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Old 12-31-2013   #221
JWing
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Default Inside The Surge An Interview With Prof Peter Mansoor Former Executive Officer To Gen

The Surge in Iraq created a huge controversy in American politics when it started in 2007. There were arguments about whether the U.S. should send in more troops or withdraw its forces to solve Iraq’s increasing chaos. Since then there has been a lively discussion about how much of a factor the Surge was in combination with other events such as the sectarian cleansing of Baghdad, the Anbar Awakening, the Sons of Iraq, Moqtada al-Sadr’s cease fire, and more in reducing the violence in the country. To provide an inside view of the Surge is Professor Peter Mansoor the General Raymond E. Mason Jr. Chair of Military History at Ohio State University and General David Petraeus’ former Executive Officer from 2007-2008. He recently published a book about his experience during that time entitled Surge, My Journey with General David Petraeus and the Remaking of the Iraq War.

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Old 01-01-2014   #222
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The Surge in Iraq created a huge controversy in American politics when it started in 2007. There were arguments about whether the U.S. should send in more troops or withdraw its forces to solve Iraq’s increasing chaos. Since then there has been a lively discussion about how much of a factor the Surge was in combination with other events such as the sectarian cleansing of Baghdad, the Anbar Awakening, the Sons of Iraq, Moqtada al-Sadr’s cease fire, and more in reducing the violence in the country. To provide an inside view of the Surge is Professor Peter Mansoor the General Raymond E. Mason Jr. Chair of Military History at Ohio State University and General David Petraeus’ former Executive Officer from 2007-2008. He recently published a book about his experience during that time entitled Surge, My Journey with General David Petraeus and the Remaking of the Iraq War.

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That was a very fine interview. Very discouraging though in that Big Army and Big Navy got it wrong...again. And then they tried to sabotage the effort.

I wonder if Gian Gentile will see this and respond.
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Old 01-01-2014   #223
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Dr. Michael Knights of the Washington Institute for Near East Studies recently testified to a joint committee of the United States House of Representatives that Al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) couldn’t help but overstep itself. During the early part of the Iraq War the Islamist organization tried to impose its foreign version of Islam upon Iraq, and intimidated and executed those that disagreed with it. It was actions such as those that eventually turned many Iraqis against it. Today, AQI is making a comeback establishing bases again within the country and carrying out a dizzying array of bombings. As the group looks to gain territory once again it is returning to its bad habits, which will eventually cost it sometime down the road.
It will cost it but how long do you think it will take? If it takes at all. The last time they got fed up with AQ, the American Army was there. This time we won't be there. Will they be able to overthrow AQ without Bradley's to back them up?

I've read that the takfiri killers are starting to impose similar regimes in the parts of Syria they control. How do you think it will play out there?
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Old 01-01-2014   #224
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Default Divisions & AQI

Hi Carl,
Glad you liked the interview. Couple responses

1) I've talked to people who worked in the govt & White House during the Bush years and they have different opinions on what happened. Some think the Bush admin was just as divided as others others say it was a real battle between organizations. It seems like each individual and institution had its own view of Iraq. Rumsfeld was against national building for example and wanted out of Iraq as soon as the invasion was over. Gen. Abizaid and Adm Fallon believed that the US was destabilizing Iraq so wanted out. The Joint Chiefs thought the troops deployments was breaking the military and wanted out. Rice & The NSC were looking for ways to win, etc. I take the view that there were deep internal divisions within the administration that hamstrung Iraq policy until 07 and the Surge.

2) Al Qaeda seems to be taking a two different strategies in Syria & Iraq. In Syria they appear to be doing a lot of hearts & minds ops learning from Iraq. In Iraq however its all terror, although they are trying to portray themselves as the protector of the Sunnis. I think Iraq's previous experience with AQI is the reason why they're gaining little traction there.
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Old 01-02-2014   #225
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Default Aftermath of Shutting Down Ramadi Protest Site In Iraq

On December 30, 2013, Iraq’s Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki in conjunction with Anbar Governor Ahmed Diab took down the protest site in Ramadi. The province was already inflamed by the arrest of Parliamentarian Ahmed Alwani two day before from the Iraqi Islamic Party who was one of the leaders of the demonstrations. Immediately fighting broke out in Ramadi and Fallujah, which has continued to the present time. This has brought the internal divisions within Anbar to the forefront with different groups and individuals coming out for and against Baghdad in this conflict. In the bigger picture, the premier’s actions have probably succeeded in turning a large part of Anbar opinion towards armed struggle, which will undermine Iraq’s already precarious security situation.

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Old 01-02-2014   #226
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Default Videos of Rebels in Anbar

VIDEO: Fallujah Rebels Burn 6 Police Humvees

http://musingsoniraq.blogspot.com/20...-6-police.html

VIDEO: Revolution In Fallujah Burning Government Vehicles

http://musingsoniraq.blogspot.com/20...h-burning.html

ISLAMIC STATE OF IRAQ VIDEO: Al Qaeda In Iraq Fighters In Falluja

http://musingsoniraq.blogspot.com/20...-qaeda-in.html

VIDEO: Gunmen Driving Through Ramadi

http://musingsoniraq.blogspot.com/20...gh-ramadi.html

VIDEO: Mujahadeen In Control Of Fallujah, Jan. 1, 2014

http://musingsoniraq.blogspot.com/20...-fallujah.html
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Old 01-03-2014   #227
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1) I've talked to people who worked in the govt & White House during the Bush years and they have different opinions on what happened. Some think the Bush admin was just as divided as others others say it was a real battle between organizations. It seems like each individual and institution had its own view of Iraq. Rumsfeld was against national building for example and wanted out of Iraq as soon as the invasion was over. Gen. Abizaid and Adm Fallon believed that the US was destabilizing Iraq so wanted out. The Joint Chiefs thought the troops deployments was breaking the military and wanted out. Rice & The NSC were looking for ways to win, etc. I take the view that there were deep internal divisions within the administration that hamstrung Iraq policy until 07 and the Surge.
That's fascinating. Despite all the wrangling around here and other places over cointras, coindinistas, pop-centric, enemy centric and everything else, it may all have been a matter of divided command and a leader that needed to finally decide to take command and tell people what to do.
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Old 01-03-2014   #228
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Default Bush Admin & Iraq

