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10 October 2014

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alba etie

TC request correction
When I called for a meeting of key decision makers a little while ago I meant to ask for all former SF officers that helped kill AQI leader Zarqawi not Zawhari . Also would like to request King Abdullah of Jordan have a representative at this meeting too .

Kyle Pearson

Central 'Stanasia is closely watching how things unfold in the middle east. The longer the conflict rages - and the more extreme the religious and political rhetoric becomes - Pakistani/Saudi influence will increasingly be rejected, and the influence of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) will be strengthened. This significantly increases Russian and Chinese trade ties in the region.

China further uses this time to agitate for a move away from the US dollar, to instead establish an alternate reserve currency. Obviously, this will require stronger trade ties between China and the 'Stans; however, with the rise of ISIS, China has an extremely strong case to make for its own brand of hands-off, state-to-state relationships. Additionally, with China's trade ties to Iran, the Iranian influence in the region will play strongly in its favor. In times not so ancient, the central Asian 'Stans were known as "Greater Persia."

Where competition for influence over the trade and military ties in the Stanasia region have been the main block to Iranian / Russian detente, cooperation in shoring up Syria will build greater trust between the two militaries - how much and how far this will continue remains to be seen, but it is to be presumed that so long as hostilities continue, that trust will continue to build, if only from necessity. As the Russian navy moves in to support Syria (and, indirectly, Syrian Kurds), the deliveries of more advanced Russian weaponry will force a greater cooperation along the Syrian-Russian-Iranian axis; with a common enemy to fight, that cooperation will establish a strong foundation for future cooperation, and will further push forward the SCO agenda.
India, as the premier non-aligned nation of yesteryear, is an observer to the SCO and - having recently progressed in establishing friendlier ties with China - has become an observer to the group. So long as the ISIS conflict continues - and with the US failure in Afghanistan obtrusively in the foreground - Indian elites will find the SCO a more attractive option to aligning with US aims in the region.

China will closely watch how the hostilities unfold, and adjust its domestic policies towards minority agitators (Tibet, Xinjiang, and Taiwan/Hong Kong) accordingly. As stronger ties to the central 'Stans develop, the domestic policies in the western regions will find a lot of support from neighboring nations.

Meanwhile, the United States continues to develop its color revolution tactics in Hong Kong ("The Umbrella Revolution") and Taiwan ("The Sunflower Revolution"), in an attempt to damage China's reputation in those territories and distract from the catastrophe it has created in the middle east and Ukraine. The ultimate US aim is to build up a movement that ultimately will result in the possibility of a breakdown in civil order that provokes China into action, and results in an international response (sanctions, blockade, UN action). The conflict in the middle east is a suitable cover for these first steps in what appears to be a long-term plan, as part of the "Pivot to Asia."

By the time the middle eastern hostilities close, the US will have established a media narrative of increasingly oppressed peoples in Hong Kong and Taiwan, chafing under aggressive Chinese encroachment.

As the Ukraine winter sets in, the Novorossiyan territories will dig in for a long defense, while the rest of Ukraine - starved for resources which are traditionally delivered by Russia - starts to feel the hardship incurred by the ongoing conflict: hunger, cold, poverty, and an economy that's dead-in-the-water. People in the more developed and resource-rich Novorossiyan territories will not feel these pangs so severely, and will find it easy to continue on as-is. The Ukrainian government will demand significant economic and resource support from NATO, but with the reduced flow of Russian gas to Western Europe, the economies there will be in no position to provide humanitarian aid without significantly affecting their own economic well-being. This will bring strong pressure on western European leaders to reach further accommodation with Russia. With the US-led sanctions against Russia having done little to halt its rapidly expanding economy, and with Russia's ties to China and the SCO, greater ties with western Europe will strengthen its capacity to deliver military and economic aid to Syria well into the future. It will also make cooperation with Russia and China much more attractive to central Asia, further strengthening the Russia-China-Iran axis that is the SCO.

As the European economy takes a hit, so, too, the US economy will slow. If unrest in Asia grows, the likelihood of a catastrophic market crash will significantly increase. By March, the US is facing either a distant or imminent possibility of another 2007 scenario.

