ISIS, Inc.

The Financial Times reports that for two years, ISIS has been publishing annual reports (al-Naba) with detailed accounts of its operations -- just like General Motors or any other huge corporation.

It is not a corporation and does not have shareholders, but the military success and brutality of the jihadi group surging through Iraq have been recorded with the level of precision often reserved for company accounts.

ISIS' 400 page 2013 report is filled with statistics of the number and type of attacks it carried out and even the number of people it has converted to its cause. [More....]

In 2013 alone, the group’s report claimed nearly 10,000 operations in Iraq: 1,000 assassinations, 4,000 improvised explosive devices planted and hundreds of radical prisoners freed. In the same year it claimed hundreds of “apostates” had been turned.

The 2013 report (in Arabic) is here. In May, 2014, the Institute for the Study of War did a comprehensive analysis of the 2012 and 2013 reports, and concludes ISIS' metrics-driven military command makes it much more like a professional military organization than a terrorist group.

ISIS’s progress in its campaign to control territory in Iraq is visible in its reported statistics, with shifts in Tactics, Techniques, and Procedures (TTPs) from armed assaults to more selective assassinations/targeting killings and IEDs. The destruction of houses, establishment of checkpoints, and claims to control cities speak directly to control of territory – including in provinces outside of Anbar.

The analyst concludes:

Statistics presented in these reports serve to confirm of previous ISW assessments of a phased campaign design by ISIS. Not only on a tactical level, but also operationally, ISIS is working to wrest control of Iraq from the ISF. The change in TTPs from armed attacks; to targeted killings and attacks; to demolition of houses, checkpoints, and control of cities; and possibly from there to Shari‘a law and governance, resembles the “Clear, Hold, Build” strategy of classic insurgency literature.

This observation of ISIS as an insurgency in Iraq combines with the observation that they are functioning as a military rather than as a terrorist network. A counter-terrorism strategy that does not take these characteristics into consideration will under-estimate and fail to defeat this enemy.

One prime reason for the reports, according to the analyst's report, is just like the goal of most corporate annual reports: to attract more investors (or in this case, donors.)

So with two years of detailed ISIS reports on its operations, clearly showing its tactical strategy to take over Iraq, available publicly, was the U.S. really caught off-guard by the most recent ISIS attacks? Also factor in that in February, 2014, Defense Intelligence Agency Director Michael Flynn testified before Congress on the agency's annual Threat Assessment report. His prepared testimony states:

Al‐Qa’ida in Iraq (AQI), also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL): AQI/ISIL probably will attempt to take territory in Iraq and Syria to exhibit its strength in 2014, as demonstrated recently in Ramadi and Fallujah, and the group’s ability to concurrently maintain multiple safe havens in Syria.

However, its ability to hold territory will depend on the group’s resources, local support, as well as the responses of ISF and other opposition groups in Syria. While most Sunnis probably remain opposed to AQI’s ideology and presence in Iraq and Syria, some Sunni tribes and insurgent groups appear willing to work tactically with AQI as they share common anti‐ government goals. Baghdad’s refusal to address long‐standing Sunni grievances, and continued heavy‐handed approach to counter‐terror operations have led some Sunni tribes in Anbar to be more permissive of AQI’s presence.

Since the departure of U.S. forces at the end of 2011, AQI/ISIL has exploited the permissive security environment to increase its operations and presence in many locations and also has expanded into Syria and Lebanon to inflame tensions throughout the region. .. And, the likelihood of more attacks in Lebanon is high. Concurrently, AQI remains in control of numerous Syrian cites such as Raqqah, Al‐Bab, and Jarablus.

DNI Director James Clapper told the Senate Intelligence Committee about the growing threat of insurgent groups and named ISIS as one of the top three:

“Three of the most effective are the Al-Nusrah Front, Ahrar al-Sham and the Islamic State of Iraq in the Levant, or ISIL as it's known, whose numbers total more than 20,000.” the director of national intelligence added.

As the Financial Times says:

What is clear from the documents is that Isis’s campaign to control Sunni-populated Iraqi territory – and its capture of the second city of Mosul – should not have startled either the Shia-led government in Baghdad or its western allies.

So why is the U.S. playing dumb, as if it was taken by surprise?

In related news, this morning ISIS launched a mortar attack on Iraq's Bajii oil refinery, the country's largest. ISIS had surrounded the refinery last week, and yesterday, the refinery halted operations.

Feel free to talk about all ISIS related topics in this thread

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    one huge difference, between ISIS, (5.00 / 5) (#1)
    by cpinva on Wed Jun 18, 2014 at 06:05:03 AM EST
    and your average, everyday, run of the mill corporation, is their honesty; they want to kill you, and take your property. regular corporations want to do essentially the same thing, they just call it a "Business Plan". it sounds so much better.

    Now (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Jun 18, 2014 at 09:44:04 AM EST
    In related news, this morning ISIS launched a mortar attack on Iraq's Bajii oil refinery, the country's largest. ISIS had surrounded the refinery last week, and yesterday, the refinery halted operations.

