Middle East Timebomb

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Message 1584307 - Posted: 10 Oct 2014, 0:58:30 UTC - in response to Message 1584302.  


I'm sorry to say that once diplomacy fails & those "glorious leaders" of ours give the military the go-ahead, they should stay of out it until one side or another is defeated.


General Jack D. Ripper: Mandrake, do you recall what Clemenceau once said about war?

Group Capt. Lionel Mandrake: No, I don't think I do, sir, no.

General Jack D. Ripper: He said war was too important to be left to the generals. When he said that, 50 years ago, he might have been right. But today, war is too important to be left to politicians. They have neither the time, the training, nor the inclination for strategic thought.


Sorry, couldn't resist the levity.

I tend to agree with you Sirus. Once the politicians tell the Generals: "GO!" they should stay out of it.
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Message 1584313 - Posted: 10 Oct 2014, 1:10:22 UTC - in response to Message 1584307.  

LOL at the levity. Have to agree with it. Unfortunately, we no longer have strong leaders in the West & those that we do have are leading us into a terrible future if they do not stop their meddling.

Personally, I think that today's crop of politicians are more worried about their time after their stint in power than in actually governing the country as it should be.

Too many specialist lobbyists with their large brown envelopes, paid for holidays on the pretext of attending fact finding missions etc etc.

Until that is changed, nothing will change.
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Message 1584530 - Posted: 10 Oct 2014, 8:07:51 UTC - in response to Message 1584258.  

First off, a military action is entirely different from a military campaign.


No they are not, it is simply a matter of scale. Having been involved personally in both I know by personal experience. It's all symatics..


No, you were not lied to, you just didn't pay any attention when the politicians were talking. They clearly stated that airstrikes alone would not stop ISIS and they never suggested that it was just a matter of dropping some bombs. The bombing campaign is designed to do two things.


This is a mixture of the truth. Yes many clearly stated that the air campaign would bever achieve the defeat of ISL, but they also stated there was no desire to put boots on the ground when any sane person knows that the only solution is exactly that...so they may not have directly lied, but they didn't tell the truth either..


First of all its supposed to prevent ISIS from gaining more territory. This of course, needs to be coordinated with ground forces such as the Iraqi army or Kurdish fighters. The coalition takes out hard targets and the ground forces move in to properly secure the area.


Gist is correct, but not exactly correct either, it's not necessarilly hard targets, but high value targets that require a level of firepower the Kurds/Peshmerger lack, especially with regards to Heavy Armour, AAA guns and fortified defenses.


Second of all, the bombing is supposed to hit valuable targets, such as oil refineries, supply dumps, training camps and administrative centers. That way their command structure gets hit, their ability to pump up and sell oil gets taken out thus reducing their income and obviously the enemy is a bit easier to take out if they are low on ammo and don't drive around in tanks, IFV's and APC's.


Oil refineries are not on the target list. Oil production infrastructure on on the Banned Target List, it is the defenses that ISL has put in place to make use of such facilities that are on the target list..big difference.


IF you had read the papers you would have known that bombing is just step one. There is still a step two and three.


Newspapers are written by people who lie more than Politicians and talk bollocks about situations they know nothing of, if you take your input from them then you are dumb.

Where the Middle East is concerned, there are only two options: -

1: Pull out & let them slaughter each other.

2: A full co-ordinated military campaign utilising all three arms, land, air & sea(where applicable).

Thank god youre not a policy maker. There are, of course, more than the two 'all or nothing' options you just summed up. If international relations really was just a matter of staying out or going in guns blazing in some all out war the human race would have gone extinct centuries ago.

So what is the third option? Well, support the moderate forces in the region with training and equipment and have them do the ground war, while if necessary you drop a few well placed bombs whenever necessary. You know, basically the thing we are currently doing. And afterwards, set up some kind of marshal plan for the region.


Good half arsed liberal clap trap from am armchair warrior I am afraid. The only options are do nothing or go all out and demolish ISL with a coordinated full scale assault from all side simultaneously. Yes at the same time involve the local forces, embed some with each unit because they learn, can guide and will stop some of the West V Islam nonsense that flies about. We should involve the Turkish, Jordanian, Lebanese, Syrian, Iraqi and Iranian Armed Services to ensure that there is a full scale and decisive assault with guaranteed success.

