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10 October 2015

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bth

DO you see meaningful contribution coming from the Iraqi Government?

The Twisted Genius

bth,

The Iraqi Government has to deal with IS on their territory. They may end up doing this with Iranian and Russian help. Even if this only amounts to a holding action, it will help.

Thomas

Twisted Genius,

Walrus contends the Presiding Professor has full blown Sea Tusks Disease while I would argue he is merely very effin vain and is hampered by the Clueless Chicago Courtiers.

If the latter, a course of action would be for him to invite the Polite Green Beret Men here to a Sunday Shooting Trap at the Camp David range and learn a whole new perspective on the ways of the world.

gemini33

Where does the CIA program fit into this?

DH

TTG, how sympathetic should we be to Turkey if they close Incirlik?

The Twisted Genius

gemini33,

They could all pound sand up there arses as far as I'm concerned.

The Twisted Genius

DH,

Without getting hysterical, we should just firmly remind them that our goal is to defeat IS.

Will

On another thread i typed that the smartest move the gov't of Syria could make is to recognize autnomy or nationhood for the syrian kurds and guarantee them access to the Med. They are the ones in a position to seal the Turkish border so Erdogan cannot replenish his goons.

Incirlik? worrisome. I think there are some 60 or so B-61 warheads there that the Turks have access to. Maybe it"ll be like the Uke situation where they couldn't break the access codes?

"Under NATO nuclear weapons sharing, the United States has provided nuclear weapons for Belgium, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, and Turkey to deploy and store.[80] This involves pilots and other staff of the "non-nuclear" NATO states practicing, handling, and delivering the U.S. nuclear bombs, and adapting non-U.S. warplanes to deliver U.S. nuclear bombs. However, since all U.S. nuclear weapons are protected with Permissive Action Links, the host states cannot arm the bombs without authorization codes from the U.S. Department of Defense.["

wiki

Tyler

Do you think that there is going to be significant "off the books" cooperation between any US SF and Russian Spetznatz teams on the ground?

The Twisted Genius

Tyler,

Significant, no, but I can see on the ground deconfliction and minor cooperation. The closest I came to Spetznaz was at the Austrian Army Mountain Guide School. As a neutral nation, Austria trained all comers, but they took pains to keep us apart. We spotted each other on neighboring ridges. Both our teams were wearing Austrian winter gear. We waved to each other with our ski poles and went on our separate ways.

Tyler

TTG,

Well that makes sense and is about what we can all hope for.

OTOH the entire "SF/Spetznatz Team Up" is fertile ground for a million fiction novels waiting to spring into life.

Paveway Mk IV

TTG - It sounds a bit like you're projecting the usurped Iranian Kurd politics on to the Rojava (Syrian) Kurds, don't you think? Rojava Kurds have a mild desire for a unified Kurdistan someday, but were never excited about military conquest (certainly no like the PKK vis Turkey) to achieve that.

Rojava Kurds (both Kobani and Afrin) are dirt farmers fighting for their *homes*, not some artificial political *homeland*. Rojava Kurds were ignored for the most part because there was nothing there. Indeed, Assad pretty much kept his hands off of them and was moving to grant them more autonomy. They have no central bank, gold reserves or oil, so they were ignored by the U.S. until recently. In fact, the Kobani Kurds lost every bit of their land to ISIS (save a few blocks in Kobani itself) without the U.S. lifting a finger to help. I realize this was to appease the Turkish government, but the Rojava Kurds were never really a threat to them anyways. They're just simple farmers.

The fact that the U.S. started aiding them only after they were almost annihilated simply to close the ISIS Kobani supply routes isn't lost on the Rojava. While they welcomed the air support, they were fully aware that it had nothing to do with saving them - it was about closing ISIS supply routes. And no Rojava Kurd is going to forget airdrops where some meager supplies and a little ammo made it to them, two remotely steerable cargo parachutes with crates of German hand grenades went straight to ISIS positions.

