Author Topic: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread  (Read 235044 times)

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Offline George Wallace

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Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
« Reply #275 on: September 22, 2014, 17:47:09 »
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
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Offline wingman25

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Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
« Reply #276 on: September 23, 2014, 13:10:41 »
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,

Offline tomahawk6

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Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
« Reply #277 on: September 23, 2014, 22:29:38 »
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
« Last Edit: September 23, 2014, 22:57:37 by tomahawk6 »

Offline S.M.A.

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Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
« Reply #278 on: September 24, 2014, 14:54:45 »
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

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)

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Offline S.M.A.

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Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
« Reply #279 on: September 24, 2014, 16:42:08 »
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

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)

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Offline S.M.A.

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Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
« Reply #280 on: September 24, 2014, 20:44:54 »
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

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)
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Offline S.M.A.

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Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
« Reply #281 on: September 25, 2014, 00:14:07 »
More European allies join in with their own 6-packs. Hint, hint.

MSN News

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)
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Offline E.R. Campbell

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Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
« Reply #282 on: September 25, 2014, 06:06:34 »
More European allies join in with their own 6-packs. Hint, hint.

MSN News


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

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 but, if, as many experts suggest, "boots on the ground" will be necessary, I wonder if (I doubt) they will be as willing.
« Last Edit: September 25, 2014, 07:57:34 by E.R. Campbell »
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Algernon Sidney in Discourses Concerning Government, (1698)
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Offline tomahawk6

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Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
« Reply #283 on: September 25, 2014, 12:23:16 »
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.
« Last Edit: September 25, 2014, 12:28:04 by tomahawk6 »

Offline S.M.A.

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Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
« Reply #284 on: September 25, 2014, 17:30:11 »
And London announces their intent to join in:

Reuters

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)

Our Country
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Offline cupper

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Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
« Reply #285 on: September 25, 2014, 20:08:20 »
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.

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Offline Dimsum

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Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
« Reply #286 on: September 25, 2014, 21:42:49 »
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.
Philip II of Macedon to Spartans (346 BC):  "You are advised to submit without further delay, for if I bring my army into your land, I will destroy your farms, slay your people, and raze your city."

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Offline S.M.A.

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Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
« Reply #287 on: September 26, 2014, 12:20:54 »
And the motion to strike ISIS in Iraq passes in the UK House of Commons, as reported by the BBC:

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.

« Last Edit: September 26, 2014, 16:03:37 by S.M.A. »
Our Country
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"A leader is best when people barely know he exists, when his work is done, his aim fulfilled, they will say: We did it ourselves."   - Lao Zi (老子)
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"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm."
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Offline PPCLI Guy

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Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
« Reply #288 on: September 26, 2014, 15:48:02 »
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....
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Offline Old Sweat

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Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
« Reply #289 on: September 28, 2014, 17:06:50 »
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

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Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
« Reply #290 on: September 28, 2014, 21:28:42 »
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.
Dagny, this is not a battle over material goods. It's a moral crisis, the greatest the world has ever faced and the last. Our age is the climax of centuries of evil. We must put an end to it, once and for all, or perish - we, the men of the mind. It was our own guilt. We produced the wealth of the world - but we let our enemies write its moral code.

Offline S.M.A.

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Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
« Reply #291 on: September 30, 2014, 11:06:48 »
Not sure how credible this report is:

Daily Mirror(UK)

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)

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Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
« Reply #292 on: September 30, 2014, 11:39:30 »
Meanwhile, deep inside the ISIS-run pariah state...

Reuters

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)

Our Country
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"A leader is best when people barely know he exists, when his work is done, his aim fulfilled, they will say: We did it ourselves."   - Lao Zi (老子)
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"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm."
- Winston Churchill

Offline S.M.A.

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Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
« Reply #293 on: September 30, 2014, 18:41:15 »
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

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)

« Last Edit: September 30, 2014, 18:48:54 by S.M.A. »
Our Country
--------------------------------
"A leader is best when people barely know he exists, when his work is done, his aim fulfilled, they will say: We did it ourselves."   - Lao Zi (老子)
-------------------------------------------
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm."
- Winston Churchill

Offline daftandbarmy

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Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
« Reply #294 on: October 01, 2014, 16:43:00 »
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.
"The most important qualification of a soldier is fortitude under fatigue and privation. Courage is only second; hardship, poverty and want are the best school for a soldier." Napoleon

Offline S.M.A.

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Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
« Reply #295 on: October 01, 2014, 19:14:35 »
 :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

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)


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Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
« Reply #296 on: October 02, 2014, 17:21:00 »
Notable parallel update at the Syria superthread:

Turkey approves use of ground troops against ISIS in Syria and Iraq
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Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
« Reply #297 on: October 02, 2014, 23:05:43 »
Australian F18s will be bombing ISIS targets in Iraq soon:

BBC

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.

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Offline Dimsum

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Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
« Reply #298 on: October 02, 2014, 23:24:23 »
Australian F18s will be bombing ISIS targets in Iraq soon:

BBC

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.
« Last Edit: October 03, 2014, 01:18:41 by Dimsum »
Philip II of Macedon to Spartans (346 BC):  "You are advised to submit without further delay, for if I bring my army into your land, I will destroy your farms, slay your people, and raze your city."

Reply:  "If."

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Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
« Reply #299 on: October 03, 2014, 06:30:25 »
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."
It is ill that men should kill one another in seditions, tumults and wars; but it is worse to bring nations to such misery, weakness and baseness
as to have neither strength nor courage to contend for anything; to have nothing left worth defending and to give the name of peace to desolation.
Algernon Sidney in Discourses Concerning Government, (1698)
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