Obama and the 450 Military Trainers for Iraqi Forces

President Obama has ordered 450 military trainers to deploy to Iraq to train Iraqi forces in the Anbar region. The new training facility would be at Taqaddum, which is near Ramadi in the eastern part of the province.

Obama decided on the new troop deployment in response to a request from Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, the White House said. The two leaders met on the margins of the G7 summit in Germany earlier this week.

The White House press release is here. [More...]

The U.S. is hoping this will spur an effort by Iraqi forces to launch an attempt to retake Ramadi. More details and some doubts about the plan are here. Obama continues to draw the line at training and equipping and will not send in combat troops.

The U.S. apparently still believes it can win over the tribes in the area and intends to support them as well:

A new site would allow U.S. trainers to provide greater support for Sunni tribal fighters, who have yet to receive all of the backing and arms promised by the Shi'ite-led government in Baghdad.

Training and equipping the tribes is worthless in my opinion. They change allegiances. Every day there are photos and reports of new pledges of allegiance between tribes and ISIS. Here's one from 6 days ago about a tribe in Anbar.

The equipment we send will just end up with ISIS. Here's a photo of a U.S. TOW anti-tank missile used last month during the capture of the Syrian town of Palmyra.

The Guardian reports there's also skepticism because there's a lack of recruits to train:

It was additionally unclear how increasing the number of US soldiers available to train Iraqi fighters would overcome a central problem to the training effort most recently spelled out on Monday by Obama: a lack of recruits to train.

“We’ve got more training capacity than we’ve got recruits,” Obama said at the close of a G7 summit in Germany. “It’s not happening as fast as it needs to.”

Officials say retaking Mosul has taken a back seat to Ramadi.

On a lighter but related note, the fearsome Abu Wahib, ISIS military commander in Anbar, has been reported back in Anbar. ARA news (which has falsely reported him dead a few times) says he's returned from Mosul with a new bride. It features this photo of him:

There were reports of his marriage in November, 2014 (the month after the latest false death report.)

Who was his first wife? ARA news says she was the sister of former Iraqi MP Ahmed Alwan, who has been "under arrest since December 28, 2014, on charges of terrorism and suspicious links to the Islamic State group." That doesn't sound right to me. There is an Iraqi MP named Ahmed Alwan who was arrested in December, 2013. His sister was reportedly killed in the raid that captured Alwan, along with other members of their family.

Another source says the target of the raid was his brother Ali, who had an arrest warrant, but both Ali and the sister were killed.

Iraqi special forces tried to enforce an arrest warrant in Ramadi on `Ali al-`Alwani, the brother of well-known Iraqi Islamic Party (IIP) parliamentarian Ahmad al-`Alwani. When tribal bodyguards sought to resist, a firefight resulted in the death of `Ali al-`Alwani and his sister, as well as the arrest of MP Ahmad al-`Alwani. For a full account of the events leading up to and following December 28, 2013, see “Maliki Targets Ramadi Protest Site,” Inside Iraqi Politics, January 8, 2014, pp. 2-8.

al-Alwani was sentenced to death in November, 2014. MP Ahmed Alwan is also prominently featured in human rights reports as a victim. (See page 21 of this report.)

I wonder if they are referring to a sister of ISIS military council leader Abu Ahmad al-Alwani who was killed last year. Al Alwani was a
former member of Saddam’s army, and a member of the ISIS military council. His real name is Waleed Jassem al-Alwani. That would at least make some sense.

Also, Ara News photo of Abu Wahib's burned hand, which it claims he suffered in an airstrike, is not recent. It is from at least March, 2014. What airstrikes were there in Anbar in March, 2014? Here's a copy of the photo from September, 2014 and a related one from July, 2014.

Back to Iraq. ISIS has published photos of its most recent grads from the al Zarqawi training camp in Kirkuk. The trainer is reportedly Chechen. I suspect ISIS will be well prepared for any future Anbar battles against Iraqi forces, regardless of whether we train and equip them.