    We will find out  who is serious and about what.

    Dealing with the hawks. (5.00 / 1) (#17)
    by KeysDan on Wed Jun 18, 2014 at 02:07:33 PM EST
    Re-plays of chronically wrong advocates for military action in Iraq (e.g.,  Bush Administration in toto, William Kristol,  McCain, Miss LIndsey) are rightly and justly subject to scorn and ridicule.

    However, it can only be hoped that the Administration has not only taken full note of these wrong-headed policy warriors, but also has recognized their whimsy--changing positions based on a Democrat taking them and even denying that they ever said such in the first place.  This despite readily available video records.  And, then who should be more subject to scorn and ridicule?  I would say, the one who is duped in the face of such readily attainable history.

    Accordingly, my hope is that the President continues to act cautiously and prudently, analyzing the options with a new set of eyes for the present situation, listening politely, as he would,  to the mindless hawks, and then moving on.

    Firstly, what can the US do to help and not harm?   ISIS is a dangerous extremist Sunni contingent, but it is a rag-tag, guerilla-type military insurgency.  Dependent on winning the hearts and minds of fellow Sunnis as they go.  Or, taking reluctant heads.  

    The hurdles to effective US military options abound.  Airstrikes will be of limited use as the ISIS and sympathizers move into urban settings. Maybe, just maybe, airstrikes will give a boost to the Iraq army.  ISIS has taken territory, but holding it is another story as we know from our own experiences in Iraq (and Afghan).

     If ISIS can be slowed by the Iraqi army with additional military intelligence by us the insurgency will lose momentum and move back to the tactics in place in 2006-7, car bombs and the like.

    The harm of US actions, of any sort, are to   allow us to become the focus, uniting Sunni tribes and coalescing Shia tribes and militias. A temporary focus posed to reconstitute on each other when we are out of the picture.  Often a worry for foreign interventions in a civil war.  

    Maliki is key here, but he is unlikely to unlock the door, but rather try to keep the hinges on it with the sheer numbers of Shia versus Sunni.   However, Maliki is key in the sense that he needs to go as a sign of potential reconciliation or other political amelioration.

    The hawks will be incensed by working with Iran, but Iran has had a strong hand in Iraq since "shock and awe."  Having an ISIS instability on their border should be enough incentive to work, however narrowly, on an accord that should have already been in place.   Perhaps, a role in jettisoning Maliki.

     Hopefully, the insurgency will stall and give a new time-line for course correction.  Time is not on the side of ISIS.   In a long-term sense, I believe that the hawks are more of a concern to our security and interests than ISIS. Re-entry into Iraq and, the likely entry into Syria, will only layer the debacle started in 2003.

    By happenstance (none / 0) (#19)
    by christinep on Wed Jun 18, 2014 at 02:23:50 PM EST
    I watched last night's "Rachel Maddow" Brilliant ('think it is on HuffPo now.)  The segment contained an analysis of the totality of the Return of the Experts Who Got Iraq Wrong the First Time (and would do so again.) The discussion about the rightwing and its obsession with Benghazi noted the quiet from the rightwing yesterday (particularly Drudge and Fox)  But, the heavy focus was on the attempted orchestration again from the Wrong Experts ... the new battle cry from the right as strengthened by the inept analysis, lack of analysis, and sheer hype from the Press.

    Yes, "Son of Iraq" (none / 0) (#21)
    by KeysDan on Wed Jun 18, 2014 at 03:04:18 PM EST
    is now playing on a television screen near you.  But, 2003 is a long time ago, and memories can be short.  A 21-year old voter was only a fifth grader at the time, for example.   But more important, is that our present day policy-makers and military experts not only have a good memory, but also, that they not accede to pressures from those known and proved to be spectacularly and catastrophically wrong.

    Don't just stand there, do something, is perhaps the most reckless advice, but a politician has to be courageous to withstand the inevitable, "who lost Iraq" nonsense.  But, the point and lession is that whatever that something is, it will not immunize against doing that recommended something.  So, do the right thing.


    Can we send Cheney to Gitmo? (5.00 / 1) (#26)
    by unitron on Wed Jun 18, 2014 at 05:01:57 PM EST
    As a permanent "guest", I mean.

    He and Daddy's darling deferment have an op-ed in the WSJ which includes this line

    "Rarely has a U.S. president been so wrong about so much at the expense of so many."

    with which I'd agree if he was discussing the administration of which he'd been a particularly loathsome part, but of course they're projecting onto Obama and his inability to immediately make chicken salad out of the steaming pile of chicken bleep with which they left him.

    Obama has always been lucky (none / 0) (#27)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Jun 18, 2014 at 05:42:01 PM EST
    In his enemies

    That op-ed... (none / 0) (#59)
    by kdog on Thu Jun 19, 2014 at 11:17:04 AM EST
    was such a steaming pile of bullsh*t even Fox News' Megyn Kelly called the Cheney's out on it.  

    'Nuff said.


    Gertrude of Arabia, the Woman Who Invented Iraq (5.00 / 3) (#37)
    by unitron on Wed Jun 18, 2014 at 09:52:46 PM EST
    Here's an interesting look at how Iraq came to be.

