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

  1. #261
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ray View Post
    Thanks.

    Not reported where we are.
    Basically they boarded helicopters and flew out not telling even their immediate staffs and when that got out-the troops not being stupid read the tea leaves and simply attempted to go home but were overrun by the speed of the swarming attacks carried out via "utilities".

    If one can find battle videos from the period 2005/2006 of the Sunni's using armed "utilities"--they were makeshift and basic and sometimes the 12.7mms fell off the trucks---these truck attacks are professional to say the least and the trucks well made---almost like watching American Army light recon calvary just with trucks.

  2. #262
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Mayhem in Mosul

    Hamid Hussain's contribution is on the attachment, it is around five pages.
    Attached Files Attached Files
    davidbfpo

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    For those that do not think there is no Russian/KSA conversations going on.

    From the Russian Interfax from today:

    12:13 Russia, Saudi Arabia draft nuclear cooperation agreement

    This might be the indicator why Russian comments on Iraq events "seem" to be actually balanced and the KSA is strangely quiet.

  4. #264
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    Quote Originally Posted by davidbfpo View Post
    Hamid Hussain's contribution is on the attachment, it is around five pages.
    David---the article is interesting but think several points are a tad off as events in the last three days have shown---but this quote sticks out as being correct in 2003 and correct in 2014.

    The Sunni population as a whole has decided that after nine years of Shia rule there is nothing for them other than to fight. And the Shia are hell bent on the settling of a 1400 year old debate since they are the worlds "only free and fairly" elected Shia government thanks to the US Bremmer and company.

    Goes to what my interpreter said in 2006 ---Arabs must fight each other until physically exhausted and laying on the ground bleeding and only then will they negotiate what they knew the solution was to be before the fighting.

    Slavs have a similar saying.

    "The lesson for everyone from another blood soaked page of Iraqi history is that every effort should be geared towards preserving existing states no matter how imperfect. When these states fragment from internal or external pressures, they leave only death, devastation and tears in its path. On the other hand, once citizens of a country come to a conclusion that they cannot live together as they have nothing in common then they have to make the painful decision of separation to end the war in a generation rather than bestowing these wars to their children and grandchildren."

    Even now the Iraqi Army has been unable to retake Fulluja after four weeks of heavy street to street fighting.

    Actually the Iraqi Army does not like MOUT fighting and shy away from it and ISIS knows it.
    Last edited by OUTLAW 09; 06-18-2014 at 11:54 AM.

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    Here is another example of an out of touch Malaki who has learned to push responsibility on to others but never on himself---a mark of a good dictator.

    In this article from today he talks about everything except, unqualified Shia officers pushing aside qualified Sunni officers, the threatening of quality Sunni officers by claiming they were Baathists, rampant corruption and theft in the Army and security forces, extortion by regular soldiers of Sunni businesses and citizens, summary killing of Sunni's recently by the Iraqi army and Shia militias and worst of all his taking virtual command and control of the military leadership in his drive to implement himself as the sole decision maker so no one could threaten his power position.

    The second serious mistake and this goes to the US COIN problem---no one instilled pride of Iraq, the Iraqi flag, and military service into the Iraqi Force---the old term of nationalism does wonders for a Army under attack---but with the army being just an employment agency where was that to come from? IE look at say the current Ukrainian National Guard with three months of training and limited personal protective equipment that all Iraqi wear as a given--and they are dealing with combat experienced irregulars who have a passion similar to ISIS---they have not run and yes they die but at lest for a cause and keep on joining.

    http://news.yahoo.com/humiliation-ro...201712326.html

    This article confirms the first article --referencing the failures of Malaki.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/...y.html?hpid=z1
    Last edited by OUTLAW 09; 06-18-2014 at 01:29 PM.

  6. #266
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    A different take on events in Mosul. If accurate, ISIS is less a military jugernaut than a group networked with other groups inside Sunni Iraq. They are also not actively administering territory but tying into local groups to manage things.

    According to several Mosul residents, three armed brigades took control of the city militarily, administratively, and socially. They are ISIS, the Revolutionaries Military Council, and the Naqshbandiyya movement.

