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

  1. #781
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    My latest report on the security situation in Iraq for the 2nd week of June. Here's a link.

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    Joel--have you seen the reporting that Iran has moved a number of armor units and troops to the border crossing points to Iraq?

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    The Russian take on the IS--IS a US covert intel operation.

    From the Russian news agency RIA:

    http://en.ria.ru/politics/20140813/1...ion---Law.html

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    Default Pope Endorses Use of Force in Iraq to Protect Minorities

    How significant is this?

    It might not be significant to Christian communities in the West, but I'm wondering about its impact on Christian communities in say, Africa - if the Pope adopts this kind of stance more often in the future.

    My native Nigeria comes to mind.

    Pope Francis on Monday said efforts to stop Islamic militants from attacking religious minorities in Iraq are legitimate but said the international community — and not just one country — should decide how to intervene.

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

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

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

    The pope's comments were significant because the Vatican has vehemently opposed any military intervention in recent years. Pope Paul VI famously uttered the words "War never again, never again war" at the United Nations in 1965 as the Vietnam War raged, a refrain that has been repeated by every pope since. St. John Paul II actively tried to head off the Iraq war on the grounds that a "preventive" war couldn't be justified. He repeatedly called for negotiations to resolve the crisis over Iraq's invasion of Kuwait a decade prior.
    http://abcnews.go.com/International/...ities-25024475

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    I had mentioned several times that the IS is not the AQ and had up to and until they were attacked by US bombers and drones not uttered a single aggressive word against the US.

    By attacking them in an open and aggressive way we have now unlocked a far greater threat than AQ was ever to us---why---these guys have literally now a world wide pull for young fighters that AQ never did nor could get thus the single one off attack in 9/11 which succeeded due to intel failures of the US and the lack of airline companies willing to pay for 3K USD security doors.

    And these young fighters travel legally with valid passports and most are not known to the various national intelligence agencies.

    We now see that even Obama realizes in statements that the GWOT that he wanted to get an exit ramp on has now cost us another ten years of confrontations and will in the end still have the same outcome for Iraq as the core issues are not being addressed.

    It is the core issue of the resolution of the Sunni Shia clash, and the clash of the regional hegomones Iran and the KSA with a rising hegemon Turkey.

    Not to say the issue with a new Kurdish state that even the EU has stated they do not want to occur.

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    Council Member Dayuhan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OUTLAW 09 View Post
    It is the core issue of the resolution of the Sunni Shia clash, and the clash of the regional hegomones Iran and the KSA with a rising hegemon Turkey.
    These are indeed core issues, but they aren't issues that the US, or anyone else, is going to resolve any time soon. The Sunni/Shi'a or Saudi/Iran clash has been going on a long time, and is likely to go on a whole lot longer: both sides are going to snipe at each other directly and fight with each other by proxy for a long time, with neither able to win and neither likely to accept a negotiated solution. Does the US really need to take sides in that dispute, or to get involved in it?

    Quote Originally Posted by OUTLAW 09 View Post
    Not to say the issue with a new Kurdish state that even the EU has stated they do not want to occur.
    That's going to be a problem, because the only way to prevent the emergence of a Kurdish state is to keep Iraq together as a coherent nation. Is anyone willing to commit to that objective, and is anyone likely to achieve it? I certainly don't think it's a suitable objective for the US.
    Last edited by Dayuhan; 08-19-2014 at 07:17 AM.
    “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”

    H.L. Mencken

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dayuhan View Post
    These are indeed core issues, but they aren't issues that the US, or anyone else, is going to resolve any time soon. The Sunni/Shi'a or Saudi/Iran clash has been going on a long time, and is likely to go on a whole lot longer: both sides are going to snipe at each other directly and fight with each other by proxy for a long time, with neither able to win and neither likely to accept a negotiated solution. Does the US really need to take sides in that dispute, or to get involved in it?



    That's going to be a problem, because the only way to prevent the emergence of a Kurdish state is to keep Iraq together as a coherent nation. Is anyone willing to commit to that objective, and is anyone likely to achieve it? I certainly don't think it's a suitable objective for the US.
    Totally correct assumptions.

    What is going on in Iraq and Syria--let them settle it and offer as far as possible humanitarian aid and advice and consultations towards and end state---it is just the US does not know what the end state is going to be so it should sit tight and wait---the populations on the ground will work it out.

    The hegemons Iran, KSA and Turkey although Turkey is still viewed as the Ottomann empire will need in the end to figure it out which they will and as they do so will the Sunni/Shia problem be resolved.