Behind the scenes, Erdogan will continue to triangulate his actions between the Muslim Brotherhood and Arabian (led by the Sauds) plans for the current military actions in Iraq and Syria. To sell this strategy to his own people, publicly he will appeal to strong anti-American sentiment among traditional, conservative Muslims by demanding UN intervention outside the auspices of US leadership. This will also be an attempt to sidestep NATO, while ameliorating the public antagonism of countries like Russia, and China.

Turkey's aims are to destroy or significantly reduce Syrian Kurdish military power and/or to absorb Syrian territory along the Israeli model: establish a protectorate of some sort in Syrian territory that abuts the Turksih borders, and then gradually assimilate the territory by drawing out the conflict as long as possible, thereby making it impossible for the Syrian government to re-assert sovereignty over the UN-defined protectorates. Part of his plan may be an attempt to draw in Pakistani military forces to aid in executing Arabian plans in the region. Russia, China, Iran, and Syria will recognize all of this, and so the UN plan will fail; but the public image of Erdogan as a man of peace facing extreme events who is at the mercy of unfaithful allies will be established among certain groups throughout the middle east, and will mask his realpolitik among certain groups of Muslims.

These policies of Erdogan's will effectively divide Turkey into three rancorous groups: some 30% of Turks already believe the events to the south do not and should not involve them; conservative, traditionalist Turkish muslims will side with Erdogan against the "great Satan" and the Kurds, and these likely will not number significantly more than 30 or 40% (the non-Kurdish rural population, plus some city dwellers); and perhaps another third will strongly oppose the regime and push for reconciliation and cooperation with NATO and the US. Provided there is no (or very little) Kurdish terrorism within Turkey, the first and third of these groups are likely to build political and military alliances with one another, and these will be smiled upon by what remains of the secular Turkish army. These will begin putting great pressure on Erdogan: more riots will break out in areas of high population density, with religiously conservative / ultra-nationalist Turks on one side, and urbane, secular Turks / Kurds on the other.

Despite the dissolution of the Iraqi army in the western regions, BIA and Baghdad will be strongly defended, in part by irregular Shia militias, many of whom have absorbed units of the fleeing Iraqi military, or are Iraqi military units that have been reorganized, and are under new leadership. American military equipment will be used as effective tools of urban warfare. Senior Iranian military officers will provide detailed logistical and intelligence briefs, and will lead the defense, in the process training and selecting future officers for the Iraqi army. The defense of BIA and Baghdad will be determined and fierce; the likelihood of ISIS easily overrunning Baghdad and asserting control over it is as low as it was when the US first invaded Iraq: even if an intial attack is overwhelmingly successful, there will be a long war of attrition which the inhabitants of Baghdad will determinedly wage.

As the US shores up Kurdish resistance with deliveries of stronger weaponry and SOF, a tense but effective cooperation between the US and Irani advisers will develop.

Russia will park the best of its fleet just off the coast of Syria, delivering strong firepower and intelligence support to the Syrian government. With the US and Iranian presence in the region, there is nothing anyone can say to dispute the Russian presence. The Russian support of Syrian personnel will work both to discourage Israeli adventurism, and provide an strong defensive support for western / coastal Syria, and perhaps even southern Lebanon.

By the arrival of March, there will be a strong curtain of defense across the Syrian and Jordanian borders in the west, Kurdistan in the north and east, and Iraqi forces in the south. The fight in Baghdad will either be slowly simmering, or be raging through certain contained neighborhoods. Without ports and relying solely upon routes originating in Saudi Arabia and Turkey, after winter has passed and trade has dwindled townsfolk under ISIS rule will begin to feel the pressures of reduced trade and political isolation. Active unrest will grow. Moderate Sunni groups (most Sunni in the area are far more moderate than ISIS) in the region will begin to grate under the harsh ISIS rule, particularly former Baathists and their townsfolk brethren, those who once occupied working-class or middle-class status and didn't have to worry about their daughters and wives having their nose cut off, or being stoned for wearing the wrong robe when they went out to shop at the local mall, or drink tea at the local bakery. At the same time, the desert tribes will begin to strongly assert the power to adjudicate and rule over their own people, and reject ISIS's harsh brand of Sharia. Trade routes depend on them, and they hold a strong sway over ISIS decisions. By March, ISIS will find it considerably more difficult to move eastward, westward, or northward, but because of these internal pressures there will be strong motivation to assimilate agitators from within the peoples over which it rules and put them to fighting.

