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Thread: Iraq: Out of the desert into Mosul (closed)

  1. #501
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Moore View Post
    Do they desire control of all of Iraq? Seems like the best option for them is to sustain pressure on Bagdad to force a deal to divide Iraq into three states. They can then consolidate their gains. If they keep pushing they'll reach their culminating point.
    Bill --they have reached that point---actually the ISF has been unable to retake Tikrit and has begun to build a defensive line along the Sunni/Shia regional divide lines and the Kurds are voicing even stronger the words "independent state" and the Turks are "non publicly" stating the same thing.

    One really needs to step back and seriously relook the IS/Sunni coalition strategy---it has been massively well implemented vs the total lack of a US strategy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by OUTLAW 09 View Post
    ... that certain parties that speak of splitting Iraq, are not aware of the consequences.
    Just what would these consequences be that are worse than the current situation as it develops?

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    Quote Originally Posted by JMA View Post
    Just what would these consequences be that are worse than the current situation as it develops?
    JMA---you are right the consequences compared to now might seem to be minor in nature but it opens literally Pandora's box for all of Africa and still some areas in the ME and has a direct impact on the Ukrainian dispute.

    If the world accepts the new borders then Putin's moves in the Crimea and eastern Ukraine are as well correct and no one can complain.

    I am not against border changes in order to reflect a better understanding of what constitutes a country but there has got to be a method in place.

    Meaning de facto yes now the regional ethnic borders of Iraq and Syria have been in fact redrawn---but not to a standard that eliminates futures disputes by the former country that is and or was impacted by the redraw---it opens up 50 years of turmoil into the future.

    Not every country can pull off a split such as was done by the former Czechoslovakia by dividing ethnically into two new countries which by the way both are still economically struggling with.

    That should be the model but no one suggests that for say Iraq and Syria.

    As long as the Shia/Sunni thing is in play then nothing will in the end be settled.

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    JWing---what is going on inside the Iraqi Army--appears that all border troops stationed on the KSA border as well as the Syrian border have been and or were ordered to pull completely back---the KSA spotted some 2500 parked somewhere in the desert and tried to contact them but nothing?

    The KSA has moved 30,000 troops to the borders to plug the gap left by the Iraqi Army.

    What the heck is going on---any idea?


    http://news.yahoo.com/saudi-arabia-d...070023046.html
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worl...aq-border.html
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 07-03-2014 at 11:48 AM. Reason: Add 2nd link

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    JMA--the de facto regional separation has occurred and the Kurds picked up on al Baghdadi's Caliphate statement which is all but a Sunni independence statement and now this today out of Erbil from the Kurds---and many assumed there was not linkage between the IS attacks and the former key member of the Islamic Army in Iraq Badash sitting in Erbil? By the way a large amount of the KSA 500M USD to help Sunni refugees in the Kurdish region will be to Erbil.

    In Iraq everything plays between the lines and is never what it seems to be.

    Erbil (IraqiNews.com) The President of Kurdistan Region, Masoud Barzani, arrived at the parliament building of Kurdistan Region to discuss conducting referendum for announcing independence of Kurdistan Region.

    The reporter of Iraqi News (IraqiNews.com) stated “Barzani arrived at the parliament building to discuss setting a time limit to conduct referendum for announcing separation of Kurdistan Region from Iraq.”

    Then this came via the Arab League---who is the last time I checked Arabic not Kurdish League---so now they are fearing the same regional breakups are actually ongoing.

    http://www.iraqinews.com/features/ar...-independence/

    Seems like the ME has learned a thing or two about referendum's from the Crimea and eastern Ukraine---once done it is hard to reverse.

    So do the Kurds and Sunni thank Putin?
    Last edited by OUTLAW 09; 07-03-2014 at 11:38 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Moore View Post
    Do they desire control of all of Iraq? Seems like the best option for them is to sustain pressure on Bagdad to force a deal to divide Iraq into three states. They can then consolidate their gains. If they keep pushing they'll reach their culminating point.
    I agree. If they work to simply hold what they have, I think they can win. If they choose to hold what they have and fight a defensive campaign.

