Iraq: ISIS Coalition Briefing #3

The third edition of my briefing series on the war on the Islamic State (IS)……information that the media sees fit not to pass on to the American public……I do this so people interested do not have to spend all day on the internet trying to get all the info……it’s what I do………you are welcome………..

Item 1–McCain has been all over the media with his push to do more for the ‘moderates’ fighting ISIS……but he may need to check IST briefings from time to time apparently he has not gotten the word……

Col. Riad Assad, the leader of the US-backed Free Syrian Army (FSA) rebel, has announced that his group will not join the anti-ISIS coalition the US is assembling, nor will they participate in attacks on ISIS.

Col. Assad insisted that the rebel group’s chief goal is to conquer Syria and oust President Bashar Assad (no relation). He complained the anti-ISIS coalition did not make regime change in Syria its goal.

Even though the FSA isn’t on board with fighting ISIS, Col. Assad did say his group would be happy to keep taking US money and weapons.

The US arms to the FSA and other “vetted, moderate” rebels have been controversial because so many of those weapons have wound up in the hands of ISIS anyhow. The FSA has also been facing growing defections of their fighters into ISIS.

Maybe McCain needs to step aside for he has tunnel vision and that could be lethal in this region.

Item 2–One of the big plans, especially from war hawks, is to train and arm ‘moderates’ to help fight our newest enemy ISIS.  But that is not the way to go….

an international coalition to take its campaign against Islamic State from Iraq into Syria, fighters like Ammar al-Wawi could make the difference.

He fears that restrictions on the kind of weapons he’ll receive and the training he’ll get under a $500 million White House proposal to arm moderate Syrian rebels will make his job impossible.

“We don’t really need more training. And we have enough soldiers. What we need are quality weapons,” said Wawi, a commander in the Free Syrian Army, a loose collection of moderate rebels fighting both the Islamic State and Syrian government forces.

“We need anti-aircraft weapons. We need anti-tank weapons. If we don’t get those, we can’t win, no matter what the United States does.”

They don’t need training?  Yeah, they are doing a helluva job against Assad as they lose area after area to the regime.  And AA guns?  Do we really need to give them those so they can be passed on to ISIS as so many other weapons have?  Wrong to do this!

Item 3–Everybody keeps asking “what about Assad”? after all he is fighting ISIS also as well as a wealth of other groups…….

The United States and other Western governments have dismissed the idea of cooperating with Syria in the fight against Islamic State, which has seized large areas of Iraq and Syria. Western governments see Assad as part of the problem and say he must leave power.

The meeting between Faleh al-Fayad, the Iraqi national security adviser, and Assad indicated that the Iraqi government aims to maintain those ties. It also points to the scope for possible indirect contact between Syria and the West over the fight against Islamic State via third parties such as Iraq.

Fayad “put Assad in the picture of the latest developments in Iraq and the efforts that the Iraqi government and people are making to combat the terrorists”, Syrian state news agency SANA said.

The meeting stressed “the importance of strengthening cooperation and coordination between the two brotherly countries in the field of combating terrorism that is hitting Syria and Iraq and which threatens the region and the world,” SANA said.

My educated guess is that we used a proxy to let Assad know what is happening…..even though we are not officially including him in any decisions…….Iraq can.

Item 4–Remember back in the dark days of the last Iraq War?  Remember al-Sadr?  A Shi’a cleric who commanded a large militia that fought against the US in those dark days….well he has NOT gone away…….

Influential Iraqi Shi’ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr has ordered members of his Mahdi Army militia to withdraw from areas where US forces are conducting their ir war against ISIS, and urged popular demonstrations against the return of US ground troops to the country.

The Mahdi Army largely disbanded after the US pullout, but Sadr has kept ties with its leadership, threatening regularly to bring them out of retirement if the US tries to return to the country in a military role. With the ISIS war looking to do exactly that, they could quickly be another foe for the US in its ever-expanding conflict.

Another wrinkle in our latest war in Iraq….this could be a major problem down the road…..

Item 5–the US has scouts on the group in Iraq…..they are searching for Sunni tribes to help in the fight against ISIS…….the problem is the lack of trust by the tribes……..