It is in the Kurds interest to stop all arms, bulk explosives and ammo coming across the northern Turkish/Syrian border since virtually all of it ends up in al Qaeda-linked extremist hands (ISIS, al Nusra, etc.). The U.S. (via the CIA or whomever) needs those supply routes for *it's* arms and explosives shipments. So you have the impossible situation now of the U.S. stepping in to prevent Kobani's annihilation at the last minute, but effectively telling them not to go past the Euphrates further west to link up with Afrin. That is, of course, a social media-sourced claim - nothing the DoD will announce. But anyone looking at the pattern of air attacks can see this is the case.

The U.S. wants the Rojava to go south. The Rojava don't live there and are reluctant to do so. They're fighting for their homes and farms and don't care to chase ISIS all around Syria with small arms (and a few German hand grenades, if any made it). At the same time, the politicized Iranian Kurds sent in to 'help' are engaging in their usual Israeli-like land-grabbing behavior: ethnic cleansing of Arabs and Turkmen after ISIS is cleared out. The second anyone who understands the situation there saw the ethnic cleansing, they immediately identified it as something the Iranian Kurds would do, not Rojava Kurds.

I would humbly suggest any train & equip program for the Rojava Kurds is long overdue, but will never really happen. Rojava Kurds are useless to the U.S. because they only want their homes and farms back and secure. A T&E program aimed at them can easily be usurped to funnel PKK and Iranian Kurds into Syria to push further south. Worst of all though (and once again) the Rojava Kurds will be used to further later foreign political aims: keeping the region unstable with a fake Syrian Kurdish uprising. Everyone who sees this from the outside will immediately know it's manufactured. The Rojava Kurds just want to be left alone. It was always in the U.S. /Israel gameplan to instigate a unified Kurdistan stuffed with puppets under their control. One need to look no further than the Mosul to Haifa Blood-for-Oil pipeline.

I'm not against the FSA - they lost. Time to retreat and figure out something else. I'm not against the Kurds - the Rojava Kurds are salt-of-the-earth people. I am against a military action-created Kurdistan - the Rojava don't want to die for one, and the Iraqi Kurd armies and politicians are corrupt tools of the U.S. and Israel - they don't represent Iraqi Kurds any more.

Want to help the Rojava? Equip and train them like a modern army. Not a boot camp, a few sniper rifles and a Toyota Hilux with ZUs. Then expect nothing more of them then what they have the heart for: protecting their current homes and farms, not some ersatz puppet Kurdistan and not anti-ISIS campaigns of attrition in central Syria while not allowing them to close off ISIS supply lines West of Jarabulus. And for God's sakes, don't start mixing in politicized Iraqi Kurds with their specious motives. The Rojava are smart enough to know two things: Don't trust the Americans and don't trust the Iraqi Kurds. As an American, I have to applaud their perceptiveness.

Babak Makkinejad

I agree with your sensible characterization of the Kurds of Kobani and Afrin Kurds.

I think everywhere that you wrote "Iranian Kurds" you had meant "Iraqi Kurds".

Other than that mistake, this is fine. US is not suffering from absence of knowledgeable people, it is quote clear.

Paveway Mk IV

My apologies - I mean IRAQI Kurds in all cases, not Iranian Kurds where that appears in the above excessively-long post.

jld

TTG
"I welcome this burst of sanity among our policy makers with great relief. "

I am afraid you are bit delusional, it appears that there is no such thing as an "US policy" as there may be as many clans and factions in the various US operatives as there are among the "rebels" on the ground in Syria.
It will take only ONE serious incident to have the shit hit the fan and it will not necessarily have to be initiated by US people, there are plenty of not so disinterested "onlookers", witness the recent bombing in Turkey obviously meant to heat up the situation.

The Twisted Genius

Paveway,

You're right in noting that Rojava is not some modern state in waiting. I never suggested anything like that. Nor am I talking about Kurdistan. Rojava is more like a Syrian version of Nunavut. Any successful effort to aid the Rojava Kurds and the Arab members of the Euphrates Volcano has to be based on who they are, how they fight and what they want. Don't try to make them into a modern army with an unsustainable and unmanageable logistical tail. That's not who they are. You're also right about letting them move across the Euphrates to close off ISIS supply lines West of Jarabulus. That should be a key objective.

ex-PFC Chuck

Perhaps it's time to reconsider whether or not Turkey should be in this club any longer?