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    Even the Germans are taken notice of the IS battlefield tactics speed coupled with the aggressiveness of swarm attacks, and we supposedly did not see this development in Iraq starting late 2005?

    http://www.spiegel.de/politik/auslan...-a-986826.html

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    Default It's just reaching for a hammer because it is a hammer and it's to hand

    Richard Barrett, ex-SIS (MI6) and UN, has been interviewed and is scathing about intervention in Iraq / Syria. I have cited him at length, editing out gaps in the article:http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2014...&utm_hp_ref=uk

    ....does rather play to the [jihadist] narrative that these bad regimes are being supported by outside powers and, therefore, if you get too close to overthrowing them, the outside powers will come and beat you up.

    The people who were "going to fight [Bashar Al] Assad or [former Iraqi prime minister Nouri Al] Maliki are now seeing a broader enemy" in the form of the US and UK governments. "The argument that they could also achieve the same [result] by [conducting] terrorist attacks in Western countries becomes stronger [though] not necessarily inevitable.


    If ISIS pull back from Mosul, as a result of air strikes, they're not going to disappear, they'll still be out there...Their justification will be: 'If it hadn't been for air strikes we would be fine, establishing our caliphate [in Iraq].. Why did you mess with us? Now we'll mess with you.


    (Citing Libya) military intervention without a proper plan to follow up had all sorts of unintended consequences and led to chaos and instability"


    He also noted how Cameron has conceded that the struggle against Islamic State and other jihadist groups is ultimately a fight within the Muslim-majority world, between moderates and extremists, but asked: "If that's the case then what are we doing there? Where are the Saudi aircraft? There's a disconnect between what [Cameron's] saying and what's he's doing.


    You start with some air strikes then you have a few more, then we need people down there to tell us where targets are [so] we put special forces in, then they're in a pickle and they need force protection, before you know it, we're drawn down this road that has no obvious ending..



    Military action, said Barrett, should always be a last resort and isn't the "tool that is going to solve the [Islamic State] problem. Look at Libya, look at Afghanistan, look at Iraq in 2003. It's just reaching for a hammer because it is a hammer and it's to hand."
    davidbfpo

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    Outlaw there was a report in a Kurdish paper that the PUK called in Iranian advisers to help it with Jalawla, Diyala. Another story had Iranian mobilization along the border as well.

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    My latest article on the Shiite militia mobilization in Iraq. Actually started in 2013 in response to renewed insurgency. By Jan 2014 many were pulling their men out of Syria and redeploying them to Iraq. April was major recruitment and Syrian militias started working in Iraq. With the exception of the Sadrists this was all aided and organized by Iran. Shows weakness of Iraqi state which could not protect its citizens, now has Iran running part of its security file, and will not be able to diminish the militias when all is said and done because they have integrated more into government. Also leading to renewed sectarian killings, which Baghdad has said/done nothing about. Here's a link.

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    Interesting article on the IS referencing views of US intel.


    http://thecable.foreignpolicy.com/po..._islamic_state

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    Default James Foley, Islamic State and the imagery of death...

    James Foley's beheading was different that anything I've seen before in the barbarism used by jihadists to strike home fear.

    The open-air murders of kneeling, bound Iraqi civilians and soldiers dates back to 2003, and they follow a common theme that many of us with access to the raw footage have seen before.

    Yesterday was very different, and Foley's captors seem to have taken some lengths to achieve a specific impact, based on several things the video shows.

    First, they deliberately shaved his head, and have likely kept it shaved for some time. Considering the wooly-haired appearance of most IS fighter's
    Foley's bare scalp showed something else. Perhaps they were trying to message frailty and weakness.

    Second, the choice of a barren landscape seems chosen to evoke an image of the purity and strength of IS, as well as its dominating power even though it is being exerted over an unarmed man. As I watched the video, I truly felt as if I was right there watching events transpire. There was no clutter, no other IS knuckleheads in the frame touting rifles and wearing the paraphernalia of jihad. There was one masked murderer and one captive. pure black and pure orange. One lone knife.

    The breeze blew at their garments, and the images took me back to every day spent underneath merciless suns in Iraq and Afghanistan. I felt my palms begin to sweat.

    It was murder, plain and simple, and I felt so sad for Foley's family, friends and co-workers who have held on to hope that he is alive, only to know he suffered an unimaginable death as a pawn in a larger conflict.

    This one seemed markedly different.

