« The end of the beginning of the end? | Main | Ebola »

02 October 2014


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.


A question for this committee of correspondence:
If IS were to build a salafist state which controlled the assets now possessed by Saudi Arabia and did so without significantly degrading our military/economic power, what would that mean for us. I presume it would be an unwelcome development from the point of view of some other nations including Israel but not only them. But what would it mean for us?
Or would our military/economic power necessarily be significantly degraded even if we do not do our utmost to stop them?


Agree with you.

News from Iraq:
- all ground west of Ramadi is in IS hands
- includes city of Hit
- now also includes 8th ISF brigade in Ramadi and all its (heavy) weapons

News from Syria:
- IS in the outskirts of Kobane advancing
- No help, no reenforcement, no supplies for YPK/PKK in Kobane from any side, no U.S. airstrikes, Turks block border
- Hundreds of Jabhat al-Nusra are leaving from Idleb and Aleppeo and are going to Raqqa and Hasaka to join IS
- Next to the Syrian government IS will soon be the only game in town



"8th ISF Brigade?" Iraqi government? pl


Yes, Iraqi Security Forces, i.e. government Army.


Colonel, I do not think the US govt will allow the oil based infrastructure in Saudi Arabia's (include Bahrain, Kuwait) northeast corner to fall to any Salafist army. This would would be the case despite any disingenuous blather about proscribed sand filled boots, or the negative polling results of the citizenry's outlook on continuing US-Arab wars. Just my guess, based on the fact that the peoples' wishes have never been so unimportant in American history, as they are now, since there is precious little skin in the game, established, emergency war planning notwithstanding.


Yes, I paused there too, another complete ISF Brigade captured?


IS is attacking in so many different locations that seems like they are trying to spread out available air power, giving nightmares to target acquisition guys. Not that 224 strikes over three weeks means anything, on a 30,000 strong force, spread over a vast desert spanning over two so called countries, with IS having unlimited means of reinforcements and resources. And mobility for mad max style blitzkrieg attacks, mindful of schwerepunkt of an attack, and knowing how well a kessel works once you can create it, as Khobani is right now.

Sorry, I was in Germany last week.

I am watching a for a Turkish incursion north of Khobani, or a relief operation on Suleyman Shah tomb, just for show. Just to make Turkey seem to be doing something, like fake gun fights we have over in Nevada at a historic ranch resort. Spring Mountain Ranch, once owned by Clark Gable. Lots of dust, explosions, actors falling down on hay bales, shot, and it is delightful. Watch for the same north Syria. Actors there though, get up and bow to loud applause.


kunuri et al


Very severe losses. The ISF continues to crumble. pl



How about a mass popular revolt in favor of IS accompanied by the introduction of small, fast moving IS forces? pl


b, sorry, but Turks do not block the border, get your facts straight. Just the opposite, regardless of politics.

There are limited airstrikes from US Air Force at Kobane, GYFS.



Eventually they will star running terrorist ops against the US from their new country. pl


"And in another photograph, an Islamic State fighter fires an antitank missile at an M1 Abrams tank and successfully hits the target."

Aahh, I saw that video, fascinating, and thought it was an M1 Abrams tank, and I wrote about it here somewhere. Though it definitely was not an anti-tank missile, but some kind of rapid firing heavy cannon, insistently hitting on the sweet spot between the turret and the hull at close range.


Albayim, how would you feel like to be in operational command of an army where casualties are not a burden to accomplish the mission? In other words, against every instilled value, restriction and matter of conscious that agonizes a civilized commander before planning an operation? An IS commander must not have such restrictions from what we know, what do you think the value of such freedom as reflected on the battlefield as opposed to those who have. Would it count as a force multiplier?


Iraqi Security Forces have brigades? Iraqi Army, yes, since they are organized along US OOB, but security forces are more district, or region labeled, I think...


