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

  1. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by carl View Post
    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.
    Carl---here is the reasoning behind my comment and JWing actually indirectly confirms my comments to be accurate.

    Where in the entire new and even in the old FM 3-24 is it in bold letters on the first page stated "Beware if the host nation does not follow the intent and goals of COIN to the exact letter the US Army follows it it is doomed to failure".

    Basically JWing is admitting that even with all the mentoring, COIN classes for their troops and officers, even being trained in our COIN image and armed as we were--nothing was absorbed as JWing admits.

    So looking back --what was exactly wrong and why was that failure not mentioned anywhere in the COIN manuals old and new?

    Interesting we as a Force always talk as if COIN was a magic potion that will always succeed-but nowhere in all the COIN chatter and FMs is discussed the possibility that in the end the target population and their governance may just not want COIN to succeed for whatever reasons---or did I miss that discussion and or did I miss that paragraph in the new FM?

    Not so silly was my comment after 4.6 KIAs and over thousands wounded not to count the maimed for life.

    The comments concerning just why AQI was not eliminated in Mosul is interesting especially after the 2/3ACRs took beatings in calming it down and since JSOC was constantly targeting AQI members in Mosul?

    Go back and read all media reporting during and after the surge---those narratives talk about "successes" not failures in driving AQI out --even the JSOC narrative is along the same lines.

    So did we start believing our own PR as by 2008 the Force/National Command Authority wanted a way out?

    Lastly we are talking a lot about ISIS but the largest by member count Sunni insurgency group was the Islamic Army in Iraq (IAI) who would often clash with AQI but in the end often worked together with them---they have not/never did "disappear"---they did come out under a new name and were by 2009 undergoing a fairly robust paramilitary training program which if one looks closely maybe the reason for the new effectiveness of the ISIS successes as ISIS has effectively made the transition from a so called "terrorist" group to fighting effectively as a army---almost Mao like.

    I have always when in Iraq said to anyone who would listen but actually not many did---whoever trains the Iraq's to fight for a "flag" will be dominant-ISIS is fighting for a "flag" whether we like it or not.
    Last edited by OUTLAW 09; 06-12-2014 at 06:52 AM.

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    Iraq is like any Islamic country.

    The social and the governance model is shaped by the norms of the religion.

    The religion is very clear where the rules are inflexible and 'detours' are practically unacceptable.

    In the rigid matrix of the religion, only a rigid iron hand (if you will) can succeed.

    Take any Islamic country and it will be noticed that whenever democracy has been tried it has failed. Even Pakistan is seesaw in democracy and military dictatorship. Its current democracy is in turmoil with the fundamentalist holding the nation at ransom.

    Egypt is back to a military leadership in the guise of democracy.

    Syria is in turmoil.

    Turkey is hardly a democracy.

    Therefore, it is better to let them live the way they want and not superimpose what others feel is 'right'.

    The happenings in Iraq and Syria only indicates that we are making it fair grounds for the fundamentalists to run a riot.

    Watch this space for what happen in Afghanistan and the experiment in democracy.
    Last edited by Ray; 06-12-2014 at 11:06 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ray View Post
    Iraq is like any Islamic country.

    The social and the governance model is shaped by the norms of the religion.

    The religion is very clear where the rules are inflexible and 'detours' are practically unacceptable.

    In the rigid matrix of the religion, only a rigid iron hand (if you will) can succeed.

    Take any Islamic country and it will be noticed that whenever democracy has been tried it has failed. Even Pakistan is seesaw in democracy and military dictatorship. Its current democracy is in turmoil with the fundamentalist holding the nation at ransom.

    Egypt is back to a military leadership in the guise of democracy.

    Syria is in turmoil.

    Turkey is hardly a democracy.

    Therefore, it is better to let them live the way they want and not superimpose what others feel is 'right'.

    The happenings in Iraq and Syria only indicates that we are making it fair grounds for the fundamentalists to run a riot.

    Watch this space for what happen in Afghanistan and the experiment in democracy.
    Ray---I had a very good Iraqi/Kurd as a Cat 3 interpreter in Iraq who had fought as an Iraqi CPT in the artillery during the Iranian /Iraq war and who at the same time was an Peshmerga intelligence officer and who had family members gassed by Saddam before going to Canada.

    At the beginning of the sectarian violence which really started in late 2005 not as many thought in mid to late 2006---I sat with him once and discussed the increased ethnic violence and the barbarian results we were seeing in both the Shia and Sunni communities.

