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

  1. #1021
    Council Member ganulv's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OUTLAW 09 View Post
    "More people with American citizenship have been killed by Palestinian terrorists in the lst year than have been killed by ISIS"
    I know youíre trolling, but I canít resist. Do you have any statistics on how many Palestinians have been killed by holders of American citizenship in the last year? Because I would be curious as to the ratio.
    If you donít read the newspaper, you are uninformed; if you do read the newspaper, you are misinformed. Ė Mark Twain (attributed)

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    Default Three today: partial answer

    Ganulv,

    I don't want to pre-empt Outlaw 09, but the BBC reported after today's attack in Jerusalem that three victims were Americans:
    The victims were Rabbi Moshe Twersky, 59, head of the seminary, Arieh Kupinsky, 43, and Kalman Levine, 55, all of whom also held US passports. The fourth victim, Avraham Goldberg, 68, is also a UK citizen.
    Link:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-30092720
    davidbfpo

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    Council Member ganulv's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by davidbfpo View Post
    Ganulv,

    I don't want to pre-empt Outlaw 09, but the BBC reported after today's attack in Jerusalem that three victims were Americans:
    Link:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-30092720
    I assumed that was the reference he was making. I just wanted to bring up the fact that American citizenship is unlikely to be the why of that crime. It is much more likely that the victims were targeted as members of the Jewish state.

    And my question was also meant to bring up the fact that American citizens are not infrequently members of the IDF: http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/checkpoint/wp/2014/07/21/how-can-americans-be-fighting-for-israel-in-gaza-some-background/
    If you donít read the newspaper, you are uninformed; if you do read the newspaper, you are misinformed. Ė Mark Twain (attributed)

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    Quote Originally Posted by ganulv View Post
    I know you’re trolling, but I can’t resist. Do you have any statistics on how many Palestinians have been killed by holders of American citizenship in the last year? Because I would be curious as to the ratio.
    Excluding the Iraq war as IS was then AQI and not in it's current configuration-----I would go back even further and state more American passport holders have been killed by the PLO and it's various affiliates from the Black Sept 1970 event onwards than IS has killed since it has become the IS.

    Why question has been since the Ukraine--why are we then if US citizens are not directly being threatened by the IS why are we so over bearing in our military response when in fact Putin has threatened the entire US in ways not even seen during the Cold War?
    Last edited by OUTLAW 09; 11-18-2014 at 05:38 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ganulv View Post
    I assumed that was the reference he was making. I just wanted to bring up the fact that American citizenship is unlikely to be the why of that crime. It is much more likely that the victims were targeted as members of the Jewish state.

    And my question was also meant to bring up the fact that American citizens are not infrequently members of the IDF: http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/checkpoint/wp/2014/07/21/how-can-americans-be-fighting-for-israel-in-gaza-some-background/
    It is interesting you mention the IDF---just how many US active duty officers departed US active duty to serve in the 1968 and 1973 wars?

    Especially if they held clearances where one cannot in theory hold two citizenships and or actual citizenship where one cannot owe allegiances to two countries when you take your militay oath.
    Last edited by OUTLAW 09; 11-18-2014 at 05:37 PM.

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    Council Member jcustis's Avatar
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    Haven't the policies regarding those issues changed over the years, directly as a result of problems arising from clearance/citizenship conflicts?

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    Council Member ganulv's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jcustis View Post
    Haven't the policies regarding those issues changed over the years, directly as a result of problems arising from clearance/citizenship conflicts?
    I have no idea how things have changed over the decades, but the IDF seems to have been accepting recruits with U.S. citizenship as recently as this past summer. http://www.latimes.com/nation/nation...721-story.html
    If you donít read the newspaper, you are uninformed; if you do read the newspaper, you are misinformed. Ė Mark Twain (attributed)

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    Council Member jcustis's Avatar
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    That has been a long-standing practice among Jews who are not Sabras, but want to serve Israel's armed forces. Common enough that I've seen a number of news articles about it and a Nat Geo expose from the 1970s.