Today is the one year anniversary of ISIS takeover of Mosul. ISIS has big celebrations planned, including a new video that will be released tomorrow. Here's the screengrab:

While there are articles that claim life is horrible there, al Monitor recently interviewed a variety of residents who say ISIS has done a better job than the Iraqi government. It also reviews the various services and says:

IS is regaining ground in Mosul in an unprecedented way and increasing its popularity, especially among civilians. It is worth noting, though, that the services are offered by the services department employees, who still receive their salaries from the Baghdad government. IS is working to prove to Mosul’s citizens that it is an organized entity capable of ensuring security and providing services — a goal the previous Iraqi governments and security forces failed to achieve over the last 11 years.

IS' efforts to rehabilitate the services sector in Mosul will further complicate the mission of the Iraqi forces and the international coalition against IS, if they decide to conduct military operations to regain control of Mosul.

And from today's Guardian: Mosul residents say despite its brutality, ISIS is more honest than the Shi'a Government.

Business is said to be booming under ISIS in Syria (for wealthy business owners who pay the tax.)

I suspect both pro and anti-ISIS points of view are exaggerated.

But the point is ISIS is not our responsibility. ISIS didn't urge attacks on the U.S. until we began our airstrikes. Instead of sending trainers and equipment, we should just get out. We are spending billions of dollars that could be better spent at home. Unfortunately, it's unlikely to happen with a presidential election on the horizon and Republicans so eager to blame Obama they claim war is the answer.

There are few tangible results of U.S.-led coalition in Iraq or Syria, other than killing thousands of militants and leaders who promptly get replaced. There are no "moderate Syrian rebels." The borders to Syria have not been closed to foreign fighters. The coalition hasn't caught "Jihadi John" who killed American and British citizens. It hasn't captured the kidnappers and torturers of western hostages. The media rarely mentions them any more. The coalition has still not come up with an effective media campaign to counter ISIS's message. Taking down Twitter accounts is worthless when they pop back up within hours.

The net effect of war is loss of life --from the civilians who get bombed to the military personnel who get killed. Why is the U.S. so threatened by the prospect of this bizarre Caliphate state? And why does it let the Iranian-backed Shi'a militias and Al Qaida-backed al Nusra get a free pass? Both groups are just as brutal as ISIS. Al Nusra today summarily executed 30 people. Al Nusra wants sharia law and a Caliph -- they just don't want it to be Baghdadi.

Even the Yazidis have turned violent, earning the criticism of Amnesty International. Being victimized doesn't give a group the right to kill innocent old people and children.

There will never be a military solution to ISIS and other violent groups in the Middle East.

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  • Display: Sort:
    Goood Morrning (5.00 / 5) (#1)
    by Peter G on Wed Jun 10, 2015 at 09:53:17 PM EST
    "Advisors" (none / 0) (#7)
    by Mr Natural on Thu Jun 11, 2015 at 07:54:42 AM EST
    Apparently, these people aren't (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by Anne on Wed Jun 10, 2015 at 10:28:54 PM EST
    familiar with the definition of insanity: doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.

    But if they insist on sending trainers, maybe the first wave should be people like Lindsey Graham and all the rest of the hawks who are fairly drooling over starting this madness all over again.  Let's let them give it a go, see if it's "just" a matter of training.

    What it always ends up being about is bamboozling the American taxpayers out of arms and equipment they can use for their own purposes, and lining the pockets of contractors and lobbyists who are probably more alarmed at the slowdown in the flow of cash than about bringing any kind of peace to the region.

    Am I the only one who's tired of being treated as if I'm too stupid to know exactly what's going to happen?

    My Question... (none / 0) (#17)
    by ScottW714 on Thu Jun 11, 2015 at 09:50:46 AM EST
    ...is how exactly do you train soldier not to run away from danger ?