    Complete with some British promises made during the first World War that turned out to be, as my grandmother would have said, "made of pie crust".

    Thank you. A really good read. (none / 0) (#65)
    by oculus on Thu Jun 19, 2014 at 12:35:00 PM EST
    Pressure (none / 0) (#2)
    by lentinel on Wed Jun 18, 2014 at 09:36:29 AM EST
    is mounting from right-wingers - Graham, McCain and decrepit relics of the Bush administration for Obama to "do something".

    I do not want him to "do something".

    But it seems that a cave from Obama is inevitable.

    He has, after all, already despatched "The Bush" - the ship that is.

    And today, the Times is reporting:

    Obama Is Said to Consider Selective Strikes on Militants
    President Obama is weighing a targeted campaign of airstrikes against Sunni militants in Iraq, similar to counterterrorism operations in Yemen.

    To quote from Godfather Two, "Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in! "

    Of course, with 5000 or so in our ginormous embassy there, and the vested interest here in the resources of that country, I never really thought that we were "out".

    But God help us if we go "back in" with airstrikes, counterterrorism, collateral damage and the rest.

    I think he's making those (none / 0) (#4)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Jun 18, 2014 at 10:59:01 AM EST
    Public considerations so that ISIS knows to leave our embassy alone.  He has already stated he will not enable Maliki in Maliki's existing sectarian policies.

    Iraq is just devolving.. (5.00 / 2) (#35)
    by desertswine on Wed Jun 18, 2014 at 09:28:26 PM EST
    back to its natural state.

    Didn't a bunch of white guys draw the lines (none / 0) (#36)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Jun 18, 2014 at 09:46:57 PM EST
    For these nations?  As if!

    The people who live there have had their tribes inhabiting specific areas since before the United States was a twinkle in a founding fathers eye.  The Sunnis will have a nation state between Iran and Syria because they have lived there since...well forever in American history terms.

    If we are part of forcing Sunnis to accept second class citizenship in the region in my husband's words, Iraq will become as functional and nasty as an unwashed taint :)

    He just has a way with words.

    Let the Sunnis have a place to prosper and thrive and then we have something to negotiate with when it comes to extremists and terrorists.  Nothing is more dangerous than a man or woman who has nothing to lose!


    Yeah the British created it... (5.00 / 2) (#38)
    by desertswine on Wed Jun 18, 2014 at 10:01:44 PM EST
    for their own benefit (oil).
    Iraq's modern borders were mostly demarcated in 1920 by the League of Nations when the Ottoman Empire was divided by the Treaty of Sèvres. Iraq was placed under the authority of the United Kingdom as the British Mandate of Mesopotamia. A monarchy was established in 1921 and the Kingdom of Iraq gained independence from Britain in 1932. -- Wiki

    So (none / 0) (#5)
    by lentinel on Wed Jun 18, 2014 at 11:00:53 AM EST
    you don't give credence to the report in the NYTimes.

    I hope you're right.


    There are a couple of articles at the Times (none / 0) (#8)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Jun 18, 2014 at 11:07:57 AM EST
    One makes it very clear that Maliki has doubled down on a sectarian Iraq with Sunni second class citizenship. If we help him and Iran in that endeavor, hatred of the United States in the Middle East will increase a thousand fold.

    Isn't (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by lentinel on Wed Jun 18, 2014 at 01:17:50 PM EST
    it weird that this mess is causing a possible rapprochement with Iran?

    I really think that we do not need more hatred directed at us.

    Why can't we be like Iceland, or Finland, or Bermuda... Someplace with no foreign policy to speak of.

    Seriously - why must we be involved in other peoples civil wars all the time? And we don't have a very good track record when it comes to picking a winner...

    I know.
    I'm naive.
    Too late.
    We're the "greatest country in the world", and we have to keep proving it.


    A number of high-ranking Democratic officials have urged US President Barack Obama to consider military strikes against al-Qaeda-linked militants in Iraq.

    Growing demand for taking action comes after the militants from the so-called Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) took control of some key Iraqi cities.

    They have vowed to continue their offensive towards the capital Baghdad.

    "Most important is that we take direct action now against ISIS, marching down to Baghdad, and prevent them from getting into Baghdad," Senate Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein said on Tuesday.

    She added that airstrikes could "absolutely" be a facet of that direct action.

    During his weekly press briefing in the Capitol, the  Democratic whip, Rep. Steny Hoyer, said President Obama should be weighing missile strikes.

    "I certainly think we should be considering them, yes," Hoyer said.


    I would (5.00 / 2) (#16)
    by lentinel on Wed Jun 18, 2014 at 01:30:27 PM EST
    like for Feinstein, Hoyer, Graham and McCain to get in a cargo plane with Condoleezza Rice, Cheney, both Bushes, throw Jeb in there too as a preemptive measure, Liz Cheney, Kerry, Boehner, Paul Wolfowitz, John Bolton and a few unsavory others and fly the bloody thing to some rat-infested spot on a sweltering remote island in the middle of the ocean. Any ocean.
    And hopefully never hear from any of them again. Ever.