The Twisted Genius

Paveway,
I figured that's what you meant.

plantman

Is this an attempt by Obama to save the "moderates" who are fighting in other areas of Syria? Is that why the US is suddenly getting serious about fighting ISIS?

And, if that is the case, then what makes Washington think that Putin is going to stop rolling up these guys?

If I was Putin, I wouldn't let up until every one of these "militants" was on the wrong side of the grass.

Your thoughts?

Brunswick

"The decision to dismantle the Pentagon’s training program — whose small teams of fighters were often quickly captured or surrendered their weapons to rival rebel groups in Syria — may force Obama to weigh ramping up support to the CIA-backed groups.

U.S. officials said those involved in the agency program are already exploring options that include sending in rocket systems and other weapons that could enable rebels to strike Russian bases without sending in surface-to-air missiles that terrorist groups could use to target civilian aircraft."

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/despite-early-signs-of-russian-buildup-in-syria-us-officials-caught-flat-footed/2015/10/09/5e5388e4-6e09-11e5-aa5b-f78a98956699_story.html

Will

Rambo is back at thesaker.is
http://thesaker.is/syrian-sitrep-october-10th-2015-by-john-rambo/

There is one sol'n for the dug in head choppers and liver eaters that now have TOW's and manpads: fuel air bombs (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thermobaric_weapon)

the aerosol penetrates everywhere and then sucks the breath out. I think that's what the Russ used in the Chechnya war.

Fred

Will,

regardless of the citation from wiki just why should we have any not under our direct control, by which I mean something more than a corporals guard.

Paveway Mk IV

"...You're right in noting that Rojava is not some modern state in waiting..."

Glad to hear someone else say that. The MSM narrative to the opposite has already been gearing up. One can only guess why.

"...I never suggested anything like that. Nor am I talking about Kurdistan..."

Sorry - that's entirely *my* horrible tendency to project. I'll have to get use to the idea that people here are actually aware of what's going on there.

"...Rojava is more like a Syrian version of Nunavut..."

[embarrassed] Yes, I had to look that up. Nunavut doesn't make the news much, but the quiet little northern province of Canada is a good comparison.

"...Any successful effort to aid the Rojava Kurds and the Arab members of the Euphrates Volcano has to be based on who they are, how they fight and what they want. Don't try to make them into a modern army with an unsustainable and unmanageable logistical tail. That's not who they are. ..."

And that fundamental understanding is exactly why the military should manage all military operations, not the CIA, the State Department or the Administration. But of course, that's never going to happen - not in my lifetime. I'm sure they have several nightmarish plans cooked up without the military's input (or at least without the right minds in the military).

"...You're also right about letting them move across the Euphrates to close off ISIS supply lines West of Jarabulus. That should be a key objective..."

Makes perfect sense - I think a child could understand that. So I have to ask myself what screwed-up policies or criminally-incompetent planning causes the U.S. to do just the opposite and (unofficially) prohibit them from crossing the Euphrates and securing the border. If I were king of the world, I would have a train of C-17s LAPESing armor and weapons 24x7 to Afrin and Kobani intentionally so they could join territories and secure the entire Northern border and hold it. Obviously, there are forces at work in the U.S. government that have some other scheme in mind, undoubtedly to do with supplying head-choppers in Aleppo from Kilis.

Between the now-defunct 'ISIS-Free Zone' (= unhindered ISIS resupply route) and the refusal of air support West of the Euphrates, I can only conclude that we are way over our heads in another flawed Syrian scheme. Take that for what it's worth though. I'm no expert - just another 2WS whiner.

FB Ali

Paveway Mk IV,

I quite agree that the Kobani (Rojani) Kurds are not going to be pushed into going after IS beyond their own areas. I also doubt that the Iraqi Kurds are going to come into Syria to do any serious fighting with IS (token forces apart).

I also liked your assessment of the FSA situation on the other thread ("Syrian army starts offensive". 9 Oct 3:59 PM). It's a pity that you didn't include the CIA-backed 'FSA' with the DoD ones in your narrative. Your estimate of the latter fully applies to the former. You have it right!

bth

Unconfirmed reports of Turkey shooting down a Russian plane. http://www.express.co.uk/news/world/611157/Russia-Turkey-jet-plane-shot-down-airspace-Syria-ISIS-Islamic-State

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