How Will The Battle For Mosul Affect Iraq?

Even though the US election is extremely important I cannot in good conscience ignore the rest of the world…..especially the war in Iraq and the battle for the hearts and minds of Mosul……

The battle for Mosul is in full swing and some are even calling it the end game for ISIS.  I do not know it I would go that far…..but it is an extremely important battle for the future of Iraq is at stake…..

Analysis: What happens in Mosul could determine the future direction of the country.

The battle for Mosul is intensifying as Iraqi government forces and Kurdish troops edge closer towards the country’s second-largest city. According to the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) interior ministry, the Iraqi army is only five kilometres from Mosul – and they could be even closer.

Several towns and villages have recently been cleared, including the predominantly Christian towns of Bartellah and Qaraqoush, southeast of Mosul. Fierce battles are raging on multiple fronts.

But fighters of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS) are hitting back hard. ISIL fighters have slowed down the advancing forces by waging waves of coordinated suicide car-bomb attacks, deploying tens of snipers and relying on a network of trenches and tunnels.

Source: How will the battle for Mosul affect Iraq? – News from Al Jazeera

Will an Iraqi win amplify the internal problems of the country?  A question few are asking….at least in public…….

Last week the Iraqi government in Baghdad claimed that Turkey had violated its sovereignty by deploying troops and tanks to the town of Bashiqa, north of Mosul. Turkey has stated that this deployment is part of a previously agreed plan to train Iraqi Kurdish forces to combat ISIL. Some Iraqi officials in the central government deemed it a Turkish “invasion”.

The deployment, which had the blessing of the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) of Iraq, but resulted in condemnation from the central Iraqi government in Baghdad, is symptomatic of the schizophrenic foreign policy of post-2003 Iraq, compounded by a complete reversal of a Turkish policy of allying with Iraq’s Kurds against Turkey’s own Kurds.

Source: Diagnosing Iraq’s problems – Al Jazeera English

Granted the complexion of Iraq could change after this battle is won….but will it be the beginning of the end?

Conventional military doctrine cautions against urban operations. Typically they require huge numbers of troops, are painstakingly slow and result in high levels of casualties particularly among the civilian population.

Yet, the Iraqi government is not fighting a conventional war and, as it prepares to wrest back control of Mosul from ISIL, it will be engaged in a battle where the tactics of each side will be determined by their long-term strategies.

For the Iraqi security forces (ISF) not only do they need to dislodge a brutal and – at times – literally suicidal opponent, but they need to retake the city in a way that facilitates Baghdad’s future rule over the Sunni minority population and the encroaching ambitions of the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG).

Source: The battle for Mosul: The beginning of the end – Al Jazeera English

The fixation on the defeat of ISIS is honorable….but someone needs to be paying attention to the consequences that could present themselves……let us not forget what happen in Afghanistan in the 1990’s…..the wrong foot could turn a small problem into a bigger one and a more dangerous one…..

Why Do We Fear Refugees?

My weekend begins and my granddaughter is visiting and we are arguing something we do often….but it is light hearted and informative….

Recently she had a class project about the refugees and the conflicts that have created the flood of people.  She does her own research and she found some stuff that sort of made her worry……it seems she had found in her research and in her classroom that people seem to fear refugees……she asked why.

She found this animated piece on youtube that explains it somewhat and she shared it with me……

Zygmunt Bauman, one of the most influential thinkers of our time, says many Europeans’ fear of refugees boils down to the idea of the “precariat” – people whose lives are marked by precariousness, anxiety and fear.

Bauman believes that in this era of global upheaval and movement, seeing people who have lost everything reminds us of our own vulnerabilities – how we could so easily lose our homes, our jobs and our loved ones.

I could have given her my take on it…..if the world does not want to help these people then stop making the crisis possible….but I wanted her to find her answers on her own…..

I gave her an “A” for her diligence in finding the answer to her question…..

And all I can say is….”That’s my girl”.

Why Not Admit That America Is Fighting 5 Wars?

The newest push against the barbarous turds in Mosul, ISIS……our continuing pounding of Syria……(thinking)….did I forget anything?

You bet your ass you did….

The shameful conspiracy of silence around America’s many wars

In an election flush with conspiracy theories, here’s one that’s real: Both major party nominees, as well as the journalists who cover the election and moderate the debates, are actively conspiring to avoid talking about the fact that the United States is waging war in at least five countries simultaneously: Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Libya, and Somalia.

In the first two presidential debates, our involvement in the Syrian civil war was briefly discussed, as was ISIS in vague terms, and the Iran nuclear deal, and Russia’s mischief-making in Eastern Europe and the Middle East, and Libya, though mostly in the past tense, focused on our 2011 intervention to depose Moammar Gadhafi and the subsequent attack on American government facilities in Benghazi a year later.

Source: Why won’t anyone admit that America is fighting 5 wars?

Five Wars?  How many more can we fight successfully?

No matter which of the worthless candidates wins the election…we will have many others to contend with in the future….

We, the US, has been at war so long no that it has become humdrum… least for some….or should I say most?

The days of massive troops attacking a beach are gone……the Napoleonic style is no more…..there is a whole new way of “fighting”…….these are not your Daddy’s wars…….

