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

  1. #821
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    I have repeatedly said here in SWJ we truly never understood what we were seeing in Iraq from 2003 until 2010 and we wonder now what the heck happened to an "evidently" beaten AQI when it recreates itself as the IS.

    Finally just maybe we con bury COIN with all of it's outliers and finally admit as a Force we just blew it as did the political leadership.

    Not understanding an insurgency is one thing but not understanding guerrilla warfare is just sad.

    This article in the entire length below from the US SOF community about the IS should rise some heads and create some deep questions of where the current civilian leadership together with the US military senior leadership wants to go with IS.

    I have also said bombing the IS was and is not the way forward---especially in the light of say Ukrainian forces fighting actively with Russian military personnel who Russian now claims "just got lost". and somehow ended up in a fire fight inside the Ukraine when all along Russia has denied any Russians military inside the Ukraine.

    Score one point for the blogging community after the massive release of Russian military IDs, photos, social media data--after that Russia was unable to maintain their blatant lies.

    With the Obama White House left reeling from the "savage" slaughter of an American journalist held hostage by ISIS terrorists, military options are being considered against an adversary who officials say is growing in strength and is much more capable than the one faced when the group was called "al Qaeda-Iraq" during the U.S. war from 2003-2011.

    ISIS, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, has been making a "tactical withdrawal" in recent days in the face of withering U.S. airstrikes from areas around Erbil in northern Iraq and from the major dam just north of Mosul it controlled for two nail-biting weeks, according to military officials monitoring their movements.

    "These guys aren't just bugging out, they're tactically withdrawing. Very professional, well trained, motivated and equipped. They operate like a state with a military," said one official who tracks ISIS closely. "These aren't the same guys we fought in OIF (Operation Iraqi Freedom) who would just scatter when you dropped a bomb near them."

    ISIS appeared to have a sophisticated and well thought-out plan for establishing its "Islamic Caliphate" from northern Syria across the western and northern deserts of Iraq, many experts and officials have said, and support from hostage-taking, robbery and sympathetic donations to fund it. They use drones to gather overhead intel on targets and effectively commandeer captured military vehicles – including American Humvees -- and munitions.

    "They tried to push out as far as they thought they could and were fully prepared to pull back a little bit when we beat them back with airstrikes around Erbil. And they were fine with that, and ready to hold all of the ground they have now," a second official told ABC News.

    ISIS didn't necessarily count on holding Mosul Dam, officials said, but scored a major propaganda victory on social media when they hoisted the black flag of the group over the facility that provides electricity and water to a large swath of Iraq, or could drown millions if breached.

    U.S. special operations forces under the Joint Special Operations Command and U.S. Special Operations Command keep close tabs on the military evolution of ISIS and both its combat and terrorism -- called "asymmetric" -- capabilities, officials told ABC News. A primary reason is in anticipation of possibly fighting them, which a full squadron of special mission unit operators did in the Independence Day raid on an ISIS camp in Raqqah, Syria.

    "They're incredible fighters. ISIS teams in many places use special operations TTPs," said the second official, who has considerable combat experience, using the military term for "tactics, techniques and procedures."

    In sobering press conference Friday, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel said ISIS has shown that it is “as sophisticated and well-funded as any group that we have seen.”

    “They’re beyond just a terrorist group. They marry ideology, a sophistication of strategic and tactical military prowess. They are tremendously well-funded,” he said. “This is beyond anything that we’ve seen.”

    Prior ISIS’s recent public successes, the former chairman of the 9/11 Commission, which just released a tenth anniversary report on the threat of terrorism currently facing the homeland, said he was shocked at how little seems to be known inside the U.S. intelligence community about the Islamist army brutalizing Iraq as it has Syria.

    “I was appalled at the ignorance,” former New Jersey Governor Tom Kean, who led the 9/11 Commission, told ABC News last week.

    Kean, a Republican, who with vice chairman Lee Hamilton, a Democrat, recently met with about 20 top intelligence officials in preparation of the commission’s latest threat report, said many officials seemed both blind-sided and alarmed by the group's rise, growth and competency.

    “One official told me ‘I am more scared than at any time since 9/11,’” Kean recounted in a recent interview.

    A spokesperson for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence defended the intelligence community’s tracking of ISIS, saying officials had “expressed concern” about the threat as far back as last year.