Unwilling to send U.S. troops back to Iraq, Washington is trying to persuade armed Sunni factions and tribal figures to fight Islamic State militants in an echo of the “Awakening” movement that drove al Qaeda from the country six years ago.

Unwilling to send U.S. troops back to Iraq, Washington is trying to persuade armed Sunni factions and tribal figures to fight Islamic State militants in an echo of the “Awakening” movement that drove al Qaeda from the country six years ago.

The plan is far from easy, since many Sunnis regard the Awakening as a failure and a betrayal and see the Sunni Islamic State’s sweep into predominantly Sunni northern and western Iraq as the lesser of two evils, despite its mass killings.

U.S. and Iraqi officials say it is not a rehash of the Awakening but will incorporate Sunnis into a “National Guard”, a security force intended to decentralize power from Baghdad, addressing Sunni demands to stop oppression from the majority Shi’ite security forces.

Sorry dudes but trust is everything to these tribes…….our word was given then ignored….it will be a hard row to hoe…..and then the ‘national guard’ thing…..we will building yet another militia for future conflict….now there is a good plan.

Item 6–al-Qaeda is pushing for more unity among the warring factions in the Middle East……

Two al Qaeda branches urged warring militant factions in Iraq and Syria to stop fighting each other and unite against a U.S.-led alliance preparing to attack the ultra hardline Islamic State armed group, according to a joint statement posted online.

“Stop the infighting between you and stand as one rank against America’s campaign and that of its satanic alliance that lies in wait for all of us, to break us stick by stick,” al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) said in a rare joint statement.

This could be seen as an attempt for unity…….or it could be seen as an attempt to isolate ISIS from other groups so they can carry on without interference from the US and whoever else wants in on this fight.  This needs to be watched closely.

Item 7–this final piece would have been predicted if anyone had taken the time to do some research…….

Support for the Islamic State organization has grown since the US launched airstrikes in Iraq and the group is attracting many new jihadist fighters, top US officials said Wednesday.

The IS group’s “widespread use of social media and growing online support intensified following the commencement of US airstrikes in Iraq,” FBI head James Comey told the House Homeland Security Committee.

This ends briefing #3…..the next briefing will be as events warrant….time for Americans to pout aside their fascination with celebs and to pay attention…..the world is about to become a lot more dangerous and we need to stay alert.

Thanx for the attention to this briefing.

Turn the page.

Iraq: Is There A GOP Plan?

I have written often that it is a shame that the GOP has not got a clue……on every issue they are scratching their heads trying to find something the American people can get on board with…….so far they got NOTHING!

Seeing that most of the WAR HAWKS are in the GOP you would think that they would have at least a stupid idea of how to handle the Islamic State……..they have their fair hair boys and among these is the Senator from Florida, Marco Rubio…….

But first let us look at the plan that Obama mapped out during his speech……..

First, we will conduct a systematic campaign of airstrikes against these terrorists.  Working with the Iraqi government, we will expand our efforts beyond protecting our own people and humanitarian missions, so that we’re hitting ISIL targets as Iraqi forces go on offense.  Moreover, I have made it clear that we will hunt down terrorists who threaten our country, wherever they are.  That means I will not hesitate to take action against ISIL in Syria, as well as Iraq.  This is a core principle of my presidency:  If you threaten America, you will find no safe haven.

Second, we will increase our support to forces fighting these terrorists on the ground.  In June, I deployed several hundred American servicemembers to Iraq to assess how we can best support Iraqi security forces.  Now that those teams have completed their work –- and Iraq has formed a government –- we will send an additional 475 servicemembers to Iraq.  As I have said before, these American forces will not have a combat mission –- we will not get dragged into another ground war in Iraq.  But they are needed to support Iraqi and Kurdish forces with training, intelligence and equipment.  We’ll also support Iraq’s efforts to stand up National Guard Units to help Sunni communities secure their own freedom from ISIL’s control.

