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

  1. #21
    Council Member TheCurmudgeon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jcustis View Post
    A town versus five guys...No action.
    I have seen this before. I think it has to do with certain social conventions, the largest being that none of the people in that town felt any connection to the government and therefore felt that destruction and theft of government property was not really their clan's concern unless and until a clan leader determined action should be taken. I am curious if these five guys actually killed a local or stolen property that belonged to any of the villagers?

    I think things in Iraq will be different as the locals begin to lose business and ISIS can't provide basic necessities. Hard to say how long it will take. We had several months in Iraq before they turned on us. I would imagine the timing will be similar. It is one thing to lead a group of volunteers who have joined the struggle. It is another to have to provide for an entire region. It may take several months, but I am guessing they will begin to have trouble with the population. Plus there are the inevitable power struggles and the internal fights over the spoils of war. I will watch to see how things play out over the next few months.
    Last edited by TheCurmudgeon; 06-11-2014 at 07:47 PM.
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  2. #22
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default After the 'Awakening' the 'Surge' and now XXXXXXX

    Turkish diplomats seized, including a former adviser to the Prime Minister and ISIS claim they are being "interviewed about crimes" (From Twitter). So will Turkey react?

    The Kurds calculating if they should respond, leaving aside for a moment their perennial split over power and revenue. Some reports of Peshmerga taking the civil airport @ Mosul and clashes on the road to Kirkuk. Some of which is covered here by a Kurdish website, so maybe read with caution:http://rudaw.net/english/kurdistan/11062014

    Just about the best piece I've seen today:http://arabist.net/blog/2014/6/11/ma...st-solemn-hour

    A commentary written in mid-May 2014, which sets the scene and has this passage:
    ISIS has created a multi-ethnic army; almost a foreign legion, to secure its territory. These cadres—trained, indoctrinated, networked, equipped and funded—will doubtless present a challenge for Arab and Western security services in the coming years, all the more so if not dealt with in the very near future.
    Link:http://warontherocks.com/2014/05/sta...raq-and-syria/

    Will Baghdad be able to respond, apart from reading poetry to boost ISF morale? Already I note references to enlisting (buying?) support from Iranian supported Shia militia and as one "wag" suggested Hezbollah are the solution.

    From my faraway armchair and with no ground knowledge I do find the scenes of the civilian population exit noteworthy, with allowance that they maybe non-Sunni minorities.
    davidbfpo

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    For those interested in the English version of the ISIS takeover of Mosul ---from the ISIS English web site.

    http://www.businessinsider.com/isis-...agazine-2014-6

    Here is the link to their actual English news letter---if concerned about NSA monitoring which they will on this site- recommend Tor.

    http://jihadology.net/2014/06/10/al-...-state-news-3/
    Last edited by OUTLAW 09; 06-11-2014 at 08:26 PM.

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    Council Member jcustis's Avatar
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    I love the commentary and insight from The Arabist. I put that in my browser's favorites as soon as I came on board my current job.
    That is a good summation and can bring the novice onlooker up to speed pretty quickly.


    ISIS tactics strike me as reminiscent of the Mad Max fighting in Libya, and I wonder if there are any direct connections and influence.
    Thanks David.
    Last edited by jcustis; 06-11-2014 at 08:38 PM.

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    This is an interesting three paragraphs concerning the high desertion rates of the Iraqi Army---the second paragraph is the key I think---the comment that the soldier is tired and he is tired because he has been fighting "armies" for so long.

    "One soldier named Mohamed, who would only give his first name because deserters face a possible death sentence, told the newspaper that eight of his comrades had been killed recently when a mortar shell struck their Humvee.

    "I felt like I was fighting armies, not an army," said Mohamed, 24. "I’m tired," he said, referring to the U.S. invasion and the years of sectarian strife between the Sunnis and Shiites. "Everyone is tired."

    The Iraqi government has attempted to play down the crisis by saying soldiers are "missing" and not deserters, while other officials have claimed that soldiers had not returned from leave because the roads leading to the battlefields were dangerous, the Times said."

    http://www.newsmax.com/Newsfront/Ira...#ixzz34MO31gbL

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    This article by The Daily Beast while good on why ISIS is winning brings up an interesting comment that might clash with many "positive" views of the "success of the surge".

    Namely there is in the article a comment indicating that just maybe the surge did not remove ISIS at all from Mosul.

    If that was then in fact an accurate comment then just what did the surge achieve against originally QRJB, then AQI, and now ISIS?