As tensions mount within ISIS, "the caliphate" will be forced to either find easier prey than the black hole of urban warfare that Baghdad has turned into - most likely Syrian Kurdistan, with indirect Turkish support? - or, if it has emerged temporarily victorious in that city, it will undertake a strong, concentrated push southwards, towards Basra and Kuwait, where it can establish a port of call, establish long borders with Saudi Arabia, and begin normalizing trade.

Request from TC:

What are the official estimates of the Jordanian and Saudi military capabilities, relative to what ISIS has so far displayed? And to what extent are Jordanian desert tribes that span the border loyal to Jordan, rather than to their own interests? To what extent do they identify with the Wahabbi / Salafi sects?

Also, going forward, what is the official position of Russia vis a vis Israeli attacks on Syrian planes? Russia has publicly warned Turkey, but is there any established policy for Israel? Finally, how effective are the new Syrian air defenses against the Turkish and Israeli air force?

Kyle Pearson

Addendum:

With US agitation in Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Thailand now obvious, Indonesia, Malaysia, and the rest of Indochina (excepting Vietnam) begin exploring ways to build stronger trade ties with China and India, to offset their reliance on US and European consumers to sustain their economies. Malaysia, in particular, is strongly motivated to involve itself more deeply in Thailand's political troubles. By March of next year, both of these countries are distancing themselves from Saudi and Pakistani influence (cracking down on Saudi-aligned Jihadi Imams), while actively investigating possible membership in the SCO.

Babak Makkinejad

All:

Libya, Somalia, and Mali recognize ISIS.

turcopolier

AE

TC Response - Requests for meetings must be for meetings in which you will take part as one of the game players. In such a meeting TC will play the part of your interlocutors. pl

BabelFish

Erbil/Mosul Dam: As JSTARS and Rivet Joint analysis ramps up to speed,it is fused with Green Beret on the ground observation. This spawns a series of strikes against ISIS armor and tube artillery, primarily by Predator drone launched Hellfire missiles, that finally begin to degrade weapons advantages ISIS has enjoyed. The Rivet Joint data gathering also helps to selectively jam ISIS communications, including cell phone usage. Together with Green Beret help in becoming proficient in newly acquired weapons, the combination provides Erbil with a security level not thought possible 4 months earlier.

Syria/Turkey/Iraq border area: While unauthorized by their government, the Turk military is giving a Chinese weapon sales team a chance to demonstrate the utility of their HQ-9 SAM system. They elect to demo the unit in as real world an environment as it gets, right near the Syrian border. Unfortunately, the senor officer assigned the duty of informing his NATO counterpart of this test fails to do so. The Chinese demo team turns on the unit, which searches and acquires JSTARS and Growler aircraft that are peering into Turkey, looking for ISIS logistics flow. One Growler does not wait for lock on to occur and fires 2 HARM missiles at the HQ-9 unit. One of these tracks true and shreds the launcher unit. The resulting explosions kill a significant number of Chinese and Turkish military personnel. The political and diplomatic outfall is fierce and hardens the Erdogan stand on denial of base usage and of sharing of intel. He also considers banning French overflights, from the Charles De Gaul, as it steams in the Southeastern Black Sea.

