Meanwhile back in the sands of the Middle East…….you remember that area that the media is trying desperately to ignore…….
Reports are coming out of the Middle East at an alarming rate……success reports……Kobane has been retaken from ISIS by Kurdish fighters…..Diyala in Iraq is a success….the shi’a militias have driven ISIS out….but with some disturbing reports of shi’as attacking and killing Sunnis…..and the news seems to point to a weakening of ISIS over the past month.
Then there is the reports that the Iraqis will launch a major offensive to retake Mosul in the Spring…..is success breaking out in Iraq and Syria in the war on ISIS?
What could explain this? Is it the airstrikes? Maybe the well armed groups that have chosen to fight……just what can explain this weakening?
In recent days, Western media have increasingly reported that IS is unable to sustain its May-August blitzkrieg and that this may well be the beginning of the end for the group. Reporters say that IS has lost its initial popularity, that its power on the ground is waning, that combat with IS has reached a military stalemate and that, this time, it’s the coalition’s turn. Improved Iraqi security forces are pushing back IS fighters, they report, and some analysts have even developed scenarios for the post-IS period.
Certain indicators justify this optimistic picture. In particular, IS’ inability to capture new territory since September 2014; their setbacks in Sinjar against the peshmerga; their failure to capture Kobani, which IS initially saw as easy prey; severe restraints on IS fighters’ mobility due to coalition air attacks; the fading influence of their professional (and savage) media; and decreasing oil prices, which appear to have struck a blow to their financial resources.
Moreover, it is becoming increasingly clear that IS is having problems translating its military achievements to the realm of governance, especially in providing social services. News reports have stated that IS has been unable to maintain contact with opposition groups in Syria and Iraq, and that it is clashing with Islamist groups unwilling to submit to its authority.
ISIS is having its problems…..for one most of the well trusted associates have been killed leaving the leadership to the regional governors…..all this has indications of a group losing control……,if so can the Coalition take advantage of any weakness?
I could have the advantage but the Coalition needs to cease thinking that one grand plan will win this fight…..they are wrong!
To defeat IS, we do not need a single sweeping strategic plan, but instead a compilation of various tactical plans that take into account the local dynamics of cities under IS control. To see IS as a monolithic and homogenous group and to implement a “one size fits all” strategic plan in a top-down fashion would be a gross mistake. The tactical picture of IS in Mosul and Raqqa is different. Pillars of a successful military plan tailored for Mosul cannot be the same as the one for Raqqa. When tailoring a military plan to defeat IS, the basic unit of analysis should be the cities under its control, and the strategic planners should provide enough room for tactical diversity. For example, ignoring certain factors — like the growing Sunni Arab and Kurdish tension in Mosul; the influence of Turkey in Aleppo; growing Alawite discontent in Raqqa; and the Arab-Turkmen alliance that is becoming an anti-Kurdish bloc in Kirkuk — would only serve IS.
US leadership has not shown itself as a reliable leader…….instead of looking for the kill shot….the Coalition needs to exploit the small cracks in the ISIS admin of the regions it controls……if they pass on that then I feel that all the money and ordinance has been a waste and only helps those that deal in the resupply chain.
ISIS can be defeated…..but not by waiting for the knock out punch. This situation sounds more like a possible reset…..a change in priorities.