    What I think they might do is the GEN Lee run to the capital with an ultimatum for Maliki to agree to the partition. That could lead to a fight they are not prepared for, a Gettysburg of sorts, where they expend a lot of resources in an unnecessary fight.
    "I can change almost anything ... but I can't change human nature."

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    Well, as a casual observer, a few things seem logical/likely to me:

    1. The Obama administration seems to have wisely determined that the artificial, temporary stability achieved in Iraq under the original plan was neither durable, nor anything we could hope to artificially sustain at reasonable costs. Besides, to what benefit?

    2. Concern about the de facto shift in the Shia-Sunni line of competition; moving it from the Iraq-Iran border to the borders of Lebanon, Jordan and Saudi Arabia; it made sense to back the Saudi scheme of pushing that line back up into Iraq.

    3. By providing aid to any Sunni rebel group in Syria we essentially made that aid available to every Sunni rebel group in Syria and Iraq. I imagine the leadership in KSA and DC rationalize that providing aid that helps groups like AQ and ISIS today is ok while we share common interests and objectives - and that we will be able to deal with whatever consequences come from that later once those interests and objectives once more naturally diverge. I imagine that the hope is that once the dust settles, those that are too radical will be pushed aside by more moderate Sunnis who will ultimately form governments of new states that emerge. Could happen.

    4. Lastly, while there are risks to this approach, it is way more feasible, acceptable, suitable and complete than any idea of simply roaring back into Iraq with a large American presence and forcing the old, infeasible, unacceptable, unsuitable, incomplete solution we tried before to finally work.

    The bottom line is that one cannot attain any sort of natural stability within any system of governance until one can get to some reasonable degree of trust between the parties within that system. How does one get to trust in modern Iraq or Syria within the confines of those clumsy colonial borders? I don't think one can. A strong leader like Saddam could force an artificial stability (like exists within prisons...), but that is not anything we can create or facilitate. And frankly, even the Saddams, Titos, Stalins, Mubaraks, etc of the modern era find a much more difficult challenge that their preceding role models in the current strategic environment where people are so connected and informed.

    I know this will be messy, but I for one, am optimistic that it might actually produce a reasonably durable result that is not overly branded with US ownership.
    Robert C. Jones
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    (Understanding is more important than Knowledge)

    "The modern COIN mindset is when one arrogantly goes to some foreign land and attempts to make those who live there a lesser version of one's self. The FID mindset is when one humbly goes to some foreign land and seeks first to understand, and then to help in some small way for those who live there to be the best version of their own self." Colonel Robert C. Jones, US Army Special Forces (Retired)

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    I was listening to a programme on Indian TV on Indian hostages in ISIS area.

    An Arab journalist mentioned the Caliphate Project.

    I googled and came up with this:

    The Islamic State, the “Caliphate Project” and the “Global War on Terrorism”

    While the US State Department is accusing several countries of “harboring terrorists”, America is the Number One “State Sponsor of Terrorism”: The Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) –which operates in both Syria and Iraq– is covertly supported and financed by the US and its allies including Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar. Moreover, the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham’s Sunni caliphate project coincides with a longstanding US agenda to carve up both Iraq and Syria into separate territories: A Sunni Islamist Caliphate, an Arab Shia Republic, a Republic of Kurdistan, among others.
    http://www.globalresearch.ca/the-isl...rorism/5389530
    What is the credibility of this?

    US Senator McCain meets Prime Minister Narendra Modi today. Google indicates links that indicates that McCain has contacts with the AQ and Syrian rebels. This is the first time I heard of this and the Caliphate Project.

    One wonders why McCain came to India.

    Lots of speculation is rife out here.