A recommendable New York Times piece looks at the mostly hidden way the U.S. is now waging wars. The example is Somalia, where the U.S. has been at war with the people of that country for over 25 years. But, as the authors note, the same modus operandi applies elsewhere.

The Obama administration has intensified a clandestine war in Somalia over the past year, using Special Operations troops, airstrikes, private contractors and African allies in an escalating campaign against Islamist militants in the anarchic Horn of Africa nation.

Source: The New U.S. Way Of War: Special Ops, Mercenaries, Rebels, Proxies, Drones | Global Research – Centre for Research on Globalization

There is a new way of thinking about the combatants……

In May 2007, I concluded my remarks to the graduates of Duquesne University (my Alma Mater) with these words: “Life will soon bring you increased responsibilities, and it is rare that you will have a legitimate choice to do nothing. Responsibility usually demands action.”

In fact, during my tenure at CIA, acting was often tough and a little lonely since the Agency was serving a government whose definition of the war on terror far outstripped any other and a president with a bolder view on how to conduct the conflict than many (eventually most) in the Congress thought appropriate, and within the executive branch, CIA operated on the outer edges of executive prerogative more than any other arm of government.

Source: Choices of War: Detain and Interrogate, or Kill? | World Affairs Journal

The last option seems to be the easiest…..

Avoiding Old Traps in Iraq

Optimism is pouring out of the veins of those involved in the newest attempt to put ISIS down….the Battle of Mosul could very well be the end of ISIS in Iraq….they could tuck tail and run for Raqaa in Syria……But first…another American soldier has died in Iraq…….

While the US-backed Iraqi forces won’t even reach the city of Mosul for at least a couple of weeks, the operation already has its first US death, with a soldier embedded with the Kurdish Peshmerga killed in a roadside bombing attack just north of Mosul.

Exact details on the location are unclear, but the soldier’s vehicle hit the bomb planted in the road, and it detonated. He died later of his wounds. Pentagon officials have described there being around 100 US troops embedded with Iraqi security forces around Mosul.

The media actually reported this death…..but was it because of the major battle or good faith?

Now let’s say they are defeated in Iraq…..will the world make the same mistakes it made in 2004?

The Center for Strategic and International Studies has taken a look at the possibilities…..

It is hard to remember exactly when there was widespread optimism about Iraq, but it is easy to remember the circumstances. Shi’a were united, Kurds were united with them, and Sunni dissatisfaction was the only obstacle to the country coming together. Unfortunately, the Sunnis didn’t see the events of 2004 or so that way. They saw the country’s politics freezing them out permanently, and many committed to doing anything they could to disrupt Iraqi stability. Some supported al Qaeda in Iraq, to protect themselves from what they saw as the depredations of Iraq’s Shi’a community.  Bombs exploded, shrines were destroyed, civilians were murdered, and the optimism evaporated.

Things have gotten better slowly in Iraq, but in the last several months, politics seem to be melting down. The Shi’a coalition is coming undone, Kurdish unity seems to be fraying, and different Sunni groups aren’t sure where to turn. Mosul is about to be in flames. Although Iraqi politics seem headed for a cliff, in fact, recent events are actually a hopeful sign.

Source: Middle East Notes and Comment: Avoiding Old Traps in Iraq | Center for Strategic and International Studies

I look for new problems within the different factions….the Chaldeans, Assyrians, Kurds, on and on…..everyone will be looking for that pound of flesh…..

Libya: What Went Wrong?

It has been 5 years since the rule of Qaddafi came to an end…..what began as a popular uprising against a dictator descended into chaos….and what started out as the promise of a more democratic government quickly went south and into the typical death and destruction of the War on Terror…..

It has been nearly five years since Libyan leader Col. Moammar Gadhafi was captured and killed by Libyan rebels near his hometown of Sirte on Oct. 20, 2011. Sadly, Libya remains a deeply divided country, both politically and institutionally, and does not have a functional representative government in place. Tragically, Libya’s democratic transition process failed to create an environment conducive for democracy and the rule of law. Instead, Libya became a country where militias ruled, extremist groups flourished and living conditions deteriorated significantly. The country also suffers from a major political crisis, with various competing governments each claiming legitimacy and control over key institutions such as the Central Bank, the National Oil Corporation and the Libyan Investment Authority.

