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06 December 2015


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You are perfectly correct and well analyzed what is not available to the west for confront the resistance axis, but to arrive to a conclusion based on your analyses, what remains available to the west, strategically as well as tacitly (which has been and IMO will continue to be used for west’ strategic ends in western Asia) are the IS and Al Nusra front terrorist groups.


It has taken 10 years for Erdogan's efforts to push Turkey into an Islamist direction for it's impact to be felt in Turkey's external policies.

The US is quite comfortable dealing with Islamists. What is striking is that the PLO terrorism of the 1970s was done in the name of pan Arabism. The US woke up the dormant Islamist movement by arming and encouraging the mujahideen in Afghanistan to fight the Soviets and ever since then pan Arabism has been lost to pan Islamism. I wonder in the absence of Afghanistan how much longer Islamism would have remained dormant?


thanks... i hope someone in the usa is listening, but i very much doubt it.

Trey N

Luckily, Russia and her allies appear to be more than enough to obliterate ISIS and its fellow travelers -- if ISIS+ wasn't armed, funded, trained etc by the US and its NATO/Sunni poodles. However, such aid to the liver eaters only complicates and delays the inevitable victory for Russia and friends in Syria.

Speaking of "alone" nowadays, Caliph Pretender Erdogan must be feeling like a man with IBS at a high-society luncheon; the room does seem to be rapidly emptying around him. He is fast running out of cards to play. As Russian economic sanctions bite deeper and deeper as winter descends, the specter of domestic insurrection will loom larger and larger -- and the rope around the pseudo-Caliph's neck will grow tighter and tighter....


Well put sir.
In conclusion, nearly every actor we profess to be our friend and ally is really not supportive or actively working against our aims . While those we relegate to the enemy bin are the only ones actually furthering our cause use on the ground.
The irony is hard to miss.


Do you think Turkey might move in and try to split Mosul off from Iraq with their 'trainners' and perhaps take a piece of the Iraqi Kurd oil and gas business and quick series of deals with the kurds?

The Twisted Genius

As that miserable old bastard Rumsfeld said, "As you know, you go to war with the army you have, not the army you might want or wish to have at a later time." The regional ground combat force we do have is the +6 part of the R+6 coalition. The Borg collective refuse to accept this and continue wishing. They're going to wish so hard, they'll collectively soil themselves. I almost spit out my tea this morning when I heard Bernie Sanders say Iran should be part of this "Moozlim" regional force to take on the Islamic State. I haven't heard anyone else say that outside of SST.

Babak Makkinejad

My sense of it is that Iranians view ISIS as a trap set up for them. To wit, I do not think that Iran will enter a war against ISIS formally and explicitly. She will wage a struggle through the friendly governments of Syria and Iraq.


Colonel, your analysis could not be any simpler or straight forward. Too bad the voice of reason has no place in the beltway.....

Chris Chuba

I saw the interview and the most distressing thing, especially in the manner that Susan Rice said it was her assertion about the nature of the disagreement with Russia. She did acknowledge that the Russians has an interest in fighting ISIS (good this is new) but that they were only supporting Assad's forces. She went on to say the the U.S. cannot consider Assad a legitimate govt because he has killed hundreds of thousands and must work with a new Sunni majority based govt.

So the imperial U.S. is deciding which govt in Syria is legitimate without an election while Russia is demanding a post civil war election. I wish that Fareed or SOMEONE in the media would call out one of these administration types and remind them that they have already agreed to the Lavrov / Kerry timeline which calls for elections and ask them why Assad should be excluded.

If the death of hundreds of thousands makes a standing leader illegitimate then Gen. Mcclellan should have been appointed President in 1864 over the murderous Lincoln.

A different direction but the Turks have sent a small force in Iraq over the objections of the Iraq central govt, I hope that this does not signal a willingness to provide the bodies for a Jihadi safe zone in Syria. http://www.haaretz.com/middle-east-news/1.690172


ld said...
“It has taken 10 years for Erdogan's efforts to push Turkey into an Islamist direction for it's impact to be felt in Turkey's external policies.”

I don’t think there is a Pan-Islamism, or if even if ever one existed or if one is in making. The closest thing to it, is the alliance of the Shiite (wide margin) minority since the Iranian revolution. It’s correct and IMO it was a right nationalistic move for Iran to consolidated her regional influence and as a result her power in the western Asia region, by way of an Islamic revolution, based on an alliance of, mostly Shiite and other minority religions/ethnicities in Sunni ME. But that is not possible or even secure for Turkey as well as Syria to diverge or shift their presently secular governance base to an Islamic state. One reason is that Sunnis are majority sect and are less threaten by minority Shiite so less cause to collectively move and consolidate under Erdo’s new sultanate. Secondly majority Arabs resent and fear ottomans rule.
As well as internal use of Islamism for Turkey may come to be, IMO that is recipe for internal disability, since religion alone is not enough for a common sense of being “Turkish”, unlike in Iran, no matter what ethnicity or religion they may have, an overwhelming majority including Azeris, Kurds etc. are united as being “Iranians” and not the sometime nattily use “Persian”. In Iran almost 90% are Shiite and almost 100% are Iranians, that’s not so in Turkey.