    Can anyone throw some light and clear the air?
    Last edited by Ray; 07-03-2014 at 04:53 PM.

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    Here's my latest article " Insurgent Offensive Wreaks Havoc Across Central Iraq In June 2014". Comprehensive province by province breakdown of violence in Iraq in June.
    Last edited by JWing; 07-03-2014 at 05:09 PM.

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    I am beginning to believe that it is in the long term interests of the U.S. to NOT actively fight ISIL or the creation of the “Caliphate” but, instead, to work through KSA to ensure that a more moderate element ends up in control of the government of the Caliphate once things settle down.

    It weakens Syria. It will weaken ISIL once the internal fights for actual control over the Caliphate begin (it could even destroy it). It weakens Iran’s “control” over the territory that is currently Iraq. It allows for the creation of a Kurdish state – one which I personally believe we can align with fairly easily. It creates states that will have populations who are more likely to trust each other. It corrects colonial era mistakes. Plus all those points COL Jones makes ... and if ISIL ends up in contrl of the Caliphate they are then a much easier target for a Saudi backed insurgency as well as a traditional military invasion.

    Of course, as Outlaw notes, it can open the door to the idea that there is now a new International Norm, one that allow for any group to declare their independence and draw new borders, but that will probably happen anyway. We now have an opportunity to create mechanisms in the UN to allow this to happen in an orderly fashion … so … of course, that will never happen.
    Last edited by TheCurmudgeon; 07-03-2014 at 04:54 PM.
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    Outlaw

    Still nothing definitive about how many fighters IS has or the wider insurgency in Iraq. One number that's been thrown around is that IS has 10,000 fighters in both Syria and Iraq, another is 3,000-5,000 fighters just in Iraq. Who knows what the real figure is. Plus no one has anything on other insurgent groups just where they operate.

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    Default A credible source cited?

    Cited in part:
    Quote Originally Posted by Ray View Post
    :http://www.globalresearch.ca/the-isl...rorism/5389530

    What is the credibility of this? Can anyone throw some light and clear the air?
    The cited source is to say the least odd. I recently came across an article regarding Africa and it was simply wrong, if not stupid. So I would disregard it.
    davidbfpo

  13. #513
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    Default Who are the 'moderates'?

    Bob's World referred in part to:
    I imagine that the hope is that once the dust settles, those that are too radical will be pushed aside by more moderate Sunnis who will ultimately form governments of new states that emerge. Could happen.
    TheCurmudgeon referred to:
    ...to work through KSA to ensure that a more moderate element ends up in control of the government of the Caliphate once things settle down.
    The concept of moderation in Islam comes from wishful thinking within Western governments, I have yet to meet a Muslim who knows what a 'moderate' Muslim is. Indeed in the UK being called a 'moderate' Muslim can reduce your credibility.

    Then there is the suggestion that the policy of the KSA will 'ensure that a more moderate element ends up in control'. For a very long time the KSA, both officially and privately, has sponsored one particular school of thought within Islam which is not known for making compromises. Let alone the funding of fundamental groups, which use violence to gain control, as we have seen in Syria.
    davidbfpo

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    Quote Originally Posted by OUTLAW 09 View Post
    Seems like the ME has learned a thing or two about referendum's from the Crimea and eastern Ukraine---once done it is hard to reverse.
    No, no.

    It is only because the US and the EU rolled over and spread their legs over Crimea. The referendum is meaningless but the annexation may be hard to reverse without a lot of pain (mainly on the side of the US and the EU).

    The Syrian election was a farce yet it passed and continues to be quoted and referred to.

    The joke is on the West...

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    On the topic of KSA. As far as I am aware, the ruling class are not true believers of Wahhabism; instead they use it as a means to placate the clergy and the masses (ie giving them more religion). While actual funding of jihadist groups do not necessarily originate from the al Sauds, they are complicit. I find a parallel to be drawn with respect to Pakistan's use of the Taliban in meddling the affairs of Afghanistan. The Taliban has shown itself to be capable of defying their "masters". I'm waiting to see the same happen in KSA.



