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

  1. #441
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Moore View Post
    In simple terms it is a failure of leadership. We saw the same thing during Desert Storm and OIF 1 when they hit their breaking point. I had lunch with an Iraqi LT shortly after we secured our area in 2003, and I asked him through my terp why he didn't fire on us. He was very frank, he said he would fight for his country, but not a chair (implying Saddam). I suspect we're seeing the same now, why would they want to fight for Maliki? The senior Iraqi officers appointed by Maliki must be buffoons and completely non-inspirational. Leadership is decisive at the tactical level, and if they had warrior leaders they were more than capable of holding the line I suspect.

    In comparison why do ISIS/ISIL fighters fight so hard?

    Can troops with low morale, regardless of well armed they are in comparison, defeat highly motivated and aggressive troops? I know there are a lot of variables and no simple answer, but I think we underestimate the power of morale.
    Are there any figures on the proportion of Sunni/ Shia/ Kurd within the ranks? That may play a role in the lack of motivation.

    I think it is a toxic mix of army recruitment amounting to a jobs program, senior command turning tail, apathy or even lack of faith in the de jure government in Baghdad, and a lack of an national identity overriding tribal and/or religious identity.

    Speaking of the tactical level, I am reminded of what de Atkine wrote about Arab armies.
    http://www.unc.edu/depts/diplomat/AD...ne_arabs1.html

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    Default About arabs and war...

    There are always national characteristics which come into play in time of war.

    Here we need to understand more about Arabs in time of war:

    Why Arabs Lose Wars

    It is a truism of military life that an army fights as it trains, and so I draw on my many years of firsthand observation of Arabs in training to draw conclusions about the ways in which they go into combat.
    and

    The influence of Arab culture on Arab military effectiveness

    The results of this study demonstrate that certain patterns of behavior fostered by the dominant Arab culture were the most important factors contributing to the limited military effectiveness of Arab armies and air forces from 1945 to 1991.
    : tks for the heads up Mike.

  3. #443
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default ISIS: what next?

    A succinct analysis by Charles Lister, from Brookings; which starts with:
    Since capturing Iraq's second city of Mosul on 10 June, the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (Isis) has marched south towards Baghdad, seizing a number of towns, military bases, and resource-rich assets on the way. But what is the group's long-term game plan?
    Link:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-midd...alflow_twitter


    davidbfpo

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    JWing/David---this is a really interesting article as I tend to agree that the Sunni insurgency and tribes will in the end turn on ISIS---the Sunni as a whole are secular and have been since Saddam days ---we just never got it when in Iraq. Even the IAI which was religious to a degree had their secular and Baathist officers in the group with no clashes.

    http://www.newsweek.com/iraqs-sunnis...fficial-256270

    What many fail to remember is that the Kurds are as well conservative Sunni thus have a certain affinity towards the more "moderate" Sunni insurgent groups and tribes-especially if you notice how the two have worked for the last several years.

    The number of Sunni insurgents/tribe fighters that he quoted is something I have myself often estimated and feel is accurate- if one fully understood who was fighting us and the reasons for their fighting us in the 2006/2007 period-- the national IC could never get the estimates right especially in the 2006/2007 timeframes.

    The numbers could actually be higher due to the younger Sunni juveniles coming of age in the last several years who were cheering when ISIS arrived in Mosul and Tikrit.

    I also do not think the foreign fighter numbers in Iraqi are as high as many think they are---some indications that really only around 350 have come out of Europe over the last few years at least based on Facebook and Twitter analysis. So the reported numbers stopped as reported by the Turks of 5300 seems to be way to high.

    The ISIS/Sunni coalition has been able to raise the overall fighter numbers by the various prison breakouts that have contributed almost 5500 instant fighters especially since they were all Sunni's in those prisons and a number have been tortured by the prison guards so they have a major beef with the Shia.

    What is interesting is that the numbers quoted were able to in fact checkmate the entire US Army strength at the height of the surge---granted the Shia fought us as well but the Sunni was the main US enemy.

    What is also interesting in the article is the reported lack of Iraqi Shia motivation to take the fight to ISIS.

    Ramadan is coming up on Saturday/Sunday---will be interesting to see if the Shia continue fighting and if ISIS/Sunni coalition also fights during Ramadan.