    You could drop them off (5.00 / 2) (#22)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Jun 18, 2014 at 04:01:15 PM EST
    Between Baghdad and Mosul too.  They might come to understand a few things too deeply to forget in a few months.

    I like (5.00 / 1) (#24)
    by Zorba on Wed Jun 18, 2014 at 04:41:16 PM EST
    your suggestion best.

    Yes. (5.00 / 1) (#28)
    by lentinel on Wed Jun 18, 2014 at 05:48:47 PM EST
    "Between Baghdad and Mosul" is the perfect destination.

    Who is going to say (none / 0) (#14)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Jun 18, 2014 at 12:12:57 PM EST
    We are just going to sit here and watch?  Make such commitments in the world press. That would be the most irresponsible thing in the world to say!  Instead, our President has invited Maliki to consider secular policies and maybe we can talk.

    And if Maliki were to approach such new policies, the fire that fuels ISIS extremists would begin to dry up.


    A terrorist organization (none / 0) (#6)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Jun 18, 2014 at 11:00:58 AM EST
    That publishes yearly financial reports just isn't behaving very terrorist-like.

    Why do I find it even more terrifying? (none / 0) (#7)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Jun 18, 2014 at 11:06:10 AM EST
    Something very New World Disorder about it.

    What it does say to me (none / 0) (#9)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Jun 18, 2014 at 11:09:12 AM EST
    Is that they have large scale Sunni support in the Middle East, they are addressing a social need.

    ISIS is sounding more and more like (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by caseyOR on Wed Jun 18, 2014 at 11:30:58 AM EST
    Hezbollah, a so-called terrorist organization that, as part of its operations, provides for the social needs of the people in the areas where it operates.

    Both are sophisticated in organization, well-funded and tightly controlled. No one-off suicide bombers dreaming of all those virgins.


    Yes, I think that's where they are going (none / 0) (#11)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Jun 18, 2014 at 11:53:55 AM EST
    With this

    There will probably (none / 0) (#12)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Jun 18, 2014 at 11:56:45 AM EST
    Be some ugly culling though that takes place once they are established.  To maintain credibility and be able to negotiate, some of the extremists may not be able to transition to a more peaceful state of mind.

    That "business-like" reporting process (none / 0) (#18)
    by christinep on Wed Jun 18, 2014 at 02:13:39 PM EST
    is fascinating mixed with scary.  At first, I thought: Methodical mayhem.  Then, I added to myself this question:  To whom is this type of "yearly report" really addressed?  The addressees--in view of the dry nature of a lengthy accountability report--surely must be a screened and selective small audience?  An accounting report that includes numbers of IEDs made and deployed, numbers of attacks, recorded results, etc. resembles an accounting to a benefactor or would-be benefactor?  Could this be an accounting to the $$$ suppliers to ISIS ... a kind of "here is what we are doing with your $$$-for-arms" thorough update?  (So, what wealthy, powerful, probably Sunni country has the positional incentive to channel funds to ISIS?)

    Saudi Arabia and Qatar have (none / 0) (#20)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Jun 18, 2014 at 02:42:02 PM EST
    Suspected citizenry, many others to be sure

    Saudi Arabia would not like (none / 0) (#25)
    by christinep on Wed Jun 18, 2014 at 04:52:16 PM EST
    a close connection between Iraq & Iran.  Saudi Arabia and its evaluation of the influence Iran would gain in Iraq ... the Saudis would probably not like that ... not one bit.  

    Who knows, of course.  


    They have always been upset (none / 0) (#34)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Jun 18, 2014 at 09:10:30 PM EST
    About what was happening to Sunnis after the expulsion of Saddam.  They have been funneling money and fighters to ISIS.

    The War Nerd... (none / 0) (#23)
    by unitron on Wed Jun 18, 2014 at 04:28:27 PM EST
    ...has an interesting take on ISIS and from whence they came.

    He even sounds a little like Charles P. Pierce in one or two places.

    The geopolitical picture (none / 0) (#29)
    by NYShooter on Wed Jun 18, 2014 at 07:48:55 PM EST
    with this ISIS move is quite different than the Iraq, Libya, Syria, localized violence we've grown accustomed to in the M.E.lately.

    I heard, just today, that ISIS has declared openly, that Iraq is only the first "domino" to be absorbed in their larger goal. Next, they want Europe, followed by the world. And, Iraq is starting to remind me of Poland, circa 1939.

    And, I have to tell you, the military, "Blitzkrieg" method of their attack on Iraq portends a much more serious threat than we've seen recently.

    In other words, this may nor be just a "bump" in the road stemming from the our Iraq adventure,  but, a much larger goal oriented venture.

    You know what they say about countries having a tendency to fight "yesterday's" war. Well, ISIS's Corporate identity, and, structure may be telling us they're fighting "tomorrow's" war. It really was brilliant (from a military standpoint) the way they took such effective advantage of Maliki's incompetence.