    I doubt the Iraqi Army is going to to watch Fox News or ISIS propaganda to learn that dying on the battlefield is the most glorious thing one can do.

    They have no will to fight, and you can train them all day long, but it's not going to to help an Army that doesn't seem interested in fighting.

    They only way to help is weapons, and we all know how that turns out.

    I would really like to know what HRC wants to do in Iraq, what is her plan for ISIS.  When we find this out is when the Dems start dividing IMO.


    "people like Lindsey Graham" (none / 0) (#26)
    by Mr Natural on Thu Jun 11, 2015 at 10:10:07 AM EST
    lol.  I don't often have the chance to abuse Yeats...

    That is no country for old [white] men...


    Because what has been lacking is (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by ruffian on Thu Jun 11, 2015 at 06:41:20 AM EST
    a new training site?  Why do I feel like ISIS is going to be enjoying a nice new training site about a year from now?

    I'm wondering who persuaded (none / 0) (#8)
    by oculus on Thu Jun 11, 2015 at 08:00:25 AM EST
    Pres. Obama this is a good idea.  What became of all the Iraqii soldiers we have been training?

    It (none / 0) (#9)
    by FlJoe on Thu Jun 11, 2015 at 08:35:18 AM EST
    looks like the Iraqi army has been in training for the Olympics track events. Maybe we should issue them lead boots this time.

    I suspect that many of them (none / 0) (#10)
    by Mr Natural on Thu Jun 11, 2015 at 09:07:39 AM EST
    are wearing the masks in ISIS group photos.

    When I go to... (none / 0) (#40)
    by kdog on Thu Jun 11, 2015 at 12:54:48 PM EST
    work related "training", I'm there for the free food.  And if it's an overnight stay, the free drink!

    The "training" is a side-show...somebody's expense account is the main attraction.  Maybe it's the same for Iraqi soldiers...listen to some corporate spiel to get free schwag and free food and some time off from the wife and kids, then go home and forgot everything you were supposed to "learn".


    Shiite Iranian Quds forces probably (none / 0) (#43)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Jun 11, 2015 at 01:09:07 PM EST
    Had something to do with it.

    It's more than a training site (none / 0) (#28)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Jun 11, 2015 at 10:55:05 AM EST
    You know that.  I know YOU must know that :) I think the troops that are being trained at Al Asad as well as TQ now are more than standard issue trained as well.  Hope they were well vetted.  Two impenetrable bases though right next to ISIS, I mean these bases are up ISIS's arse for lack of a better combat definition...so, to collect intelligence from and to deploy a sort of special operations Iraqi force from.

    Have we previously trained and equpped: (none / 0) (#39)
    by oculus on Thu Jun 11, 2015 at 12:39:25 PM EST
    a sort of special operations Iraqi force?

    I will have to ask the Mr. (none / 0) (#41)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Jun 11, 2015 at 01:03:22 PM EST
    I doubt he would know though even if we did.  If we did, it was when we were taking Al Qaeda in Iraq out.  That is all still so classified very little is known about any of the operations...and as long as nobody tells the Air Force it will probably stay that way for a very long time. Military intelligence, lots of other people too, knew a second generation could regrow, which it did.

    I know we helped train Georgian special forces in their standoff with Russia.  And let us not forget the unforgettable School of the Americas.

    One situation doesn't have much head hanging shame attached to it, the second one is loaded with genocides that we trained other countries " soldiers" to commit with great success.


    Hypothetical: how would your family (none / 0) (#60)
    by oculus on Thu Jun 11, 2015 at 08:20:57 PM EST
    respond to Mr. receiving orders to Iraq for this assignment?

    I can't speak for the kids (none / 0) (#72)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Jun 14, 2015 at 02:14:01 PM EST
    I can guess my daughter would be of a very similar opinion that she had pertaining to Iraq before, Dad possibly getting killed for something probably meaningless in the end. A waste of time and stupid.