    The Sunni have fought historically at times during Ramadan ie Mohammad fought during Ramadan to take Mekka.

    This is going to be brutal over the coming days and weeks,
    Last edited by OUTLAW 09; 06-27-2014 at 09:46 PM.

  5. #445
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    Quote Originally Posted by JWing View Post
    Update on the security situation in Salahaddin "Iraq’s Northern Front Stalemate In Salahaddin". After Mosul the insurgent turned southwards and took half of Salahaddin. Were stopped in Tuz Kharmato in the west by Kurdish and Turkmen forces, while ISF held onto Baiji refinery Samarra and Balad. Fight there has now turned into a war of attrition, which the entire war in Iraq will be like. No more big maneuvers by insurgents, but ISF incapable or holding any area it retakes, plus Baghdad has no strategy for reversing the security situation.
    JWing---while the Shia/ISF appear to be defending Samarra due to the "perceived" threat to the Shia shrine---is this what the ISIS/Sunni Coalition in fact wants as it is freezing them effectively in place.

    The Sunni's have swung around Samarra and headed for the Diyala River Basin and are now focusing on the Muqdadiyah and Baqubah areas where the fighting has intensified the last several days---it would appear that the ISIS/Sunni coalition wants to cut the LOCs to Samarra as the Army had a massive time trying to keep the roads then clear of IEDs which they never did fully succeed in doing.

    This area is a counter insurgent's nightmare and a guerrilla's paradise from terrain and cover and the support base of Sunni tribes there that were never a big supporter of the US.
    Last edited by OUTLAW 09; 06-27-2014 at 10:09 PM.

  6. #446
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    Default WMD in a desert bunker: ISIS now occupies site

    A short item missed I suspect by many and officialdom may prefer we don't know:http://2paragraphs.com/2014/06/isis-...n-iraq/?se_id=

    Last week ISIS took control of the Iraqi Army military base at Al Muthanna, 45 miles NW of Baghdad, which houses the remnants of Saddam Hussein’s chemical weapons stockpile..... The UN stored tonnes of highly deadly nerve agents like sarin and VX and blister agents like mustard at Al Muthanna between 1994-96 – and sealed the compound to be dealt with later. But still intact are two huge bunkers with the WMD in them. The bunkers are sealed with reinforced concrete, but they are in the hands of ISIS. The nerve agent in the bunkers will by now have degraded to a toxic ‘sludge’ but the mustard will be viable.....Can ISIS access the bunkers? Yes, probably, in time.
    The author 100% knows this field:
    Hamish de Bretton-Gordon, OBE, is the COO of SecureBio, a CBRN consultancy headquartered in the UK. He is a former Commander of British Military CBRN Forces.
    His website is:http://www.securebio.co.uk

    On this BBC News clip he says we should not panic:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LTVK8...ure=youtu.be&a

    A little more:http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worl...x-in-Iraq.html
    davidbfpo

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    Quote Originally Posted by OUTLAW 09 View Post
    So can we all here at SWJ now finally declare COIN dead and buried--because the last time I checked a "total failure" in a delivered doctrine tends to in fact signal the doctrine was not valid?
    Sounds similar to what was observed from 2007 to mid 2011. Accept responsibility for nothing and portray the conventional forces as conducting COIN. Let's not forget what actually occurred. The primary emphasis by the conventional forces was 'whack a mole' and the primary metric was SIGACTS. The primary training emphasis was training the ISF in a like image to the US conventional forces.

    There was zero understanding of the realities on the ground, the conventional forces always had AQI/ISI 'on the run' and any deviation from the 'party line' coming from USF-I was ignored.

    COIN was never implemented. The conventional forces treated it as a conventional fight. They were/are poorly trained, poorly disciplined, and poorly motivated for this type of fight. They did not/do not possess the intellectual capacity to grasp the situation and simply ignored indicators that did not fit the 'party line'.

    What the situation indicated as far back as 2007 is do not attempt to implement a strategy with forces incapable of execution. I would expect more of the same (i.e. the US military attempting to shift any responsibility for the current situation) away from themselves and onto anything they believe the US public will buy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ceg1000 View Post
    Sounds similar to what was observed from 2007 to mid 2011. Accept responsibility for nothing and portray the conventional forces as conducting COIN. Let's not forget what actually occurred. The primary emphasis by the conventional forces was 'whack a mole' and the primary metric was SIGACTS. The primary training emphasis was training the ISF in a like image to the US conventional forces.