    “The will to fight is inherently difficult to assess. Analysts must make assessments based on perceptions of command and control, leadership abilities, quality of experience, and discipline under fire -- none of which can be understood with certainty until the first shots are fired,” ODNI spokesperson Brian Hale said.

    Where did ISIS learn such sophisticated military methods, shown clearly after the first shots were fired?

    "Probably the Chechens," the one of the U.S. officials said.


    A Chechen commander named Abu Omar al-Shishani -- who officials say may have been killed in fighting near Mosul -- is well known for commanding an international brigade within ISIS. Other Chechens have appeared within propaganda videos including one commander who was killed on video by an artillery burst near his SUV in Syria.

    Earlier this year, ABC News reported on the secret history of U.S. special operations forces' experiences battling highly capable Chechen fighters along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border since 2001. In addition, for decades Chechen separatists have waged asymmetric warfare against Russian forces for control of the Northern Caucasus.

    The Secret Battles Between US Forces and Chechen Terrorists

    In the battle against ISIS, many within American "SOF," a term that comprises operators from all branches of the military and intelligence, are frustrated at being relegated by the President only to enabling U.S. airstrikes in Iraq. They are eager to fight ISIS more directly in combat operations -- even if untethered, meaning unofficially and with little if any U.S. government support, according to some with close ties to the community.

    "ISIS and their kind must be destroyed," said a senior counterterrorism official after journalist James Foley was beheaded on high-definition ISIS video, echoing strong-worded statements of high-level U.S. officials including Secretary of State John Kerry.

    But asked when the Obama administration would attempt to confront ISIS, the official declined to answer.

    Ben Rhodes, the President’s Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategic Communications, told reporters Friday that Obama is currently focused on protecting American lives, “containing” ISIS where they are and supporting advances by Iraqi and Kurdish forces.

    “Our military objectives in Iraq right now are limited to protecting our personnel and facilities and address the humanitarian crisis,” Rhodes said. The “ultimate goal,” Rhodes said however, was to “defeat” ISIS.

    “We have to be clear that this is a deeply-rooted organization… It is going to take time, a long time, to fully evict them from the communities where they operate,” he said. “In the long term, we’ll be working with our partners to defeat this organization.”

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    My latest article is how Mosul, Baiji, Tikrit and Alam fell to the insurgents in June. Could tell that IS building up for a large summer offensive. Started with raids on Samarra, Baquba, and Anbar Univ in Ramadi. June 6 attack on Mosul started. Ninewa Operations Command and Baghdad did not take it seriously. When US tried to warn Baghdad that it was a much bigger attack and Kurds offered to send in peshmerga into Mosul to help Maliki wouldn't act because of his political dispute with Kurds. Were three major generals in Mosul during assault who bugged out which started desertions. ISF then given orders to withdraw but not where or how. Insurgents immediately headed south of after fall of Mosul. ISF in Baiji and Tikrit fled or gave up without a fight because spooked by stories of thousands of IS fighters heading their way. ISF had around 30,000 men in Mosul and another 5,000-6,000 in Tikrit vs maybe around 1000 insurgents. Camp Speicher outside of Tikrit gave up without fighting and most of the ISF there were massacred by IS which was posted by social media. Baghdad offered no defense and no orders to help Baiji or Tikrit. Alam outside of Tikrit only area that fought. Held out for 2 weeks before gave up. Massive failure of leadership by ISF commanders and Baghdad during whole debacle. Here's a link to the article.

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    Quote Originally Posted by OUTLAW 09 View Post
    Can anyone here that comments explain to me that after 9/11 and literally billions spent on the intel community, billions spent in new ISR sensors/aircraft/satellites, billions spent on defense contractors to monitor all of that ISR and the expansion of thousands of defense contractors and civil service intel analysts and not counting the billions spent on the NSA ----we still are not able to do exactly----what?

    That was the excuse for the delays in Desert Storm in Kuwait as we only had two intel analysts on the Iraqi desk ---but now--come on there has got to be a better reason for the misspending of literally billions of dollars.
    AFAIK, it's not 'the intelligence'. At least 'not any more', and that 'since long'.

