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

  1. #761
    Council Member AmericanPride's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Moore View Post
    This underscores much of the debate in SWJ circles. We have those who believe the reason is failed government, economics, etc. Root causes that we can somehow address, and then the world will be all rainbows and unicorns again.
    I'm in this school of thought. But I also believe this:

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Moore
    sometimes it really does come down to killing those who are trying to kill you.
    There are definitely problems beyond our capabilities (whether in type, scope, or scale) to solve. And frankly, violence is a legitimate tool of state policy, even within the measured and sometimes narrow parameters we have established for ourselves in the West. I do not look favorably upon the last Iraq war, but I think it's important from a strategy perspective to recognize that situations are dynamic and the status quo is always changing. It may not be politically appealing to re-commit to Iraq's internal security but that does not mean it has not become necessary given current conditions.

    This is one of the legacies of the War on Terrorism, and it's not something that can be ignored.
    Last edited by AmericanPride; 08-13-2014 at 11:38 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by KingJaja View Post
    In Nigeria, where I come from, Western analysts are all over the place about Boko Haram & how poverty and alienation are its root causes - but when you ask them about local Christians who are even poorer and more alienated (because the power structures the British left behind empowered the Muslims in Northern Nigeria) - they are blank.
    Good you raise this. Prevalent in the NGO community are the preconceived ideas expats arrive in Africa with. They then go on to screw things up further as they control how and where the money is spent. Many NGOs - certainly the Brit ones - have a far left ideology and use their projects to push their agenda rather than empower the people in the areas they work. It is also true that some of the NGO workers are smart enough to see where they are going wrong but are powerless and are swept along by the ideological aims of their organisation. Most don't care as they live a lifestyle they could not dream of back at home and just go with the flow.

    In the military it is much the same, as at a point officers commit to a career and subordinate their intellect to doing what they are told regardless of how ridiculous it may be. In the US this was seen in Vietnam and now again in Afghanistan. A military - with its weapons - operating off-track causes more devastation than all the misguided NGOs together.

    I certainly don't forgive the NGOs or foreign militaries that have contributed to screwing Africa up to the extent it is... but the world hears no solutions coming out of Africa itself. Even yourself... much criticism but no solutions offered.

    All we get coming out of the recent African leaders summit is this crap:

    African leaders vote to give themselves immunity from war crimes prosecutions

    This group includes the Arab states in North Africa and together make "Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves" look like choir boys.
    Last edited by JMA; 08-14-2014 at 01:00 AM.

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    1st week of August turned out to be the deadliest week in Iraq of 2014. Over 1800 casualties. Insurgents launched offensives in Sinjar west of Mosul and in Qaraqosh area to the east in Ninewa, took Jalawla in eastern Diyala as well. Both situations were only stabilized with the arrival of Kurdish forces from Syria, Turkey and Iran. If not for them the peshmerga might have broken like the ISF did before. Insurgents also laid siege to Haditha, Anbar in attempt to take dam there. In Baghdad IS launched latest car bomb wave as militias continued to kidnap, kill and dump bodies of their victims. Babil ISF launched 10th sec op of the year to clear northern section and will probably fail again. Week showed that two months after the fall of Mosul militants still hold the initiative and are choosing the time and place for engagements in Iraq. Baghdad and Irbil completely on the defensive. Here's a link to my article with extensive charts and figures.

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    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Two very different policy advocates say

    SWJ has id'd a Bing West article:http://www.nationalreview.com/articl...isil-bing-west

    As I posted on SWJ there is something wrong with his advocacy:
    'Muslim ground forces to push the Islamists out of Iraq and Syria' and 'Muslim leaders have failed their people'.
    I have read Bing's article twice and wondered whether these two passages negate his whole argument. Which Muslim armies are ready for such a campaign today or tomorrow? Not one I would contend, nor in an alliance of the willing. Then he assumes the very same failed leaders will act. There are few leaders in the local, Arabic-speaking Muslim world who answer to their people


    Then there are the "two ladies speaking truth unto power", an article by two ex-USG (CIA) analysts in 'What the U.S. can realistically do in Iraq':http://edition.cnn.com/2014/08/14/op...n-iraq-crisis/

    The debate generally ignores a key underlying fact: The United States no longer has the ability or the will to shape the outcome in Iraq to the degree that American policy makers would like.
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 08-14-2014 at 07:45 PM.
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    Default Why does Isis hate us so much? Part 2

    Shashank Joshi, of RUSI, has another article 'Where does the Islamic State's fetish with beheading people come from?':http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/sh...eading-people/

    He tries to answer this:
    What, though, is the purpose of such brutality? The jihadists of the Islamic State (IS) are not, after all, nihilists. .....they are a highly professional military force, more similar to an army than insurgents, and seek a well-administered Islamic state. So why engage in beheadings and crucifixions?

    First, psychological warfare is a key part of IS’s military strategy.

    Second, IS understands that Western governments are, to some extent, dissuaded by the prospect of a British or American soldier meeting with a similar fate.