    I've seen it go hand in hand with working on a kibbutz for some youth.

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    Council Member Bob's World's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by davidbfpo View Post
    Ganulv,

    I don't want to pre-empt Outlaw 09, but the BBC reported after today's attack in Jerusalem that three victims were Americans:
    Link:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-30092720
    We may soon see another example of an emotion, rather than interest- based response.
    Robert C. Jones
    Intellectus Supra Scientia
    (Understanding is more important than Knowledge)

    "The modern COIN mindset is when one arrogantly goes to some foreign land and attempts to make those who live there a lesser version of one's self. The FID mindset is when one humbly goes to some foreign land and seeks first to understand, and then to help in some small way for those who live there to be the best version of their own self." Colonel Robert C. Jones, US Army Special Forces (Retired)

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    Council Member ganulv's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jcustis View Post
    That has been a long-standing practice among Jews who are not Sabras, but want to serve Israel's armed forces. Common enough that I've seen a number of news articles about it and a Nat Geo expose from the 1970s.

    I've seen it go hand in hand with working on a kibbutz for some youth.
    OK, that was my general impression, but I haven’t ever known anyone falling into the category, so I wasn’t entirely sure.

    [An aside, at the danger of going to too far off into the weeds. I do know someone who worked on the only pig-farming kibbutz. I asked him if it is a Christian kibbutz, and he said, “No. Just very secular.” ]
    If you donít read the newspaper, you are uninformed; if you do read the newspaper, you are misinformed. Ė Mark Twain (attributed)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob's World View Post
    It seems to me that in the post WWII era, with a noted escalation in the post Cold War era, we fight far more often for national emotion than for national interest .

    Fear, pride, anger, ego, false duty, etc. It rarely ends well when we confuse emotion for interest. To make matters worse we have even morphed our national security strategy in this same era to codify an emotion-based approach to interests.

    We need a return to the practical pragmatism we practiced more as a rising nation. We've lways been driven by emotion, be it our decision to fight the Barbary pirates while everyone else paid tribute, or the constant string of "remember the xxxxx" battle cry's that work so well to motivate Americans to war - but it has gotten worse in this era of self-determination, shifting balances of power and our own strategic confusion over all of the above.

    Clint Eastwood once said the best acting advice he ever received was "Don't just do something, stand there. Gary Cooper was never afraid to do nothing."

    Our foreign policy is not Eastwoodesque or Cooperesque in any way. Certainly not Wayneesque, and in no way George Washingtonesque. We need to just stand there and think about that.
    What I find interesting during debates is I can make a seemingly rational argument for multiple options. Take ISIL for example, I can make a rational argument on why we should engage and why we should ignore it. I can throw emotion into either argument to motivate the bulk of the people who are motivated by emotion (emotion equates to motivation, which is why those promoting change, action, etc. play to emotion).

    The point is, I wonder if that reflects strategic confusion, or simply a reflection of strategic reality where there are no absolute right or wrong answers, only educated and non-educated opinions. We have four enduring national interests, and you can logically argue we should be involved in most conflicts by making links to them. Ultimately we need to accept that democracy is messy, and emotion is part and parcel of the package. Acting on emotion can result in stupid decisions, but failing to act on emotion in other cases (for example, preventing mass atrocities) can be devalue what we claim to stand for as a nation. I think our national identity is in our national interests, but understandably many disagree.

    Enduring interests (regardless of political party in power)

    1. Protect the U.S. and U.S. persons. (security)

    2. Economic interests (prosperity)

    3. International order that promotes our interests

    4. Values (human rights, democracy, etc.)

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    Default ISIL expands to Libya

    Once again the saying that all politics are local proves to fall short. For those that think ISIL is a local movement, they have now expanded to Libya. Foreign fighters returning home to select locations can clearly be a threat to one's national security.

    http://www.cnn.com/2014/11/18/world/...html?hpt=hp_t2

    ISIS comes to Libya

    Fighters loyal to the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria are now in complete control of the city of Derna, population of about 100,000, not far from the Egyptian border and just about 200 miles from the southern shores of the European Union.