JJackson

Turkey
Continued and escalating civil unrest but no change in the Government’s position. The only new development is a shift in protests to include a sizable ‘Quit NATO’ movement.
Iraq
The Government begin to quietly set up an alternative seat of government in Basra, transferring what it can in readiness, and warn the US they will publicly relocate there if they do not get a substantial investment in military and financial support.
Anbar is a mess. There is little commitment to any overt move against IS but they are happy to take any support they can get from the US, at least initially. Some of the more hardline tribes inform IS of those tribes that are colluding and ISL makes a rather bloody example of a couple of collaborating tribes after which the awakening 2.0 takes a bit of a recruiting hit.
Kurds
US help is working as far as protecting core Kurdish territory to ISL’s East but the Kurds cannot be persuaded to go on the offensive in support of coalition objectives only Kurdish ones.
Syria
IS up their interest in Aleppo and other groups operating in the area agree an intergroup truce until the situation is resolved. The encirclement is halted but produces some of the heaviest fighting, and casualties, in the whole civil war.
Ebola is becoming an increasing distraction. The spread has caused Western cote d’Ivore to now be included in the main area and the improving situation in Guinea has been reversed due to reintroductions from Liberia and Sierra Leone. From the point of view of the ISL effort the greater effect has been in Western Europe where the various clusters have distracted the MSM and public’s attention from the ME and caused a questioning of ISL as an EU priority.

FB Ali

Forecast to 1 March 2015:

Turkey continues to press the US for commitments to an anti-Assad campaign, including a no-fly zone, in return for Turkish support in the anti-IS campaign. Failing to get this, Turkey plays only a token role in the anti-IS campaign. Its attitude allows IS to capture Kobani and clean up Kurdish areas in Syria. Turkey agrees to raise and train FSA troops, ostensibly to be used against IS, but the US suspects that they will be used mainly against Assad's forces.

Baghdad comes under increasing attacks by artillery, suicide bombers and ground incursions. Large scale evacuations by civilians. However, the Shia militias and Iraqi SF manage to hold the city. Attacks on the BIA and the threat to the Green Zone force the US to deploy ground troops for their protection.

USFGA attempts to win over Iraqi Sunni tribes and others with IS have mixed results. While the tribal leaders accept liberal grants of money for promises of support, their ability to win over their members appears limited; most continue to remain with IS or adopt a wait-and-see attitude. Former Iraqi army personnel with IS will have nothing to do with USFGA. In these efforts, US personnel come across pointers that Turkish intelligence is engaged in a similar effort, and is having much more success, especially with former military men. US suspects Turkey is engaged in a covert attempt to engineer a take-over of IS by former Iraqi military officers.

Assad consolidates his hold on Aleppo, Hama, Homs and South to Damascus. However, he has considerable difficulty dealing with attempts by JN, assisted by FSA, to take over territory West and South-West of Damascus, and they make significant gains due to the support they are getting from the US (in Jordan) and the Israelis. Hizbullah largely withdraws its fighters from Syria in order to defend Lebanon against attacks by JN, which is drawing more and more support from Lebanon's Sunnis. The danger of Lebanon exploding into another civil war increases.

FSA groups are being trained in Saudi Arabia. Attempts to use some groups considered sufficiently proficient in operations against IS prove disastrous. The troops either cut and run or join IS with their weapons.

Kurdish Peshmerga continue to bolster their strength with US/allied supplied weapons and training. However, they undertake only limited operations to retake territory lost earlier to IS, and to strengthen defences of KAR.

US and allied air strikes increase in scope and intensity. IS fighters are adapting well to the air threat, but these attacks are causing them losses and have limited their ability to undertake large-scale operations. During this period IS consolidates its hold on Anbar province and the other areas it has seized in Syria and Iraq. It probes the defences of Baghdad, and makes reconnaissance sorties into Jordan and Saudi Arabia, but does not attempt any serious effort against either the KAR or the Shia areas South of Baghdad, while making its presence felt.

DH

The US is satisfied that Turkey allows the French naval group flyover privileges in eastern Anatolia, etc., knowing that Turkey is in a bind not wanting to provoke IS and her IS-sympathizing citizens. US understands that the Turkish demand for a Syrian no-fly zone and US troops on the ground are intended to be impossible demands.

By 1 December, the Turkish military, due to violence verging on civil war (breakdown of authority, Kurdish-Islamist clashes, Islamist Sunnis calling for jihad, frustration with Erdogan's semi-cooperation with IS at the expense of civil order) stages a coup and declares a semi-autonomous region for Kurds. In exchange for Kurdish cooperation in defending from IS aggression, a loose time-table over 20 years, leading to full autonomy, is arranged. Ocalan, from prison, but with a pardon in sight, rallies the Kurds to this proposal.

