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20 June 2014

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Matthew

Apparently, Kurdish independence is the Israel talking point of the day....so, of course, a Neo-Con would be peddling it. See http://www.jpost.com/Diplomacy-and-Politics/Israel-set-to-receive-oil-from-Iraqi-Kurdistan-360054

WP

All,

Can we have some discussion as to why a tripartite division of Iraq into Kurdistan, Sunnistan, and Shiastan would be bad or good. It seems to me that the three groups have very different concepts of what type of society they wish to impose on themselves that seem mutually unsuitable among the three groups. The current tribal rising looks more to me like a secession movement than anything else where the Sunni tribes seem to have reached an internal consensus that there is simply no hope that they will be fairly treated in a united Iraq. If there were a division, wouldn't the tribes just quash ISIL?

What are the views of this committee of correspondence on this?

ISL

Further quoting the reuters article:

"The participation of Shi'ite militias and tens of thousands of new Shi'ite army volunteers has allowed the Iraqi military to rebound after mass desertions by soldiers last week......."

so by my count perhaps half the 50000 force is Shi'ite army members of a few days experience, with a significant remaining fraction militias with no formal training. Seems likely to reduce the culminating point distance back towards Baghdad (which I presume is lightly defended with most troops heading North).


FB Ali

Keeping up with the rapidly moving day-to-day developments it is easy to lose sight of the realities and implications of the underlying situation. This is, basically, that in the last few days the ISIS attack into Iraq has been the catalysis for a Sunni uprising that has seized large areas of the country.

The "Iraqi" army now massed for a counterattack is in reality a Shia army (especially with the influx of large numbers of Shia militiamen). The US advisers (and possible US air attacks) will be supporting an Iraqi Shia force fighting against, and seeking to destroy, an Iraqi Sunni one. This may be disguised in the Western MSM, but will be quite clear to the rest of the world. There will inevitably be atrocities committed against the Sunnis during the war, and the US will be considered complicit in them by Sunnis in Iraq and elsewhere.

Even if the Baghdad government is reorganized to include some token Sunnis, it will still be regarded by Sunnis everywhere as a Shia government trying to crush and conquer a Sunni population. It may satisfy US (and Western) politicians and publics, but will not deceive anyone else.

By its support of the Iraqi government and military the US hopes to restore the country to the status quo ante. The Sunnis (and the Kurds) will never accept this. The only possible peaceful resolution of this crisis is for Iraq to become a confederal state comprising Shia, Sunni and Kurd regions, but the Shia will never accept that. It is likely that Iraq will devolve into a state of unending warfare, like Syria.

The only gainers from this (apart from Israel and, possibly, the Kurds) would be Sunni jihadis. They will get a considerable influx of recruits and funds from all over the Sunni world. Just as the chaos in Syria allowed them to establish their domain in captured territory, this will enable them to expand it into Iraq. Their aim of establishing a jihadi state in the ME will become achievable, with serious implications for the West.

This US involvement on the side of the Iraqi Shia will have serious repercussions on the attitudes and policies of Sunni countries, especially in the ME, towards it. This is likely to occur even if the US pulls its military endeavour out of Iraq when it realises the quagmire it has got into.

Fred

Matthew,

I agree with your comment and the Colonel's observation about D.C. However he was also correct in his comment in a prior thread about Bob Kerrey (the former Nebraska Senator) when he stated "..the path of honor" or words to that effect. The path of honor require an individual, especially those at the highest level, to indicate the facts to our leadership regardless of the impact to the career. CJCS Dempsey is a man of honor, or so I perceive. From what I can see few others appointed by this administration choose to fulfill that obligation.

MartinJ

An absolutely marvellous anecdote! So illustrative of how Yemen remains and how Saleh to this day plays sides off against one another. In the case of latter years he has both encouraged/supported/funded/directed AQ while simultaneously extracted money from the US to fight AQ. The only thing that has changed in the game is the main patron and the name of the enemy.

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