this year. She gave a presentation, which began with the showing of that video. To see the presentation - and, of course, the video that leads it - go here.

I spoke to her a day or two before her presentation. There are about 1.2 million Yazidis in the world, she said. They are spread between several countries, or regions: Iraq, Syria, Kurdistan, the former USSR . . . There is also a substantial immigrant community in Germany now.

They are an ancient people, the Yazidis. And there have been 73 genocide campaigns against them, says Dakhil. The latest, of course, is the one by ISIS.

It began in 2014. ISIS descended on the Yazidis. Those who could flee, fled. Younger people carried their elderly parents on their back. Often, they could not get very far. ISIS slaughtered the men (and others). They kidnapped and enslaved the girls and women, raping them. Little girls were raped in front of their parents. Etc., etc.

The usual depravity that mankind exhibits, and always has.

In her presentation, Dakhil showed a film of ISIS terrorists selling girls, in an auction. Why does this film exist? ISIS itself made it, in order to recruit volunteers. In order to entice them.

Many years ago, Anthony Daniels, the British doctor and writer, told me that the main reason so many young men were attracted to radical Islam had nothing to do with religion. It was the subjugation of women, especially for sexual purposes. As the years have gone by, I have seen the truth of this, more and more.

In 2014 (August), ISIS had tens of thousands of Yazidis trapped in the Sinjar Mountains. They were starving. The ISIS men were waiting them out. The only way to reach the Yazidis was by helicopter, and Vian Dakhil undertook a rescue mission (by helicopter). She and others distributed food and water. Yet they also tried to take some of the people away, to safety. These were children, the aged, and the sick.

Flying away, the helicopter crashed, because it was carrying too much weight. The pilot died. Many others were injured, including Dakhil.

She is doing better now, she tells me. At night, however, she sometimes feels severe pain.

I will not say too much more about the hell and depravity to which the Yazidis have been subjected. You can watch Dakhil’s presentation, if you like. But I will say one thing - a horrible thing - and please skip it, if you like. I will tell it in the next few paragraphs, and then I will have interview excerpts, which will be bullet-pointed.

ISIS had a female prisoner - a young mother - whom they starved for two days. On the third day, they gave her some food: some kind of meat, which satisfied her. Then they told her she had just eaten the flesh of her son, 18 months old.

About a month after hearing this, I was reading The Feast of the Goat, Mario Vargas Llosa’s novel of the Trujillo dictatorship (in the Dominican Republic). Trujillista sadists do the exact same thing in the novel. I have no doubt it happened in real life.

I have studied many dictatorships and terror movements. They do the same things, in every corner of the earth: electric shocks on genitals, etc. Genitals are a constant fixation.

Now, some excerpts from my interview with Vian Dakhil:

She was born in 1971, to a Yazidi family in Mosul. She would grow up there, in Mosul. Her actual last name is Saeed. Dakhil is her father’s name - but she is known to the world as “Vian Dakhil.” She has a bachelor’s degree in microbiology, and a master’s degree in immunology.

I ask her a question about identity. “Do you feel Iraqi?” She answers, “I am Yazidi, Kurdish, and Iraqi.” In that order? Yes, in that order.

Different Yazidis have different views of their identity. Many consider themselves Yazidi only.

Dakhil did not seek out politics, but politics sought out her. In 2007, she was teaching at a university in Mosul, and terrorists began to menace the city and her students. The Kurdish government asked her to take special responsibility for the minorities (such as the Yazidis). And thus began her political career.

Who were those terrorists? Al-Qaeda, she says. I tell her something: “Al-Qaeda, ISIS - I don’t care what you call them, or what they call themselves. They’re all the same to me.” That’s right, she answers. They are like reptiles, she says, that shed their skin. Periodically, they have a new skin and a new name, but it’s the same terrorist animal.

About 6,700 Yazidi girls and women were kidnapped by ISIS. “We were able to rescue 3,000 of them,” Dakhil says. How? And who is “we”? By “we,” she means the Kurdish government, and what they did was buy back the girls and women from ISIS. The others are still in captivity.

But ISIS is on its way out in that part of the world. So, as a consequence, is the assault on the Yazidis.

“The Yazidis have lost their trust in everyone, even their neighbors,” says Dakhil. “They don’t trust anyone anymore” - which is entirely understandable.

I ask Dakhil whether she favors the breakup of Iraq. What she favors is a confederation, she says. “The best solution for the country is to be like the Emirates: small states in one bigger state, where the small states have their own rules and characteristics.” “Would Baghdad have the final say?” I ask. Yes, says Dakhil.

And how many regions or statelets should there be? Dakhil says, “Kurdistan, and a region for the Sunnis, and a region for the Shiites, and Baghdad, alone.”

I tell her I’m going to ask what may be an insulting question: Is the Iraqi parliament a real parliament or a pretend one? “It’s an actual parliament,” she says, “and we are working, but the problems in the country are greater than we are.”

What can the U.S. do for the Yazidis? Three things, she says: Give us “cover security” (physical security, protection from the wolves). Provide humanitarian help. And prevail on the United Nations to designate what ISIS has done a genocide.

Finally, I ask her what she would like people to know. “We are fighting ISIS,” she says. “We are fighting the terrorists and the ideology. We are paying the price. But these terrorists and this ideology spread very quickly. If we don’t work together, they will arrive in Oslo and Paris and Berlin and everywhere else. We must unite against it. We must stand together.”

She is an exceptionally brave woman, Vian Dakhil. “The world depends on people like you,” I tell her. She smiles. “Maybe you can be a scientist later. After the crisis passes, you can go back to your microscope.” She smiles again.