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03 March 2015

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Tyler

I think this will be a good test of the will of IS vs the Shia state. Some good Stalingrad style UO/MOUT or whatever alphabet soup name they're giving it nowadays. The Shia will not give quarter, and IS will not ask for it.

I'm sure Kerry will ring his hands about the violence, but so be it. I imagine they will have a more lasting victory than the half ass war imposed from above that the US fought.

The Twisted Genius

I'd take a deeply motivated militia armed with AKs, hatchets and bags full of grenades and leaders acutely aware of their soldiers' strengths and weaknesses over US air power any day... especially in street fighting.

b

There are some ten Sunni groups and tribes taking part on the government side - several thousand in total.
It is wrong, in my view, to present this as a purely sectarian fight. That angle was and is often used by U.S. media and politicians to "divide and conquer" in Iraq. It often makes no sense. It wasn't Maliki's alleged sectarianism that let ISIS kill 1700 Iraqi soldiers at Camp Speicher. Sunnis were well represented in Maliki' government - above their population proportion - and most of the Sunnis were not and are not in bed with the Islamic State. Nearly all civilians fled from Tikrit and half of Mosul's population fled when IS took over. These people will fight to get back home.

turcopolier

b

There is no doubt that there are Sunni in the Iraqi government's forces. There is also no doubt that the whole thing is Shia run for Shia purposes. pl

The Twisted Genius

Tyler,

It was called MOBA (military operations in built up areas) at Fort Benning in 76. We had an Australian major as a MOBA instructor. I vividly remember his description of targeting the rear decks of tanks from second floor windows with 90mm recoilless rifles and LAWs. "Swisho! Right up the ole cake hole." No wonder my ears ring and I can't hear for shit any more.

Fred

b,

the national army of Iraq under Sadaam's command defeated Iran. After destroying the social order in the country and creating this Shia dominated government Iran has immense influence. Sunni influence in Maliki's government? Is that a joke? They had essentially no say and little membership in the 'new' army. Perhaps there's been some change in this new, new army but this is more a temporary alliance against a common enemy than a new 'inclusive' government.

Fred

TTG,

It's a good thing I stuck with torpedos.

Charles I

Since the point is to retake and hold it, after success at the mighty Battle of Tikrit,and the fall of Mosul some time hence, I really wonder is there any plan?

Is anybody thinking about how to get a broader hudna going, draw some new borders, or is itjust fight til Iran is reduced to chaos along with the rest?

Charles I

Man I just watched Jude Law's latest rather lame movie, Black Sea, and better you than me, glad you surfaced, is I all can say to a submariner.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2261331/

Black Sea (2014)
114 min -
Ratings: 6.6/10 from 2,838 users

In order to make good with his former employers, a submarine captain takes a job with a shadowy backer to search the depths of the Black Sea for a submarine rumored to be loaded with gold.


different clue

Charles I,

"Iran" reduced to chaos along with the rest? Did you mean to say "Iran"?

VietnamVet

Colonel,

Through the fog of war and propaganda, the one clear thing is that the war parties are in charge; stoking ethnic and religious hatreds. Tunnels and collapsed concrete and steel buildings make almost perfect defensive fortifications. The only counter are tanks and deep penetration precision bombs or nuclear war. The only way for the Shiites to take Tikrit without NATO or Iranian air support is encirclement and starvation. The Middle East is on the verge of a regional Sunni Shiite Jihad. This is not good. Only God knows what the Saudis and Israel will do if the USA signs a peace treaty with Iran and the Shiite Crescent once again spreads across the Levant. From Ukraine through to Somalia; the world is in flames and it is spreading our way. The only counter to this is to quarantine violence, build strong borders and return government to serving the people not warmongers.

notlurking

"the national army of Iraq under Sadaam's command defeated Iran."

Iraq invaded Iran in 1980 but were repelled in 1982 and held their own till the end of the war in 1988. Not much of a defeat.


http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/war/iran-iraq.htm

http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/war/iran-iraq.htm

Tyler

TTG,

Gonna be using "Swisho! Right up the ole cake hole!" as much as possible in daily convos around here now.

Also concur with your assessment of a motivated militia with hatchets, AKs, grenades, and maybe a few LAWs/AT4s in addition to a light mortar section or two.

As we like to say "Dis gun b gud".

bth

Since at least November Iraqi army officials had been saying that they would retake Baiji where a major refinery is then take Tikrit and then Mosul or Samarra. Baiji is done. Tikrit is now under siege. It looks to me like the Iraqi government and Iran Quds are following a plan, it just isn't our plan. If I read right then current report is that after Tikrit the target will be to the south at Samarra. I might be missing something but this seems like a credible plan by the Iraqi government with Iranian support and existing resources.

turcopolier

notlurking

In the last year of the Iran/Iraq War the Iraqis conducted a series of massive offensives that destroyed the Iranian forces and captured most of their equipment. I was there. I should know. When Iran accepted the UN sponsored armistice the Iraqis were everywhere on Iranian soil. they did not advance farther because they did not wish to try to occupy Iran with its vast territory. " During the 1988 battles, the Iranians put up little resistance to the Iraqi offensives, having been worn out by nearly eight years of war.[49]:253 They lost large amounts of equipment; however, they managed to rescue most of their troops from being captured by the Iraqis, leaving Iraq with relatively few prisoners.[39] On 2 July, Iran belatedly set up a joint central command which unified the Revolutionary Guard, Army, and Kurdish rebels, and dispelled the rivalry between the Army and the Revolutionary Guard. However, this came too late, and Iran was believed to have fewer than 200 remaining tanks on the southern front, faced against thousands of Iraqi ones.[133] The only area where the Iranians were not suffering major defeats was in Kurdistan.[104]" wiki on Ira-Iraq War. pl

Charles I

Absolutely

Charles I

yes, read Vietnam Vet's comment below

Fred

notlurking,

right, how many Iranian dead by 1987? What was the Shia domination of the Iraqi government in 1988-2003? Some victory. Their influence came after the US destroyed the Iraqi government and overturned the social order in Iraq.

Fred

Charles,

I'll second that thought. I will have to check out that movie, haven't seen it yet. I am rather partial to "operation petticoat" with Cary Grant. I'm pretty sure my guys could have hit a truck too.

Fred

Charles,

here's some prescience from a former commenter here.

http://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/2009/07/iraq-and-the-neocon-delusion.html

BabelFish

Bring our forces back. From Europe, from Korea, from MENA. Now that we have destroyed Iraq, if Iran is to be the dominant actor, let it be so. Let the Europeans either start paying for their own defense. Ditto the South Koreans. And someone please kick Carl Levin in the ass every day for blocking F-22s for Japan and the Aussies.

Other things on the list but I'm already ranting.

bth

I think the only people really talking about Mosul are Americans. The Iraqi Army, militia and Quds are all going after Tikrit and then Samarra. Iraq army has been saying this since at least November. How is it that the American military is surprised by this development when reading any recent news would make this clear? Are our generals this out of touch?

Qussem Soleimani was photographed having tea with front line troops outside Tikrit on Tuesday. Iraqi general was interviewed on BBC I think yesterday saying how American air attacks are just not enough to make a difference. CENTCOM press statements and unnamed government sources in US look like drum major marching down the street without a band following behind.

Medicine Man

Is it possible that all the blather about Mosul is maskirovka? Perhaps using the jihadi's desire to humiliate the West against them?

Charles I

I have a new word for us: Bibistan. Precludes other Stans.

bth

Perhaps its a cunning deception but I seriously doubt it. Even the strategies talked about to take Mosul are poorly conceived. Better to isolate its supply routes and let ISIS feed its population though the Summer.

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