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Old 10-05-2017   #301
davidbfpo
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Default The Myth and Reality of Iraq’s al-Hashd al-Shaabi

A report (19 pgs) from Germany by a US defence academic @ NDU, Hassan Abbas, whose speciality is Pakistan and the region. Not yet read, but these Iraqi non-state forces rarely get extensive coverage.

The long title: 'The Myth and Reality of Iraq’s al-Hashd al-Shaabi (Popular Mobilization Forces):A Way Forward'.

The paper aims to:
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The policy paper focuses on three primary issues: a) the prevailing status and workings of the Hashd forces; b) relevance of local and regional politics to the security dynamics of Iraq; and c) policy recommendations for the Iraqi government and its allies on how to think about the future of the Hashd and secure Iraq better. For this purpose, a range of questions are framed for analytical purposes dealing with the strength and weaknesses of the Hashd forces, their local and regional sponsors, their capabilities and activities on the ground including allegations of human rights violations, concerns of Sunni Iraqis with regard to sectariandimensions of this phenomenon and last but not the least as regards the agenda and planning of the Iraqi government for security sector reform.
Link:http://library.fes.de/pdf-files/bueros/amman/13689.pdf
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Old 10-05-2017   #302
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Hawija op is entering final phase. Here's a link.
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Old 10-06-2017   #303
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Hawija town liberated op almost over in southern Kirkuk. Link to article.
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Old 10-09-2017   #304
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Default Political Primacy, Strategic Risks, and ISIL after the Caliphate

A short article recommended via a "lurker" via a Dutch CT site that circulated it and the link is to the original publisher. The author is Craig Whiteside and his bio in part states:
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Dr. Craig Whiteside is an Associate Fellow at ICCT and an Associate Professor for the Naval War College Monterey and teaches at the Naval Postgraduate School. He is a senior associate with the Center on Irregular Warfare and Armed Groups at the Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island and lectures at the U.S. Air Force Special Operations School.
Link:https://www.iraqincontext.com/single...-the-Caliphate
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Old 10-10-2017   #305
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Craig writes some of the best stuff on Iraqi security and IS.
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Old 10-10-2017   #306
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Security report for 1st week of October in Iraq. 2nd lowest number of incidents and lowest casualty figures recorded in 2017. Here's a link.
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Old 10-11-2017   #307
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Hawija operation is done, Iraqi forces heading back to finish off West Anbar. Here's a link.
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Old 10-14-2017   #308
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Gun battle between Iraqi forces and Peshmerga almost broke out in Kirkuk as Baghdad and Irbil continue to escalate things after the Kurdish referendum. Here's a link to the article.
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Old 10-16-2017   #309
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My early take on the fighting that broke out between federal forces and Peshmerga in Kirkuk and Salahaddin.
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Old 10-17-2017   #310
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Let me recapitulate to see if I've got everything right: well before it's ever got as far as to finish the Daesh in Iraq, the Iraqi government (read: IRGC) turned against Kurds in northern Iraq....and thus delivered a coup de grace upon 15 years of failed US 'foreign policy' in that country.

And the 'most effective fighters against the Daesh' - turned on their heels and fled, as soon as they were not supported by US and allied air power...

Oh man, what a surprise.
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Old 10-17-2017   #311
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Default No artillery, war ends; now no air support Kurds exit

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Originally Posted by CrowBat View Post
Let me recapitulate to see if I've got everything right: well before it's ever got as far as to finish the Daesh in Iraq, the Iraqi government (read: IRGC) turned against Kurds in northern Iraq....and thus delivered a coup de grace upon 15 years of failed US 'foreign policy' in that country.

And the 'most effective fighters against the Daesh' - turned on their heels and fled, as soon as they were not supported by US and allied air power...

Oh man, what a surprise.
Not that the Kurds have not found themselves in this position before. Long ago (probably 1974-1975) it was the withdrawal of Imperial Iranian artillery support for their conflict with the Iraqis that led to their defeat.

From this armchair and with limited reading could the Iraqi use of the CTS (a multi-ethnic formation historically) have helped limit the willingness to fight? Plus the use of the Federal Police.