    There was zero understanding of the realities on the ground, the conventional forces always had AQI/ISI 'on the run' and any deviation from the 'party line' coming from USF-I was ignored.

    COIN was never implemented. The conventional forces treated it as a conventional fight. They were/are poorly trained, poorly disciplined, and poorly motivated for this type of fight. They did not/do not possess the intellectual capacity to grasp the situation and simply ignored indicators that did not fit the 'party line'.

    What the situation indicated as far back as 2007 is do not attempt to implement a strategy with forces incapable of execution. I would expect more of the same (i.e. the US military attempting to shift any responsibility for the current situation) away from themselves and onto anything they believe the US public will buy.
    An example of what you are saying is as follows---check how each BCT and each Division Staff just rolled in on the previous campaign plans and LOEs of the previous BCT or Division---and after about three or four months might start to change something if they changed anything at all. Some say the BCT in 2009 was seeing what the BCT in 2007 started with----with little to no changes over the three years

    Another example---we would get a week long series of attacks on the police checkpoints in Baqubah once a month---when asked by the BCT S2 what I thought about the attacks--I responded it was simple the insurgents were going through a series of live fire graduation exercises since all they could do in their safe houses was dry fire training---at some point they needed to shot at something and it was the police---Sunni insurgents simply did not have a NTC for training.

    He then said but a few get killed or wounded---my response that is the guerrilla Darwinian principle ---the fittest survive and continue fighting and building new cells.

    The S2s' response was "that is to simple but it makes sense but I cannot tell that to the Division G2".

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    JWing---a good report on potential Baghdad strategy of the ISIS.

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/article...e-baghdad.html

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    Default With the pick-ups comes death

    Hat tip to Red Rat for spotting this long report on the sectarian killing spree underway in Iraq. The focus is on ISIS and what appear to be new, local allies - following the Syrian model - and the murders in jails before ISIS arrived:http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worl...ing-party.html
    davidbfpo

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    Quote Originally Posted by davidbfpo View Post
    Hat tip to Red Rat for spotting this long report on the sectarian killing spree underway in Iraq. The focus is on ISIS and what appear to be new, local allies - following the Syrian model - and the murders in jails before ISIS arrived:http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worl...ing-party.html
    “We feed them and keep them healthy and if the ISIL managed to free them, they will immediately resume fighting us,” the police captain who acknowledged the executions in Hilla said.
    “We have to defend ourselves by executing those criminals.”

    I heard this often from members of the Special Police Wolf Brigade in 2005---it seems to never die out under the Shia.

    The second Hilla police officer said summary executions were routinely carried out by army and police forces.
    “First thing we do is to shoot them in foot and then take their confessions. Then we kill them and write in report they were killed in action,” he said, also on condition of anonymity.

    We were seeing multiple forms of Sunni torturing by Shia police/Shia military already in 2005 and still could not get it under control by 2011. We never did stop the illegal prisons being run by the Shia starting in 2005.

    http://www.arabnews.com/news/593291

    This type of summary killings and torture of accused Sunni’s by Shia ISF has been a major problem for the last two years under Malaki and one of the main reasons for the Sunni uprising.

    The problem I have with current US policy is that by continuing to support Malaki it appears we the US approve of the Sunni killings and torture especially because we have absolutely nothing in compromises by Malaki.

    By the way these types of killings and torture of Sunni by Shia began by the ISF even before the 2005 elections and we never did fully stop it although we were fully aware that it was going on.
    Last edited by OUTLAW 09; 06-28-2014 at 06:06 PM.

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    Here we go...

    Thousands of Indian Muslims signing up for Iraq

    Thousands of Muslims in India have signed up to defend Iraq’s shrines and, if need be, fight militants in the country where the civilian death toll from the Sunni insurgents’ advance is estimated at least 1,300.

    Denouncing the militants of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) as terrorists, these Indian Muslims have filled out forms, complete with passport-size photographs and photocopied identification documents, to travel to Iraq.
    ... still waiting for a mea culpa from the guys who insisted there would be no spill over from Syria.