    Contrary to what happened in the Ukraine (where there seems to have been a lack of expertise, which resulted in nobody correctly predicting Russian reaction to the Maidan Revolution, see bellow), intel is doing its job in regards of Iraq (and Syria). And quite decently too. Just, and precisely like the military, intel has political masters. And that's where the problem seems to be - which is what I get to hear from a number of (unofficial) contacts in the DC, which in turn are confirmed by what can be read in articles like Saving Syria Is No ‘Fantasy’

    ...No doubt the president is sensitive to the charge that his rejection of the 2012 recommendation by his national security team to arm and equip nationalist Syrian rebels robustly has contributed significantly, if inadvertently, to ISIL’s growth in both Syria and Iraq. His comments to Friedman implicitly dismiss the 2012 recommendation itself as a fantasy, but as Secretary Clinton’s Syria adviser I was a member of the administration at that time. The recommendation, in one form or another, was offered not only by Clinton, but by Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, CIA Director David Petraeus and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Gen. Martin Dempsey. Yet the president, ignoring decades of universal conscription and mandatory military service in Syria, persists in characterizing the Assad regime’s armed opponents as a hopeless collection of former butchers, bakers and candlestick makers.
    ...
    Obviously, one can have all means of intelligence on hand, all the necessary info, best advice - and still insist on making wrong decisions. Perhaps being a 'Nobel Peace-Price laureate' makes one 'knows better'...?

    Who knows.

    We see the same thing in the Ukraine--NATO/US announces Russian artillery and troops are inside the Ukraine--Moscow says no they are not prove it and the US/NATO goes silent---does anyone have an explanation for the apparent true lack of US/NATO intelligence capabilities--or do western leaders just like to hear themselves talk to the media?
    That situation was different, and here one gets to hear an entirely different set of comments - usually in following direction: Funding cuts, lack of opportunity leave US without expertise on international hot spots. Specifically:

    ...After the demise of the Soviet Union, the United States acted as though it no longer needed expertise on that region, and top talent drifted to the latest hot account. The abdication of interest in Russia, the attitude that “we solved that problem,” began at the very top of the policy establishment and trickled down to the businesses, government contractors, universities and think tanks that once employed Russia and Eastern Europe experts....
    Another 'influential' problem can be found few levels below that one, within circles of various advisers. These are not only lacking the expertise in regards of Russians, but excel at ideas that are 'better' than Startrek and similar, science-fiction productions. For example, one of 'closed doors' discussions in the DC I was able to follow the last few months was characterised by specific (usually rather 'vocal') talking-heads providing ideas like, 'arm Israelis with B-52s, so they can bomb Russia in return for its invasion of the Ukraine' or 'ask Beijing to send troops' (whether to Syria or Ukraine, pick your choice).

    Overall, I have absolutely no concern about the WH applying 'maskirovka' upon the ISIS. Nor about the functionality of the US intel. It's simply so that crucial advisers and 'the man' in the WH are better at playing golf than at running US foreign politics.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CrowBat View Post
    AFAIK, it's not 'the intelligence'. At least 'not any more', and that 'since long'.

    Contrary to what happened in the Ukraine (where there seems to have been a lack of expertise, which resulted in nobody correctly predicting Russian reaction to the Maidan Revolution, see bellow), intel is doing its job in regards of Iraq (and Syria). And quite decently too. Just, and precisely like the military, intel has political masters. And that's where the problem seems to be - which is what I get to hear from a number of (unofficial) contacts in the DC, which in turn are confirmed by what can be read in articles like Saving Syria Is No ‘Fantasy’



    Obviously, one can have all means of intelligence on hand, all the necessary info, best advice - and still insist on making wrong decisions. Perhaps being a 'Nobel Peace-Price laureate' makes one 'knows better'...?

    Who knows.


    That situation was different, and here one gets to hear an entirely different set of comments - usually in following direction: Funding cuts, lack of opportunity leave US without expertise on international hot spots. Specifically:



    Another 'influential' problem can be found few levels below that one, within circles of various advisers. These are not only lacking the expertise in regards of Russians, but excel at ideas that are 'better' than Startrek and similar, science-fiction productions. For example, one of 'closed doors' discussions in the DC I was able to follow the last few months was characterised by specific (usually rather 'vocal') talking-heads providing ideas like, 'arm Israelis with B-52s, so they can bomb Russia in return for its invasion of the Ukraine' or 'ask Beijing to send troops' (whether to Syria or Ukraine, pick your choice).

    Overall, I have absolutely no concern about the WH applying 'maskirovka' upon the ISIS. Nor about the functionality of the US intel. It's simply so that crucial advisers and 'the man' in the WH are better at playing golf than at running US foreign politics.
    Crowbat---here is where we disagree.