    He said something that has always stuck with me. He said---hey Shia and Sunnis are Arabs and as Arabs they will not negotiate a problem if each one believes themselves to be correct---they will beat each other to a pulp and when both are on the ground and can barely move then and only then will they negotiate what in the end is what they should have done in the first place.

    He went on to say you Americans are trying with the surge to put off this blood letting because you Americans cannot stand to see "blood" being let when in your democratic eyes there is a solution to always be found.

    When I worked with Slavic types in the last couple of years---they had a similar concept---ie you can tell us the truth, but we will beat you up for telling us the truth, then when we finally see that it was the truth then we will beat you up for not convincing us it was in fact the truth in the first place.

  4. #44
    Council Member ganulv's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OUTLAW 09 View Post
    He said something that has always stuck with me. He said---hey Shia and Sunnis are Arabs and as Arabs they will not negotiate a problem if each one believes themselves to be correct---they will beat each other to a pulp and when both are on the ground and can barely move then and only then will they negotiate what in the end is what they should have done in the first place.
    That sounds a whole lot like the quote attributed to Churchill, “Americans will always do the right thing, after they have tried everything else.”
    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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    So, if I may generalize, what I hear Ray and Outlaw saying is that, it is not being Islamic, or being Arab, or being Slavic. It is having an in-group identity that is powerful enough to disallow any recognition of another group's equality or the potential for them being right. That in this situation, power sharing between groups is not possible ... one group must dominate the other, and they will fight to the death until that domination is established.

    I guess that does not bod well for a Sunni, Shia, Kurd State.
    Last edited by TheCurmudgeon; 06-12-2014 at 12:10 PM.
    "I can change almost anything ... but I can't change human nature."

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    Quote Originally Posted by TheCurmudgeon View Post
    So, if I may generalize, what I hear Ray and Outlaw saying is that, it is not being Islamic, or being Arab, or being Slavic. It is having an in-group identity that is powerful enough to disallow any recognition of another group's equality or the potential for them being right. That in this situation, power sharing between groups is not possible ... one group must dominate the other, and they will fight to the death until that domination is established.
    That is what mankind is all about.

    Check history.

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    Quote Originally Posted by OUTLAW 09 View Post
    Ray---

    At the beginning of the sectarian violence which really started in late 2005 not as many thought in mid to late 2006---I sat with him once and discussed the increased ethnic violence and the barbarian results we were seeing in both the Shia and Sunni communities.

    He said something that has always stuck with me. He said---hey Shia and Sunnis are Arabs and as Arabs they will not negotiate a problem if each one believes themselves to be correct---they will beat each other to a pulp and when both are on the ground and can barely move then and only then will they negotiate what in the end is what they should have done in the first place.
    That is right. More than they hate others, they hate each other i.e. Shia vs Sunni. See what is happening in Pakistan, which is one of the better nations with some democratic and legal sanctity.

    It was a regular problem in India, especially during Moharrum. I got caught in one such gunfight.

    However, by the Grace of God (any God) it is thing of the past.
    Last edited by Ray; 06-12-2014 at 12:23 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ray View Post
    [Dominating one another] is what mankind is all about.

    Check history.
    Well, it’s all relative. This is the region where food crops were initially domesticated. It took a lot of generations working together to pull that one off.

    If you think humans are unable to act in social cooperation and you really want to look at history history, try lecturing to a hall full of chimpanzees some time and see how far you get. Individuals in our species are actually pretty good at not tearing one another apart just to get their way.

    I take the point that humans can be barbaric to one another because of ideology, but acting in concert is also what mankind is all about. There are hundreds of miles of ancient canals throughout Mesopotamia attesting to that fact, as well as spacecraft on the surface of our moon and laboratories circling our planet.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ray View Post
    That is right. More than they hate others, they hate each other i.e. Shia vs Sunni.
    To be fair, Muslims take it on the chin from non-Muslims sometimes, too.
    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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    Quote Originally Posted by TheCurmudgeon View Post
    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.
    Good line of query. This were so unstable then that the villagers might have still been in a little shock over the fall of Baghdad, but then again they were so far of the beaten path that I don't think they had ever see a Gringo before and were somewhat inoculated from the invasion.

    They were just a bunch of thugs, and I don't recall any word of killings r theft of private property.

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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?
    I quote this not because I agree or disagree with your query, but because it is a good jumping off point for my rambling brain this morning.

    I haven't thought long and hard enough to make a judgment on whether COIN failed in Iraq, but I would agree with others' points that the strategic policies and actions set the stage for events which had terrible implications: disbanding the army; fast-tracking CPA schemes under people who had no idea what they were doing; rebuilding an imbalanced ISF.