    I guess what I'm trying to say is that Obama should look at ISIS as a separate, independent assault, and, not, simply, as another morphed series of violent uprisings such as we've seen happening so often this past decade.

    Obama may really have to "do something."

    Ironies (5.00 / 1) (#31)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Jun 18, 2014 at 08:02:36 PM EST
    of ironies they sound just like George W. Bush and his Neocon dreams of toppling Sadaam and every other country falling in line like dominos.

    Hopefully their strategy works about as well as Bush's to say that it won't work at all.


    I'm with you (none / 0) (#32)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Jun 18, 2014 at 09:02:33 PM EST
    It's hubris.  They took Sunni strongholds away from Shia control, that was never going to be difficult once they had a means (equipment) to fight.  They bypassed Kirkuk because the Peshmerga will fight just as hard as ISIS most hardened fighters and that would be a real fight.  Now from their strongholds they will inflict sectarian violence on Baghdad until they are given their nation state and the oil wealth it contains.  That want part of Syria too, and they might as well have it, Assad can't stabilize it.

    I agree completely (none / 0) (#30)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Jun 18, 2014 at 07:56:31 PM EST
    I hope we are wrong

    If we hit ISIS we begin to become isolated (none / 0) (#33)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Jun 18, 2014 at 09:08:51 PM EST
    From Saudi Arabia and Qatar.  Those countries have been part of funding ISIS on the sly and they are also important allies.  

    But, who's to say (none / 0) (#39)
    by NYShooter on Wed Jun 18, 2014 at 11:47:32 PM EST
    that the ISIS won't turn on the Saudis once they've consolidated all the weaker opponents? Today's friends become tomorrow's enemies, and, vice versa. Recall Germany/Russia, WW2. Fighting openly, while supporting surreptitiously seems to be S.O.P. in Middle Eastern politics, and, military entanglements.

    My guess is that there will come a point in the not too distant future that Saudi Arabia won't only not mind the U.S. "hitting" ISIS, they'll be begging for it.

    But, trying to predict outcomes in the M.E. is a fool's game, and, last I looked, my momma didn't raise no idjits.

    In any event, please keep writing about this business, Tracy. Your knowledge, with your husband's help (brains and boots), is very informative, and, I look forward to keeping abreast of your input & insights.


    ISIS as Nazi Germany? (none / 0) (#41)
    by MKS on Thu Jun 19, 2014 at 12:24:43 AM EST
    That has been a comparison more than a bit overdone....

    If ISIS gains momentum as a military force, we can hit them just fine....

    What we need to avoid is over reacting a' la Cheney.  

    People sound positively panicked.....Sounds like the run up to the Iraq war....

    Can we not repeat the war hysteria of 2003?


    Why would we go after them? (none / 0) (#46)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Jun 19, 2014 at 01:08:29 AM EST
    Maliki would not a agree to a secular Iraq, he attempted to have his Sunni Vice President murdered the day after our last troop left Iraq.  To the educated mind you can't remove this organization.  You are buying into the media who are just trying to get you glued to the set because none of us care where the plane is anymore.

    I saw the CNN story about how ISIS us the first terrorist organization with its own nation state and I thought huh uh, what about Hezbollah.....oh yeah...we used to call them terrorists but not anymore.

    What terrorist organization is Maliki part of?  It's called DAWA, and our State Department used to have it classified a terrorist organization and now it isn't.  Now it's just the DAWA party.


    We go after them because (none / 0) (#48)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Jun 19, 2014 at 07:42:51 AM EST
    in the end the war is against western civilization and they won't quit until one side or the other wins.

    in the end we owe it to the people we managed to get us to support us who will now be killed. Try and forget your partisan politics and remember the millions killed in Vietnam and Cambodia after  we cut and ran because the Left wouldn't fight.

    the region needs stabilizing so that energy costs  don't drive us back to a true Great Depression. And yes, they will use oil against us.


    Cambodia (5.00 / 2) (#52)
    by MKS on Thu Jun 19, 2014 at 08:30:22 AM EST
    We destabilized Cambodia by invading it.  

    Our invasion of Cambodia undermined the existing government, empowering the Khmer Rouge.....

    Without our invasion, the Khmer Rouge would not have come to power.

    Your Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld style of reckless invasions causes needless death.


    Because the LEFT... (5.00 / 1) (#76)
    by Yman on Thu Jun 19, 2014 at 06:14:12 PM EST
    Try and forget your partisan politics and remember the millions killed in Vietnam and Cambodia after  we cut and ran because the Left wouldn't fight.

    ... wouldn't fight"?  You're a member of "the Left", now?



    Dyin laughing here :) (none / 0) (#79)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Jun 19, 2014 at 10:16:09 PM EST
    That is a frightening response (none / 0) (#51)
    by MKS on Thu Jun 19, 2014 at 08:26:19 AM EST
    You assume endless war.....

    Warmongering does get people killed.


    How is Maliki's government for Western (none / 0) (#54)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Jun 19, 2014 at 09:39:38 AM EST
    Civilization?  He is a puppet of Iran.

    People we managed to get to support us?  Who was that?

