The Slog of Mosul

American television networks no longer cover foreign wars.  It’s the same for Mosul where U.S. Mesopotamian policy under the Obama administration has floundered dangerously.  It isn’t any longer a secret; having been handed a win in 2008, team Obama sought disengagement and retrenchment.  As Churchill said of Chamberlain’s appeasement of corporal Hitler, he sought peace and got war.

It really isn’t simple anymore, the Iraki terrain is riddled with Shia militias loyal to Iran.  The Iranians saw opportunity and sought to engage Iraki indigenous Shia through propaganda and grievance, if only to spawn Gulf Petro-monarchies to spend on the creation of greater Sunni state:  ISIS.

Irak’s current prime minister, Haider al-Abadi can no longer hide hard realities:  the Iraqi forces aided by American air cover have only half met the challenge of clearing out Mosul.  The second phase of the operation is current underway, it remains to be seen if the Iraki’s can retake Mosul’s industrial sector.  Already, they’ve lost nearly 25% of their soldiers.

Here’s the bad news:  the Sunni insurgnecy of the Islamic State has a new lease on life.  The dynamics are diffuse, but they can be discerned by watching the Saudi’s flounder as they seek air dominance to check Iranian light infantry in Yemen.

The dominance of Shia militias (Hashd al-Shaabi) will threaten American regional policy goals, for the Iranians have no incentive to leave or disengage the region.  Nor do the nearly 1 million Sunni inhabitants of Mosul.  If the Iraki’s and the American’s aren’t careful, we risk igniting the Islamic State on a scale we simply will not be able to handle. Our only hope are the Kurds and the implacable necessity that Amerian leadership reverse its policy/political goals of Iranian solicitation.  If not, expect the Kurds, and entire regional swaths of sunni’s to gather momentum of their own.

My monies on Amerian prudence, for Churchill was right, the Americans, after having tried everything else, will finally resolve to do the right thing.

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About William Holland

Systematic Theologian/International Relations
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