OK, I will throw a subject of discussion out here, for all who know my opposition to RTE rule and the sorry state of things over here. But of all nations involved in this IS, Iraq, Syria mess, I would like to propose that, given all, ideology notwithstanding, RTE has been following a policy of realpolitik worthy of Kissinger? From his point of view, not mine, or some one else's. Comments?



Here is a link to an article from American Conservative by Paul Schroeder entitled "The War Bin Laden Wanted". It is from way back in 2004, but conceptually it still has a lot of merit to my way of thinking. It advances a rationale for understanding the utility to Bin Laden and his cohorts of 9/11, the initial attack staged by Al Qaeda on the U.S. mainland, but not the first attack on the U.S. A logic for kick-starting the Islamic State, if you will.


dilbert dogbert

Read this morning that Turkey's legislature authorized troops into Iraq and Syria. Fact or BS?


The "problem" is that the new regime would not be a "reliable partner," tested by years of cooperation with the US. Instead, it would represent a gigantic unknown with all that entails, such as who to call when the US needs something done, like more or less oil pumped.

So, the "international community" prefers stability and continuity, even if a "reliable partner," like Saudi Arabia, might have been caught mucking around in things like in 9/11, something assiduously hidden from the American people.


The Greek news just has up that Turkey approved supporting the war on ISIS. This is the Independent piece I just dredged up: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/war-against-isis-turkey-joins-western-coalition-in-fight-to-stop-militants-9771253.html
I am not quite certain what all of this means: more posturing and false promises or some real change in policy and posture. I think Erdogan is a very foxy player. Just my two euro cents. Many here know more than I do on this.

Ishmael Zechariah

Col. Lang, SST,

Is there any new evidence that "Daash in Iraq" is primarily the reconstituted Baath army?

I cannot imagine a bunch of irregulars, no matter how ably led, to have the kind of success they are having. I might, of course, be wrong.

Ishmael Zechariah


Haralambos to Haralambos
This exchange from the Independent piece documents one of the many fault lines in this conflict:

"Necdet Ozer, 30, believed Turkey was weak and needed to join the international coalition to be able to defend itself. 'We need to have a buffer zone, we need to attack Isis and we need the United States to be able to end this war in Syria,' he said.

"His father Fiyat interrupts: 'You are the only one here to have this view. You are not my son any more – how can you say this? All countries that have Kurds – Turkey, Syria, Iraq and Iran – they don’t respect us. We need to fight our own battles.'"

Father against son is an age-old motif and reality as is brother-against-brother. 'Blood is thicker than water' is sometimes true, but not universal, especially in this part of the world (the Levant) or even in our USA.


Xenophon made a reminder of the context of the Polar Bear Expedition. That was also my point when I mentioned the Czech Legion in a past thread.


Dear Colonel,

I would add to ISF that the Iraqi government is crumbling given that the Iraqi government cannot resupply, even by airdrop, forces trapped an hour drive from the capitol. To me that suggests bureaucratic paralyzation.



This reminds of my old metaphor of a brick wall rotting at the foot. It still looks god for quite a while as leans and leans and then suddenly collapses. pl

FB Ali

Col Lang,

"....If bin Laden really did have that in mind, he and his colleagues and the Taliban have paid a very high price for his cleverness...."

I think he did have in mind luring the US into a wider war that would become a war against Islamdom. He has achieved that: Muslims almost everywhere feel under attack from the West led by the US, with the US either overthrowing Muslim governments or making them puppets, and waging war against those who do not succumb.

I agree he and his colleagues and the Taliban have paid a very high price, but I think he was prepared to accept that. AQ has been smashed in its original home but its offspring have popped up in many other places; it has also spawned a much more virulent (and more effective) mutation, the Islamic State. The Taliban have also taken heavy losses but are resurgent. When people believe that dying for the cause ensures paradise, death loses its terror.

It is tragic, especially with so many other critical problems facing the world, but the war between the US (and its allies) and Islamdom is fully joined and will continue for God knows how long.

The comments to this entry are closed.

My Photo

February 2021

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
  1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
Blog powered by Typepad