    You couldn't get a SOFA because Maliki used Muqtada al-Sadr and his "brigades" as a threat, after we were out...al-Sadr was quickly sidelined and marginalized by Maliki and company.

    Who did we manage to get to support us Jim?


    According to Wiki, in 2007 (none / 0) (#61)
    by oculus on Thu Jun 19, 2014 at 12:02:08 PM EST
    (It's all W's fault), the U.S. Preferred Maliki over the other contenders and worked to get him to be Prime Minister as we deemed him least likely to be ally of Iran.

    OMG (none / 0) (#62)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Jun 19, 2014 at 12:11:02 PM EST
    Just OMG

    Got nuthin else to add


    Chalabi is a contandahhh per NYT. (none / 0) (#66)
    by oculus on Thu Jun 19, 2014 at 12:47:39 PM EST
    He was a long time member of DAWA (none / 0) (#64)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Jun 19, 2014 at 12:20:39 PM EST
    Fighting to destabilize Saddam through Iran sponsored terrorist type attacks.  Who thought his Iranian affiliations were weak and why?  You just can't make this stupidity up.

    I suppose they thought he was the cheapest most easily purchased soul in order to get those Western oil companies in country.  How'd that work out for ya guys?  Sucks now.  What equipment will have to be abandoned or US soldiers will have to show up and try to fight for it.  I bet it's billions of dollars worth, and that's what all this talk of war bull$hit is really about.


    He's probably talking about... (none / 0) (#80)
    by unitron on Thu Jun 19, 2014 at 11:24:03 PM EST
    ...lower level individuals like people we hired as translators and such, who now have "worked with the Americans" on their permanent records when the fundamentalists come back to town.

    Sort of "what's the Iraqi and Afghani word for Montagnard?"


    Wouldn't the best way to help them (none / 0) (#82)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Jun 20, 2014 at 03:13:09 AM EST
    Be to not encourage the need for ISIS or ISIL?  If we stopped tolerating the marginalization of Sunnis in the region nobody needs to sell their souls to fundamentalists, the crazy finds much less purchase.

    As if saving people from (none / 0) (#56)
    by jondee on Thu Jun 19, 2014 at 10:43:21 AM EST
    being killed was ever the top priority in Vietnam and Cambodia. It was a domino theory, Cold War jihad fought on the other side of the planet.

    And chickenhawks who piss and moan about "the Left" not fighting should shut up until they  actually go and fight somewhere themselves.


    Some people are selling (5.00 / 1) (#60)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Jun 19, 2014 at 11:45:35 AM EST
    Our involvement in this as another domino theory too.  If ISIS survives in some form then Iran gets Iraq.  

    No, Iran gets Baghdad, and by the way, they already have Baghdad.  Lines on maps change.....that is all


    I think they will want more radical leadership (none / 0) (#42)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Jun 19, 2014 at 12:32:24 AM EST
    Removed, but the concept of Sunnis having the power to have some equality and not be victimized by Shia components..they will want to preserve those gains.  ISIS could self purge extremists and is likely to IMO as membership increases.  People are joining and supporting for reasons that do not include the desire to be lunatic killers and terrorists.

    If Saudi Arabia and Qatar push for the removal of extremist radicals from the organization I would think in the end it is going to happen too.


    Interesting NYT op ed: (none / 0) (#47)
    by oculus on Thu Jun 19, 2014 at 02:00:39 AM EST
    Very interesting (none / 0) (#55)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Jun 19, 2014 at 10:04:00 AM EST
    He sounds very emotionally invested in the Maliki government or Iran gets it all concept though.  I know many of our intellectuals working on Iran policy made this investment as we attempted to stabilize the region, some too invested.  They just flat refuse to acknowledge what Maliki did and where he went day one after we left.

    Maliki was always Iran's puppet.

    The op-ed insinuates that Iran has unlimited supplies to aid Assad and Maliki with too, they don't.  Just ask Russia if such a thing as unlimited supplies to fight "insurgents" with exists. I never expected ISIS to head to Baghdad, and this guy isn't very quick either if he never saw the bluff in all that bupkis talk.


    MT, "I think they will...." (none / 0) (#50)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Jun 19, 2014 at 07:47:24 AM EST
    is a very dangerous phrase.

    Nothing new in that (none / 0) (#40)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Jun 19, 2014 at 12:07:50 AM EST
    Osama declared war on us in March '97.

    REPORTER: Mr. Bin Ladin, will the end of the United States' presence in Saudi Arabia, their withdrawal, will that end your call for jihad against the United States and against the US ?

    BIN LADIN: .... the driving-away jihad against the US does not stop with its withdrawal from the Arabian peninsula, but rather it must desist from aggressive intervention against Muslims in the whole world.

    OBL interview by Peter Arnett CNN 3/97

    I disagree (none / 0) (#43)
    by MKS on Thu Jun 19, 2014 at 12:43:07 AM EST
    ISIS is not replicating the Nazi blitzkrieg of 1939.

    They have no air power at all--unlike the Germans....They have no armor that they can actually deploy and operate.....They have no navy....