    @JMA

    Reversing Crimea requires a lot of pain on the EU side, not the US. Boots on the ground was and is out of question, since it was clear that Russian troops was on the ground. The Ukrainian Army can't fight its way out of a wet paper bag, let alone Russian contract troops. The only possible leverage was economic, by implementing the entire spectrum of sanctions against the Russians. The Russians will invariably retaliate by turning off the gas supply to the EU, which is the great pain that EU will not endure.

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    Quote Originally Posted by davidbfpo View Post
    Bob's World referred in part to:

    TheCurmudgeon referred to:

    The concept of moderation in Islam comes from wishful thinking within Western governments, I have yet to meet a Muslim who knows what a 'moderate' Muslim is. Indeed in the UK being called a 'moderate' Muslim can reduce your credibility.

    Then there is the suggestion that the policy of the KSA will 'ensure that a more moderate element ends up in control'. For a very long time the KSA, both officially and privately, has sponsored one particular school of thought within Islam which is not known for making compromises. Let alone the funding of fundamental groups, which use violence to gain control, as we have seen in Syria.
    I guess I would define moderate as "a Muslim who does not feel the need to kill Westerners on sight."

    I have met Muslims in both Iraq and Afghanistan who I would considerate moderate. They do not feel that Shiria law was unbending or that peaceful relations with others, even others who were not "people of the book" could be advantagous for both parties. They were pragmatists. So I believe they do exist.

    We have managed to maintain relationships with KSA for quite some time, so I am fairly certain that such a relationship is possible. I can't say what would happen if the house of Saud were to fall, but I would like to think that it would spell the end of having a "moderate" government in the ME.
    Last edited by TheCurmudgeon; 07-03-2014 at 07:53 PM.
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    The move Malaki is making towards the moderate Sunni will not be working as it is far to late and the Sunni will see the move as an attempt to retain his power.


    BAGHDAD: Prime Minister Nuri Al-Maliki offered a general amnesty Wednesday in a rare conciliatory move to undercut support for militants whose offensive has overrun swathes of territory and threatens to tear Iraq apart.
    The offer comes after a farcical opening to the new Parliament, despite international leaders urging Iraq’s fractious politicians to unite to help combat insurgents, as the military struggles to seize the initiative on the ground.
    International leaders have warned Iraq’s politicians there was no time to waste, while the head of a powerful jihadi group that led the militant advance urged skilled professionals to flock to help its newly proclaimed pan-Islamic state.
    Al-Maliki’s surprise move, made in his weekly televised address, appeared to be a bid to split the broad alliance of jihadis, loyalists of executed dictator Saddam Hussein and anti-government tribes that has captured large chunks of five provinces, displacing hundreds of thousands of people.
    “I announce the provision of amnesty for all tribes and all people who were involved in actions against the state” but who now “return to their senses,” excluding those involved in killings, Al-Maliki said.
    It was not immediately clear how many people the amnesty could affect, but analysts have said some form of political reconciliation will be necessary to convince Sunni Arabs angry with the Shiite-led government to turn against their co-religionists and jihadis.
    The vast majority of Iraq’s Sunni Arab minority do not actively support the Islamic State group spearheading the offensive, but analysts say anger over perceived mistreatment by the authorities means they are less likely to cooperate with the security forces.
    Meanwhile, a BBC report based on strong evidence said that Iran has supplied Iraq with attack jets.
    Russia supplied an initial delivery of the aircraft just a few days ago.
    But analysts at the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London said that a further delivery, on 1 July, originated from Iran.

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    If one reads this article from WaPo today DoD is setting the stage to send US combat troops back into Iraq although the 750 already there have been defined as "advisors" another VN buzz word for combat troops so the WH/Obama has already violated the statement "no boots on the ground".

