If I had the ear of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, this is what I would reveal about what’s favorable to any U.S. incursion in Mesopotamia.
1. Iraq’s fragile democratic institutions have really proved quite resilient given its history and imminent challenges. It has chosen a new president among 25 different political parties in a nation fractured along sectarian, ethnic tribal identities. President Fouad Masoum and his Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi aren’t quite in full gear, but they resemble a functioning unit with minimum interpersonal friction.
2. We should remember that imposing despotic rule on Iraq will NOT be easy. All previous post liberation Prime Ministers tried and FAILED. Although still plagued with an indigenous despotic political culture, Iraqi’s no longer view the state as completely repressive. This will prove difficult social terrain for any Caliph to manage.
3. Iranian hopes of ruling Baghdad won’t be easy. Tehran did everything it could to keep Maliki, it couldn’t. Iran even went so far as to send Gen. Qassem Suleimani to command both men and money to secure Maliki. They lost.
4. Oil rich Gulf Petro-Monarchies even tried and failed to keep decisive influence in Iraq by anointing Sunni terror groups.
5. Having absorbed the rise of ISIS throughout Mesopotamia, Iraq is now beginning to fight back with support from Saudi Arabia and rich Gulf States in the hope of cutting off funding to shape ISIS.
6. Kurdish ‘Peshmerga’ (death-defiers) have killed senior ISIS commanders including Khalil al-Mufakhakhah recapturing key towns, cities.
Going forward, Iraq will need to envelop ISIS using both Kurdish and American fire/strategic power. As of this writing, Baghdad only has four brigades which are capable of engaging and leading. U.S. support is critical for Kurdish engagements, for the Peshmerga aren’t as experienced as ISIS. Having seasoned fighters counts, but its technology, air power and night fighting that proves critical.
Several uncertainties must be fixed going forward: Obama’s studied ambiguity must end, team Obama needs to find its moral framework so as to shape the policy convictions of Muslim clerics throughout the world in the hope of countering propaganda. Daesh’s financial resources must be drained, it continues to pay global jihadi’s U.S. currency for missions, this endless financing must be identified by Treasury and defeated.
Here’s the battle plan: Unambiguous moral condemnation, drain its finances and build/field joint Iraqi command centers.
Mr Holland, why should USA do all this?
It is the job of countries of the Region to find a solution to the region.
ISIS is still a regional problem!
I agree with Obama, USA can go in, intervene, and cannot stay for ever.
The minute USA leaves, the region just collapses.
From Korea to Vietnam to Iraq to Afghan to Libya it is the same story
It is time that the region is left to resolve its own problems!
The Israeli and Hamas ceasefire was done by Egyptian intervention.
American and West interventions have left the World in a complete mess!
Thanks for taking the time to read my writings, it is greatly appreciated.
Your sentiments are well grounded. As for policy, I think its imperative that we understand capabilities and commitments. Even still. . . we’ve really lost much given how we’ve decided to abdicate.
As for winning. .. You’re on to something. These problems will no go away, nor find resolution among indigenous players. I think you’ll understand it when I say that we’ve got a ‘dog in this fight.’ But yes, your sentiments are correct.
Thanks for reading the blog.
U are welcome Mr Holland.
In fact I read most your blogs.
I do not understand the US economy very well, and you put out quite a few blogs in that sector.
Yes the World has a problem in how to tackle the ISIS.
Its recruits come from 83 countries(this is from a news report and hence unverified data), that is half the World.
The recriuts are middle class well educated and technology savvy citizenry most numbers from Western countries, other than the million Sunnis that got disfranchised in Iraq, Syria etc
They come from liberal and democratic Western Societies!
Why does that happen?
Why would they get brainwashed, to take part in heinous and macabre crimes?
The beheadings and mass executions make no political or military sense!
So why invite American or Western intervention, when there are gains on the ground have been quite impressive?
Why maim and kill?
These are questions that go deeper than the present situation.
A cause and effect relationship and study is I think that is needed.
The causes have to be removed or a serious attempt should be seen to reduce the causes!
I think the response of the civilised World has been to use military power to control the effects, without seriously getting the causes sorted out politically or socially.!
These are not easy solutions I know, many cannot even be fully resolved since too much water has flown under the bridge.
However most communities in the World would be happy to discourage such extreme militant and terror activities, if there is some movement on ground seen to resolve those long pending and festering disputes in the World fairly and even handedly.
I have this view, that in resolving historical injustices, the world should be careful not to create newer and more intractable injustices!