    Let's not lose our heads over this....They can say all they want about taking over the world.  They simply do not have that ability.....

    I actually thought your post was camp mockery of the conservatives.....


    "Snark" was the word I wanted (none / 0) (#44)
    by MKS on Thu Jun 19, 2014 at 12:49:45 AM EST
    The post looked like pure snark to me.

    I'm truly surprised at you (none / 0) (#57)
    by NYShooter on Thu Jun 19, 2014 at 11:04:19 AM EST
    you usually display a modicum of knowledge about topics you post on.

    What a silly response.

    Blitzkrieg means "lightning war". It was an innovative military technique first used by the Germans in World War Two and was a tactic based on speed and surprise.

    And, the reference to Germany/Russia in WW2 was to point out that strategic duplicities have existed forever. Germany's assault on Russia, in spite of their having a non-aggression pact was meant to address a comment about ISIS and Saudi Arabia currently having some associations. I think ISIS fits that description pretty well. Things sometimes change.

    I don't know what happened to you, but, I'd appreciate your not responding to my comments. But, it's not my blog. However, your uninformed foolishness will remain unswered.


    ISIS associations with Saudi Arabia (none / 0) (#58)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Jun 19, 2014 at 11:16:30 AM EST
    Are primal though. The Sunni dominant nations will continue to feed and nurture ISIS or whatever organization shows up to fight Maliki and Assad because Sunnis in the region are suffering.

    They experience this as the suffering of family members.  Their affiliation with ISIS is not based on the type of shared encompassing civilized social structure respect you are projecting onto it.  You have to remember that civilized veneers gave been stripped away from the Sunnis in the region because of war and marginalization.


    Of course, I defer to you (none / 0) (#63)
    by NYShooter on Thu Jun 19, 2014 at 12:14:52 PM EST
    regarding the micro machinations of this, and other, conflicts in the region. My point simply cautions policy makers that things are fluid, and, tenuous. Hard associations can dissipate overnight as if by magic based on constantly changing dynamics.

    Maybe my attitude towards opinions that claim to know the future based on relationships, currently, and, formerly, are dubious at best. I can't recall a single outcome, in battles, that resembled the planned for outcome once the first shot was fired.

    My comments are cautions, not predictions.


    I think the press and our government (none / 0) (#67)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Jun 19, 2014 at 12:49:19 PM EST
    Is leaving out real discussions of the situation.  They want us all to view ISIS as an evil terrorist organization and they don't want to talk about the horrible things that Maliki was doing to Sunnis last year.  This is because we have a load of oil companies in Southern Iraq now.

    They will spin ISIS as evil terrorists instead of an organization that was spawned due to sectarian murder and violence because they want to reserve the right to attack if Southern Iraq becomes threatened.

    They know the American people are not interested in dying for oil anymore.  The wildfires have already started out West.  We are interested in wind power, solar power, and smaller cars.  We are finally beginning to comprehend that we are going to all die going down the road we have been going down.

    So they won't talk about oil, and oil companies, and Sunni cleansing...they will spin and spin though that ISIS is nothing more than vicious terrorists so they can attack if our oil interests are threatened, and the average American will be very far behind in catching up to what is really going on.


    All those beheadings are grabbing the headlines. (none / 0) (#68)
    by oculus on Thu Jun 19, 2014 at 12:55:25 PM EST
    [Do the Shiites do this too?]

    Here is a report via Middle East press (none / 0) (#69)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Jun 19, 2014 at 01:04:21 PM EST
    2013 was the year of Sunni cleansing in Southern Iraq.  And we probably didn't say anything about it because our oil companies were flocking in.  It probably was best to get rid of those Sunnis.

    Southern Iraq Swept by Sectarian Displacement


    U.S. Is sending "military advisers." (5.00 / 1) (#70)
    by oculus on Thu Jun 19, 2014 at 01:15:29 PM EST
    Deja vu., though Pres. Obama may be too young to know this. Kerry was at the mtg. though.



    I suppose he can't sit on his (none / 0) (#71)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Jun 19, 2014 at 01:27:15 PM EST
    Hands right before elections.  He has to be all fluffed up and puffed up.

    I hope he knows how close to pucking this up he could be getting...military advisors...sheesh

    Can't say peace advisors?  Is that a wussy card :)?


    We're going to teach the Iraqi military how (none / 0) (#72)
    by oculus on Thu Jun 19, 2014 at 01:30:03 PM EST
    to do their jobs.  Again b

    I didn't get to hear the NPR report (none / 0) (#75)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Jun 19, 2014 at 01:46:49 PM EST
    That ruffian heard, where the interviewed security forces said that nobody cared about them, they were not important.  But according to my husband, that was exactly how Saddams forces felt.  Barely paid, given some food and some shelter, sometimes that is the best most Iraqis can hope to have, but it isn't worth dying for.  Maliki is doing the exact same thing in valuing his people.  What do they lose by not fighting?  Not much.  With a little luck you'll find another bed and a meal and live to see another day.  I would choose that every single time to fighting a bunch of insane Sunnis trying to do the impossible like preventing them from taking THEIR TOWNS :)

    50 being herded by 7 masked gunmen though, that shocked me.  Those men have been extremely beaten down.  If I am in that situation I am rushing one of them.  If my death is inevitable I'm inspiring my own rebellion right here right now and maybe I'll take one of you with me.