Third, we will continue to draw on our substantial counterterrorism capabilities to prevent ISIL attacks.  Working with our partners, we will redouble our efforts to cut off its funding; improve our intelligence; strengthen our defenses; counter its warped ideology; and stem the flow of foreign fighters into and out of the Middle East.  And in two weeks, I will chair a meeting of the U.N. Security Council to further mobilize the international community around this effort.

Fourth, we will continue to provide humanitarian assistance to innocent civilians who have been displaced by this terrorist organization.  This includes Sunni and Shia Muslims who are at grave risk, as well as tens of thousands of Christians and other religious minorities.  We cannot allow these communities to be driven from their ancient homelands.

There you have Obama’s plan………

Now back to Rubio… a recent interview he critiqued Obama’s plan thusly…….

. In an Op-Ed for the Washington Post, Rubio writes that Obama’s speech offered the “potential to begin a departure from the isolationism that he and former secretary of state Hillary Rodham Clinton have advocated during their years in office,” but there is a “risk” that Obama’s “focus on a counterterrorism campaign akin to those waged in Yemen and Somalia, and his reliance on regional partners to deal with the challenge posed by the Islamic State, could lead to the continuation of what has been the most disengaged presidential foreign policy in modern American history.”

Okay Rubio is not happy with Obama’s plan….he sees it as leading to failure.

Then when asked just what his plan would be if it were up to him…….

To confront the Islamic State terrorists, we need a sustained air campaign targeting their leadership, sources of income and supply routes, wherever they exist. We must increase our efforts to equip and capacitate non-jihadists in Syria to fight the terrorist group. And we must arm and support forces in Iraq confronting it, including responsible Iraqi partners and the Kurds. In addition, we must persuade nations in the region threatened by the Islamic State to participate in real efforts to defeat it.

There you have it….a GOP plan for the handling of the situation in Iraq and Syria……..

You know I think I have heard that plan somewhere else recently…..can you think of where that would be?

Pros And Cons Of The Obama Plan

I know that the American public is hopped up on revenge right now…..but is the plan as put forth by the prez the best plan?

Most Americans do not want to hear any negativity about the fight against the Islamic State…..but there needs to be a truthful conversation and a deep search to the realization that there may not be a path to victory against IS.


Obama’s Hazy Plan To Fight ISIS Is Unlikely To Succeed by Ivan Eland —


That is the negative….how about a positive….well sort of……..

Iraq: ISIS Coalition Briefing #2

As promised I will try and keep my readers up to date on the happenings around our newest war……the battle for hearts and minds in Iraq/Syria….or the coalition of the willing (cute name for a handful of cowards) against the spread of the Islamic State…….

There is a lot more happening than the media is willing to tell the public…..I will try and do my best to tell “the rest of the story”…….

Item 1–the media coverage of the conflict…….we know that the media will not have free access as in Vietnam but rather an imbedding system that way the control of information can be controlled.  the media will be used to drive the conversation…I know I keep harping on that point but if not why would this have taken place?

President Barack Obama met with over a dozen prominent columnists and magazine writers Wednesday afternoon before calling for an escalation of the war against the Islamic State, or ISIS, in a primetime address that same night.

Peter Baker, the chief White House correspondent for The New York Times, reported on Saturday that Obama had met with columnists and magazine writers but did not name the attendees.

Baker wrote that three New York Times columnists and one editorial writer attended, but indicated they weren’t sources for his story. Since the meeting was off the record, the Times columnists could not report what Obama said. But Baker, a Times reporter not in attendance, was under no obligation to withhold the fact that the meeting took place.

The Obama team will need some allies in their trip to control the flow of information……and the media is a willing participant.  You still think that there is a free press?

Item 2–The Free Syrian Army (FSA) has been named as one of the ‘moderates’ that we should be supporting…..but how successful are they?

The FSA has a much smaller footprint across Syria than it once did, having lost virtually all of its territory to rival rebels, and seeing mass defections, including large numbers joining ISIS.

The FSA’s ability to recruit and keep fighters seems to be heavily weighed down by the group’s lack of success so far, as the group has not shown itself to be particularly adept at anything but currying favor with Western nations, and what arms its obtained from them are quickly distributed to other factions, which do all the heavy combat.

