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Thread: Islamist Militants Take Mosul

  1. #46
    In Memoriam Military Professional Minskaya's Avatar
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    Islamist militants are battling Peshmerga fighters for control of oil fields and the key city of Kirkuk in Northern Iraq

    ISIS Shelling Kurdish Peshmerga-controlled Areas South of Kirkuk

    It seems only a river now separates the two forces at Kirkuk.

    US drones are conducting ISR missions to the north and west of Baghdad.

  2. #47
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    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.
    Iraq army capitulates to Isis militants in four cities | World news | The Guardian


    Dang! Looks like the battle was lost before it began.

  3. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by ace16807 View Post
    It means he's keeping his options open but given the current state of flux in Iraq, the nature of US action has yet to be determined.
    So things in the real world have to be 100% certain before we determine our actions? In that case we might as well go stick our heads in the sand.

    It's signaling ambiguity to everyone and and exhibiting weakness to everyone.
    There I fixed it for you.

    If ISIS is halted by ISF somehow before the gates of Baghdad, then US action isn't need, at least in the near term.
    Sure. Sunni Iraq can just stay as the most strategically located terrorist haven in history. It's not like something bad happened last time we gave Al Qaeda and entire country.

    However, if ISF just crumbles and Baghdad is on the brink of falling, US intervention of some form may materialize.
    Materialize to do too little too late you mean?

    What would you honestly expect from any rationale actor? To lock yourself unnecessarily into a situation/find yourself having to backtrack?
    How about: aggressively push forward to begin political reconciliation on one hand while putting plans into action for a robust military response on the other?

    The Syrian "red line" exhibited that even if you paint the most hazy line known to man, you are still setting a mandate that might screw you. The determination of a Syrian intervention policy was formulated over months in an environment that US decision-makers had ample time to observe and acclimate. This offensive is a relatively new phenomenon and to start calling shots before you really have to would be foolhardy.
    This whole clusterfuck came in part from allowing Syria to fester in the first place. If you don't arm and support the right people, plenty others will arm and support the wrong ones. Now our Middle East policy is totally fubar.

    Maybe it's time to, I don't know, show some leadership?

    In President Obama we've got the Analyst in Chief of the Free World. He would have been a great CNN pundit. Who knows maybe even better than Fareed Zakaria!!! Unfortunately we hired him to be the leader of the free world and commander in chief.

  4. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by Minskaya View Post
    Islamist militants are battling Peshmerga fighters for control of oil fields and the key city of Kirkuk in Northern Iraq

    ISIS Shelling Kurdish Peshmerga-controlled Areas South of Kirkuk

    It seems only a river now separates the two forces at Kirkuk.

    US drones are conducting ISR missions to the north and west of Baghdad.
    US air support for the Peshmerga should be a no brainer.

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    Unpalatable as it sounds, the US may have to be prepared for an intervention with ground troops in the near future- frankly the alternative is a re-run of 2006 pre-surge scenario, with Iran getting sucked in. The bloodletting if that happens would be phenomenal- not to mention oil prices shooting up exponentially and endangering global economic recovery. Leaving no troops in Iraq, and not extracting concessions from Maliki on a more inclusive, integrated and tolerant Iraq gov may well go down as Obama's biggest foreign policy blunder.

    The heart of the Iraq problem is political- specifically the catastrophe Paul Bremer set in motion in May 2003 by disbanding the IA. The institutional integrity that is a prerequisite for effective COIN takes decades to build- whatever the merits of invading, once in occupation the US and it's partners should have been in for the long haul. In the short run, the optimal solution now is a concert of regional actors with the US proving air power and SOF support to push ISIS back, and for Maliki to be replaced.

  6. #51
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    Maliki's situation is even more desperate than I thought, or maybe he's a bigger fool:

    Iraq Girds to Defend Capital Baghdad - WSJ

    Attachment 37137

    Faced with the threat of Sunni extremists eclipsing the power of Iraq's Shiite-dominated rulers, Shiite Iran sprang into action to aid its besieged Arab ally. It deployed powerful Revolutionary Guards units to Iraq, Iranian security sources said.

    At least three battalions of the Quds Forces, the overseas branch of the Guards, were dispatched to battle the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham, an offshoot of al Qaeda rapidly gaining territory across Iraq, they said.