    The heavily armed ISIS, which includes Arab and foreign fighters, quickly took control of the city. It confiscated all medium and heavy arms, smuggling them towards Syria through the city of al-Sharkat in Salah ad-Din, close to Tikrit. Being the stronger side, ISIS imposed its decisions and type of administration on Mosul, applying "sharia" like it did previously in Syria. Its strongholds are in al-Anbar, Diyala, Salah ad-Din, and the belt around Baghdad.

    The Military Council, based in Baghdad, al-Anbar, and Salah ad-Din, involves a large segment of former officers of the disbanded army. The majority had joined al-Qaeda in Mosul, al-Anbar, and other regions in 2005, 2006, and 2007. Later, several turned against al-Qaeda, joining the uprisings (al-Sahawat) against the organization. However, the most serious threat they imposed was in 2012, when they joined the protests in the Sunni regions. The Military Council hopes to establish a Sunni federation and several of its leaders are calling to break up Iraq into several small states.

    On the other hand, al-Naqshbandiyya movement, headed by Saddam Hussein's former deputy, Izzat al-Douri, is the weakest of the three. It promotes the principles of the disbanded Baath party, although several of its members had joined successive Iraqi governments. Failing to rally real support in Anbar, Diyala, and Salah ad-Din, it found its base in Mosul and Arab areas of Kirkuk. The group calls for the overthrow of the new regime by any means and the return to the rule of the disbanded Baath party.

    The three organizations agreed that the Mosul coup was a "Sunni revolution" to legitimize the occupation of other cities by ISIS. However, they disagreed on the management of resources and wealth, as well as the type of administration in the city.

    In this regard, an informed source from Mosul who refused to disclose his name, said the three organizations disagreed at the beginning. ISIS wanted control of all state property, weapons, and equipment. The Military Council refused to empty the coffers of the state, in addition to a dispute over ISIS taking control of the banks and stealing US$ 340 million
    Last edited by TheCurmudgeon; 06-18-2014 at 01:17 PM.
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  7. #267
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    Along same note, story from NPR on Christians displaced from Mosul. Father claims that he had been back to Mosul since ISIS take over. His daughter was able to walk the streets without a head covering and she was even greated cordually by one of the gunman. This would indicate that not every armed individual controling the city is interested in enforcing strict Shria law.

    http://www.npr.org/2014/06/18/323166...atest-violence
    Last edited by TheCurmudgeon; 06-18-2014 at 02:29 PM.
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    The problem that the Iraqi senior generals and Malaki are having is they announce they are winning and then ISIS posts via the internet and social media just the opposite with videos and photos depicting just the opposite--there is a great infowar at the tactical and strategic levels going on and the Iraqi government is losing and that in turn is causing unrest within the Shia population as a whole

    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/19/wo...ts-clash.html?

    The KSA released an interesting PR today.

    http://news.yahoo.com/saudis-apparen...125538829.html
    Last edited by OUTLAW 09; 06-18-2014 at 02:50 PM.

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    I posted Dr Hamid Hussein's article as a blog post at this link:

    http://brownpundits.blogspot.com/201...w-chapter.html

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    Posted by AP

    From a structural perspective, the name of the organization is really a matter of semantics. The protracted popular war (PPW) as a model I think is applicable regardless of its origins in Maoist political theory. The value in communist theory is not its ideologically prescriptions for the ills of capitalism, but it's rigorous dialectical materialism which divorces analysis from the subjective normative values that so often cloud assessments. The Islamist movement was born in its current iteration in 1979 - the Iranian Revolution, the attack on the Grand Mosque in Saudi Arabia, and the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. We are witnessing today the culmination of an escalating series of events which trace their roots directly to those three events.
    Mao was worried people would interpret his broad guidelines as a doctrinal 3 phases, and not apply rigorous analysis and adapt to the local context, so I agree he rejected normative values. On the other hand, as we often do, we embraced excerpts from Mao's writing as a normative way to conduct an insurgency.

    The three phases are little more than articulation of the way most insurgencies unfold over time based on interaction the adversary. They rise up, they get hammered, go into a strategic defensive posture, if they can, they move into a strategic stalemate, and if it needed they transition into strategic counteroffensive. Hard to argue George Washington didn't do this long before Mao's writings. Mao's three phases are not a strategy, but we often confuse with it one. Mao also didn't abide by winning hearts and minds as we claim, he was expert at applying terror as we saw in Manchuria to achieve objectives. , but we have a PC interpretation of everything.

