I hear from competent reporters on the ground in Iraq that a great panic has set in within the Iraqi Ministry of Defense. Abadi, like his Shia co-religionist Maliki, has been engaged in a thorough effort to disadvantage all the Sunni populations of Iraq. This would include; the Kurds (90% Sunni), the Sunni Arabs, the Sunni Turkomans, etc. To accomplish this, Sunni majority areas have been systematically deprived of weaponry and funding for years. Alternatively, Shia manned army and police units were stationd in Sunni areas like Mosul for the purpose of keeping the Sunnis under control
Now, to quote that notable American of the '60s and 70s.. H. Rap Brown, "the chickens has come home to roost." Shia units have collapsed and fled wherever they have met IS on Sunni populated ground and under resourced Sunni units have been defeated in Sunni majority areas like Anbar Province. Is Tikrit an exception to that? No. The IS withdrawal from the city was, IMO, a calculated IS ploy successfully executed for the purpose of fixing government forces in place while IS mobile forces moved to Anbar.
The Shia government in Baghdad has run out of cards. Their "army" has lost so much US supplied equipment that the remaining units are an isolated remnant and the government is reduced to relying on former Shia murder squads in the militias. Not surprisingly the Shia bigwigs are thinking of exile.
At the same time, the US government is suffering the effects of a cognitive dissonance that has prevailed since the First Gulf War and which became all controlling with the accession to power of GW Bush and the Svengalis of the neocon cabal.
The snake oil sold by the neocons contains the basic ingredients of disrespect for local cultures and a belief that the Muslims have no culture worth living by or respecting. This attitude has permeated the US government leading to an unjustified expectation that in the end the natives would be "reasonable" and would accept US tutelage in becoming "modern" and will remain attached to their former beliefs only so far as they are decorative.
We now see the result of this attitude and its resulting policy all over the Middle East and North Africa. The only US responses have been; more BS hurled at the governments, US military trainers exposed to unreasonable risks and bombing, lots of bombing.
I wrote earlier this week of the US policy collective or "Borg." That Borg is so densely structured and inflexible that it is incapable of adapting to the rejection that reality has visited on its dreams.
As a result the Borg is falling to bits internally, incapable of dealing with unfolding disaster. Names like Bataan and the Chosin Reservoir come increasingly to mind. pl