    And I would guess Josh tends to think Dad is competent, it's a job, he'll home in X days.

    Me...hmmm, I would be more worried about this deployment than his last Afghanistan deployment, and he lied to me about that, said he would never be on the roads traveling and then just didn't mention when he was.  Most military families fear an IED over just about every other danger. I would fear this deployment less though than any other Iraq deployment.

    The most immediate danger in this deployment being what is termed green on green attacks, where the trainees attack the trainers.

    Do I think the sacrifice of a deployment this year would be what turns this thing around for the betterment of all?  No.  Do I think the President needs for us to be a small part of working a solution to ISIS? Yes.  So I could make my peace with it if we were newer and fresher in this situation.  

    It is a long term stress though on the family to have a parent deployed into a combat zone, you can feel your kids shut down emotionally toward the absent parent that might not come home, and we have done our bit.  There should be no more deployments for us.  And because of the accumulated long term stress on the family, that is where I would be drawing the line. I don't think it is healthy for THIS family to even consider one more combat deployment.


    Yes, we have, and (none / 0) (#42)
    by NYShooter on Thu Jun 11, 2015 at 01:06:00 PM EST
    much as in your career, they've learned from their earlier mistakes, and, hopefully have been vetted much better than before, and trained much better also.

    Also, let's hope the current occupant of The White House also has learned from earlier mistakes, and, not being G.Bush, has re-focused his priorities and Given America a better chance for success.


    I know we have in Afghanistan (none / 0) (#45)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Jun 11, 2015 at 01:20:23 PM EST
    This is a tough, tough audience (5.00 / 1) (#46)
    by NYShooter on Thu Jun 11, 2015 at 01:29:03 PM EST
    here at T.L. and, based on prior experiences in the Middle East, have every reason to be super critical, and super skeptical.

    However, as they say on wall Street, "Past performance does not guarantee future results."

    Let's hope this President has learned his lessons well.


    He has covered one base (none / 0) (#48)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Jun 11, 2015 at 01:45:34 PM EST
    Nobody can say he's just letting ISIS run wild going into the election.  I think he is determined that a D is going to sit in the Oval Office.  God help us if one isn't.

    So he's doing something, but he isn't all in either, push him or screw him over and you'll find out. He's playing everyone on the board angling for diplomacy, peace verses mutual destruction.  Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't, but it only takes 4 planes leaving Al Asad and 4 planes leaving TQ and he's the phuck outta Dodge.  He is so much smarter than the right wing or the left wing wants to give him credit for when caca is all over the fan and you still need the fan to work :)


    I was just taking them at face value (none / 0) (#47)
    by ruffian on Thu Jun 11, 2015 at 01:44:53 PM EST
    Is 'training site' pentagon-speak for a new base?

    Guess it would help if I read the article (none / 0) (#49)
    by ruffian on Thu Jun 11, 2015 at 01:48:38 PM EST
    I see it is actually a new operations centre.

    WE are there training (none / 0) (#54)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Jun 11, 2015 at 03:50:33 PM EST
    But the Iraqi troops can deploy from that base, and it is their base.  I suppose you could say we are just showing them how to best use it.  Obama has chosen two bases though to train from that are in ISIS territory and that he can easily access from air and easily defend and easily leave.  His choices look specifically tactical in fighting ISIS to me.

    The problem (none / 0) (#55)
    by FlJoe on Thu Jun 11, 2015 at 04:03:08 PM EST
    is the Iraqis have flat out run from their bases before.

    For a variety of reasons (5.00 / 1) (#56)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Jun 11, 2015 at 04:35:19 PM EST
    One of the major reasons they did at the start of the ISIS invasion is because Maliki had shed himself of Sunni forces that we trained, and had Shiite forces in Anbar.  They seemed spread pretty thin too, probably because he was excluding trained Sunni.  Shooting self in foot but I digress.