    Third, terrorism is a form of propaganda by the deed. And the more chilling the deed, the more impactful the propaganda.
    Now this is unexpected - well for me:
    The first is that it can induce your enemies to fight even harder, because surrendering is such an awful option. One academic study shows that “the Wehrmacht’s policy of treating Soviet POWs brutally undercut German military effectiveness on the Eastern front”. Moreover, the Soviets’ own relative brutality to Germans meant that German soldiers fought harder in Russia than in Normandy. The lesson? IS can make its enemies flee, but it would be a foolish Iraqi unit that surrendered – and the net effect is that IS has to fight all the harder.
    davidbfpo

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    Council Member Dayuhan's Avatar
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    Looks like Maliki is finally out:

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/201...ep-aside-abadi

    Two questions:

    The new guy is a designated successor from the same party; will there be any appreciable difference?

    Will the US and Europe be more willing to provide help against ISIS with Maliki gone, or will they press for concrete steps toward the mantra of "inclusive" first?

    Bonus hypothetical question:

    If the US had jumped straight in against ISIS, would Maliki have agreed to step down?
    “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 davidbfpo View Post
    Shashank Joshi, of RUSI, has another article 'Where does the Islamic State's fetish with beheading people come from?':http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/sh...eading-people/

    He tries to answer this:

    Now this is unexpected - well for me:
    Don't forget the simple. It's fun, especially for aggressive 20 somethings released from all forms of social and cultural restraint because Allah told them it is ok.

    And if I remember what I've read on MahdiWatch correctly, there are parts of the Koran and various other works that set precedent.

    This isn't the first time Brits, Yanks and Anzacs have run into this. The Japanese were quite fond of beheading people too.
    "We fight, get beat, rise, and fight again." Gen. Nathanael Greene

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    Quote Originally Posted by davidbfpo View Post
    Shashank Joshi, of RUSI, has another article 'Where does the Islamic State's fetish with beheading people come from?':http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/sh...eading-people/

    He tries to answer this:

    Now this is unexpected - well for me:
    Don't see how it differs from accounts of King David in the Old Testament or even Cortes in Mexico.

    They are following "the book to the letter" - and remember it was only after several centuries of horrible violence that Western Christianity was rid of that sort of stuff.

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    Quote Originally Posted by KingJaja View Post
    They are following "the book to the letter" - and remember it was only after several centuries of horrible violence that Western Christianity was rid of that sort of stuff.
    They also tend to follow only the parts of the book that support what they choose to do, often ignoring other parts of the book in the process.

    Humans have the capacity for very great cruelty, especially when in the grip of absolute belief, whether religious or political. The nature of the belief is less a factor than the extent: when people believe without question, trouble follows.
    “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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    Default ISIS: Public Legitimacy Through the Reenactment of Islam’s Early History

    ISIS: Public Legitimacy Through the Reenactment of Islam’s Early History

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dayuhan View Post
    They also tend to follow only the parts of the book that support what they choose to do, often ignoring other parts of the book in the process.

    Humans have the capacity for very great cruelty, especially when in the grip of absolute belief, whether religious or political. The nature of the belief is less a factor than the extent: when people believe without question, trouble follows.
    But if Islam, not Evangelical Christianity had taken root in Rio's favelas - Brazil would have been a lot different today.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JWing View Post
    Outlaw

    Totally forgot IS did launch an operation in Diyala and captured Jalawla from the Pesh. They are launching counter attacks to try to re-take it.

    Should also be mentioned that Syrian Turkish and Iranian Kurdish militias are all now involved or were in the fighting in Ninewa.
    Joel---had seen that---the Pesh lost 170 KIA and over 500 WIA--Jalawla is an interesting Pesh lost as they controlled this through out the entire US period in Iraq and drove out virtually all Sunni opposition during that period.

    PKK is having from what I am hearing an equally tough time of it but on the whole are fighting equally well as IS is--that is an interesting development as it indicates they learned a lot in their Turkish Army fighting days and their internal fights with other Kurdish groups.

    Since the Syrain Kurds have entered the fight ---just wondering when IS will apply pressure on the Syrian Kurdish front to relieve the pressure in Iraq.

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    An interesting article on IS written just before Malaki was pushed out---the conclusion paragraphs are interesting and go to what Bill M was mentioning---it must take a full fledged ground war to push out IS but by the current actors on the ground and that appears to not be the case in the coming months.

    Some interesting comments on the IS and how it is governing in areas taken over that seems to clash with the standard media take that they are all crazies and brutal.

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-0...on-iraq?page=2

    ISIS has attracted an entire generation of radicalized Sunni militants to the region. If one watches interviews with their enemies such as e.g. Peshmerga fighters, one topic that is occasionally mentioned is that they don't seem to fear death much. Combined with their well-known brutality, this undoubteldy makes them a formidable fighting force. However, there is evidently far more to ISIS than that.

    In this context, we recommend watching the Vice News report on ISIS filmed in Raqqa, the current capital of the “caliphate”. One impression one comes away with is that ISIS is quite careful not to alienate the population too much, in spite of strictly enforcing the sharia. Along similar lines, since ISIS is running Mosul, a number of Sunnis that have initially fled have returned to the city – which for the first time in an eternity has electricity around the clock. ISIS is a bit like Hitler in that way: it is so to speak making the trains run on time, while mercilessly killing large numbers of its perceived enemies and assorted “apostates” at the same time. The group also runs what appears to be a highly effective propaganda campaign – not only via electronic media, but also on the ground in the areas it conquers (its recruitment drive in Iraq is flourishing).