Today, Libyans are forced to choose between two extremes: either chaos with militias and Islamist extremists as the dominant forces, or military rule. No other convincing options are on offer. The choice is quite clear in Libya’s eastern region of Cyrenaica (Barqa in Arabic), where the military is now the dominant armed and political force on the ground, expanding its control over democratically elected and civilian institutions without any public opposition and with clear public support for their actions. On June 19, the president of the Libyan parliament in Tobruk, in his claimed capacity as supreme commander of the armed forces, declared a state of emergency and appointed the Libyan National Army Chief of Staff Abdulrazaq Nadori as military governor for the eastern region. Nadori now has the power to appoint civilian and military committees and can replace local municipal councils with military governors. He also can prohibit demonstrations that do not have prior written consent from his office.
What started as a humanitarian crisis morphed into a hunt for Qaddafi and his death….and then the country broke into factions and the conflict ensued…the same conflict that has inflicted Iraq and Syria…..
Once again NATO has brought death, destruction and confusion to another country….and then it backs out and lets it descend into further chaos to the point that their intervention is seen as giving help to the helpless… all looks like the same plan that NATO is using around the world.
Found this article after I posted my thoughts on Libya…..after reading I see that it should have been included…..
On 20 October 2011, former Libyan leader Colonel Muammar Qadhafi was dragged out of his sewage-pipe hideout to meet his inglorious end. Five years on and things in Libya couldn’t be much worse. There is still no centralised authority; killing, abduction and torture are rife; the economy is almost on its knees; and the country has fragmented beyond repair. The triumphalism that accompanied Qadhafi’s removal from power can hardly have been more misplaced.

Much of the chaos that has enveloped the country is down to the Libyans themselves. The blame for the incessant squabbling and local turf wars that have eclipsed all sense of a national good must be laid squarely at the door of Libya’s new powerbrokers. There is also the legacy of forty years of rule by a ruthless dictator whose uncompromising vision of the state stripped the country of functioning institutions and its population of a political culture. In addition, the sudden toppling of a highly centralised authority was always going to mean that the country would struggle to get back on its feet.

Iraq: Battle For Hearts And Minds

The big news of the week is that the battle for Mosul has finally begun….after months of moving equipment and men around all the prep work has come to the “final” battle…..

If you have been living under a rock and not aware of the situation in Iraq…then I can be of assistance…..

Source: War Against Islamic State in Iraq

I felt it necessary for my readers to be notified of the start of thew battle for I had no confidence that it would be a priority for the MSM……

The war in Iraq has not been in the headlines later even though about a 100 people a day die….the media rather play on an endless loop the gossip coming out of both sides of the election̷…

Source: Iraq: And So It Begins – In Saner Thought

Even if the battle is won and ISIS takes it on the lame….will this be the end of the problems in Iraq?

The Unesco constitution says: “Since wars begin in the minds of men, it is in the minds of men that the defences of peace must be constructed.”

The only thing people seem to agree about the current battle for Mosul is that Isis will be defeated militarily and the city retaken. Militarily, Isis is losing. But progress on giving Sunnis in Mosul reasons to believe in their future and to support the country’s Shia-dominated government remains elusive. And this is the key battleground: without victory here, we will be locked into a cycle of violence without end.

Source: The battle for Mosul is not just coalition (good) v Isis (bad) | Jonathan Shaw | Opinion | The Guardian

Any defeat of ISIS is a welcome story….but in Iraq’s case the possibility of it sinking into further violence is possible…..we have the Iraqi military, the shi’a militias and the Pesh Merga fighting to liberate Mosul….but why?

Each one of them has an agenda…..and not one of them is fighting for the nation of Iraq…..

Iraq could sink into the divisions that have all players in Syria at each others throats…..none have any idea what is at stake beyond their own petty dreams of power….Iraq is looking as a similar problem for the world to sort out.

I say the world because…..well they created the problem….they need to man up and handle it.

Afghanistan: 15 Year War

We do not hear much about Afghanistan these days even though it is our longest war….EVER!

But for those that are interested…..another American soldier has died in defense of their country…..

A U.S. service member and a U.S. civilian died Wednesday after an attack near a coalition base in Kabul, according to a U.S. Forces Afghanistan news release.

The attack was carried out by an unknown assailant, who was later killed, according to the release. The release does not elaborate on the nature of the attack.

In addition to the two deaths, one U.S. service member and two U.S. civilians were injured. They are in stable condition.

The two people who were killed were carrying out unspecified duties associated with the NATO mission to train, advise and assist Afghan forces, according to the release.

I realize that few seem to care about the death of an American soldier…that is until it can be used as a political prop (a practice I find distasteful and pathetic)…….but I will be the conscience of the country if I must……

There is more about Afghanistan……we here that the Afghan army is doing well just they need more planes and such to be successful…..but is that true?

15 years into the NATO occupation of Afghanistan, the Taliban controls more territory now than at any other time during the war, and the losses continue to mount for the Afghan government. The war has never been going “well,” exactly, but the losses are becoming a lot more visible.

the NATO nations involved in the war invested heavily in capturing and holding certain key cities, and as they began to draw down their forces, many nations sold these territorial gains, however limited they were, as their chief military accomplishments. Now, they’re watching those cities fall.

These stories exist everywhere around Afghanistan, as NATO spent billions to build up an Afghan military which is falling apart at the seams, unable to properly defend much of anything, and likewise unable to recruit enough people to make up for their losses.

Afghan officials are downplaying the losses, insisting they are temporary. Yet they are losing an estimated 10,000 police a year just to casualties, above what they’re able to recruit, and in the military, force levels have always been dubious, given the widespread corruption and existence of tens of thousands of “ghost troops” created by crooked officials just to collect salaries.


So as you can read….Afghanistan is NOT the success that some would have you believe……after 15 years it is time for the US to consider whether they want to invest more lives and money in a cause that is falling apart as I type.

Is it worth further investment?