    So, you are this minority group of Shiite soldiers in a Sunni region, and the Sunnis don't care for you much, and a crazy Sunni militant group shows up to fight and hopefully kill you. Sorry, but if I am that that group of Shiites I am running.  The locals hate you, won't support you, will help kill you, at that point you are 50 against 50 + tens of thousands local Sunnis who will aid and abet your death.  You are toast.

    Things are on fire, so Maliki began to intersperse some Sunni in, but now these guys haven't served together, they haven't trained together....when was the last time these Sunni soldiers trained? Were they given the same access to weapons that the Shiite soldiers were?  We're some of them in their anger now secretly fighting for ISIS. And for some reason Baghdad had also been six months late paying you all.

    It is really hard to want to fight anyone for any reason or even give a rip when your kids are hungry or your family is doing without.  That's why I have constantly guaranteed healthcare (or at least I'm supposed to), because the family soldier really can't focus on bigger pictures when his family's needs are not being met. You can't be a good soldier if your family is suffering in your absence.

    So, the reality is more complex than Iraqi soldiers run away.  Will the Iraqi government ever grow up enough to fully support a healthy secular military?  I don't know.

    One Shiite journalist last year wrote a couple of popular articles condemning Sadam's elementary school indoctrination into a nationalistic Iraq.  She felt it repressed her identity as a Shiite. She no longer lived in Iraq though.  She was enjoying the safety of living in Canada and I guess missed the boat on why being Iraqi is more important than being Shiite in the existing simmering civil war.


    My take is that (5.00 / 1) (#34)
    by KeysDan on Thu Jun 11, 2015 at 11:53:46 AM EST
    this is a "Rocking Chair" strategy--motion but not going anywhere.   It does have both pros and cons: The pro is that it is cautious, the con is that it is cautious.  The plan puts American "advisers" close to to Sunni tribal and Iraqi units, but not so close as to accompany Iraqi units in the field.

    The troops will not be calling in strikes or advising on combat operations, for now.  American troops are unlikely to be captured by ISIS and held hostage or beheaded for propaganda/and Lindsey-like clamors for all-out engagement.  It will be a boost for the Sunnis, and a bust for Sunni/Shia integration, the missing part of the strategy.

    The US will have the option of deploying aircraft from a base in Anbar (al Taqqadum) which the State Department says will improve our ability to turn around airstrikes at a "pretty good clip."  Since Ramadi is almost 70 miles from Baghdad, we may be able to pick up a few minutes.  

    Of the 450 Americans, about 110 will be involved in training, the remainder are security and support.  As for that training for Iraqi security and tribal forces, it can be expected to be effective.  However, when these forces leave their mentors at the camp and head off to the field for actual engagement, that is when things may fall apart--with dangers most likely from Iraqi troops being trampled while fleeing.  

    If  the past is prologue, this is just one of successive steps. Just a few more troops, a few more years, a few more $trillions.   The rockers will come off and we will rock (cf. Viet Nam).  

    According to a recent article in the NYT, ISIS (none / 0) (#3)
    by oculus on Wed Jun 10, 2015 at 10:39:16 PM EST
    collects taxes and sells antiquities. The price of oil has dropped and money from ransom isn't as plentiful.

    Better to sell them (5.00 / 1) (#52)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Jun 11, 2015 at 03:12:31 PM EST
    than destroy them

    I hope you're right. (none / 0) (#59)
    by oculus on Thu Jun 11, 2015 at 08:18:35 PM EST
    Private collections.  

    As soon as I see stuff like: (none / 0) (#4)
    by lentinel on Wed Jun 10, 2015 at 10:48:54 PM EST
    Obama decided on the new troop deployment in response to a request from Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi

    Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi requests.
    We snap to.

    Don't think so.

    We tell al-Abadi what to say, or else.
    He says it.
    And we do what we were going to do anyway.