Sounds like any training and weapons we give the FSA will be of more use to IS than any coalition Obama may put together…….

Item 3–Some members of the ‘coalition of the willing’ does not think it is a good idea that it include other Arab nations……

The Obama Administration’s efforts to cobble together a coalition of nations for the new war on ISIS has netted a handful of Sunni Arab nations willing to conduct airstrikes inside Iraq, including Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and by some accounts Egypt.

The big problem is that no one asked the Iraqis if they were okay with this, and President Fuad Massoum today made clear that the Iraqi government considers such nations “unnecessary,” which is a polite way of saying extremely unwelcome.

That dislike comes from sectarian distrust more so than any geopolitical reasons…..will this be a major sticking point when the hard choices become necessary?

Item 4–I personally do not like smoke up my butt……it appears that some Americans relish the idea……I am talking about the Iraq/IS thing……as long as Maliki was the PM we did nothing in Iraq….we went on and on about the needs for a inclusive government…….you see Maliki was of the Shia persuasion and a majority in the country are of Sunni……so Obama’s rhetoric was a more inclusive government….then there was a new Pm and our airstrikes began seemingly because it was a new day in Iraq and inclusiveness…..but there is a slight rub that no one mentioned very much in all the reports…..

New Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi’s cabinet is 56 percent Shia, according to a count by indispensable Iraq blogger Joel Wing. That makes his cabinet even more Shia heavy than either of his disgraced predecessor Nuri al-Maliki’s last two administrations, which were (respectively) 52 and 46 percent Shia.

“I’ve insisted that additional US action depended upon Iraqis forming an inclusive government, which they have now done in recent days,” Obama said in his September 10 address announcing the new counter-ISIS campaign.

But the reality of the Iraqi government, thus far, suggests the opposite. “The government is composed mostly of Shia Islamists who may not differ from Maliki on many key issues,” Fanar Haddad, an expert on Iraq’s Sunni-Shia divide at the National University of Singapore, told me in an email. “In fact, the track record shows that the new government is likely to be more hardline than Maliki on contentious issues.”

So what part of the Iraqi election changed anything?  Anything culturally that is……

Item 5–Al Anbar province of Iraq, a Sunni majority area has been under attack and parts controlled by IS…..but it seems that IS has decided to pull out of the region at least for now…..


In a piece written in Asharq Al-Aswat an Arabic newspaper………

Baghdad, Asharq Al-Awsat—The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) is adopting new tactics in anticipation of impending air strikes by the US-led coalition, an expert on armed groups has told Asharq Al-Awsat, at the same time that authorities in the Sunni-dominated Anbar province announced the group is beginning to flee areas in and around the governorate.

In a statement issued on Sunday, the head of the Anbar Provincial Council, Sabah Karhout, said Anbar’s security forces had received information that members of ISIS were “fleeing the districts and surrounding areas of the province which are under their control and heading to the Western Desert region and to Syria in a state of panic.”

Hisham Al-Hashimi, an expert on armed groups from the Al-Nahrain Center for Strategic Studies, told Asharq Al-Awsat that ISIS was adopting “new tactics” in anticipation of international military action, including “hiding in ditches and using camouflage to evade fighter jets, since the [impending] international mobilization [against the group] will only rely on air strikes for the time being.”

Hopefully Western intel has picked up on this change in tactics……..if I were part of the ‘coalition’ I would be concerned about this…..what tactic will they replace it with?

Item 6–One might ask….why is the US having such a problem lining up willing participants in the war on IS…..and the answer is an easy one to pin point…….

U.S. credibility has suffered in the Middle East since Sept. 11, 2001, which doesn’t help the recruitment effort. The arguments for invading Iraq have been discredited, and the Iraqi and Afghan campaigns — which went on years beyond the original plan — are not looking successful. Smaller fights against terrorists in Pakistan and Yemen seem destined to continue without end. The Obama administration’s swift abandonment of Hosni Mubarak in 2011 shocked allies in the region, most of whom were hardly more democratic than the ousted Egyptian leader. U.S. attempts to work with Islamists, during the brief rule of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, left many concluding that American leadership was naive and its diplomacy inept. When the U.S. threatened Syria if it used chemical weapons, and then did not attack after their alleged use, it was seen as America flinching, even though Assad eventually gave up the arms. In an echo of colonial-era animosities, many in the region see Western leaders who are stirred to action by the beheading of a few Westerners — but not by hundreds of thousands of Arab deaths. Washington also has proven unable to influence its close ally Israel to slow down Jewish settlement construction in the West Bank — one of the few things that can unite virtually all Sunnis and Shiites in angry opposition.