Islamists calling for Jihad are rounded up as possible and driven over the border into to Kobane.

The American-Iranian bromance proceeds apace. Strengthened by the nurturing of their Kurdish love child, a back channel agreement is reached involving a nuclear agreement with Iran in exchange for the guaranteed defense of the Green Zone.

By 1 January 2015, the Pesh Merga, between the arming by Iran and training by USSF, are on the offensive in areas deemed strategically significant by the tacit US/Iran coalition

By 9 November, with essentially nothing left to defend, and in order to not end up with a foreign policy disaster on his hands, POTUS orders the withdrawal of all US personnel from BIA.

By 1 January Lebanon will be in extremis (battling each other from within, IS/FSA from without, and Israel grabbing at the brass ring of the Litani).

Sporadic outbreaks of Ebola have been suppressed in the West, greatly encouraged by hysterically frantic populations. The US-Mexican border is on complete lock-down by the US military.

In the slums of Mumbai, Ebola is spreading like wildfire and the Indian military has quarantined the entire city.

DH

Addendum: that should read Lebanon 'quarreling with each other from within.'

Kim Sky

Forecast to 1 March 2015

Diplomatic Front: Border controls, air-traffic massively reduced. Tourism world-wide to stand-still. Turkey on verge of economic breakdown, no Ebola yet, rise of IS has clipped tourism there.

Political Front: Ebola outbreak in US, Saudi, UAE, along with war-weary public. Protests break out all over these three countries, demanding removal of all Filipinos.

Kobane Front: IS gained control of city. The Democratic Union Party (PYD) and People's Protection Units (YPG) virtually genocided. Turkey pleased with development.

Aleppo Front: Secured by Asad.

KAR front: Kurdish Autonomous Region has finally gained independence from Iraq, a deal made to secure Peshmerga support for offensive-action outside Kurdish borders.

Anbar Front, major battle, bombing campaign to re-take Ramadi, most Sunnis from Baghdad who could, fled to Ramadi.

Baghdad Front: All Sunnis are purged from Bagdad, mass exodus, support from Military-"consultants" ie. Iran, US, Australia, Germany. Massive revenge attacks on Sunnis and their neighborhoods by Shiite militias and police, the remainder rounded up and removed to internment camp near Jordan border. Baghdad Airport, Green Zone secured.

Ebola Front: Philippines sends health workers to Ebola-hit West Africa. Overseas Filipino Workers, (OFWs). OFWs health-care workers are identified as main source of spread to Western countries. Panic. US, Saudi, UAE cases in the hundreds.

Turkish Front: Kurdish Hizbullah join ranks with IS, Turkish police and military secretly join IS. Turkey refusing to join war to this day! PKK besieged, unable to mount any kind of resistance within Turkey.

ISL

Bandolero,

I think you under-estimate the level of partisan politics in the US once both houses of congress (per scenario) are under Republican control, and how politically, the US has "evolved" to where loyal opposition is regarded as an antiquated idea.

toto

- Turkey obviously decided that Daesh was a better neighbour than the PKK-aligned Syrian Kurds. They get their wish. Turkish Kurds incensed. Peace process dead, resumption of terrorism with disturbing cases of just plain free-for-all ethnic violence.

- Non-Daesh jihadis, and non-islamist fighters (including the hapless FSA), are reduced to local nuisance role.

- The Iranian govenrment maintains its current approach to negotiations: none. No inclusive government in Baghad or Damascus will be considered; the only goal is to maintain hardcore Shia regimes under full control of Tehran (in Syria, Bashar's personal status will not be discussed either). The imminent fall of Aleppo reinforces this attitude. Sunni disgruntlement be damned.

- By contrast, Daesh proves more subtle than its predecessors and avoids deliberately antagonizing Sunni tribes. They may hope to assimilate them "culturally" over the medium term, simply through the sheer appeal of their message (after all, they did manage to flip Baathist officers).

- As a result of the two previous points, Americans efforts at restarting the Awakening prove largely inconclusive.