    That is in itself an interesting thought as it would go totally against the COIN narrative.

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/article...verything.html

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    Appears that Iran is now offering their assistance.

    Iran offered neighboring Iraq support against terrorism Wednesday, as Baghdad battled a jihadist offensive that has seized the country's second city and is moving toward the capital.

    Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said that "while condemning the murder of Iraqi citizens, Iran offers its support to the government and people of Iraq against terrorism," AFP reports.

    http://voiceofrussia.com/news/2014_0...errorism-5398/

    So in the last 24 hours both Iran and Russia have offered "assistance".

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    Quote Originally Posted by OUTLAW 09 View Post
    This makes it worse now for Malaki---the Turks are getting involved thus indirectly NATO/US as reported by the Russian Voice of Russia from today.

    Militants stormed the Turkish consulate in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul on Wednesday and kidnapped 48 people including the head of the diplomatic mission, a Turkish government official said. "48 Turks including the consul, staff members, guards and three children were abducted," the official told AFP, speaking on condition of anonymity. "All are doing well," the official said. The kidnappings came a day after the Mosul consulate said fighters from the powerful jihadist group the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) seized 28 Turkish truck drivers.

    http://voiceofrussia.com/news/2014_0...qs-Mosul-3074/
    This appeared today in the German Der Spiegel concerning the Turks being pulled into Iraq--the article alludes to the possibility that this was a payback for Turkey supporting other Islamist groups in Syria.

    http://www.spiegel.de/politik/auslan...-a-974618.html

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    Default Look at Syria

    Quote Originally Posted by TheCurmudgeon View Post
    There may be a silver lining. It is easy to claim to be jihadists fighting towards the goal of a world-wide caliphate. It is another to actually try to govern this new world-wide caliphate. The wanting is often more pleasant (and easier) than the having. Let’s see how well Al Qaeda actually governs territory.
    They already do in Raqqa, Syria. ISIS is serious about setting up a state. They are not like AQI who just wanted to sow chaos.

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    Default ISIS never left Mosul

    Quote Originally Posted by OUTLAW 09 View Post
    This article by The Daily Beast while good on why ISIS is winning brings up an interesting comment that might clash with many "positive" views of the "success of the surge".

    Namely there is in the article a comment indicating that just maybe the surge did not remove ISIS at all from Mosul.

    If that was then in fact an accurate comment then just what did the surge achieve against originally QRJB, then AQI, and now ISIS?

    That is in itself an interesting thought as it would go totally against the COIN narrative.

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/article...verything.html
    Mosul was the only urban center where the insurgents and ISIS were not kicked out of during the Surge. ISIS ran the place like a mafia extorting money from businesses, charging taxes on imports into Ninewa, kidnapping people for ransom. In early 2014 it was discovered that ISIS was even able to steal most of the salaries from the Iraqi police in Ninewa.

    Article on insurgent financing in Mosul

    http://musingsoniraq.blogspot.com/20...qs-ninewa.html

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    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Reported by the The Guardian, based on Iraqi government sources, with my emphasis:
    Iraqi officials told the Guardian that two divisions of Iraqi soldiers – roughly 30,000 men – simply turned and ran in the face of the assault by an insurgent force of just 800 fighters. Isis extremists roamed freely on Wednesday through the streets of Mosul, openly surprised at the ease with which they took Iraq's second largest city after three days of sporadic fighting.
    Link:http://www.theguardian.com/world/201...le-east-states

    I take the numbers with a "pinch of salt", but my reading today shows that a posting to Mosul was not desirable, for soldiers and police who were not locals (so mainly Shia dominated units?), with regular fighting, reliant on an air bridge and desertion was rife.
    davidbfpo

  12. #32
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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?
    That's silly. It has been years since we left and years since we had much influence on how the Iraqi gov handled things both politically and militarily. From what I've read they've done a bunch of the idiot things we did in the beginning until we wised up.
    "We fight, get beat, rise, and fight again." Gen. Nathanael Greene

  13. #33
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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?
    Iraq was a failure of policy at the executive level. Failed Presidential policy of regime change followed by rapid democratization lead to instability and insurgency. As long as the policy was a democratic Iraq, no amount of doctrine was going to make the impossible possible.

    COIN was never the problem.