    My subjective reaction is that the people there don't need our training. They don't want our training. We supported governments that made their lives miserable. Now they are just as miserable, or maybe a little less so, but in any case they are dealing with locals, not yahoos from another side of the planet.

    So, when the 450 troops get there to train... who are they going to train?

    I go back to the initial involvement and invasions of Iraq. Oil.

    How have we been doing in the Iraqi oil business since these Bush/Obama decades?

    Just like Al Asad (none / 0) (#5)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Jun 11, 2015 at 01:29:10 AM EST
    Easy to defend, three separate perimeters, air bases where troops can be pulled very quickly.  Smart moves, smart guy. Trains Sunnis, prevents the need for Shiite militias which everyone fears will only lead to outright civil war.

    Gotta say one thing for the President too, he has never treated the troops in this like any sort of cannon fodder.  Still dangerous, but only training at bases that are virtually impenetrable and where he can easily extract his troops.

    Too little (none / 0) (#11)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Jun 11, 2015 at 09:32:02 AM EST
    and a useless waste of money and, most likely, men.

    If we want to fight we should fight with all our resources and win.

    Peter G is right. This is Vietnam all over again.

    "money" (5.00 / 1) (#14)
    by Mr Natural on Thu Jun 11, 2015 at 09:47:24 AM EST
    Does anyone even know how much money we're still pouring into that bottomless pit?  I'm not referring to military operations.  I'm talking about money for "rebuilding" and "programs" and feelgood B/S.  How much actually gets spent on those programs?  As little as possible is my guess.  Wholesale diversion.  Wholesale theft.  Ghost soldiers, ghost regiments, and if this story is true, Ghost Divisions.  

    Money.  Iraq has been completely corrupted by America's money.  The soldiers, at least those that actually exist, know this.  WTF should they fight for their bosses?  What's in it for them?


    Have your (none / 0) (#12)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Jun 11, 2015 at 09:35:02 AM EST
    Lindsey Graham bumper sticker yet?

    That's "Rambo" Graham, to you, Captain. (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by Mr Natural on Thu Jun 11, 2015 at 09:49:34 AM EST
    Can you make that into a bumper sticker?

    Win... (none / 0) (#13)
    by ScottW714 on Thu Jun 11, 2015 at 09:44:54 AM EST
    ...talk about the funniest and most clueless thing I have read in a while.

    They couldn't 'win' in Iraq after a trillion dollars and 6 years, but this time they can definitely do it, no problem.


    What Jim may have meant was, it's all (none / 0) (#22)
    by Mr Natural on Thu Jun 11, 2015 at 09:56:11 AM EST
    or nothing.

    I remember sitting in my second grade class at the College Heights Elementary school in State College, Pennsylvania.  Our teacher, Mrs. Hutchinson, wept and announced the current Vietnam death toll.

    It was in the low 200s.  236 sticks in my mind but it was a long, long time ago.

    Sometimes I wonder still, why she wept, who she knew.


    What are you (none / 0) (#25)
    by FlJoe on Thu Jun 11, 2015 at 10:04:37 AM EST
    suggesting, 100-200k soldiers? Another Trillion? What would be different this time?

    This must be Obama's idea of (none / 0) (#16)
    by Green26 on Thu Jun 11, 2015 at 09:49:37 AM EST
    a (mini) surge and (mini) Sunni Awakening. Ha. The US needs to get some special ops troops and forward air controllers up with the Iraqis on the front lines, so that they can better assess what's going on and direct the air power more effectively. 3 out of 4 US planes return to base without dropping their bombs, because they can't find or identify their targets. The US also needs to loosen up its bombing protocols a bit. Continuing to tiptoe and be overly cautious and conservative is not effective.

    In Other Words... (5.00 / 3) (#19)
    by ScottW714 on Thu Jun 11, 2015 at 09:52:53 AM EST
    ...we must bomb some Iraqis to save the Iraqis.

    flatten a village to save the village... (5.00 / 1) (#23)
    by Mr Natural on Thu Jun 11, 2015 at 10:02:06 AM EST
    flatten a city to save the city...

    flatten a province to save the province...