    The fighters are taking advantage of political chaos to rapidly expand their presence westwards along the coast, Libyan sources tell CNN.

  13. #1033
    Council Member jcustis's Avatar
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    Bill,

    I have long been of the opinion that there are no absolute right or wrong answers. We run the risk of loosing our way trying to find those absolutes, or trying to defend them as such,[

    As for ISIS in Libya, the problem is significant not only as it relates to Derna, but the entire span of terrain running from Algeria, through the Nile Delta, across the Suez and Gulf of Aquaba, and over to the intersection of Jordan, Syria and Iraq.

    I read portions of three Egyptian online newspapers just about daily, and there is a great concern over the possibility (more like likelihood) of ISIS fusing with militants in the Sinai and in turn squeezing Egypt between malign actors there and in Libya.

    Back some 6-7 years ago I used to discount the knuckleheads who claimed allegiance with Al Qaeda, and believe most of them to be localized elements who never even understood what AQ's ideology, method, and endstate was. They merely knew that AQ was a thorn in the side of the US and so they felt it necessary to "be down with AQ", whether it be AQI, AQAP etc.

    ISIS is something different. Same level of showmanship, but it has something AQ hasn't been able to produce for at least the past five years--results. I'm am still cautious when I hear the media state that militant forces at "X" location are loyal to ISIS. What defines loyalty? Is it earned? Given freely? IS there a code to follow like the Masons or is it just a matter of assuming the brand name and riding its coat tails? Unless the loyalty brings manpower, weapons, financing and logistical support its just a bumper sticker and not really a big deal. Millions of people around the word subscribe to various ideologies that are inimical to US interests, but we haven't taken to hunting them down to deal with the via kinetics yet. Heck, for many of them we don't bother to think of their dramas at all.

    ISIS and the elements of Ansar Bait al-Maqdis have begun this alliance dance in the Sinai, so the issue of ISIS influence is broader than Libya. I don't believe they have the ability to do more at the moment than attack a border outpost or two, and will not be able to grow to any effective size because of the pressure Egypt's security forces are applying, the fact that Egypt is considerably more stable (despite the media sound bytes) than Libya and Sudan combined, and the fact that counterinsurgent effort is about to be applied around the region to a degree not seen before.

    That could change with the right spark though.

    What we will have, without a doubt, are pretty solid 5-10 years of instability in the region that will require all instruments of national power to deal with. There will be flare-ups fairly regularly, and we are going to have to decide how we want to suppress them. That whole finite resources thing is kinda a big deal.
    Last edited by jcustis; 11-19-2014 at 12:32 PM.

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    North Africa is going through another political revolution, and that will take time to sort out. It won't be settled until the extremists are purged.

    I disagree that AQ was ineffective, it was AQ that led the West into a global war that expands well beyond Afghanistan. Their brand may have grown stale, but like IBM and Microsoft that will exist for a long time, despite the dynamic upstarts who create their own form of creative destruction. ISIS/ISIL certainly gets a lot of cool points in the extremist and want to be extremist world due to their effectiveness. It seems people are tripping over each other to join the fight there. It provides an identity and an outlet for angry young men, but clearly it is bigger than that.

    What concerns me most is ISIS/ISIL's potential base in Libya are their ambitions to attack the West, and with a foothold in North Africa they have easy access to Italy. Italy can't control the illegal immigration from North Africa (anymore than we control illegals flowing into our country), so the rat lines are well established. I have little doubt they have human networks in Italy and France they can use to help facilitate future attacks.

    http://www.christiantoday.com/articl...ader/41646.htm

    ISIS threatens Vatican, urges Muslims to 'kill every crusader'

    "At this point of the crusade against the Islamic State, it is very important that attacks take place in every country that has entered into the alliance against the Islamic State, especially the US, [the] UK, France, Australia and Germany," it reads.
    Many will dismiss this as rhetoric, but AQ and ISIS generally are quite open when it comes to sharing their strategy. We ignore it to our own peril. Know yourself and know your enemy sort of thing. I suspect attacks will begin in Western Europe soon (within the next 2 years, but likely within the next year). They may be small, but they'll have considerable symbolic value for ISIS/ISIL and the West. A value that will be magnified by the media. Doing COIN in response will not address our security concerns anymore than it has for the past 10 years. Kilcullen is right that is time to rethink this whole thing.