    What is important is that the Taliban are watching the game reel of this, and they are taking notes. Make no mistake that Iraq and Afghanistan are not the same, and the conditions are very different. US actions in the wake of events in Mosul, Ramadi, and Fallujah will very much factor into the calculus Afghans use to look at Dec 31, 2014 and beyond.

    Considering the wide capability gaps between the ISF and GIRoA security forces, I would bet a couple paychecks that the ANA and the ridiculous alphabet soup of other paramilitary units (which really just results in a disjointed, non-cohesive force) will certainly fair no better than Mosul's forces if the Taliban mobilize the pickup truck and motorcycle army upon our main body departure.

    As I am inclined to say, what a sh*t show.

    Best to get past fixing blame and start developing a policy, goals, and fixing the problem. Now.

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    A new map from WAPO.

    Last edited by davidbfpo; 06-12-2014 at 02:07 PM.
    davidbfpo

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    Quote Originally Posted by davidbfpo View Post
    A new map from WAPO.

    So ISIS effectively controls Iraq Highway 12 and Syria Highway 4?
    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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    Quote Originally Posted by jcustis View Post
    I quote this not because I agree or disagree with your query, but because it is a good jumping off point for my rambling brain this morning.

    I haven't thought long and hard enough to make a judgment on whether COIN failed in Iraq, but I would agree with others' points that the strategic policies and actions set the stage for events which had terrible implications: disbanding the army; fast-tracking CPA schemes under people who had no idea what they were doing; rebuilding an imbalanced ISF.

    What is important is that the Taliban are watching the game reel of this, and they are taking notes. Make no mistake that Iraq and Afghanistan are not the same, and the conditions are very different. US actions in the wake of events in Mosul, Ramadi, and Fallujah will very much factor into the calculus Afghans use to look at Dec 31, 2014 and beyond.

    Considering the wide capability gaps between the ISF and GIRoA security forces, I would bet a couple paychecks that the ANA and the ridiculous alphabet soup of other paramilitary units (which really just results in a disjointed, non-cohesive force) will certainly fair no better than Mosul's forces if the Taliban mobilize the pickup truck and motorcycle army upon our main body departure.

    As I am inclined to say, what a sh*t show.

    Best to get past fixing blame and start developing a policy, goals, and fixing the problem. Now.
    The reason for the comment is as follows---if one takes the view that yes the US military implemented as correctly as they could the tenets of COIN in the host country Iraq as per say and we can argue about it all day-- as per the FM.

    Robert Jones would argue as I do that the game is really all about the rule of law and good governance and the populations perception of both--not our the US's perception of both.

    What the FM does not talk about as many in the senior leadership positions do not want to talk about is yes we can implement COIN approaches, yes we can train host nation forces on the rule of law and good governance until we are blue in the face, we can build schools, hospitals, and military bases and we can arm and supply-but what are we seeing now in Mosul---success or failure of that approach?

    But I mentioned this yesterday---the current Iraqi Army is mainly Shia and they are tired of fighting multiple wars since 2003 mentally and physically.

    When a army reaches this point if one is not fighting for the flag on the shoulder of his BDUs with full vigor then all is in fact lost. While we might have done a good job on the training, mentoring and equipping side we never did nor could we "instill" the virtues of fighting and dying for your own country because one feels personally invested in that country for a lot of reasons and that was not in the FM. The American military always shy's away from deep discussions with the host nation about the concept of nationalism-that is not in their political DNA.

    Actually Iraqi's in the military simply viewed it as a job to earn easy money and not be unemployed as simple as that---had nothing to do with national pride.

    That is not in the FM, nor should it be there---that is for the host country governance to instill. So did Malkai attempt to instill it?

    Here is where Robert would jump in a say--it is the governance side that should be instilling this desire into the target population.

    There was a single moment recently that Malaki had when the entire Iraq stood up and voiced anger at the ISIS to include Sunni's of all shades---when ISIS ambushed a Division Commander and his staff---but what did Malaki do he turned around and raided a Sunni protest camp with the resulting loss of life. ISIS turned that move into a massive social media campaign.

    Then we were back off to the races and Malaki has never recovered from that single stupid decision but being a Shia it was in his eyes not a stupid decision---he just never gave a thought to the perception of the Sunni target population.

    Now here is a simple question-- would you as a 24 year old Iraqi Shia stationed in Mosul---fight and die for Sunni's in Mosul against AQI/ISIS? Simple answer is no.

    Check why the Kurds fight or why ISIS is fighting for their respective "flags".