    Is there a method to this madness?


    Because if There is One Thing... (none / 0) (#38)
    by ScottW714 on Thu Jun 11, 2015 at 12:13:58 PM EST
    ...Muslims love, it's loosening of bomb protocols by the west over the Muslim lands.

    Yeah (5.00 / 3) (#21)
    by FlJoe on Thu Jun 11, 2015 at 09:55:35 AM EST
    lets  put  
    some special ops troops and forward air controllers up with the Iraqis on the front lines,
    so they can be hung out to dry when the Iraqis run.

    The Iraqis won't have to run (none / 0) (#29)
    by Green26 on Thu Jun 11, 2015 at 11:03:00 AM EST
    because the US airpower will get called in properly and timely. The goal is have the planes drop their bombs, not fly them over Iraq and take them back to the base. Also, the new base in Anbar will apparently give the US the ability to have planes at the base, for quicker and easier deployment.

    I'm pretty sure (none / 0) (#36)
    by Chuck0 on Thu Jun 11, 2015 at 12:01:12 PM EST
    the bombing runs are all Navy. Flown from aircraft carriers. There won't be planes at any land bases in Iraq.

    State Dept indicates US may put aircraft (none / 0) (#53)
    by Green26 on Thu Jun 11, 2015 at 03:13:31 PM EST
    at new base.

    "Second, it gives the United States the option of deploying aircraft at Al Taqqadum, a base in Anbar, meaning they will be closer to the anticipated battle to recapture Ramadi. "I think this will greatly improve our ability to turn around airstrikes in a pretty fast clip," said Brett H. McGurk, a senior State Department official."  NY Times.


    You know (none / 0) (#24)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Jun 11, 2015 at 10:03:56 AM EST
    i don't really know what to make of this.  It's awful news.  The last thing I would want to hear.  But the armchair generals are a freakin hoot.  
    I dont like this but I dont know all the facts.  Here's what I do know.  This president is not a war monger.  He apparently had to be pretty much dragged to this by everyone advising him, SoD, Cahirman of the JCs, etc.
    Now of course the response to that is of course they want this it's their job.
    And he had to know how massively unpopular this would be.
    So, while I don't like it I am self aware enough to know I should not be giving him advise.  Because I and in fact we know little of the facts he is basing the decision on.
    We will see what happens next.  I hope for the best.

    Irony overload. You just accused Obama (none / 0) (#30)
    by Mr Natural on Thu Jun 11, 2015 at 11:03:32 AM EST
    of being too conservative.

    Obama is too conservative and cautious (none / 0) (#33)
    by Green26 on Thu Jun 11, 2015 at 11:52:02 AM EST
    in military matters.

    In Other Words... (5.00 / 3) (#35)
    by ScottW714 on Thu Jun 11, 2015 at 11:58:06 AM EST
    ...Obama is too conservative and cautious in human life matters.

    The opposite (5.00 / 2) (#37)
    by FlJoe on Thu Jun 11, 2015 at 12:01:23 PM EST
    of cautious is reckless. We need more cowboys, that will show them.

    "Into the valley of death, rode the brave... (5.00 / 6) (#44)
    by Mr Natural on Thu Jun 11, 2015 at 01:12:56 PM EST
    ... keyboard werhmacht"

    What is needed (none / 0) (#31)
    by RickyJim on Thu Jun 11, 2015 at 11:21:37 AM EST
    A clear, convincing, charismatic voice telling the country that it is not at all obvious that the US will be worse off if it fails to combat further advances of ISIS.  I haven't the foggiest idea who that might be.

    You (none / 0) (#32)
    by FlJoe on Thu Jun 11, 2015 at 11:27:45 AM EST
    mean the "voice of reason"? Pretty much extinct inside the beltway and unknown in the halls of modern mainstream journalism.

    necessary training (none / 0) (#51)
    by Uncle Chip on Thu Jun 11, 2015 at 02:56:17 PM EST
    I think this training is fully necessary.