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    Council Member jcustis's Avatar
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    Kilcullen is right that is time to rethink this whole thing.
    Yup.

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    The U.S. has been pushing Baghdad to reform the Sahwa but the government is split on the issue. New PM Abadi seems open to it and has ordered discussions with sheikhs in Amman and Irbil. He's also talked about forming a National Guard. In Anbar they are trying to recruit 3,000-5,000 tribal fighters and they will be in part be trained by U.S. trainers at Al-Assad. The problem is that his coalition is far from convinced of this policy. Many of these tribes were with the insurgency and then when IS became more dominant flipped to the government such as the Albu Nimr that's been facing executions by IS recently. Others were with Baghdad from the beginning such as Abu Risha and the Hayes brothers in Anbar. The Jabour tribe in Salaahddin was split with some welcoming IS and some fighting. The point being the tribes are all over the place and there are many Shiite parties that are therefore weary of supporting them in the fear that they will just turn on the government again. That's the reason why the legislation to form the National Guard is stuck in parliament. Also the first group of tribal fighters were said to have graduated from Al-Assad but if the announcements of the recruiting and when they finished training are true they only got 1 week of classes at best. Also a tribal sheikh said that Baghdad had only provided weapons for 100 fighters to the Al-Assad base. Overall it's very complicated with a whole number of issues and therefore may not be effective any time soon.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JWing View Post
    The U.S. has been pushing Baghdad to reform the Sahwa but the government is split on the issue. New PM Abadi seems open to it and has ordered discussions with sheikhs in Amman and Irbil. He's also talked about forming a National Guard. In Anbar they are trying to recruit 3,000-5,000 tribal fighters and they will be in part be trained by U.S. trainers at Al-Assad. The problem is that his coalition is far from convinced of this policy. Many of these tribes were with the insurgency and then when IS became more dominant flipped to the government such as the Albu Nimr that's been facing executions by IS recently. Others were with Baghdad from the beginning such as Abu Risha and the Hayes brothers in Anbar. The Jabour tribe in Salaahddin was split with some welcoming IS and some fighting. The point being the tribes are all over the place and there are many Shiite parties that are therefore weary of supporting them in the fear that they will just turn on the government again. That's the reason why the legislation to form the National Guard is stuck in parliament. Also the first group of tribal fighters were said to have graduated from Al-Assad but if the announcements of the recruiting and when they finished training are true they only got 1 week of classes at best. Also a tribal sheikh said that Baghdad had only provided weapons for 100 fighters to the Al-Assad base. Overall it's very complicated with a whole number of issues and therefore may not be effective any time soon.
    I watched these sort of fledgling efforts wallow around before; in 2004. It was a #### show then, and with a precedent that powerful we can expect to see it happen again in 2015.

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    My latest article compared the insurgent offensive in the spring of 04 with the current one in 14. Many similarities and lessons learned. In 04 the insurgents made an attempt to seize territory and wanted to foment a general uprising against the government. Led to 2 battles of Fallujah and several other clearing ops in places like Tal Afar and Samarra. End of year U.S. thought that insurgents were defeated. Number of intelligence reports to Bush in December said otherwise. Today IS launched summer offensive and was able to seize huge amount of territory in Ninewa, Salahaddin, Kirkuk and Anbar. ISF now taking back the initiative and retaking territory in Salahaddin and Babil and claiming victory. In 04 major ops just dispersed insurgents to other areas and violence actually increased. Same thing might happen in 2015. Read more here.

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    Council Member jcustis's Avatar
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    End of year U.S. thought that insurgents were defeated. Number of intelligence reports to Bush in December said otherwise.
    Are you implying that President Bush thought the insurgents (and insurgency) were defeated, and that perhaps he discounted the intelligence reports that "said otherwise"?