- Daesh do *not* plan an all-out assault on Baghdad. They will maintain nuisance and deny normal operation in and round Baghdad, especially at BIA. They may also launch punctual, spectacular operations in the hope of provoking a panic and a "Saigon moment" for propaganda purposes. "We kicked the crusaders out of Baghdad" would have a nice ring to it, even if the "Safavid scum" (Daesh-speak for Shias) remains in control.

Of course, if their probes find little resistance, they may get emboldened. But barring such opportunity, physically taking Baghdad is not their priority.

- Lebanon becomes a new battleground between Jihadists and Hezbollah. The secular and Christian populations are increasingly squeezed by the violence.


Overall result:

All these developments point toward the same direction: a de-facto partition of the entire region between the Iranian mini-Empire, and the Daesh semi-state, with other actors contained or neutralized.

Wildcards:

- Attitude of Daesh towards Sunni tribes. The throat-slitting impulse may prove too strong.

- Training and assistance to the FSA might bring them beyond the level of mere nuisance, possibly inducing some kind of negotiation with the Iranians (highly unlikely, but evidently someone in Washington wants to hang on this possibility).

ISL

ISIS Mar15 Forecast from Oct10_2014 Based on Nov 5 SitRep

The Humpty Dumpty Summary: The events of Nov-Mar were dominated by an incoherent US foreign policy that sought to recreate Sunni support for a federal Iraqi government that no longer exists and, like humpty dumpty, has no chance of being reconstructed.

Kobane Front : Against surprising Kurdish resistance, as of Nov 5, ISIS was close to capturing Kobane. Given the lack of change in Turkish foreign policy, increased US bombing has slowed IS movement of heavy weapons to the area; however, in november all of Kobane falls, with no significant strategic impact; however, this frees still limited US strike capability to target other key areas.

Anbar Front: The Iraqi govt continues to demonstrate its inability and unwillingness to change, even in the face of loss of much of the Iraqi territory. Special forces are finding it challenging to swing tribes fully, nost adopt a wait and see. Tribes are open to accepting training aid and weapons. One Anbar tribe declares its allegiance to the new Iraqi government in Exile, and suffers massacres including their leader from other tribes demonstrating loyalty to Sunnistan/IS. Several SF troops are betrayed, and publically beheaded, leading to the start of US impeachment proceedings. Military leaders refocus SF operations to create a guerilla force(s) among Anbar disaffected to attack and harrass IS, with some success. However, Obama orders a pull-back of all personnel to Kurdistan, with efforts to be only through intermediaries. A lack of direct contact and double dealing renders efforts to create a guerilla force highly ineffective.

Shiia-stan: The Iraqi military completely dissolves, and to prevent internecine shiia civil war over the spoils of military bases in Shiia-stan, the Iraq government deputizes several militias, charging them with defense. In opposing the ethnic cleansing of West Baghdad, they perform admirably, but suffer unacceptably high losses that reduce their fighting effectiveness. In desperation, the Shiia generals now in charge of the Iraqi-government request and receive massive Iranian participation in transforming the militias into a fighting force. Discussions begin about Shiia-stan joining Iran. This leads the US to break off nuclear talks with Iran, and after a high level assasination of a visiting Iranian intelligence officer suspected (but not proven) by US forces, Iranian-backed Kurdish forces shoot down a US helicopter in Kurdistan. Cooperation in Kurdistan between US and Iran ceases, with reports of proxy fighting between US and Iranian Kurds. During the Kurd on Kurd fighting, ISIS retakes Mosul dam, but loses control Kurdish towns near Iranian border, reversing earlier gains by consolidated Kurdistan. A brigade of US ground forces are transferred Kurdistan to defend the tatters of the Obama foreign policy during the impeachment hearings. Any military engagement that fails, leads to additional democratic allies of the president abandoning him during the impeachment trials. In response, the Obama administation begins micromananging military efforts; Chuck Hagel and others resign.

Allepo. Syrian Army gains are slower than thought due to effective harassment of their logistical support lines by IS forces. However, increased aid from Russia allows the Loyalist forces to retake Allepo. In the debacle for FSA it dissolves and joins IS, which has now become the major recipient of Turkish support against Assad.