    I still wonder who they all were? Were they Indian workers?  Were they Iraqi security forces...policemen?  Who were they?


    And I guess someone around here never retires (none / 0) (#73)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Jun 19, 2014 at 01:32:23 PM EST
    Not going down the war road.....sigh

    Oil companies are fricking soldier creators, military industrial complex job security.


    Wait til Saudi Arabia nationalizes 'em. (5.00 / 1) (#74)
    by oculus on Thu Jun 19, 2014 at 01:33:43 PM EST
    I am not sure about that (none / 0) (#81)
    by MKS on Thu Jun 19, 2014 at 11:29:09 PM EST
    The First Gulf War was pretty much according to plan.

    Chancellorsville was, because of crisp movement by Jackson, pretty much how they drew it up.

    Fredericksburg was settled once the Union decided to attack uphill.

    Since you mention the Soviets in WWII, Zhukov imposed his will on the Germans repeatedly according to plan....The Korsun Pocket is a good example


    Stealth and speed first used by Germans ??? (none / 0) (#83)
    by MKS on Fri Jun 20, 2014 at 08:57:18 AM EST
    That is wrong.  

    Speed and stealth first used by the Germans?

    I think those tactics were first used 10,000 years ago.  They are standard military tactics.  For a long time.  Aside from the Napoleonic style battles....speed and stealth have always been preferred.  

    The Huns, Genghis Kahn, many others.  The Apache.  Thermopylae was won by stealth if not speed.

    Blitzkreig was the self aggrandizing term the Germans used.  Blitz means fast and krieg is the word for war in German.  

    What was different about the Germans was the scale of the attack and the use of modern industrial technology.  They had all kinds of mechanized forces....something ISIS does not have.

    Here is the opening sentence in the Wikipedia blurb about blitzkrieg:


    Blitzkrieg (German, "lightning war"About this sound listen (help·info)) is an anglicised term[1][2][Notes 1] describing a method of warfare whereby an attacking force spearheaded by a dense concentration of armoured and motorized or mechanized infantry formations, and heavily backed up by close air support

    Armor, mechanized infantry, close air support.   ISIS has not one of those things.  I know you were just commenting about how fast ISIS was advancing and thought you were just using a loose analogy. But reactionary Cheney people used the Nazis to get us into the Iraq War.  It is a bad analogy.


    Hitler didn't have an air force (none / 0) (#49)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Jun 19, 2014 at 07:45:40 AM EST
    when he wrote his book and told the world what was coming.

    Read the Arnett interview.


    I do not care (none / 0) (#53)
    by MKS on Thu Jun 19, 2014 at 08:34:13 AM EST
    what he says.....What can he do?

    I can find you twenty people who say they are going to take over the world....right close by too.

    Your fetish with the rantings of an egomaniac were what caused us to invade Iraq....Remember, no WMD?.....

    Some mistake that was.  And you still have not learned your lesson.  


    So who should I believe (none / 0) (#77)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Jun 19, 2014 at 09:03:58 PM EST
    All the world's intelligence agencies or you??

    Well, duhhhhhh.



    Or ... (none / 0) (#78)
    by Yman on Thu Jun 19, 2014 at 09:15:03 PM EST
    ... you guys could have believed the agency specifically performing the inspections and in the best position to know.

    But you didn't want to believe them.  If you accepted the conclusions of the best source, you wouldn't have your reason to send others to fight your war.


    Well let me see (none / 0) (#84)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri Jun 20, 2014 at 10:04:26 AM EST
    Who should I believe??

    All the world's intelligence agencies or an agency report that details how Iraq is still not cooperating???

    Well, duhhhhhhhh.

    BTW - Thanks for making my point.



    Trouble reading? (none / 0) (#85)
    by Yman on Fri Jun 20, 2014 at 06:10:27 PM EST
    The UN report said:

    Inspections in Iraq resumed on the 27th of November 2002. In matters relating to process, notably prompt access to sites, we have faced relatively few difficulties, and certainly much less than those that were faced by UNSCOM [U.N. Special Commission] in the period 1991 to 1998. This may well be due to the strong outside pressure...


    This is not to say that the operation of inspections is free from frictions, but at this juncture we are able to perform professional, no-notice inspections all over Iraq and to increase aerial surveillance.

    The UN and Hans Blix, the agency on the ground and charged with determining whether Iraq had WMDs, said they found no evidence of WMDs.  But you guys wanted to send others to fight a war for you so you could watch it from your LaZBoy.



    Were you around for the fall (none / 0) (#45)
    by MKS on Thu Jun 19, 2014 at 12:52:53 AM EST
    of Saigon in 1975?  That is the better historical analogy....

    No immediate danger outside the region.....no more danger than already existed at least.