That ends briefing #2.  You may smoke if you have them.

If you want to stay up to date on the newest US war in the Middle East then I suggest that IST become your new fave site.  I will be giving you all the info available that you will need to stay up to date and on your toes….

Next briefing will be as soon as possible the intel is available.

Thanx for your attention.

Turn the page.


Iraq: F.U.B.A.R.

War is an interesting subject….the causes and effects.  I got my interest in the issue after returning from Vietnam back in the Dark Ages….I enter school and majored in International Relations with an emphasis on the Middle East….so this situation is in my wheelhouse…I’m loving it!

The words have been spoken and now the real results of the speech will be known….nightly.

And after the words have been spoken the first thought I had was FUBAR.  For those not serving in the military..FUBAR means F*cked Up Beyond All Repair.  Or I could use the more common…SNAFU….Situation Norrmal All F*cked Up.

For days now the analysis has been almost overwhelming at least to someone who has NO idea of the region and the true situation.  Every channel has its analyst to give expert opinion….they are even letting Cheney voice his views which shows the depths some media outlets will sink to for ratings.  Even the actually ‘reliable’ news outlets are going to McCain fr his expert opinion…..and that is foolish……let a person who has been wrong on the Middle East for 30 years as some sort of expert…….

Anyway…I was listening to a former undersecretary of state, Paul Brinkley and in his analysis about Americans in Iraq he stated…..”US troops will be manning the forward positions and not on the front lines”… question to the tube was……just where these forward positions would be?  If by definition the front lines are not in a forward position where would they be?

This is what I bitch about…the media lets these twats babble on and never challenge their statements….this is how they sell BS to the masses…..this is how they get the public to play their games……misinformation.


Embedded image permalink


There are so many statements being made that it is hard to distinguish fact from BS….for instance….we will train and arm the Syrian opposition…..good one…..but just who are the opposition….and why does the US have to do that…..let the cowards in the region fund these ‘fighters’.

I am still concerned about arming the Kurds.  why?  their fighters have been on the terrorist list for at least ten years……so now they are not so bad?……….is that the way we do this terror list now.  We know how that can come back to bite us….if you recall we were arming and training the Afghan rebels during the Soviet days and one of those was AQ.

Then there is the promise of no American troops on the ground (I refuse to use the de-humanzing term “boots on the ground”)……we already have them there and then what if a plane goes down who will retrieve the pilot?  This will take troops doing what they do….hit the ground running.

These are just a couple of my concerns…..we are not being fed the truth the whole truth and nothing but the truth….and I do not like that…..we are about to force more Americans to risk their lives in the name of…..WHAT?

I know all this may sound like nit-picking…….or even redundant………and it is……..but I will continue to do so as long as we are throwing our young men and women into a meat grinder….for you see I have seen human lives wasted during war and do not want to see any more…..our young deserve a life without the problems that war will bring.

War is good business….invest your young!

Will UK Finally Step Up?

Obama and his coalition is getting a lack luster acceptance……many have join the force but few want to truly involved with maybe some behind the scenes doings…….the r3eport is that we now have 40 countries signed onto the coalition deal…..France may help with airstrikes and Australia is commit troops, yes I said troops, about 600 total….so far the countires most in danger from an expanding Is, the Sunni nations, are not as enthusiastic as France and Australia.

The UK has been hinting around the fringe of helping but I think IS last act of horror may bring them on-board and in a big way…..