    Then as an opposite view check the current Ukrainian Army and their fight with well armed, and battle tested irregulars out of Russia---they do fight even with less protective equipment than we would even think of doing, they slug it out over and over and take loses but still they have not run and they still fight-and all with really less training than Iraqi's received from us. Another simple question ---why do they do it when they could simply run away from the irregulars?

    Would argue they have something to fight for, they had at least for the Ukraine recently really fair elections, they see a way forward through their new governance , the new governance is trying to say the right things, and they have in their minds a common enemy that is trying to destroy their
    country and they had the Maidan which was a deep expression of their desires.

    Iraq never had a Maidan. The US military "gave" them a Maidan event---the Iraqi's themselves did not have to fight for it.

    IMO---the core problem with the new FM is that it was focused on COIN when in fact four weeks after we arrived in Baghdad we were in a Mao defined phase two guerrilla war and what we are now seeing in Mosul is a full fledged Mao defined phase three guerrilla war-COIN is not about guerrilla warfare.

    No COIN FM can instill something into a target population unless the host governance is ready to build the necessary bridges into that population--and Malaki as a Shia bent on never doing that.

    In the end it is all about perceptions---and it has cost us dearly in blood and treasure for this mistake.
    Last edited by OUTLAW 09; 06-12-2014 at 03:47 PM.

  14. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by ganulv View Post
    That sounds a whole lot like the quote attributed to Churchill, “Americans will always do the right thing, after they have tried everything else.”
    That's why the Army has a COIN FM. But it did not work in Iraq and I hear no questioning of that failure that would reflect they are trying everything else.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TheCurmudgeon View Post
    So, if I may generalize, what I hear Ray and Outlaw saying is that, it is not being Islamic, or being Arab, or being Slavic. It is having an in-group identity that is powerful enough to disallow any recognition of another group's equality or the potential for them being right. That in this situation, power sharing between groups is not possible ... one group must dominate the other, and they will fight to the death until that domination is established.

    I guess that does not bod well for a Sunni, Shia, Kurd State.
    Well stated---we might in fact call this a "radicalization" of a population and we are seeing this at work in the eastern Ukraine ---the clue is in finding the "trigger" that sets off this "radicalization". The trigger might come from inside the population or from an outside agitator who understands just how to "radicalize" the target population. There is always a buried trigger.

    By the way "radicialization" is not discussed in the new COIN FM.

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    Default How about Indonesia?

    Ray

    Indonesia is the largest Muslim country in the world. How does it fit in with your theory about Muslim countries?

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    Default Collapse ahead?

    Outlaw09 has posted on the potential for Iraqi state forces giving up. Just spitted on Twitter:
    New vid of 1000s of Iraqsoldiers in Tikrit captured by ISIS. Acc to ISIS, nb of prisoners is 4500...(in a comment) tw most of these captured ones are from shia milita Asab el haqq
    Very short video of along column of men walking along a highway, very lightly guarded:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e0sa9...ature=youtu.be

    I do wonder what these prisoners life chances are.
    davidbfpo

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    Default Why is ISIS hated?

    A different viewpoint:
    Aboud Dandachi is an activist from the Syrian city of Homs, currently residing in Istanbul. He has been cited on issues relating to the Syrian conflict in the BBC, NPR, LA Times, the Guardian, Al-Arabiya and Turkiye Gazetesi.
    Certainly bitter about ISIS and commends Kurdish capabilities to expel ISIS from urban areas. Also refers to the curious "hands off" stance by Assad's regime. Judge for yourself:http://adandachi.com/istanbul/isis-mosul-raqqa/
    davidbfpo

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    Default Same argument made about Catholics

    Carl not so long ago there was a similar theory about Catholics. It was said that because they followed the Pope who is like a king Catholics could not become democrats. This was once used in a theory to explain why there were so many dictatorships in Latin America. The argument went that because they were Catholics they always gravitated towards a Jefe, strongman because they followed the Pope. In fact that was also an argument against the election of John Kennedy. There was a political cartoon against him that said if elected there would be a tunnel from the White House to Vatican City and Kennedy would be taking direct orders from the Pope.

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    Default iraq Update

    Iraqi forces retook Baiji in Salahaddin. Early reports that the refinery and power station outside the city being taken were incorrect. Baghdad has sent special forces towards Mosul. Tikrit was taken by ISIS, attempt to re-take it by ISF failed. ISIS launched another assault upon Samarra in Salahaddin but were repulsed. Peshmerga has deployed outside of Mosul, moved into some of the disputed territories in Diyala and occupied Kirkuk city. Yesterday was the first time there were reports in the Iraqi press that the ISF was fighting back.

    Also don't forget that there is massive militia mobilization and Iran is moving into Iraq big time.

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