    One Guards unit that was already in Iraq fought alongside the Iraqi army, offering guerrilla-warfare advice and tactics and helping to reclaim most of the city of Tikrit on Thursday, the security sources said. Two units, dispatched from Iran's western border provinces on Wednesday, were tasked with protecting Baghdad and the holy Shiite cities of Karbala and Najaf, they said.

    Gen. Qasem Sulaimani, the commander of the Quds Forces and one of the region's most powerful military figures, traveled to Baghdad this week to help manage the swelling crisis, said a member of the Revolutionary Guards, or IRGC.
    As expected the Kurds have no plan to move offensively into ISIL areas.

    Kurdish military units known as Peshmerga said Thursday they had taken full control of the northern city of Kirkuk, had aided Iraqi troops fleeing the area and offered safe passage in the semiautonomous Kurdistan region for civilians fleeing the ISIS insurgency. An official in the provincial governor's office said western parts of Kirkuk province were still under the control of ISIS.

    "Peshmerga forces have helped Iraqi soldiers and military leaders when they abandoned their positions. We helped them to reach Baghdad via the Kurdistan region," said a Peshmerga spokesman, Lt. Gen. Jabbar Yawar, said.

    He said Peshmerga forces haven't been ordered to move into areas controlled by ISIS and would hold a defensive posture.

    "There is no need for Peshmerga forces to move into these areas. Iraqi Army forces are no longer present there, and the situation in these areas is highly unstable, as they are under ISIS control."

    In a fresh sign of rifts between the Kurdish Regional Government, which has sought self-rule, and the central Iraqi government in Baghdad, Lt. Gen. Yawar said warnings by Kurdish authorities to their Iraqi counterparts that ISIS could overtake major provinces were ignored.

    "Baghdad did not heed the KRG's warnings and now, unfortunately, our predictions have come to pass," he said.

    The decision by Kurdish fighters to deploy in the northern province where ethnic Kurds are a majority was the latest sign of the rising anarchy in the country. Nationwide, ethnic Kurds make up 20% of Iraq's 32.5 million people.
    And the Sadrites are coming back again:

    The threat by ISIS spokesman Abu Mohammed al-Adnani came a day after the powerful Iraqi Shiite leader Moqtada al-Sadr urged his followers to form military units to defend the two cities.

    Before he suspended its operations in 2008, Mr. Sadr's Mahdi Army, a militia once estimated to have nearly 60,000 members, played a major role in the country's Sunni-Shiite sectarian conflict. That clash was fueled by the political emergence of Shiites, who had been marginalized and persecuted at the hands of Sunnis during Hussein's nearly 25-year rule.
    That fool Maliki is losing almost every gain we've won for him.

  7. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by citanon View Post
    So things in the real world have to be 100% certain before we determine our actions? In that case we might as well go stick our heads in the sand.
    I trust that analysts far more informed than you or I have found that this isn't a "OH F*CK" moment. That assessment is most likely guiding Obama's ambiguity.

    Sure. Sunni Iraq can just stay as the most strategically located terrorist haven in history. It's not like something bad happened last time we gave Al Qaeda and entire country.
    Where did I say this should happen? I said that if ISF somehow halts ISIS then US intervention in the near term may not be necessary.

    Materialize to do too little too late you mean?
    Neither you nor I knows what contingency plans exist. And it's not as if the US can't bring a significant amount of resources to bear in the region. So let's not jump to conclusions.


    How about: aggressively push forward to begin political reconciliation on one hand while putting plans into action for a robust military response on the other?
    I suspect political reconciliation isn't going to happen under favorable conditions currently as far as the US is concerned. ISIS has an advantageous position. This is a mid-long term solution. And again, neither of us knows what is being planned but if I were a betting man I'd put money on such a plan already existing/being formulated right this second.


    This whole clusterfuck came in part from allowing Syria to fester in the first place. If you don't arm and support the right people, plenty others will arm and support the wrong ones. Now our Middle East policy is totally fubar.
    I doubt a political endgame existed so early in the game such that we felt comfortable arming appropriate groups. However, this is for another discussion.

    Maybe it's time to, I don't know, show some leadership?