    The Islamic State even has something like a national anthem by now, a jihadist anasheed (a piece of Islamic a capella music with very light or no instrumentation) – “Ummaty Qad Laha Farujn” (My Ummah, Dawn Has Appeared) – which actually sounds quite interesting (never mind the martial lyrics). In fact, the music is probably the only good thing to come from ISIS so far:

    The ISIS “anthem” Ummaty Qad Laha Farujn – an interesting sounding a capella piece in the anasheed style

    All of the above suggests that it will be exceedingly difficult to effectively destroy ISIS. One method of countering it would in theory be the strategy that has already been successfully employed in almost defeating its predecessor organization AQI (“Al Qaeda in Iraq”). This mainly involved alienating AQI from its local support base. A guerrilla force cannot persist unless it has the support of the local population. However, it seems uncertain whether the same strategy can be used with success again. For one thing, Maliki's suppression of the Sunnis has made ISIS the lesser evil in the eyes of many locals. For another thing, the organization has evolved a great deal and is highly unlikely to repeat AQI's mistakes.

    It seems to us that if the goals the president has announced in recent days are to be achieved, nothing short of a full-scale invasion of Iraq (as well as of Syria for good measure) is likely to suffice – and even then, success is by no means guaranteed. Another possibility – a remote one at this stage, but it cannot be ruled out just yet – is that the regional forces arrayed against ISIS actually get their act together for a change.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dayuhan View Post
    They also tend to follow only the parts of the book that support what they choose to do, often ignoring other parts of the book in the process.

    Humans have the capacity for very great cruelty, especially when in the grip of absolute belief, whether religious or political. The nature of the belief is less a factor than the extent: when people believe without question, trouble follows.
    Dayuhan--this is the core problem when trying to understand Salafists and or Takfirists vs say the secular Islamists or say the "pure" Islamists.

    They all read the same Koran and Sunnahs etc---it is just in how they interpret it. Go to five different mosques on Friday prayers and you will get five different lectures and interpretations---all quoting the Koran, or the Sunnahs and or Hadiths.

    Much like Christian fundamentalists vs say secular Christians.

    It is just how one interprets the words--they all tend to read the same paragraphs ---they definitely do not pick and choose their paragraphs.
    Last edited by OUTLAW 09; 08-15-2014 at 12:51 PM.

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    Dayuhan

    The last two premiers were both from Dawa Maliki and Jaafari yet could not be more different in terms of leadership. Jaafari didn't consider Iraq in crisis just as the civil war was taking off. He talked people to death about philosophy. For example one time he went to Washington to meet with Bush and instead of talking about the problems going on in his country he went on and on about how much he loved Thomas Jefferson. The general consensus was that Jaafari was a horrible leader who did nothing while Iraq started to burn. Maliki was completely different. Many thought he tried to do too much and centralized too much power in his own hands and was divisive. Who knows what Abadi will be like but just because he comes from Dawa does not mean he will be like Maliki as the Jaafari example shows.

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    I cannot recommend enough the writings of Fanar Haddad to understand sectarianism in Iraq. Here's one of his new articles "Secular Sectarians"

    http://www.mei.edu/content/map/secular-sectarians

    Sectarianism in Iraq and the Middle East is not so much about dogma or religious orthodoxy but control of the state and involve ideas about class and regionalism.

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    It seems to us that if the goals the president has announced in recent days are to be achieved, nothing short of a full-scale invasion of Iraq (as well as of Syria for good measure) is likely to suffice – and even then, success is by no means guaranteed. Another possibility – a remote one at this stage, but it cannot be ruled out just yet – is that the regional forces arrayed against ISIS actually get their act together for a change.
    I'd be very surprised if even that sufficed. If allowed safe haven in an under-governed neighboring state (or a Syria that cannot be completely secured), I think the model that could be applied to the immediate future of ISIS is the Taliban of the '01-'04 era; dispersed but still a simmering and significant problem.

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    tomorrow's Times of London will report that US will start bombing in and around Baghdad province

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    Quote Originally Posted by JWing View Post
    tomorrow's Times of London will report that US will start bombing in and around Baghdad province
    Joel---so we have a lightly meaning rather low number of fighters forcing a northern front fight ---we have the Shia and Shia militia in a layered defense (actually in a circle) of Samarra/Salalladin, and nothing really much going on in Buqubah/Diyala and silence in and around Baghdad.

    The dam still under their control and the IS pushing into more towns--and oil fields.

    So we see the good ole whip lash strategy used against us being used against the ISF with the same effective.

    So what does it tell us about the IS strategy that is not being talked about?

    And that does not include the slow but steady push back of recent gains made by the Assad army.

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    Default ISIS Is Paying Attention To What Experts Are Saying About Them

    ISIS Is Paying Attention To What Experts Are Saying About Them

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