    However, in fairness, it was never going to be the solution either.
    Last edited by TheCurmudgeon; 06-12-2014 at 12:10 AM.
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  14. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by davidbfpo View Post
    Reported by the The Guardian, based on Iraqi government sources, with my emphasis:

    Link:http://www.theguardian.com/world/201...le-east-states

    I take the numbers with a "pinch of salt", but my reading today shows that a posting to Mosul was not desirable, for soldiers and police who were not locals (so mainly Shia dominated units?), with regular fighting, reliant on an air bridge and desertion was rife.
    Also to be taken with a pinch of salt, but NPR’s All Things Considered ran a piece this afternoon that has soundbites from Mosul residents who say they are fleeing not ISIS, but rather the ISF’s response. http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/...aqi-city-falls
    If you don’t read the newspaper, you are uninformed; if you do read the newspaper, you are misinformed. – Mark Twain (attributed)

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    Default Numbers are off

    Quote Originally Posted by davidbfpo View Post
    Reported by the The Guardian, based on Iraqi government sources, with my emphasis:

    Link:http://www.theguardian.com/world/201...le-east-states

    I take the numbers with a "pinch of salt", but my reading today shows that a posting to Mosul was not desirable, for soldiers and police who were not locals (so mainly Shia dominated units?), with regular fighting, reliant on an air bridge and desertion was rife.
    30,000 would be if the two divisions in Mosul were at full strength. No Iraqi unit is ever at those numbers due to people going on leave, etc.

    ISIS had been attacking the security forces in Mosul relentlessly for over a year. Unlike violence in other provinces usually 50% or more of the casualties in Ninewa were members of the ISF. Insurgents tracked down where members lived, shot them in front of their homes, blew up their houses, etc. Ninewa Operations Command had to set up special flights for its members from Mosul to Baghdad because the highways south were unsafe. Mentioned before ISIS was stealing most of the salaries of the police in Ninewa as well. Going unpaid and sense of being besieged helps explain collapse of security in Mosul.

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    Council Member TheCurmudgeon's Avatar
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    War on the Rocks video. Good background on the split between ISIS and Al Qaeda. Discussion on ISIS interests in forming a state and Al Qaeda's interests in fighting the jihad.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zus5j0D2NpM
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    Default No more population centric COIN

    Quote Originally Posted by carl View Post
    That's silly. It has been years since we left and years since we had much influence on how the Iraqi gov handled things both politically and militarily. From what I've read they've done a bunch of the idiot things we did in the beginning until we wised up.
    As soon as the U.S. withdrew its military the Iraqi security forces reverted to the same kind of strong arm tactics Saddam carried out and the Americans did pre-Surge. That being raiding and then leaving areas, mass arrests, taking families hostage of people on wanted lists, indefinite detention, abuse and torture of prisoners, etc. The positives of U.S. style COIN never sunk in with Iraqis and they went back to what they were used to doing once we departed.

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    Default backgrounder on Iraqi insurgency

    If you want a backgrounder on the Iraqi insurgency, the Islamic State and the other groups, their ideology and where operate please read my interview with Aymenn Jawad al-Tamimi

    http://musingsoniraq.blogspot.com/20...interview.html

    Also must recommend my interview with Alexandre Massimo again on how the security situation deteriorated after 2011 in Iraq. How the insurgency was able to rebuild itself and how the Iraqi forces became ineffective.

    http://musingsoniraq.blogspot.com/20...situation.html

  19. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by JWing View Post
    As soon as the U.S. withdrew its military the Iraqi security forces reverted to the same kind of strong arm tactics Saddam carried out and the Americans did pre-Surge. That being raiding and then leaving areas, mass arrests, taking families hostage of people on wanted lists, indefinite detention, abuse and torture of prisoners, etc. The positives of U.S. style COIN never sunk in with Iraqis and they went back to what they were used to doing once we departed.
    Joel:

    When I said "...I've read they've done a bunch of the idiot things we did in the beginning until we wised up.", I should have added that I read it at your site, Musings On Iraq. You do a brilliant job.
    "We fight, get beat, rise, and fight again." Gen. Nathanael Greene

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    Default Watch Out For Iran

    Thanks Carl!

    It looks like as ISIS is mobilizing and marching towards Baghdad so is Iran. it is sending in advisers, special forces, weapons and money and recruiting throughout central and southern Iraq to form new militia units to fight the insurgency. This is what they did during the previous Iraqi civil war with the Mahdi Army and Special Groups, and what it did on an even larger scale in Syria. Tehran is not going to let a friendly government go do to Sunni Islamists.

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