    That said, I do agree with TC (and with the COIN FM) that the 'insurgency' is most vulnerable when transitioning from one phase of conflict to the next. I do not think ISIS is incapable of governing in the most broad and basic sense - that is, to monopolize violence in its territory and to extract rent from the population. As another poster stated, they have done that already in Syria. Fundamentalist movements have been successful in those basic tasks in Iran (1979), Afghanistan (1996), and Saudi Arabia (~1924). I have no illusions that ISIS will somehow form a Westphalian, bureaucratic, complex state. That's not in their politics.
    True about the vulnerability, but that doesn't mean strategic defeat, just means they'll try another way if they're not successful.
    Last edited by Bill Moore; 06-19-2014 at 07:45 AM.

  11. #271
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    More on the Baathist/ISIS connection.

    Despite the caveats, @wikibaghdady deserves closer examination—especially at a moment when ISIS’s next moves could lead to a wider conflagration and more carnage. And some of what @wikbaghdady tweeted months ago has already been borne out by facts on the ground. The leaker’s revelations about ISIS’s alliance with Saddam Hussein’s former party, the Baathists, were confirmed by the events of last week, for example. The rapid takeover of Iraqi cities was not a solo effort; the campaign relied on a cultivated network of partnerships between Sunni groups including, critically, ISIS’s pact with their ideological enemies, the Baathists—a repeated theme in @wikibaghdady’s tweets.
    If ex-Baathist and other members of the previous regime are in on the game than managing the space will be much easier.

    It also means that Maliki's government and military may be fully infultrated and unable to make any moves without ISIS knowing about it.

    Also, a few days old, but interesting:

    Two days before Mosul fell to the Islamic insurgent group Isis (the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant), Iraqi commanders stood eyeballing its most trusted messenger. The man, known within the extremist group as Abu Hajjar, had finally cracked after a fortnight of interrogation and given up the head of Isis's military council.

    "He said to us, 'you don't realise what you have done'," an intelligence official recalled. "Then he said: 'Mosul will be an inferno this week'.'

    Several hours later, the man he had served as a courier and been attempting to protect, Abdulrahman al-Bilawi, lay dead in his hideout near Mosul. From the home of the dead man and the captive, Iraqi forces hoovered up more than 160 computer flash sticks which contained the most detailed information yet known about the terror group.

    The treasure trove included names and noms de guerre of all foreign fighters, senior leaders and their code words, initials of sources inside ministries and full accounts of the group's finances.

    "We were all amazed and so were the Americans," a senior intelligence official told the Guardian. "None of us had known most of this information."

    Officials, including CIA officers, were still decrypting and analysing the flash sticks when Abu Hajjar's prophecy was realised. Isis swept through much of northern and central Iraq over three stunning days, seizing control of Mosul and Tikrit and threatening Kirkuk as three divisions of the Iraqi army shed their uniforms and fled.
    Last edited by TheCurmudgeon; 06-18-2014 at 08:36 PM.
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  12. #272
    Council Member AdamG's Avatar
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    The armour on five of Iraq's M1A1 Abrams tanks was penetrated by anti-tank guided missiles (ATGMs) and six helicopters were shot down between 1 January and the end of May, The New York Times quoted an unnamed US official as saying on 13 June.

    The official said 28 Iraqi Army Abrams had been damaged in fighting with militants, five of them suffering full armour penetration when hit by ATGMs. The United States supplied 140 refurbished M1A1 Abrams tanks to Iraq between 2010 and 2012. While they have new equipment to improve situational awareness, they do not have the depleted uranium amour package that increases protection over the tank's frontal arc.

    The penetration of a tank's armour by a shaped-charge warhead increases the likelihood of crew casualties, but does not necessarily result in the destruction of the vehicle, especially if it has a dedicated ammunition compartment, as in the case of the Abrams.