    1. US in 2003 did not know about the underground Salafist fight against Saddam ongoing since the mid 90s---how did the CIA/DIA/NSA miss that one after Desert Storm?---especially if we were providing assistance to Iraq up to 1988.

    2. did the US IC have a full understanding of the various Sunni groups even after 2010---no not really even now they fully do not understand them nor the tribes current positions in relationship to IS---one just needed to see up through 2009 the utterly countless intel reports on what they thought the strengths were for each group and AQI

    3. even now the US leadership and that includes the IC seems to not fully understand just how the IS became so successful---that does not lend itself to believing as you do they in fact know a lot via intelligence---this by the way contradicts statements made recently by the JCoS about IS

    4. we do not even know the intentions of the current Shia milita leaders and the individual Shia militias and the interconnections--even less on the Iranian involvement via Quds and the SU25s

    So the idea that the US IC knows everything is a tad off---do you not think?

    And I go back and again ask --just what is the US strategy for both Iraq/and Syria?--there is none for the Ukraine.

    And I go back and state again--billions literally billions was spent on new intel equipment/software/drones, ISR sensors/aircraft and thousands of intel defense contractors and what we know nothing in the Ukraine?---come on where--- then where is the failure?

    But then if we do know then why the silence?---- because that silence is totally deafening here in Europe.

    Check the blogging space --they know more now than does Obama on the current battlefield status in the Ukraine--ask the simple question--how is it possible that social media using 30000000% less in costs ----out reports and reports quicker than the IC can do? But again notice the silence from the IC on the Ukraine---deafening.
    Last edited by OUTLAW 09; 08-27-2014 at 10:36 AM.

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    Iraq is suffering through one of the most intense car bomb campaigns seen in years. Before the Islamic State would have gaps of up to a week between VBIED series. In August there has only been one day in between the waves. IS probably stockpiled explosives before their summer offensive started, but then their capture of so many ISF bases has probably given them access to a huge new amount of artillery and mortar shells, etc. which helps explain why the car bombs are coming so intensely in recent weeks. Here's a link to the article.

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    Quote Originally Posted by OUTLAW 09 View Post
    Where did ISIS learn such sophisticated military methods, shown clearly after the first shots were fired?

    "Probably the Chechens," the one of the U.S. officials said.


    A Chechen commander named Abu Omar al-Shishani -- who officials say may have been killed in fighting near Mosul -- is well known for commanding an international brigade within ISIS. Other Chechens have appeared within propaganda videos including one commander who was killed on video by an artillery burst near his SUV in Syria.

    Earlier this year, ABC News reported on the secret history of U.S. special operations forces' experiences battling highly capable Chechen fighters along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border since 2001. In addition, for decades Chechen separatists have waged asymmetric warfare against Russian forces for control of the Northern Caucasus.

    The Secret Battles Between US Forces and Chechen Terrorists
    The Chechens are coming! The Chechens are coming!

    I think it is useful to remember that God seems to sprinkle military prowess at random throughout the human race. They are out there waiting to appear and a lot of them don't need much in the way of formal training. Alvero Obregon just sort of knew what to do and there are a whole bunch of others like him throughout history. Maybe IS has a few too. (Old one arm did need help with tech things like artillery though, and that's why God makes guys who will switch sides.)

    (The quoted section was not said by Outlaw but apparently comes from another article.)
    Last edited by carl; 08-27-2014 at 05:57 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by OUTLAW 09 View Post
    Crowbat---here is where we disagree.
    Not sure if it's 'disagreement' or simply different POVs.

    IMHO, you're talking about the IC as if it would be a stand-alone enterprise. It's not. Like the military, it's doing what its political masters tell it to do, and 'period'. And: from my POV, you're talking about three periods with entirely different priorities.

    For example:
    - Back in the 1980s, nobody cared if Zia ul-Haq was an extremist Islamist working on getting nukes and training terrorists. He was 'fine' and has got F-16s as 'thanks' for running Mujaheddin in the fight against Soviets in Afghanistan. And in Iraq - which came long after such priorities like Libya of that time - the priority was not 'finding Salafists' (I guess you actually mean 'Wahhabists' here?), but 'what can we do to help them not lose against Iran, but not win that war either'?

