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23 June 2014

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Denis

I'm in Canada, but I'm ex-USMC (Viet Vet) and I can appreciate why USG would not take the deal.

But given US's rep for war crimes I can also see why Iraq or any country would not want US soldiers w/ immunity for civilian crimes in their country. I think a better way to phrase the hypothetical is: Would Floridians want 100,000 Iraqi soldiers stationed in Florida who are immune from Florida and US laws? Don't think so. Florida, like Iraq, would not take such a deal.

Do you know who has jurisdiction over US soldiers who violate civilian laws off base in, say, UK or Greece? I presume that is governed by treaty or some standing principle of int'l law. Does Turkey grant immunity to US servicemen who rape Turkish women or kill Turkish kids? I'm sure all this was explained in classes on UCMJ in boot camp, but I probably forgot it before graduation.

Ryan

That's true in the aggregate, Margaret. It includes all the military supplies and equipment seized.

The figure I've seen the most is $450 million. It is possible this figure is being drawn from a single source. I haven't looked at that. Anyway, like the military stuff, no one is sure how much they ran off with. The only people who have stolen more are the Wall Street and City of London banksters.

Ryan

cville,

From my reading, yes, there are Chechens with the ISIL. There are quite a few foreigners serving with them similar to those with al-Nusra.

I think it does fit a pattern as you observed.

confusedponderer

If these Chechens are veterans of the combat in Chechnya and survived through all of it, they must have under their belt, what, some twenty years of combat experience, in an environment with high attrition.

They may have fought both Russians, Americans, Hezbollah and the Syrian army and must have drawn valuable tactical lessons.

Even with half that experience, they would, with proper training, probably be very capable NCOs, and it is likely that they did get such training. It is easy to see how such people would be a valuable addition to ISIS.

Ryan

Booong!

Breaking news!

Fox News has just learned that former members of Saddam's Ba'ath Party are working with ISIS.

http://www.foxnews.com/world/2014/06/23/isis-joins-forces-with-saddam-loyalists-in-bid-to-take-baghdad/

Hurrah for Fox News! Hurrah for our media for being the sentinels of vigilance and truth!

confusedponderer

Quite sharp a bunch down there at FOX.

This whole mess only proves that de-baathification was a harebrained scheme, and the idiots who cooked it up ought to have ben publicly disgraced long ago, be it only as a warning to other miscreants. This was just as stupid as them dissolving the Iraqi army.

But in the end, that's what the US and the Shiites get for marginalising and pushing out a former elite, irrespective of individual culpability.

People lost their livelihoods because, what, they were former deputy nothing in the Baath party? In a country where party membership was a necesity for career advancement and didn't necessarily imply any ideological attachment?

And when they were resentful over that, idiots like Rumsfeld and Bremer sand Wolfowitz called them 'Deadenders'. Because these people - in the New Iraq - couldn't possibly have a legitimate grievance.

Tyler

Hah!

Tyler

Ryan, I'm unable to see that link.

Tyler

It would be a tempting offer, if only because I'm doubling my pay for 3 - 6 months. Going to have to wait to see how it shakes out - it certainly beats theAfghanistan detail hands down.

robt willmann

Here we go.... The Pentagon spokesman Rear Admiral John Kirby says that "No truth to rumors in media today that US drones struck ISIL targets in Iraq".

https://twitter.com/PentagonPresSec/status/481449086743494656

OK, the usual soft spots:

"US drones". Maybe Saudi drones? Israeli drones? Maybe not drones at all but airplanes. US airplanes? Syrian airplanes? Jordanian airplanes?

"ISIL targets". Sunni targets? Ba'ath targets? Syrian targets? "Some other name" targets?

"near" the "Syrian border". The Jordanian border? If you are Bill Clinton, and the strikes were inside Iraq, you would say they were near the Iraqi border, not the Syrian border.

Back on 13 June, Adm. Kirby had the thankless task of talking about this whole mess when it first blew up in the public in a press conference broadcast on C-Span.

http://www.c-span.org/video/?319966-2/defense-department-briefing

omonaija12

Col

By the way, Bobby is Indian.

Fred

"... doubling my pay for 3 - 6 months."

Finally, some coin you can bank on.

Thomas

Tyler,

Here it is, al Douri's facebook page.

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Izzat-Ibrahim-Al-Douri/193701978136

The Iraqi Sunnis awaiting their new King.

Ryan

"We should consider a substantial troop commitment in eastern Jordan."

Better yet, colonel, let the Israelis deal with it. Seeing how they are next door and are such a staunch ally in the GWOT as we are constantly told they should be up to the task.

turcopolier

Ryan

"let the Israelis deal with it" No! The treaty with Israel is not well accepted in Jordan and the presence of Israeli troops on Jordanian soil in a situation short of actual war would severely destabilize the monarchy. pl

Ryan

I'm kidding, sir.

However, I am serious with this. It shows just how useless Israel is as an ally. What Michael Scheuer said dumping Israel is spot on, in my opinion. Israel is a strategic liability.

Uh, oh, more bad news sir. You wrote a couple days ago about a possible move towards the autobahn between Baghdad and Basra by the Ba'athist/ISIS forces from the west. It appears it has started.

http://www.bnd.com/2014/06/24/3272636/islamist-fighters-reportedly-attempting.html

I wonder if they will use some of the meat shield to pin down forces at Samara while trying to take Baquba or work their way around it to set up a double envelopment with the objective to blockade the city? This should create not only supply and reinforcement difficulties for Maliki, but a major refugee problem as well if that autobahn is either cut or interdicted.

Ryan

Two items of interest. The first one is from a Kurdish source. The story claims that Maliki has lost seven divisions. The equipment losses are ten billion dollars. If this is true Maliki has lost half his army. On paper the Iraqi army stood at 14 divisions. This might be true. The Iraqi Army has a number of "ghost soldiers" on the payroll.

http://rudaw.net/english/middleeast/iraq/26062014

ISIS forces continue to advance on Haditha. According to this story they have reached a town next door to Haditha.

"Alarmed that the insurgents would reach the dam, army officers told employees to stay inside and to be prepared to open the dam’s floodgates if ordered to do so, one employee said."

This wouldn't be the first time this has happened.

http://www.boston.com/news/world/middle-east/2014/06/25/sunni-militants-advance-toward-large-iraqi-dam/Cr48PJc8u9SattcXaURsAN/story.html

North of Baghadad, the ISIS is trying to capture the airfield at Balad. ISIS is hitting it with mortar fire.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/06/25/us-iraq-security-idUSKBN0F00RO20140625

There are a few light aircraft and helicopters on the airfield. On CNN there was a discussion on what to do about this. Hmm, why not fly them out? Or have the pilots deserted?

Meanwhile, the Brahmin of Bombast, John Kerry, continues his clown tour.

Situation: FUBAR.

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