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    Yesterday I wrote about the Shiite militia mobilization in Iraq in response to the insurgency, most of which is being directed by Iran. Today I go into the Iranian mobilization which has included advisers, weapons deliveries, bringing in Lebanese Hezbollah advisers, and involves running some of the security portfolio for Baghdad. Here's a link.

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    Think IS is trying to provoke US into more air strikes which it will use as part of its propaganda that it is the Caliphate standing up to the far enemy.

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    Default James Foley, Islamic State and the imagery of death...

    Here in the UK much ink has been spilt, with a rather hurried political response and some frankly strange US reporters filing reports (WaPo & NYT).

    I am unsure what ISIS sought from this murder. It certainly has gained them an ever larger audience in the West, a barbaric intention yes and as Joel suggests seeks a reaction from the USA - with more air strikes.

    Having Mr Foley in an orange overall was clever, G-Bay reminder and he was our prisoner.
    davidbfpo

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    The West keeps creating & reacting to situations in the Islamic World - but the outcome is almost always beyond its control.

    Opportunists take advantage of the chaos - we've seen this is Iraq, Libya & only God knows what will happen in Afghanistan.

    These people still see a Medieval World - of Christendom against the Muslim Ummah. The West persists in believing that this is not so, but that isn't how these people view reality.

    Will non-Western Christians evolve into a political force if they feel threatened by growing Jihadism in the Sahel? Time will tell - but they are more likely to see confrontation with Islam as medieval struggle (ala Charles Martell) than Western academics.

    Please note: non-Western Christians are not unaware of the plight of Christians in Iraq.

    The IS shouldn't be underestimated. This is a much more dangerous organisation and idea, than Al Qaeda.

    I know this might sound ludicrous in 2014 - but an all out religious war between Muslims & Christians could happen in a decade over large parts of Africa - that is why this IS threat has to be dealt with.

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    Quote Originally Posted by KingJaja View Post
    Will non-Western Christians evolve into a political force if they feel threatened by growing Jihadism in the Sahel? Time will tell - but they are more likely to see confrontation with Islam as medieval struggle (ala Charles Martell) than Western academics.

    […]

    I know this might sound ludicrous in 2014 - but an all out religious war between Muslims & Christians could happen in a decade over large parts of Africa - that is why this IS threat has to be dealt with.
    Organizing conflict around religious identity doesn’t sound ludicrous at all. And, yeah, there has been a growth over the past decade of those seeking to reestablish the caliphate. But do you seriously think we’re about to see a transnational Crusades-type conflict in the next ten years? How would any attempt to make that happen not get splintered by nationalist and/or more local and/or ethnic identity issues?

    I’m not saying that the members of the self-proclaimed Islamic State are not murderous bastards or anything, but even calling them the IS is giving them too much political credit. They need to be taken dead seriously, but there’s a certain Yellow Peril reactionaryism to a lot of the chatter about them.
    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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    Quote Originally Posted by ganulv View Post
    Organizing conflict around religious identity doesn’t sound ludicrous at all. And, yeah, there has been a growth over the past decade of those seeking to reestablish the caliphate. But do you seriously think we’re about to see a transnational Crusades-type conflict in the next ten years? How would any attempt to make that happen not get splintered by nationalist and/or more local and/or ethnic identity issues?

    I’m not saying that the members of the self-proclaimed Islamic State are not murderous bastards or anything, but even calling them the IS is giving them too much political credit. They need to be taken dead seriously, but there’s a certain Yellow Peril reactionaryism to a lot of the chatter about them.
    I don't know, but political rhetoric in quite of few key nations could lead to serious trouble. The fault lines already exist.

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    In Jomini's book, "The Art of War" he addresses this in the section in article VII of his book, titled "War of Opinion."

    Jomini thinks along the line of Bob's World, when he states ,

    religion is the pretext to obtain political power, and the war is not really one of the dogmas. The successors of Mohammed cared more to extend their empire than to preach the Koran,
    He then accused the crusaders of thinking more of expanding trade than spreading Christianity.

    Final quote

    The dogma sometimes is not only a pretext, but is a powerful ally; for it excites the ardor of the people, and also creates a party.
    Regardless, we have a security problem on our hands that is expanding. It is unlikely we will be able to address the root political, social, and economic causes of which I'm sure there are many, so our focus IMO is reducing the threat through military action in ways that mitigate further agitating the underlying phenomena that motivates this behavior. No one said it would be easy, but ignoring the problem because we can't address root causes in my view is a dangerous cop out.

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