    In President Obama we've got the Analyst in Chief of the Free World. He would have been a great CNN pundit. Who knows maybe even better than Fareed Zakaria!!! Unfortunately we hired him to be the leader of the free world and commander in chief.
    Your recommendations of political reconciliation (I wouldn't assess this as a viable short-term option) and contingency planning are probably among the "options on the table". Either Obama is ignoring the JCS and IC screaming at him from multiple directions that things are about to implode in about five figurative seconds or there's more going on behind closed doors. I for one prefer to avoid the "shoot first ask questions later" option and while I am no regional expert, there still appears to be time on the shot clock.

  8. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by Duellist View Post
    The heart of the Iraq problem is political- specifically the catastrophe Paul Bremer set in motion in May 2003 by disbanding the IA.
    We corrected the situation with the Anbar awakening, and then that fool Maliki threw it all away again

    The institutional integrity that is a prerequisite for effective COIN takes decades to build- whatever the merits of invading, once in occupation the US and it's partners should have been in for the long haul. In the short run, the optimal solution now is a concert of regional actors with the US proving air power and SOF support to push ISIS back, and for Maliki to be replaced.
    I gree, but the problem here is that Maliki will try to hold on as desperately as he can, making deals with every unpalatable Shia actor like a mustachioed harlot in the course of running his country to pieces. Mean while, even with SoF support, how are they going to hold Anbar and other Sunni areas without the locals?

    Then there are the Iranians. The perceived quickly that the Shia heartland can be held at minimal cost while extending their influence and control. This creates additional problems for us on the ground, not the least of which is the security of our SoFs if they were to operate in such as complex environment where potential foes are on both sides.

    Aiding the Peshmerga in the North is a no brainer. But getting the situation right for our entrance in the South and an offensive into Anbar will take deft diplomacy to lay the groundwork.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ace16807 View Post
    .....

    Your recommendations of political reconciliation (I wouldn't assess this as a viable short-term option) and contingency planning are probably among the "options on the table". Either Obama is ignoring the JCS and IC screaming at him from multiple directions that things are about to implode in about five figurative seconds or there's more going on behind closed doors. I for one prefer to avoid the "shoot first ask questions later" option and while I am no regional expert, there still appears to be time on the shot clock.
    These would have been great arguments at the start of his Presidency. Unfortunately now he's a known quantity. We know there's no wizard behind the curtain.

  10. #55
    In Memoriam Military Professional Minskaya's Avatar
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    The governor of Kirkuk province (Najmaldin Karim) said there are currently ~16,000 Peshmerga forces defending the city of Kirkuk.

    If there is one certainty in Iraq... it would be the Peshmerga won't run away.

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    Question, will the rest of the Iraqi military actually fight back, or will they too just give up and run?

    If it is the latter, I honestly don't think there is any point in helping them.

    Apparently they captured a perfectly intact not damaged Blackhawk, and are seeking pilots.

    If you are going to flee, Take the expensive stuff with you, or destroy it. FFS.

    That just pisses me off, makes me want to punch something.
    Last edited by cr9527; 13 Jun 14, at 03:03.

  12. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by cr9527 View Post
    Question, will the rest of the Iraqi military actually fight back, or will they too just give up and run?

    If it is the latter, I honestly don't think there is any point in helping them.

    Apparently they captured a perfectly intact not damaged Blackhawk, and are seeking pilots.

    If you are going to flee, Take the expensive stuff with you, or destroy it. FFS.

    That just pisses me off, makes me want to punch something.
    They are going to fight back in the Shia areas. They are not going to fight in the Sunni areas without much more support.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Minskaya View Post
    The governor of Kirkuk province (Najmaldin Karim) said there are currently ~16,000 Peshmerga forces defending the city of Kirkuk.

    If there is one certainty in Iraq... it would be the Peshmerga won't run away.
    We should make sure they get all overwhelming fire support they need.

  14. #59
    Senior Contributor DonBelt's Avatar
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    Could this end up doing what many people suggested back a few years ago- dividing Iraq into 3 separate states, Kurdish, Sunni/salafist, Shia?

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    Quote Originally Posted by citanon View Post
    They are going to fight back in the Shia areas. They are not going to fight in the Sunni areas without much more support.
    I see, makes sense I guess. What would be the long term solution to ensure this doesn't just keep on happening?

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