I think that's what Mansoor would say. Before the Surge Bush delegated Iraq policy to the Pentagon and almost everyone there wanted out of Iraq. There was no real policy to win or beat the insurgency outside of some individual commanders out in the field. When things finally deteriorated into full scale civil war Bush suddenly realized that he had to do something and took more direct control and that's what led to the Surge, his constant video conferencing with Maliki, etc.
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Old 01-03-2014   #229
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Since around 20 December, the Iraqi Army is running an offensive against the ISIS in Anbar and Ninive Provinces. The operation in question is including units from the 1st and 7th Divisions of the Iraqi Army, plus air force assets like Beechcraft King Airs, Cessna AC-208s, and (recently acquired) Mi-35s of the Iraqi Air Force.

Here a video of one of Mi-35 attacks:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6kE9FPr0l9U

...and here a King Air in action:
http://www.aparat.com/v/Adqy6
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Old 01-04-2014   #230
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Default Basra invites British back for security role

Almost an April Fool's Day headline I thought on reading, but it is not.

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Anxious to rid itself of the lawlessness that still plagues Iraq’s southern capital, Basra’s governor has hired a private military company run by a British general who helped capture the city from Saddam Hussein.
Maj Gen Graham Binns, who is the chief executive of Aegis Defence Services, commanded the 7th Armoured Brigade when it led the siege of Basra in 2003.
Four years later he supervised the handover of the city to Iraqi security forces. Now, amid growing concern about a fresh wave of terrorist violence across the country, Basra’s governor has invited Maj Gen Binns’s company back to assist at a “strategic level”.
Link:http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worl...rity-role.html
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Old 01-06-2014   #231
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Default Violence In Iraq’s Anbar Highlights Divided Tribes There

As fighting continues in Iraq’s western Anbar province, the various tribes there have found themselves in a precarious situation. Some have aligned themselves with the central government against insurgents, some are opposed to both the federal forces and the militants, while still others have joined the gunmen. Anbar was always a very divisive place in part because of the deep-seated tribal rivalries. Those are all being exasperated by the current rebellion in the governorate.

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Old 01-07-2014   #232
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Default Iraq’s Premier Maliki Continues To Issue Arrest Warrants For Protest Leaders

The fighting in Anbar has not stopped Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki from going after the leaders of the country’s protest movement. One of the original causes of the conflict in the governorate was the arrest of Iraqi Islamic Party Parliamentarian Ahmed Alwani who was known for giving inflammatory speeches about Shiites at the Ramadi sit-in square. Now Baghdad has warrants out for Sheikh Ali Hatem Sulaiman and Sheikh Mohammed Taha Hamdun both prominent members of the demonstrations.

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Old 01-08-2014   #233
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Default 2013 Ends With Deaths And Violence Going Up In Iraq

2013 ended on a bad note for Iraq. The open rebellion in Anbar province against the central government was just the latest sign of the decline in the country’s security. Overall, violence increased last year as the insurgency, especially the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant saw a revival. That led to deaths being two to three times as high at the end of the year as the beginning. 2014 looks to be just as bad if not worse.

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Old 01-09-2014   #234
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Default Security In Iraq's Anbar Province December 2013

Anbar is now in open rebellion against the Iraqi government. By December 2013 the signs were there that the province was about to explode. During the first two-thirds of the month there was a concerted effort to kill and intimidate local sheikhs. In the last part security incidents took off, and switched to targeting the security forces. That was topped off by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant’s (ISIS) ambush of the leadership of the 7th Division that led to the death of its commander and two brigade leaders. Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki then ordered a major offensive in the desert and border regions of Anbar, which was met by an upsurge in operations by the ISIS. Then the premier made a grave mistake by arresting Parliamentarian Ahmed Alwani who was a leader in the protest movement, and then had the Ramadi sit-in square closed down. That brought out tribes and the insurgency, and led to the current crisis.

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Old 01-13-2014   #235
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Default Islamic State of Iraq And The Levant Continues To Overplay Its Hand

As the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) attempts a comeback it continues to repeat the same mistakes that turned most of the country against it in the past. Part of its current Soldiers’ Harvest campaign is to gain and hold territory in Iraq. As a result it has moved into certain towns and cities and begun issuing warnings and orders to the population about what it will not accept based upon its interpretation of Islam. Recently it has banned wearing western clothing and listening to music. Another bad trend is its tendency to attack anyone that does not agree with it. These extremist ideas and tactics were exactly what the group did from 2004-2006, and which eventually led to groups like the Anbar Awakening and the Sons of Iraq being formed. These same missteps will likely cost it again, it is just a matter of time.

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Old 01-13-2014   #236
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If we consider it's history in Iraq and the reactions in Syria it sounds indeed quite likely, but of course one can not be sure that it will work out like that again.

By the way does that ban on 'Western clothing' just go for women? ISIS fighters seem to wear partly just that.
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Old 01-15-2014   #237
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Default ISIS Banning Western Clothes

That was for men. They said people couldn't wear t-shirts, slacks, ties, etc.! For women it was the traditional, cover themselves.
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