Author Topic: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread  (Read 244092 times)

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Offline Humphrey Bogart

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Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
« Reply #300 on: October 03, 2014, 07:50:20 »
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!

Offline Rifleman62

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Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
« Reply #301 on: October 03, 2014, 11:21:42 »
The do nothing, useless UN has not endorsed, but the Pope has.
« Last Edit: October 03, 2014, 11:49:57 by Rifleman62 »
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Offline Marchog

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Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
« Reply #302 on: October 03, 2014, 11:26:46 »
I stopped caring what the current version of the League of Nations has to say a long time ago.

Offline S.M.A.

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Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
« Reply #303 on: October 03, 2014, 17:16:05 »
Iraq situation map, courtesy of: Asian Defence News


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Offline Infantryman2b

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Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
« Reply #304 on: October 03, 2014, 17:22:58 »
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

Offline E.R. Campbell

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Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
« Reply #305 on: October 04, 2014, 10:50:45 »
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

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.
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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Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
« Reply #306 on: October 04, 2014, 11:15:11 »
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....
So, there I was....

Offline E.R. Campbell

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Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
« Reply #307 on: October 04, 2014, 11:21:34 »
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.
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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Offline S.M.A.

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Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
« Reply #308 on: October 04, 2014, 11:39:20 »
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?
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Offline Baden Guy

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Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
« Reply #309 on: October 04, 2014, 20:49:20 »
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.
« Last Edit: October 05, 2014, 07:52:49 by Baden Guy »

Offline E.R. Campbell

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Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
« Reply #310 on: October 05, 2014, 08:04:08 »
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.
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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Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
« Reply #311 on: October 05, 2014, 11:10:54 »
ISIS gaining ground in Iraq, again:

Reuters

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)

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Offline S.M.A.

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Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
« Reply #312 on: October 06, 2014, 09:44:27 »
Apaches back in action over Iraq for the first time since the US withdrawal back in 2011:

Defense News

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)

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 #313 on: October 06, 2014, 15:49:01 »
More barbarism by ISIS:

Military.com

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)
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)
-------------------------------------------
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm."
- Winston Churchill

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Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
« Reply #314 on: October 08, 2014, 21:01:05 »
The threat of MANPADS again:

Canadian Press

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)

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

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Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
« Reply #315 on: October 09, 2014, 16:33:28 »
A few maps to help orient - the first one's from August re:  who's where (via Business Insider, Singapore), the second one's who's been doing what at this point (via BBC) and the last is what what the ISIS wants (via analyst/terrorist propaganda watcher Aaron Zelin).
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Offline Humphrey Bogart

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Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
« Reply #316 on: October 09, 2014, 19:06:51 »
A few maps to help orient - the first one's from August re:  who's where (via Business Insider, Singapore), the second one's who's been doing what at this point (via BBC) and the last is what what the ISIS wants (via analyst/terrorist propaganda watcher Aaron Zelin).

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:




Offline E.R. Campbell

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Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
« Reply #317 on: October 09, 2014, 19:44:52 »
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.
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.
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Offline George Wallace

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Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
« Reply #318 on: October 09, 2014, 23:21:59 »
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
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Offline E.R. Campbell

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Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
« Reply #319 on: October 11, 2014, 10:22:05 »
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):


Source: http://www.economist.com/news/world-week/21623791-kals-cartoon
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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Offline S.M.A.

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Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
« Reply #320 on: October 15, 2014, 14:32:19 »
The name of the current operation has been chosen:

Defense News

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)
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Offline MilEME09

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Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
« Reply #321 on: October 15, 2014, 16:37:06 »
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.
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Offline tomahawk6

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Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
« Reply #322 on: October 15, 2014, 20:54:22 »
NYT article is suspect.

Offline S.M.A.

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Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
« Reply #323 on: October 21, 2014, 12:10:35 »
Anbar province again..

Reuters

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)

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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- Winston Churchill

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Re: Iraq in Crisis- Merged Superthread
« Reply #324 on: October 23, 2014, 14:23:27 »
ISIS on the move again in Iraq:

Reuters

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)

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)
-------------------------------------------
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm."
- Winston Churchill