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18 August 2015

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The Virginian

Abadi's "anti-corruption" moves are a cover for his intent to target political enemies, including Maliki, who stand in the way of his ability to assume greater control over what remains of government - and related access to wealth for patronage - in Baghdad. Unconfirmed reports stated that Maliki was prevented from leaving Baghdad on or about 10 August, and Iraqi businessmen tied to him have been detained / harassed; some will buckle and switch allegiance of course. The implication from this political struggle is ongoing vulnerability that IS can take advantage of, an Iran willing to jettison Maliki and others and support those who support Tehran, the Kurds in further disarray as they are also losing out in terms of advocacy for budget allocations, while Washington wonders whether Abadi will become the guy in a white hat riding in to save the day.

mbrenner

"IS is behaving as though it occupies interior lines and can, through superior mobility and freedon from air action move against ISF"

Colonel, please clarify. The seemingly feeble air campaign remains a mystery to many of us. Suitability of equipment? Reluctance to back the Iranian-led Shia militias? No ground spotters? As to the last, is it related to the first?

turcopolier

mbrenner

Why the air isn't more effective is a mystery to me. There are a lot of good roads including one between Ramadi area and baiji and the cross country is generally good going between most points for tactical maneuver if not for logistics trucks, but the air should be a major impediment to movement even at night using USAF surveillance assets with side looking radar, etc. Beats me. As to interior and exterior lines it is easier to operate against an opponent who is disposed around the outside of a circle if you are disposed around the inside of the circle. Think of the fish hook position at Gettysburg. pl

Patrick Bahzad

MB,

While waiting for PL's answer to your question, here is a famous boxing analogy that could be used to explain the situation in very simple terms: "[your] hands can't hit what [your] eyes can't see" ...

Should actually use the full quote: "Fly like a butterfly, sting like a bee, your hands can't hit what your eyes can't see".

charly

ISF has also an airforce.

Joe100

I wonder if the shortage of daily drone missions has been constraining air strike effectiveness - "what your eyes can't see.."? The severe problems in the Air Force trying (and failing) to maintain the current 65 orbit/day DOD mission target have been well described at http://formerspook.blogspot.com/2015/07/the-bonus-option.html. And this week DOD announced the following drone expansion plans - the Army will assume responsibility for between 10 and 20 daily sorties; U.S. Special Operations Command will provide 10 drone flights per day; and contractors will handle up to 10 additional flights. This amount of expansion could suggest that the current capability is substantially below filed demand.

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