    I ask because although Cheney may have been running his mouth about the future of the insurgency, everyone on the ground at that time knew we were still in a very hot fight.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Moore View Post
    What I find interesting during debates is I can make a seemingly rational argument for multiple options. Take ISIL for example, I can make a rational argument on why we should engage and why we should ignore it. I can throw emotion into either argument to motivate the bulk of the people who are motivated by emotion (emotion equates to motivation, which is why those promoting change, action, etc. play to emotion).

    The point is, I wonder if that reflects strategic confusion, or simply a reflection of strategic reality where there are no absolute right or wrong answers, only educated and non-educated opinions. We have four enduring national interests, and you can logically argue we should be involved in most conflicts by making links to them. Ultimately we need to accept that democracy is messy, and emotion is part and parcel of the package. Acting on emotion can result in stupid decisions, but failing to act on emotion in other cases (for example, preventing mass atrocities) can be devalue what we claim to stand for as a nation. I think our national identity is in our national interests, but understandably many disagree.

    Enduring interests (regardless of political party in power)

    1. Protect the U.S. and U.S. persons. (security)

    2. Economic interests (prosperity)

    3. International order that promotes our interests

    4. Values (human rights, democracy, etc.)

    The list Bill has provided above goes to my point. Not only does the NSS list these as our vital interests, it declares them to be "enduring." Certainly these things are important, the list has become so broad and vague as to strip it of much value, and worse, to validate virtually any situation, any place, any time as being "in our interests" to employ military power to shape in some way. T\

    The result of everything being validated as being in our interest, is that we ultimately make decisions to act more often than not based on emotion.

    One of the better works on interests was the Harvard study published in 1996.

    http://belfercenter.ksg.harvard.edu/..._interests.pdf

    The timing of that study is critical. We were well into an era of post-Cold War floundering, but were not yet into a period of post-9/11 floundering. The sense was that we had lost our focus as a nation on what was truly important, so this very qualified team took on the task of identifying what a proper focus should be.

    Not only did the commission focus on what was important, they then prioritized those interests into four levels of importance. Many on this site have probably seen this document at some point, but given the list Bill provided above, it is worth showing the truly vital interests developed by this this commission:

    U.S. vital national interests are to:
    1) Prevent, deter, and reduce the threat of nuclear, biological, and chemical
    (NBC) weapons attacks on the United States.
    2) Prevent the emergence of a hostile hegemon in Europe or Asia.
    3) Prevent the emergence of a hostile major power on U.S. borders or in
    control of the seas.
    4) Prevent the catastrophic collapse of major global systems: trade, financial
    markets, supplies of energy, and environmental.
    5) Ensure the survival of U.S. allies.


    This provides a pragmatic focus sorely lacking in the much more ideological and emotional list of today. One can see they are similar, but that they are different in very important ways. Protecting US persons in the US and preserving the right of the US to continue to have the form of government and values for ourselves that we desire is crucial. Protecting every American everywhere and promoting American positions on values and governance for others is not.

    Ensuring survival of critical allies is vital, working to shape the governance of those allies through UW or COIN is to put our desires between the those of the populations and governments of those countries and probably none of our business. If we would not intervene in their legal politics, we should not intervene in their illegal politics. Illegal politics usually occur when no effective legal means exist. In other words, they serve a critical purpose, one that is clearly recognized in our own declaration of independence.

    Equally important, not everyone we partner with is an ally. We cast far too broad of a net of responsibility when we promise to protect too much. It simply isn't in our interest.
    Robert C. Jones
    Intellectus Supra Scientia
    (Understanding is more important than Knowledge)

    "The modern COIN mindset is when one arrogantly goes to some foreign land and attempts to make those who live there a lesser version of one's self. The FID mindset is when one humbly goes to some foreign land and seeks first to understand, and then to help in some small way for those who live there to be the best version of their own self." Colonel Robert C. Jones, US Army Special Forces (Retired)

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