Iraq is proving to be a country that the US will be a part of for generations……..we have invaded twice and added to the woes of the population….time and time again.
The next door neighbor to Iraq, Syria, was the beginning of what is being hailed as the battle for the soul of the Middle East……ISIS starting grabbing territory after the uprisings against Syria’s strong man Assad and it spread from there to become the major war on terror site.
The US is conducting airstrikes because the American people will not accept a return to combat ground troops in the country……that is for now…..when needed the case will be made and the troops will be sent.
Syria the big plan is to train certain rebel factions to fight ISIS….the problem is most of them want to fight and remove Assad…..ISIS is just an after thought. But that plan is being employed in Iraq also.
Is this the best way to fight the ISIS insurgency?
Propaganda would have us believe that it is…..like a recent piece in the WaPo……..
More than 1,000 recruits stood at attention in fatigues, their heads held high, during a ceremony Friday for what Iraqi officials hope marks the formation of a force to push out the Islamic State militants who control most of Anbar.
After routing al-Qaeda-linked militants nearly a decade ago, U.S.-backed Sunni tribesmen in Anbar and other provinces faced sectarian-driven discrimination from Baghdad. Many of them eventually sided with the Islamic State, a switch that facilitated the group’s sweeping advances throughout Iraq last June. Also, analysts and diplomats warn about the divisive role of powerful Shiite militias, which Sunnis in Anbar and elsewhere accuse of sectarian-driven attacks.
As usual the MSM is acting as the press agent for the government…….by putting a smiley face on anything that can be used to make it look as if all is going well on the ground against ISIS……
The problem is that the Sunni tribes do not see the central Iraqi government as their friend…….
Top Iraqi Sunni leaders are expressing growing disquiet today about their lack of role in the Abadi government, despite the Shi’ite-dominated leadership’s promises of inclusion.
The problem is all the promises of inclusion in the government have not been delivered……in 10 years the tribes have been marginalized……but they want to join in the fight….will it be successful?
As reported in McClatchy……….
“These programs tend to have about a 40 to 50 percent attrition rate,” he said, speaking only on the condition of anonymity because he didn’t want to risk his employment by being publicly pessimistic. “So even if they get 1,000 guys vetted from reasonably pro-government tribes – and let’s be honest, every Sunni tribe hates the government – these are paltry numbers that are likely to fall even further.”
“The numbers at present are still too small to break the overall stalemate,” said Aymenn Tamimi, an analyst on Iraq for the Philadelphia-based Middle East Forum, who also noted that the recruiting for the program was taking place in an area of Anbar that’s been a government stronghold. “Much more work needs to be done.”
In 2006 the surge was promoted as a huge success…..and the US is trying to use that limited success as the template for the fight…….and keeps telling the world of their mounting successes against ISIS……..
“We believe across Iraq and Syria that Daesh is losing and remains on the defensive,” said Marine Brig. Gen. Thomas D. Weidley, chief of staff for Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve, the name of the international campaign fighting IS. “Daesh” is the Arabic acronym for the militant group that swept into Iraq from Syria last June and swiftly took control of much of Iraq’s north and west.
All sounds good in the interviews and the sound bites that are released to the public…….(there is always a but)……
The Islamic State on Friday took control of the provincial government center of Ramadi, the capital of Iraq’s largest province, and appeared to be in control of most of the city in a major defeat for the Iraqi government.
Islamic State forces also appeared to be closing in on government positions in two other key locations in Anbar province, the towns of Baghdadi and Karmah, in a broad offensive that if successful would end the government presence in all of the province’s major population centers. The capture of Baghdadi also would cut the supply lines to the Iraqi garrison protecting the strategic Haditha Dam.
Civilians were fleeing the fighting along the perilous highway towards Baghdad, much of which is also controlled by Isis. Iraqi officials in Ramadi said they had pleaded for help ahead of the attack and now feared that the rest of the city would soon fall: a result that would give the terror organisation its biggest victory in Iraq this year.
It would also mark a significant defeat for Iraqi forces, who had allied with several powerful Sunni tribes in a bid to defend Ramadi and stop Isis from taking control of the highways west to Syria and Jordan, as well as the water supply to southern Iraq which is regulated by a dam on the Euphrates river that runs through the city.
ISIS is fighting from a defensive position…..according to the military mouthpieces……but the truth seems to be a slight variation on their story. It is a little difficult to sell the rosy scenario when ISIS is making gains……even with all the airstrikes that according to the Pentagon are putting the group on the run and fighting from a defensive position.
The Iraq theater is in NO better shape than the Syrian theater……..