    - Then came the 1990s, post-Cold-War disarmament because 'we've got no enemies', followed by 'it's the economy stupid' times, and priorities were Saddam's Scuds and Special Republican Guards, helping those plotting against him etc. For example, Clinton could've easily got Ossama back in 1996, but didn't want to do so: not because of any kind of IC failures, but because Clinton said no. Instead, his admin was more interested in obtaining control of Congolese mineral wealth with Rwandan help, than 'war on terror'.

    - In early 2001 topic was 'China', by the end of that year 'al-Qaida' & Afghanistan', and in 2002 all the attention returned to 'Saddam', with emphasis on his (supposed) WMDs. With politicians attempting to argument that Saddam was 'collaborating with AQ' in order to find a reason for invasion of Iraq, nobody came to the idea to 'search for Wahhabist opposition in Iraq'. Come on... I doubt anybody wants to seriously recall how much effort was squandered in regards of searching for the WMDs (or on search for the 'smoking gun' in Iran, in subsequent years). And this simultaneously with the 'hunt for Osama's beard'.

    All of these ops were dictated by interests of the WH, Congress etc., and not by those 'in the field'.

    So, it's not as if the IC is doing mistakes or missing threats all the time: no doubt, the quality of its products is periodically suffering from overreliance on ELINT/SIGINT/SATINT etc., from 'the faster you run through different stations, the faster you're climb the career ladder' (resulting in plenty of 'jacks of all trades and masters of none' in this business), and - even more so - from insistence of its superiors on 'political correctness', but actually the IC knows very well what's going on. That is: its people in the field know what's going on. The question is always: what kind of tasking are they getting, i.e. what kind of information is in demand, and how much of what they report (and exactly what of what they report) is channelled upards.

    As next, you're citing various statements from specific high officials. I think here you should not forget the 'typical behaviour of top managers and politicians'. Military or not, bosses of the IC are foremost politicians, and - hand at heart - 'arseholes'. One is not getting into such positions without quite a few 'bodies in the cellar', but also organizational and networking skills, and plenty of 'political manoeuvring', so much is sure.

    So, when they make specific statements for the press, there is a question of what kind of message are they actually 'airing' and to what address. For example, their first issue is always 'money': more money means more and bigger departments, and that means power. And 'they' can never have enough money. So, when somebody there is - for example - complaining the IC 'does not fully understand just how the ISIS became as successful', we don't know 100% for sure if:
    - a) the official really means precisely and just that (I would be actually surprised if this is the case), or
    - b) if his actual message is not something like, 'listen arsehole (in WH), I told you years ago what's going to happen and you didn't listen, perhaps if I babble this in public now, something's going to change', or
    - c) or if he simply means little else but the usual, 'gimme more money so I can do this or that'.

    We'll know about this only once they all are at least in deep retirement, if not all dead.

    4. we do not even know the intentions of the current Shia milita leaders and the individual Shia militias and the interconnections--even less on the Iranian involvement via Quds and the SU25s
    Here I must ask similar question like in another thread: define 'we', please.

    So the idea that the US IC knows everything is a tad off---do you not think?
    Nope.

    And I go back and again ask --just what is the US strategy for both Iraq/and Syria?--there is none for the Ukraine.
    That's a question for politicians, not for the IC.

    And I go back and state again--billions literally billions was spent on new intel equipment/software/drones, ISR sensors/aircraft and thousands of intel defense contractors and what we know nothing in the Ukraine?---come on where--- then where is the failure?
    With politicians. If politicians insist, 'bring me Osama's beard', then the IC is doing whatever is possible to find that beard. But, that means that the IC is then also doing little else - even more so if the politicians are not asking for anything else.

    But then if we do know then why the silence?---- because that silence is totally deafening here in Europe.
    Ah, Europe is its 'own, special, and extremely dusty' case. The situation here is usually much worse - with few exceptions, where everything is done in rather 'subtle' fashion.

    Check the blogging space --they know more now than does Obama on the current battlefield status in the Ukraine--ask the simple question--how is it possible that social media using 30000000% less in costs ----out reports and reports quicker than the IC can do? But again notice the silence from the IC on the Ukraine---deafening.
    We've got several chaps at ACIG.info forum attempting to disseminate opint from PR-BS and find out what's 'really' going on in the Ukraine, for example. Trust me, no matter how much social media are they scanning, and what classy info are they often extracting, even they are not '100% sure' what's going on but have to cross-examine all the time.

