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Thread: The Battle for Mosul

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    Senior Contributor Toby's Avatar
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    The Battle for Mosul

    As Iraqi forces attempt to retake Mosul from Isis, Ghaith Abdul-Ahad joins their elite Golden Division on the frontline, speaking with civilians, soldiers and Isis suspects. At constant risk from Isis snipers and suicide bombers, can commander Munthadar and his men ever bring peace to Mosul? And if they do, will the exhausted civilian population trust them?

    A PBS FRONTLINE production with Mongoose Films in association with The Guardian


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    Tough watch.

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    Senior Contributor Toby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tantalus View Post
    Tough watch.
    Heart breaking!....Thought it quite telling, the bit when the journalists left for a few months...Mosul slipped from the headlines...No journalists = No news

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    The latest media rapports talk of The IS troops still in Mosul being totally surrounded.
    Being a layman regarding military matters, I’ve often found the expertise I’ve lacked in this forum.
    The question this time is the advisability not giving the rats a single known “escape” route. They’re dug in, knowing that the best they can hope for is to die and gain the prize virgins. But some of them might be more pragmatic, if given the illusion of a chance.
    I seem to recall an anecdote I think was attributed to Sun Tzu when a subordinate questioned the advisability of his giving the enemy such an escape, and the general answered, ”Who said anything about letting them escape!”
    I always took that to mean that getting an desperate entrenched enemy out of his fortifications and up and running would be the optimal action in such a situation.
    When we blindly adopt a religion, a political system, a literary dogma, we become automatons. We cease to grow. - Anais Nin

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    Senior Contributor Toby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Amled View Post
    The latest media rapports talk of The IS troops still in Mosul being totally surrounded.
    Being a layman regarding military matters, I’ve often found the expertise I’ve lacked in this forum.
    The question this time is the advisability not giving the rats a single known “escape” route. They’re dug in, knowing that the best they can hope for is to die and gain the prize virgins. But some of them might be more pragmatic, if given the illusion of a chance.
    I seem to recall an anecdote I think was attributed to Sun Tzu when a subordinate questioned the advisability of his giving the enemy such an escape, and the general answered, ”Who said anything about letting them escape!”
    I always took that to mean that getting an desperate entrenched enemy out of his fortifications and up and running would be the optimal action in such a situation.
    Might be worth letting them think there is an escape route....a bit like Elphinstone's army..or something similar to the retreat from Kuwait in 91...

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    Senior Contributor Amled's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Toby View Post
    Might be worth letting them think there is an escape route....a bit like Elphinstone's army..or something similar to the retreat from Kuwait in 91...
    Precisely! Give them the perception of an escape.
    Anyway like I said I’m a layman, and there are probably 1001 reasons for the people actually on the ground to wish them surrounded and contained.
    When we blindly adopt a religion, a political system, a literary dogma, we become automatons. We cease to grow. - Anais Nin

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    I recall Sun Tzu wrote it is at least occasionally advisable to give the enemy an escape route, generally interpreted as creating a place whereupon he can be picked off at leisure, rather than forcing a desperate fight. There are some examples of this.
    All those who are merciful with the cruel will come to be cruel to the merciful.
    -Talmud Kohelet Rabbah, 7:16.

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    Senior Contributor Amled's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Triple C View Post
    I recall Sun Tzu wrote it is at least occasionally advisable to give the enemy an escape route, generally interpreted as creating a place whereupon he can be picked off at leisure, rather than forcing a desperate fight. There are some examples of this.
    10's of thousands of innocent civilians caught in a pocket with an estimated 2000 battle hardended fanatics, whose callus disregard for human lives have been seen i cities across the world. So yes, a desperate fight sums it up very nicely.
    When we blindly adopt a religion, a political system, a literary dogma, we become automatons. We cease to grow. - Anais Nin

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    Quote Originally Posted by Amled View Post
    10's of thousands of innocent civilians caught in a pocket with an estimated 2000 battle hardended fanatics, whose callus disregard for human lives have been seen i cities across the world. So yes, a desperate fight sums it up very nicely.
    Sounds similar to Berlin 1945

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    Senior Contributor Amled's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Toby View Post
    Sounds similar to Berlin 1945
    I think Stalingrad is a better simile.
    When we blindly adopt a religion, a political system, a literary dogma, we become automatons. We cease to grow. - Anais Nin

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    Senior Contributor Toby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Amled View Post
    I think Stalingrad is a better simile.
    Thought you might...

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    Last edited by Toby; 21 Mar 17, at 20:30.

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    Senior Contributor Amled's Avatar
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    It was a news item on one of our local stations that brought the actual situation in Mosul to the fore.
    It was a here living family, that had been in contact with family members; I assume by Cell, still in the besieged part of Mosul. They told of food and water running out, of living in the basement of their own house, as the upper floors having been commandeered by IS fighters. Of their fear of being at the mercy of an increasingly desperate IS, together with fear of Coalition bombardment, especially since their house was apparently being turned into an hard point.
    Truly a case of being caught between the devil and the deep blue sea!
    If the report was accurate, then the fact that there is intermittent; and probably highly dangerous for the caller, communication with inhabitants in the besieged area, one could surmise that there is also chatter on the Social Networks.
    When we blindly adopt a religion, a political system, a literary dogma, we become automatons. We cease to grow. - Anais Nin

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    Quote Originally Posted by Toby View Post
    Thought you might...
    You are both wrong, more like Manila. Both Stalingrad and Berlin were defended by huge numbers natives not invaders. Manila was defended by a relatively small number if invaders who had been brutalizing the natives before the battle began.

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    Senior Contributor Amled's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zraver View Post
    You are both wrong, more like Manila. Both Stalingrad and Berlin were defended by huge numbers natives not invaders. Manila was defended by a relatively small number if invaders who had been brutalizing the natives before the battle began.
    Much better example.
    When we blindly adopt a religion, a political system, a literary dogma, we become automatons. We cease to grow. - Anais Nin

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