Whatever the Kurd's claim to Kirkuk wasn't there always doubt that the Peshmerga would fight outside it's traditional mountainous area?
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Old 10-17-2017   #312
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Kurds split politically led to collapse in Kirkuk. They could've fought but would've lost to govt forces.
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Old 10-17-2017   #313
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Political ramifications of what happened in Kirkuk. Here's a link to the article.
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Old 10-17-2017   #314
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Default From Hudson Institute's Samuel Tadros

Via Twitter: https://twitter.com/Samueltadros/sta...72827647303680

A few thoughts on developments in Kurdistan this week:

  • 1. Collapse of Peshmerga took many by surprise. It shouldnt. Yes Kurds claim Kirkuk as their Jerusalem
  • But Kirkuk and other disputed territories remain deeply divided and contested among various ethnic and religious groups
  • It matters if you are fighting to defend your home or not. It's the same story as with the “Iraqi army” defending Mosul in 2014
  • Simply put: tribal troops don’t fight well outside their tribal areas, which brings me to the second point

  • 2. The performance of the Peshmerga & Kurds in general since 03 has blinded many to the weakness of modernity & strength of tribal identity
  • Same blindness is evident when scholars approach Egypt. Blinded by the superficial modernity, they think Egypt is different from region.
  • They assume it is a modern state and that sub-national identities don't matter dismissing tribal and family frameworks
  • I am happy to repeat this a million times until it gets through. The region, all of it, is just Tribes with Flags.
  • In Kurds case, they arent even one tribe. Not disputing Kurdish nationalism. If someone identifies as a Kurd, who am I to tell him otherwise
  • But Kurdistan is a deeply divided society even beyond KDP/PUK divide. You can’t build a state with 10 different militias.
  • Just as intra Arab fights were more powerful than fight with Israel, intra Kurdish fights more important than Kurd vs. Arab

  • 3. People have assumed that the Kurds have learned from history. They have. They built a better place than rest of Iraq after 2003
  • There was some attempt at nation building, investment in education, but internal divides that plagued Kurdish history still same.
  • It's easy to dismiss this as x betrayed y, or cast blame on one of the militia leaders, but this is beyond individual choices

  • 4. Kurds & especially KDP have miserably failed to read DC. It's remarkable how this happened despite contacts with official & unofficial DC
  • Yes, many in the US appreciate the role Kurds have played, but that is not a policy, its feelings.
  • The US is committed by its very nature to existing states in the region. It's a long discussion why this is the case, but its not surprising

  • 5. The time to get a deal was in 2014 when the US was most desperate. Assuming that the US will appreciate anti ISIS role is meaningless
  • I am reminded of a story about Sadat expecting Kissinger to reward him for kicking out Soviet advisers.
  • Kissinger's reaction was why should I reward him for something he did for free. Had he offered it before he would have gotten a deal.

  • 6. Kurdish actions in the disputed territories hardly encouraged non-Kurds to throw their lot with them
  • attempts to control Christian and Yazidi villages, appoint new mayors and leaders reminded everyone of historical examples

  • 7. The "Iraqi government" may think it has won, and it certainly did this round, but the sight of Kurds fleeing tells you all you need
  • The idea of an Iraq was never a serious one & nothing that happened this week strengthens that idea

  • 8. Assyrians that I know are divided. Half are cheering & half crying. I don't blame them. I wouldn't want to be in their shoes.
  • But Assyrians thinking Shia militias are their savior will get bugged by reality soon, just as those who thought Kurdish militias were
  • In both cases, the small minorities have made same mistake as Kurds: failed to cut a deal when the time was right & expect to be rewarded
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Old 10-18-2017   #315
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Kurds have basically fallen back to their pre-ISIS 2014 borders. Here's link to article.
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Old 10-18-2017   #316
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JWing View Post
Kurds have basically fallen back to their pre-ISIS 2014 borders. Here's link to article.
Yes, JWing, I was going to ask that. Is it possible that the Iraqi Security Forces will stop at the pre-2014 lines of control, which placed Kirkuk squarely in federal territory?

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Old 10-20-2017   #317
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They just tried to move up to the 2003 border around Irbil leading to heavy fighting with Peshmerga today.
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Old 10-20-2017   #318
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Iraq continues to witnesses lowest violence levels in years. Here's a link to the article.
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Old 10-20-2017   #319
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Article on fighting along Kirkuk-Irbil border between Iraqi forces and Peshmerga http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2017/1...101628079.html

Last edited by JWing; 10-20-2017 at 04:47 PM.
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Old 10-23-2017   #320
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Default Who has what in Iraq & Syria

From the NYT series of graphics on the rise and fall of ISIS, a map showing the position October 2015 to October 2017.


There are other graphics. Link:https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/...and-back.html?

From the BBC a map showing who has what; from IHS Conflict Monitor:
Link (part of a wider article):http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-41679377
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