You mean would Turkey sign a deal with dictator Barzani? It is a possibility but a problem is his rule isn't popular and to much ISIS oil is splattered around him.

different clue


I really wish the "resistance axis" would rename itself. The word "axis" itself brings back culture memories of the Axis Powers of the WWII years in Western ears. Why don't the R+6 call themselves something with "Allies" or "Coalition" in the title? I have already offered them the suggestion of COLA for Coalition Of Lawful Authority. Things go better with COLA.

different clue

Trey N,

I suspect the R + 6 will still focus as much as feasible on stopping the other-than-ISIS rebellion in Syria first . . . so that the SAR can then be field an undistracted fighting force against ISIS if it and the R+6 wish to do so. Perhaps they will decide to just drive it back into Iraq and then out of any ethnically and/or sectarianly mixed areas. They may then decide to be an "anvil" against it and wait for the Shia Supremacist regime in Baghdad to decide whether it wants to be a "hammer" or not.



"Look at the mess they have made of their aggression in Yemen. Look at it!"

I just allow me to do just that.

Here's CNN news from today of what Saudi Arabia has accomplished in Yemen, quote:

Yemen: Governor, 6 bodyguards killed; ISIS claims responsibility

The governor of the major Yemeni city of Aden and six bodyguards were killed in a car bombing Sunday -- an attack ISIS said it committed. ...

Al Qaeda already controls of much of southern Yemen. But the rival terror group ISIS has been trying to gain more territory and influence in the country.



The Hill on Thursday wrote, quote:

Saudi Arabia's war in Yemen is great news for al Qaeda

Neither the Saudi-led coalition nor the Houthi Shiite rebels are winning the war in Yemen. Who is? Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP). ... The results have not been in Saudi Arabia's favor; Yemeni civilian casualties are high, coalition troops continue to be attacked by advanced weaponry, and the fragile state in the Arabian Peninsula continues to plunge into a desolate chaos.

It's everything AQAP has ever wanted. ...


CNN on Wednesday wrote, quote:

Al Qaeda seizes key towns in south Yemen

Hundreds of al Qaeda fighters seized two major cities in Yemen after hours of clashes, part of the terror group's effort to expand its presence in southern regions of the war-torn country.

According to three senior security officials in Abyan, al Qaeda militants on Wednesday took over Zinjbar, the capital of Abyan province, and Jaar after fierce clashes with groups loyal to Yemeni President Abdurabu Hadi amid absence of the armed forces in the province.

Abdulatif Said, the head of pro-government committees, said their forces evacuated during the fierce clashes and that both Jaar and Zinjibar are now in the control of al Qaeda.

Al Qaeda destroyed the headquarters for the popular committees in Jaar and killed at least 4 senior popular committee commanders, the officials told CNN.

Taking advantage of the fragile security situation in regions retaken from the Houthi militants and ongoing conflict in others, the militant group has expanded its presence in some southern provinces including Aden, Shabwa and Lahj.

Armored vehicles, funded by Gulf nations, which entered Yemen over the last five months to stop the Houthi expansion are now controlled by al Qaeda, according to a top Aden security official in the governors office. The vehicles were previously controlled by forces loyal to Hadi. ...


William R. Cumming

There are some estimates that up to 10-15% of the 82 members of the Russian Federation population are followers of Islam! Is this accurate?



This may sound like too fantastic a notion at the moment, but why don't Iranians reach some kind of accommodation with ISIS in which they facilitate ISIS' destabilization of Saudi Arabia and perhaps other Gulfies in return for a TBD concession? I seem to remember Iranians' willingness to "come to terms" with the Taliban before ISI made sure their "diplomats" were murdered in Mazar.

What do you think should happen on the ground before such an idea can become plausible?



Elijah Magnier said this on Twitter today.

"I was told that the "Iraqi resistance" will consider Turkey as an enemy once ISIS is out, or even before that."


- Eliot


I saw an editorial today that said that ISIS and the various other Muslim terrorists groups cannot be destroyed through bombs alone; combat troops are also necessary. That seemed right to me. It goes without saying that I accept everything you say above.

So what I'd like to know is:

1. Even if all the Middle Eastern and African players willing and able to send in combat troops did so, would it be enough?

2. If the regional players can't provide enough fighters, then what?

I sure don't want another trillion dollar overseas war and I'm sure nobody here does either. I am very concerned that we will end up making commitments again that will last a generation and yet will not result in peace or stability.


Maybe to be more accurate I should have used how it’s called in Iranian media “Islamic resistance” then again with Russia now in their side can’t be all Islamic.


Turkey has to got to diversify its sources from Russia and Iran. Barzani needs to export and he has only one directly to do it - north. One could see a deal in 2016 between Barzani and Turkey based on economic necessity and the reality that the Iraqi government is a Shia government and won't be anything else.


At least, WRC. Just look at a map of Russia. The same applies to China.


Really appreciate this kind of assessment, PL. Clear-headed. I'm emailing this around to my 'send combat troops' friends who are frothing for war with their salsa and chips.



I hope you and your readers will enjoy this excellent illustration to your post:



Yes, this is reality.

It is the fallout of the perpetual war against Islam. There is no Sunni state military force capable of defeating the Islamic State. If sent, they’d more likely than not mutiny and join the Islamic State making it stronger. The White House wants to keep bombing for another year then they are gone to make their fortune. Except shit happens.

It is tragic. The USA could ally with Russia and the rest of the world and cobble together a million-man UN army to occupy Sunni tribal areas and rebuild the sovereign states to return the refugees. It is not going to happen. The people are collateral damage. Finances demand another go at Russia’s resources and war profits. Israel wants Muslims fighting each other not peace.

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