    Iraqi security forces are probably incapable of retaking large swaths of territory seized by Sunni insurgents in recent weeks without outside help, the Pentagon’s top leaders said Thursday as they sketched a bleak assessment of turmoil in the country.

    Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said at a news conference that U.S. commanders are still considering what potential military courses of action they will recommend to the White House and that it remains unclear whether U.S. troops will take a more active role in the conflict. But they said any further U.S. involvement would hinge on Iraq’s ability to overcome deep-seated political and sectarian fissures and form a national-unity government.

    Dempsey said the Iraqi army had “stiffened” its resistance to a fast-moving insurgency led by the Sunni fighters of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, which has renamed itself Islamic State and declared a caliphate on captured territory. He said government forces were “capable of defending Baghdad” but added that they would be challenged to go on the offensive without external support.

    Dempsey said the U.S. government was contemplating the possibility of airstrikes, as well as providing help beyond what is being provided by about 750 U.S. military advisers and other troops that have deployed to Iraq in recent weeks “What will we be willing to contribute to that cause?” he said. “That’s not a question that we’re prepared to answer just yet.”

    The answer, he added, would depend on political developments in Iraq. Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, a Shiite Muslim, has alienated Sunnis, Kurds and other groups, and it is unclear whether he can muster the votes in parliament to win a third term. If Iraq is unable to form a new government that can draw support from all factions, “then the future’s pretty bleak,” Dempsey said.

    Hagel and Dempsey sidestepped questions about whether the Obama administration might send more troops to Iraq, what they will do and how long they might stay there.

    The defense secretary said, “President Obama has been very clear that American combat troops are not going to be fighting in Iraq again.” But when asked how that could be the case if Obama orders airstrikes in Iraq — which probably would be guided by U.S. forces on the ground — Hagel said he was referring only to the U.S. advisers and assessment teams now in the country and acknowledged that their mission could change.

    “We have one mission today, and that’s assessments,” Hagel said. “I don’t know what the assessments are going to come back and say or what they would recommend.”

    On June 18, during testimony before Congress, Hagel and Dempsey downplayed the possibility of a U.S. bombing campaign in Iraq to weaken the terrorist organization. They questioned the strategic objectives of airstrikes and said Sunni insurgents had blended into the local population, raising the likelihood of civilian casualties.

    On Thursday, Dempsey said intensified surveillance flights and the deployment of U.S. advisers and liaison officers had improved the Pentagon’s grasp of the battlefield. But he added that it was still difficult to sort out hard-core Islamic State fighters from disaffected Sunnis opposed to Maliki’s rule.

    “We have a much better intelligence picture than we did two weeks ago, and it continues to get better,” Dempsey said. “The complexity, though, is the intermingling of [Sunni] groups. . . . And that’s going to be a tough challenge to separate the two........

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    JWing---this article is really worth reading

    http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2...o-rivers.html?

    It is probably one of the best studies of the IS implementation of their overall strategy and their movement from Syria into Iraq and towards Baghdad. And based on their actual fighting on the ground in Syria and Iraq this article is highly accurate in it's assumptions.

    This strategy is not that of Zarqawi as alluded to recently ---it militay in nature and well thought though and it reflects al Duri at it's heart.

    What is also interesting is the simple fact that it is infrastructure focused---both the AQI and the IAI had at the heart of their campaigns during the fighting from 2003 to 2010 the control or damaging of critical infrastructure which is often overlooked in many discussions from that period.

    There is I think a far closer thread between the IS and al Duri than has been previously assumed.

    Many have forgotten the older AQI/IS name---QJBR---AQ in the Land of the Two Rivers. I had often wondered why the IS ditched the original name of QJBR.
    Last edited by OUTLAW 09; 07-03-2014 at 10:50 PM.

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    Iraq is now fully split based on this article as I see Malaki never giving in to the Kurdish demands.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/04/wo...autonomy.html?

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