ISIS/DAESH testing of Lebanese “resolve” is successul in a non-Hezbolah controlled area; and a new front opens in Lebanon. Shortly thereafter, IS aligned groups attack Lebanese government forces. Hezbollah sits this fight out, taking advantage of the weakening position of the Lebanese government to demand a rethink on the power sharing arrangement in Lebanon.

Terrorist attacks in Jordan and Saudi Arabia become common, inlcuding a spectacular one that shuts down a Saudi refinery for a week. The world petroleum markets panic, oil rises rapidly, and the US enters a new recession, with Obama popularity approaching that of Nixxon before he resigned. Meanwhile, terrorist attacks by IS affiliated groups are reported in Egypt, Yemen, and even Tunisia. Combined with Ebola spread, global tourism shuts down outside of East Asia (ebola not yet reported), and world trade slows dramatially as insufficient medical personnel are available to effectively screen people and ships.

Baghdad: Despite US efforts in and around Baghdad, intelligence is very poor; Shiia-stan, with increasing numbers of visible Iranian army officers present, refuses to provide any information to US forces. The Mahdi army was not deputized; and Iran directs them to shift their forces south; however, small Mahdi Army cells attack US forces, leading to US collateral damage in the response on the new, official Iraqi militia’s. Most Sunni informants who cooperated during the previous occupation refuse to cooperate or provide false information because of the lack of a (non-IS) Iraqi-Sunni government. This political failure (incoherent policy with no goals other than kick the can) shuts down what remained of the working relationship between Obama and the IC, with Obama seeking to deflect all failures onto the IC during the impeachment hearings.

Diplomatic pressure on Turkey has no effect.

William Fitzgerald

TC,

I missed the Move 2 end of play time limit. However, a brief overview of the 01MAR situation follows.

An overhaul of the national defense bureaucracy has led to personnel changes and a shift in national objectives and strategy. There is much pushback from elements in congress, think tanks, and mass media outlets. A military coup in Turkey has led to the ouster of what is now called the "Erdogan Regime". Peshmerga and other Kurdish forces are now capable of offensive operations. Kobane fell in early NOV. IS forces are now in western parts of Baghdad and the government of Iraq and the Iraqi Army are east of the Tigris R. US forces in Kuwait are now at Division(+) strength and are capable of offensive operations. JUWTF UW ops. are a problem for IS and significant numbers of Sunni tribes are opposing IS forces. In Syria , there is active coordination of air attacks with the Syrians. S.A. and the Gulf States are objecting strenuously. France, after outrage over the beheadings of tourists has moved 2 battalions of la Legion etrangere and 2 squadrons of fighter jets to Jordan. The 173d Airborne Bde has moved from Italy to Jordan. The combined force is capable of offensive operations toward (possibly) Quneitra and the Syrian Golan.

WPFIII

Fred

IZ,

I hope your perspective of the officers and NCOs in true, however it only takes a handful; perhaps only one. Given the scenario the odds may be even higher.

BabaK Makkinejad

There is no possibility of an inclusive government in either Syria or in Iraq; the time for that is passed; in my opinion.

alba etie

TC
OK I will take a swing at playing Brig General al Douri . In the first meeting I would demand all of my former Baath party members & ex Iraqi military to a person reinstated with back pay from the day Bremer started de baathsification ' I would further demand that Tikrit be the sole seat of government for all of the Sunni ethnic majority land . I would further demand that Tikrit would be completely stand alone from Baghdad. No power sharing- just a Sunni Homeland . If this demands were met immediately I would at denounce Daash - align all the Sunni Tribes against Daash/IS and promise to hand al Baghadadi over to the Hague - Once the core elements of IS/Daash are dead or arrested I would expect the USA, Russia, China , KSA,Syria Iran , and most importantly Turkey to recongnize the Free State of Sunni Baath Republic of the Former Iraq. At the same time as a show of good faith I would recongnize a free state of Kurdistan . Otherwise I just keep on making the liver eaters a clear and present danger to all the neighbors .

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