    AFAIK, it is a very crude mistake to think the IC - again: IC, not the politicians - is experiencing any kind of similar problems. But, the bottom line is that the politicians have the final word, and if they don't ask for intel, or don't like what they get to hear (keep in mind: 'political correctness')... well, the intel is either not going to be collected, or not going to be used.
    Last edited by CrowBat; 08-27-2014 at 07:11 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by carl View Post
    The Chechens are coming! The Chechens are coming!

    I think it is useful to remember that God seems to sprinkle military prowess at random throughout the human race. They are out there waiting to appear and a lot of them don't need much in the way of formal training. Alvero Obregon just sort of knew what to do and there are a whole bunch of others like him throughout history. Maybe IS has a few too. (Old one arm did need help with tech things like artillery though, and that's why God makes guys who will switch sides.)

    (The quoted section was not said by Outlaw but apparently comes from another article.)
    I did post a video on what of the forums that reportedly showed Chechen trainers giving pretty decent light infantry training. Mostly demonstrated small unit battle drills. Again reported to be Chechen.

    We should also consider the possibility that several members have special forces background that we and others trained. Regardless in today's age both technology and knowledge proliferate at a rate that is difficult to comprehend.

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    Quote Originally Posted by OUTLAW 09 View Post
    Check the blogging space --they know more now than does Obama on the current battlefield status in the Ukraine--ask the simple question--how is it possible that social media using 30000000% less in costs ----out reports and reports quicker than the IC can do? But again notice the silence from the IC on the Ukraine---deafening.
    Bloggers tell what they know, even when they don't really know it: a great deal of what appears in blogs and social media is rumor. The intelligence community is supposed to be silent: they aren't reporters. They pass what they know to their own internal customers, not to us. We obviously don't know what the government does or doesn't know about Iraq, the Ukraine, or anywhere else.
    “The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary”

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    Default Military Skill and Terrorist Technique Fuel Success of ISIS

    Military Skill and Terrorist Technique Fuel Success of ISIS

    Entry Excerpt:



    --------
    Read the full post and make any comments at the SWJ Blog.
    This forum is a feed only and is closed to user comments.

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    Default Hell may freeze over soon

    Well today's situation could just mean a coalition of enemies become partners:
    In Jeddah on Aug. 24, the foreign ministers of Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the UAE, Jordan and Egypt gathered to discuss the Syrian conflict and other “challenges, including the rise of terrorist extremist ideology.” In an official statement, they expressed their agreement on “the need to seriously work to deal with these crises and challenges to preserve security and stability in Arab countries.” .......On Aug. 25, Hossein Amir Abdollahian, Iran’s undersecretary for Arab and African affairs, paid a surprising visit to Saudi Arabia...
    Link:http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/orig...peration.html?
    davidbfpo

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    Default Sunni rebels 'ready to turn on Islamic State'

    This BBC report appears to be based on one psuedonym'd tribal leader's words:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-28978941
    davidbfpo

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    Quote Originally Posted by davidbfpo View Post
    This BBC report appears to be based on one psuedonym'd tribal leader's words:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-28978941
    If true, and it is always a big IF, then it appear that the U.S. and its partners are dealing with Iraq appropriately and the call for more U.S. intervention sooner will be seen as hyperbole. In my opinion you have to set the political conditions for what will follow the military action, or you end up like we did in Afghanistan (understandable) and Iraq 2003 (inexcusable).

    To give anyone credit that this was their intention is probably a stretch, and most likely the cards just fell in place, but there is seldom any merit to rushing in if there isn't an immediate threat. Rush in to do what? Then what?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Moore View Post
    If true, and it is always a big IF, then it appear that the U.S. and its partners are dealing with Iraq appropriately and the call for more U.S. intervention sooner will be seen as hyperbole. In my opinion you have to set the political conditions for what will follow the military action, or you end up like we did in Afghanistan (understandable) and Iraq 2003 (inexcusable).

    To give anyone credit that this was their intention is probably a stretch, and most likely the cards just fell in place, but there is seldom any merit to rushing in if there isn't an immediate threat. Rush in to do what? Then what?
    It is well to remember that the Sunni tribes tried several times to rid themselves of AQI and were unable to do it until an arrangement was made whereby they were backed up by the US military, then the two working together were able to do quite well. The important thing though is they couldn't do it on their own, they needed us. In the article David linked to they are basically saying exactly the same thing, they can do it but not by themselves.