    However, the US official said the Iraqi Army has problems maintaining its Abrams, suggesting it will struggle to get damaged tanks back into service.
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  13. #273
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheCurmudgeon View Post
    More on the Baathist/ISIS connection.
    The debate over whether ISS is working with or without former Baathists is a mute point and it indicates just how badly we never did understand the Sunni insurgency from 2003 to 2011. Being a Baathists was like being a SED member in the former GDR ---you had to be one in order to make it up the employment and or social ladder. It was also known in Iraq if you wanted to do business open a business and or get a higher education you had to have the "business card"--Baath Party membership.

    So what is so important in that?

    All military officers and all Iraqi Intelligence officers were party members-so what---they were at the same time either secular Sunni's or they prayed "often" which was an indicator of a more religious slant.

    Many intel offiers were used in the mosche's to monitor the prayer sessions to see if there was any "unusual activities" which meant Salafist. And a majority of the these same officers shifted into the Salafist groups after we decided to liberate Iraq.

    The Islamic Army in Iraq (IAI) had both types in their group and were the strongest Iraqi Sunni insurgent group on the ground in Baghdad and 10 other cities within three weeks after we arrived in Baghdad.

    Fighting broke out between them and AQI when AQI decided to try to rein in the IAI and the IAI fought back killing a number of high AQI cell leaders before a truce was brokered by the overall Sunni insurgency and the AQ mothership. the truce actually held well from 2007 onwards.

    Starting in about 2010 one so fewer and fewer IAI battle videos from the IAI-but they maintained until we left their web presence---at the same time in 2010 one noticed the emergence of battle videos showing now al Duri's group.

    It is and or was assumed that the IAI merged into the new al Duri group fully in 2011.

    then actually all went quiet---it should be noted that initially the IAI started producing HME for use in IEDS and al Duri's group took it to new products height in the tons ranges by 2011 even selling the HME to the Shia as a money making business.

    The second article is more interesting---where did it come from? Interesting as one does not in full public view normally reveal a major intel find to your enemy---is just not done and as well reveal the apparent boots on the ground if true of the CIA. If it was a major find the ISIS would have known about the individual having gone missing and normally in their concept of UW they would have delayed the attack until they ascertain whether or not the Iraq Army had adjusted their security measures---the three day gap is the interesting point as normally the Iraqi intel was quicker on the evaluation of captured documents.

    Normally if in fact true---the individual would have been tortured by the Iraqi as a normal game and if he was in fact a courier then he knew the importance and probably would have died before talking.

    Not so sure the story is true as no single courier in their system is allowed to have say 150 thumb drives---even ISIS is not that weak on internal OPSEC---that is unless he was no courier but an major cell leader but still that is to much on one location.

    IMO unless the article carried more details that could be checked it sounds like a boasting article--hey ISIS look we captured all this important stuff and are still in the fight.

    A couple of points if the article is true is in fact a major security violation and blunder on the part of how ever wrote it. As ISIS is not dumb and reads news articles as well and their English is quite good.
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 06-19-2014 at 11:13 AM. Reason: fix quote

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    Quote Originally Posted by OUTLAW 09 View Post
    Even now the Iraqi Army has been unable to retake Fulluja after four weeks of heavy street to street fighting.

    Actually the Iraqi Army does not like MOUT fighting and shy away from it and ISIS knows it.
    In all honesty, no armed force like MOUT, well training or not. MOUT requires slow and methodological advances, and more importantly, inflict disproportionally heavier casualties on the attackers.

    Quote Originally Posted by OUTLAW 09 View Post
    The second serious mistake and this goes to the US COIN problem---no one instilled pride of Iraq, the Iraqi flag, and military service into the Iraqi Force---the old term of nationalism does wonders for a Army under attack---but with the army being just an employment agency where was that to come from? IE look at say the current Ukrainian National Guard with three months of training and limited personal protective equipment that all Iraqi wear as a given--and they are dealing with combat experienced irregulars who have a passion similar to ISIS---they have not run and yes they die but at lest for a cause and keep on joining.

    http://news.yahoo.com/humiliation-ro...201712326.html

    This article confirms the first article --referencing the failures of Malaki.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/...y.html?hpid=z1
    It is not just the purely military part of COIN. The policy on the political process following the invasion only deepened division. Who is going to bleed for the flag if he knows that his tribe got cut out of the political pie? Tribal identity in the ME is still strong enough that no amount of US trainers can change.