  13. #453
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    Default Calling on the Shia worldwide; not exactly

    Quote Originally Posted by JMA View Post
    JMA,

    This week I read, but cannot now find, a UK-based Shia cleric has given a sermon that British Shia do not need to volunteer to serve in Iraq. The leading Iraqi Shia leader, Sistani, has also stated his plea for Shias to defend their shrines etc was for Iraqis only and they are to serve under government orders.
    davidbfpo

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    Quote Originally Posted by JMA View Post
    Here we go...

    Thousands of Indian Muslims signing up for Iraq



    ... still waiting for a mea culpa from the guys who insisted there would be no spill over from Syria.
    There will always be spill over until the Sunni and Shia finally settle their heretical differences from 1400 years ago.

    Believe the Indian Shia should though pay more attention to Modi than the ISIS as he s closer to them than is ISIS.

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    Default Saudia Arabia: we have a problem

    This week Richard Barrett, ex-diplomat (UK & UN posts) and now with the Soufan Group, commented that trained Saudi military personnel are defecting to ISIS. He drew attention to the oddity in a February 2014 statement by the King that fighting abroad meant a five year prison sentence for citizens and seven and half years for those who serve in the military.

    His estimate, based on visits to Saudi Arabia, was that 2,500-3,000 have gone to fight; with three hundred in rehab centres (maybe intercepted before leaving or returned).

    In my background reading this week I found suggestions that the Saudi army were deploying to the northern border (maybe easier to defect then?).

    There is a thread on Saudi Arabia, so this will be copied there.
    davidbfpo

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    Quote Originally Posted by OUTLAW 09 View Post
    Believe the Indian Shia should though pay more attention to Modi than the ISIS as he s closer to them than is ISIS.
    They probably will once they return from Iraq with some military experience...

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    Default Military Mobilisation

    I have seen reports on blog sites that both Saudi Arabia and Jordan have mobilised armoured divisions and moved them to their respective borders with Iraq. It would be highly unusual for them not to do considering the current situation. The issues for both Saudi Arabia and Jordan are:

    1) How reliable are their armed forces?

    2) Whether to contain or actively get involved.

    Saudi Arabia military on highest alert
    RR

    "War is an option of difficulties"

  18. #458
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    Default Chinese workers in harm's way

    Elsewhere on SWC we have discussed the possible reaction from China (PRC) to loss of its investments abroad and the impact of "kith & kin" with Chinese nationals working abroad:
    State media say more than 1,200 Chinese workers who had been trapped in the embattled northern Iraqi city of Samarra have been evacuated to Baghdad.....China Machinery Engineering Corporation employed the workers at a power plant construction site in Samarra.....More than 10,000 Chinese are in Iraq, many of them employees with Chinese firms.
    Link:http://mainichi.jp/english/english/n...in025000c.html
    davidbfpo

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    Default Follow the money - well up to 2010

    A fascinating report on the finances of ISIS, using captured records, the Harmony Database:
    The records reveal that previous incarnations of ISIS have shown an extraordinary ability to regroup even after military defeats....That’s the direct result of ISIS’s aggressive and diverse fundraising arm.....the intercepted documents show, outside donations amounted to only a tiny fraction _ no more than 5 percent _ of the group’s operating budgets from 2005 until 2010.

    (Citing Charles Lister, of Brookings) ...there was no evidence that foreign donors such as Gulf nations became any more important to the group after 2010....
    Link:http://www.sacbee.com/2014/06/23/650...#storylink=cpy
    davidbfpo

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    Quote Originally Posted by davidbfpo View Post
    A fascinating report on the finances of ISIS, using captured records, the Harmony Database:

    Link:http://www.sacbee.com/2014/06/23/650...#storylink=cpy
    david---did not know you knew about the Harmony Database?

    For those that want a really good background on research done on Harmony records/documents---check the Combatting Terrorism Center of West Point.

    https://www.ctc.usma.edu/about/mission/we-research

    They have released some of the best research on Harmony documents out there right now. The problem with Harmony is that any captured documents, videos, photos etc that go into it are classified until an agency say the CTC gets specific records declassified---also another problem is most of the documents have never been fully translated or simply scan translated or not translated at all.
    Last edited by OUTLAW 09; 06-29-2014 at 06:13 PM.

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