    The Iraqi army have to be trained by someone to bring their HumVs and other military equipment with them when they retreat.

    Leaving that stuff for IS is really not good military protocol.

    Lilly Pad (none / 0) (#57)
    by FlJoe on Thu Jun 11, 2015 at 04:40:08 PM EST
    bases in Iraq, WTF? Are we trying to pacify the Okefenokee swamp? To quote it's most famous resident "We have met the enemy and he is us." Truly spoken indeed.

    This miserable plan has as much... (none / 0) (#58)
    by desertswine on Thu Jun 11, 2015 at 07:55:08 PM EST
    chance of success as these crusader castles. The only effect will be to prolong the killing. We need to lop off the weapons oligarchs and work on giving the people the health and dental care they deserve.

    Combo reply to Mondriggian, Howdy and jondee (none / 0) (#61)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Jun 11, 2015 at 08:21:19 PM EST
    As much as it pains me to explain what I thought was obvious...

    And, of course it was, the point is that since we are at war we should act like we are at war.

    None of this "adviser" BS, etc., etc.

    As Peter G wrote, Obama is making this Vietnam redux.

    Either a, use the greatest military in the world with all of its weapons and resources

    Or b, bring all the troops home and redouble all the resources to protect all inlets to the country.

    So I repeat

    When you have to shoot, shoot. Don't talk.

    The reply was mainly in response to your comment (none / 0) (#66)
    by jondee on Fri Jun 12, 2015 at 02:15:39 PM EST
    about a grandstanding politician with absolutely ZERO experience leading a nation being "head and shoulders above Obama" in defense; as if that groundless assertion were some sort of empirically proven fact.

    Strutting and bellowing on the sidelines in order to draw attention to oneself at the onset of an election cycle does not a commander-in-chief make.



    Every Republican candidate (none / 0) (#67)
    by Mordiggian 88 on Fri Jun 12, 2015 at 02:32:27 PM EST
    with the exception of Ms. Fiorina, fancies himself the next coming of Teddy Roosevelt.

    As Tom Lehrer put it (none / 0) (#64)
    by Mordiggian 88 on Fri Jun 12, 2015 at 07:32:12 AM EST

    When someone makes a move
    Of which we don't approve,
    Who is it that always intervenes?
    U.N. and O.A.S.
    They have their place, I guess,
    But first send the marines!

    We'll send them all we've got,
    John Wayne and Randolph Scott,
    Remember those exciting fighting scenes?
    To the shores of Tripoli,
    But not to Mississippoli,
    What do we do? we send the marines!

    For might makes right,
    And till they've seen the light,
    They've got to be protected,
    All their rights respected,
    'till somebody we like can be elected.

    Members of the corps
    All hate the thought of war,
    They'd rather kill them off by peaceful means.
    Stop calling it aggression,
    O we hate that expression.
    We only want the world to know
    That we support the status quo.
    They love us everywhere we go,
    So when in doubt,
    Send the marines!

    thread cleaned of off-topic comments (none / 0) (#65)
    by Jeralyn on Fri Jun 12, 2015 at 11:57:59 AM EST
    This post has nothing to do with Hollywood or westerns. And Mortigan and and others, stop the insults to each other. This thread (like all threads) is not about Jim.

    Be careful (none / 0) (#69)
    by Mordiggian 88 on Fri Jun 12, 2015 at 02:42:31 PM EST
    You don't want to get banned here, do you?  👽

    that comment was deleted (none / 0) (#70)
    by Jeralyn on Fri Jun 12, 2015 at 10:29:01 PM EST
    The poster can take care of themselves. (none / 0) (#71)
    by Mordiggian 88 on Sat Jun 13, 2015 at 01:54:06 AM EST