    A big enough shape charge will always kill a tank, even with DU inserts. If those ATGMs are big crew served types, I'm not surprised.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TheCurmudgeon View Post
    A different take on events in Mosul. If accurate, ISIS is less a military jugernaut than a group networked with other groups inside Sunni Iraq. They are also not actively administering territory but tying into local groups to manage things.
    This article misreads the organization of the insurgency. The Naqshibandi RUNS the Military Councils. They are not two separate groups.

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    Quote Originally Posted by OUTLAW 09 View Post
    Even now the Iraqi Army has been unable to retake Fulluja after four weeks of heavy street to street fighting.
    Actually ISF only did probing moves into Fallujah. The main thrust was to secure the suburbs and surrounding villages before entering city. Problem was they never accomplished that and were continuously going in and out of the same areas.

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    Everything that is happening appears to be very fluid.

    What will be the outcome?

    Any guesses with rationale?

    We, out here, are a bit concerned since there are Indian nurses and ancillary workers out there and some are said to have been taken hostage.

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    There was a battle video posted showing the killing of an Abrams via AT missile and it was accurately guided to the target so it had to have been an optical one similar to the TOW. Impact explosion was indeed big.

    It is not just the purely military part of COIN. The policy on the political process following the invasion only deepened division. Who is going to bleed for the flag if he knows that his tribe got cut out of the political pie? Tribal identity in the ME is still strong enough that no amount of US trainers can change.

    The problem is when the army is viewed as just a really well paid job -700 USD per month which is good for Iraq standards--- who will in the end die for 700 USDs?
    Last edited by OUTLAW 09; 06-19-2014 at 11:35 AM.

  19. #279
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    Quote Originally Posted by OUTLAW 09 View Post
    The debate over whether ISS is working with or without former Baathists is a mute point and it indicates just how badly we never did understand the Sunni insurgency from 2003 to 2011. Being a Baathists was like being a SED member in the former GDR ---you had to be one in order to make it up the employment and or social ladder. It was also known in Iraq if you wanted to do business open a business and or get a higher education you had to have the "business card"--Baath Party membership.

    So what is so important in that?
    In my opinion, the importance lies in the nature of ISIS/ISIL. They are not, as often portrayed, strictly radical Takfiri fighting a religious war. They are pragmatists who know how to use the idea of being a Takfiri group to their advantage. They are organized, networked, and have the assistance of other groups to administer the territory their fighters gain.

    I was pretty amazed that a small group of less than 20,000 could hold the territory they had. Occupation numbers usually run in the 20 to 1000 ratio. For a city of 600,000 like Mosul you would have to leave 12,000 insurgents behind to administer/maintain/defend the city. They simply do not have those numbers. So the population must be either so in fear of them as to not react, or see them as a legitimate alternative to Maliki. It is easier to do that if others in the community who already have legitimacy with the population (or their own terror networks) are playing a public role once the territory is taken.

    It brings me back to the idea that Al Baghdadi is smart and has thought this through. My guess is he is a staunch supporter of the idea that money and oil are power. That once he controls those resources he can purchase what he needs to survive, including protection and access to other necessities (food, weapons, etc.) through connections in Turkey in order for him to maintain his goals. Heck, he may have taken the refinery as a bargaining chip - "Prime Minister Maliki, I will give you back your refinery if you recognize me and leave me alone." Probably not, but now I think he is capable of that type of long term strategic thinking.

    I don't believe he is a zealot who is waiting on Allah to grant him his Caliphate because he is Holy. He is a pragmatic political and military leader. Just my thoughts.
    Last edited by TheCurmudgeon; 06-19-2014 at 12:16 PM.
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    A very good discussion of the different contributions to the Sunni forces which are uncorrectly labled as ISIL is found on "Sic Semper Tyrannis", the host W.P. Lang, with obviously deep knowledge of this subject, makes very good contributions.

    It is IMHO worth not only to read the posts but also the discussion, Lang, Habakuk and other can explain various aspects of US and UK decision making.

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