ISIS appears to have carried out its threat to behead yet another Western hostage, this time a British citizen named David Haines. The executioner who killed Steven Sotloff in the last video had threatened that Haines would be next. Britain’s foreign office said it is “working urgently” to verify the newly released video, reports the BBC. Haines, a 44-year-old aid worker, was captured in Syria last year, as were Americans Sotloff and James Foley. The video emerged a day after the family of Haines issued a public plea urging his captors to contact them.

In the video, the group threatened to kill another Briton. Both British men were dressed in orange jumpsuits against an arid Syrian landscape, similar to that seen in the Foley and Sotloff videos. The SITE Intelligence Group, a US terrorism watchdog, reported the video, which was also posted online by users associated with the Islamic State group. The video was entitled “A Message to the Allies of America.” Haines’ purported killer, who appeared to be the same man speaking with a British accent as in the previous videos, tells the British government that its alliance with the US will only “accelerate your destruction” and will drag the British people into “another bloody and unwinnable war.”

Lots of back and forth…….and then Cameron made his move………

David Cameron emerged from an emergency meeting this morning with harsh words for Islamic State militants in the wake of yesterday’s video that purports to show the beheading of British aid worker David Haines: Calling the execution—which hasn’t been officially verified, though a UK Foreign Office rep tells the Wall Street Journal that “all signs are that the video is genuine”—”an act of pure evil,” the BBC reports that Cameron vowed “we will do everything in our power to hunt down these murderers and ensure they face justice, however long it takes.” In the video, Haines singled out Cameron thusly: “I would like to declare that I hold you, David Cameron, entirely responsible for my execution.” ISIS militants threatened a second British hostage, Alan Henning, with the same fate

Looks like the UK is now ALL IN……….Glad to see that our allies will step up when needed but what are they stepping up to do?

Kerry insisted it was not only “premature” to talk about what, if anything, the coalition allies will do, but was even “inappropriate” of people to be talking about how little commitment many of the members seem to have.

Over the weekend 26 nations came together to plot a course through the ISIS thing……..

The world is discussing the self-proclaimed Islamic State in Paris today, with President Francois Hollande opening a conference attended by leaders and diplomats from 25-plus countries by saying “there is no time to lose. Iraq’s combat against terrorism is also ours.” Or so hopes Iraqi president Fuad Masum, who urged those in attendance to expand the fight against ISIS to Syria, reports the New York Times. “We must not allow them to have sanctuaries. We must pursue them wherever they are.” The Times notes that, thus far, the US has OKed only intelligence gathering over Syria. More on the ISIS front:

  • Not in attendance at the conference: Iran. Though France “initially opened the door to a possible role” by the country, per the Times, John Kerry put the kibosh on the idea over fears it would dissuade Saudi Arabia and other Middle Eastern states from participating. Iran, for its part, says that Syria should have been invited to the table.
  • Though it was announced yesterday that several Arab nations have agreed to join the fight against ISIS, with the BBC reporting that the anti-ISIS coalition now stands at about 40 countries including 10 Arab states, specifics remain in short supply. A BBC analyst describes a “scramble to craft a coherent plan from contributions offered” by the countries. The Wall Street Journal reports that while no officials have named which Mideast states might also conduct airstrikes, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Jordan, Turkey, Egypt, and Qatar likely have the ability to join the US campaign.
  • As far as those airstrikes go, five weeks of them (150 strikes since President Obama’s speech last Wednesday, notes the New York Times) have halted the militants’ progress, US officials tell the Journal, but the paper points out that ISIS has reacted by becoming more “stealthy.” Equipment isn’t moved in open convoys; electronic communications have been curtailed; tarps and foliage are increasingly used to shield militants from drones; and militants are hiding among locals. The upside is that “ISIS has not gained any land since the airstrikes started,” per one official. The downside is that they may be tougher to track.

Sorry dude but it is the exact time for these people to step forward and say what they will do and not do……I fear that we are in for another Iraq War…..edition 3.

Contractors Ready To Cash In On ISIS War

Most of my readers know that I am NO fan of war….after living through one I cannot stand the thought of more Americans dying in far away lands for no other reason than geopolitics…..

In war there are usually winners and losers…..who will be the big winner in this newest war?  The saame people that are the big winners in ALL wars………


Contractors Ready To Cash In On ISIS War.