    The real chilling thing about the article is the statement that something has to be done about the IS fast because the ideology is hugely appealing to Muslim young men throughout the world and that appeal is growing extremely fast.
    Last edited by carl; 08-30-2014 at 03:46 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by carl View Post
    It is well to remember that the Sunni tribes tried several times to rid themselves of AQI and were unable to do it until an arrangement was made whereby they were backed up by the US military, then the two working together were able to do quite well. The important thing though is they couldn't do it on their own, they needed us. In the article David linked to they are basically saying exactly the same thing, they can do it but not by themselves.
    The U.S. was the sheriff back then, though. I hear what you’re saying, but I would think the social and political dynamics are so different at this point that that would be an apples and oranges comparison.
    If you don’t read the newspaper, you are uninformed; if you do read the newspaper, you are misinformed. – Mark Twain (attributed)

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    Default An Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) First Strategy

    An Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) First Strategy

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    Default Why ISIS Is Our Problem

    Why ISIS Is Our Problem

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    I just interviewed Christine van den Toorn who has been doing some great reporting for Iraq Oil Report and the Daily Beast in Ninewa. I talked with her about what happened with the Yazidis in Sinjar. They were at first co-opted by the Kurdish parties, then abandoned by them when IS attacked, only to be rescued by Syria's YPG. Now they want out of Iraq. Here's a link.

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    Joel---heads up about this article that is being reported in the Daily Beast:

    US and German Special Forces fighting in Iraq---first at Mosul and then other locations.
    It will if true cause a major turmoil in Germany who has repeatedly stated no German troops inside Iraq.

    Would also tend to counter Obama's statements as well.

    Stuck out in the open with no clear sense of what was occurring in the battle that required us to be stopped, we made contact with high-level Peshmerga ministries, both in Erbil and on the ground in Zumar. “Yes, we want to let you in, but we can’t,” said one high-level Kurdish government official. “We have visitors, you’ll see them,” he stated. As we tried to decipher his cryptic response our answer came: multiple armored Toyotas swept down the mountain, passing within feet of us. The Toyotas were packed with what appeared to be bearded Western Special Operations Forces. I watched the trucks pass and saw for myself the crews inside them. They didn’t wear any identifying insignia but they were visibly Western and appeared to match all the visual characteristics of American special operations soldiers.

    Contacts in the Kurdish intelligence service and Peshmerga leadership confirmed what we saw. “Yes,” one commander replied to our questions. “German and American forces are on the ground here. “They are helping to support us in the attack.”

    “There are no U.S. troops on the ground in or around Zumar.” The Pentagon told The Daily Beast on Monday night. Captain Rick Haupt, a spokesman for U.S. Central Command, which has control over military operations in the Middle East, denied that U.S. troops were involved in the fighting but confirmed U.S. aircraft “performed one strike destroying several vehicles in the vicinity of Zumar” on Monday.

    Kurdish officials told The Daily Beast a different story. Ranking members of the Kurdish military and intelligence service said that one team of U.S. Special Operations was on the ground in Zumar along with several German counterparts, working in conjunction with Peshmerga units. According to the Kurdish sources, U.S. and German special operations teams had taken up positions in Zumar that allowed them to coordinate with U.S. aircraft.

    If American troops were active in the fighting in Zumar, as they appeared to be on Monday, and as Kurdish officials stated, it would mark a significant break with U.S. official policy. Even as President Obama has avoided getting the military more involved in Iraq, the mission has gradually expanded. U.S. airstrikes began as a policy to break the siege on Yazidis and prevent ISIS from attacking Americans in Erbil but have grown to “support Iraqi security forces and Kurdish defense forces” in their fight against ISIS.
    Last edited by OUTLAW 09; 09-02-2014 at 04:28 PM.

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    In relation to supposed deployment of German special forces there....

    I would not take such statements literally, or at least take them - but with a pinch of salt.

    Germany agreed to deliver assault rifles, anti-rank 'rockets' (i.e. missiles or similar) and ammo to Iraqi Kurds, and to train them in the use of these - 'whether in situ or at a suitable place abroad'. That means: 'sure', German SF are there, but not with the purpose of getting involved in combat operations. They're there to train Kurds in use of German-supplied arms.

    Namely, doing something like secretly deploying German SF into combat in Iraq, would be a political suicide for any German chancellor. And Angela is really not renowned for committing these 'all the times' (if at all, then quite on the contrary).

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