This would not happen over night, and western forces should be used to augment local forces and not lead them, so we are in a supporting role, this was we are assisting the locals to resolve their problem.

Anything less that a full scale assault will not solve the issue.
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Message 1584587 - Posted: 10 Oct 2014, 12:16:01 UTC - in response to Message 1584285.  

Oh dear, what drivel! Isn't that what the USA & their CIA did for the Afghans in their fight against the Russians...

...just who is fighting in Afghanistan today?

No, they were supporting extremists, not moderates.
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Message 1584588 - Posted: 10 Oct 2014, 12:17:00 UTC - in response to Message 1584297.  

Not to mention, Sirus, that Мишель's suggested course of action will result in what the US has been accused of doing... propping up Dictators.

How do you go from supporting moderates to propping up dictators? The whole point is that you support groups that do not want any more dictators.
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Message 1584589 - Posted: 10 Oct 2014, 12:26:17 UTC - in response to Message 1584298.  
Last modified: 10 Oct 2014, 12:44:56 UTC

The belief, probably really hope, in a Limited War and Limited Air Strikes, have been proven wrong, and wrong, and wrong, again and again.

Where are the Long Term Successes, from Vietnam onwards? Why would anyone advocate a Failed Strategy?

Limited air strikes have proven to work over Libya and Serbia. The point of limited airstrikes however, is that the objectives you aim to achieve are also limited. Which is why the 'limited' airstrikes over Vietnam (who really weren't all that limited) didn't work. The US tried to bomb an entire country into submission. Thats something no air campaign will ever achieve.

But like I said and like Obama said, airstrikes alone will not stop ISIS and no one has ever said that it would. No one at the top is counting that they will be able to stop ISIS by dropping enough bombs on their head.
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Message 1584595 - Posted: 10 Oct 2014, 12:43:11 UTC - in response to Message 1584530.  
Last modified: 10 Oct 2014, 12:45:07 UTC

This is a mixture of the truth. Yes many clearly stated that the air campaign would bever achieve the defeat of ISL, but they also stated there was no desire to put boots on the ground when any sane person knows that the only solution is exactly that...so they may not have directly lied, but they didn't tell the truth either..

Yes, boots on the ground are necessary to defeat ISIS from a purely military perspective. Now think one step further, what will happen if the West puts more boots on the ground in the Middle East, what would be the reaction of the people there? Right, they are gonna hate us for it, and we would do ISIS a massive favor. For one, we would be fighting on their home ground, and two, they would regain a lot of local support and three, our boots on the ground there are not gonna win this thing. Our armies are not capable of fighting out an urban guerilla war with a terrorist organization like ISIS, just like the Americans never managed to defeat the terrorist elements present in Iraq after their invasion.

So that is why the top brass is not ready to send our troops over there. And that is why in the current American plan, the boots on the ground are supposed to be Western trained locals, moderate rebel forces, the Iraqi army and the Kurdish forces.

Oil refineries are not on the target list. Oil production infrastructure on on the Banned Target List, it is the defenses that ISL has put in place to make use of such facilities that are on the target list..big difference.

Nope, they also bomb refineries.

See?

Perhaps the UK doesn't bomb oil refineries, but the US most certainly does.

Newspapers are written by people who lie more than Politicians and talk bollocks about situations they know nothing of, if you take your input from them then you are dumb.

Right, well I can understand that. I've seen what rags you Brits call 'newspapers'. But I'm Dutch and our news papers are a lot better when it comes to actual news reporting.


Good half arsed liberal clap trap from am armchair warrior I am afraid. The only options are do nothing or go all out and demolish ISL with a coordinated full scale assault from all side simultaneously. Yes at the same time involve the local forces, embed some with each unit because they learn, can guide and will stop some of the West V Islam nonsense that flies about. We should involve the Turkish, Jordanian, Lebanese, Syrian, Iraqi and Iranian Armed Services to ensure that there is a full scale and decisive assault with guaranteed success.

This would not happen over night, and western forces should be used to augment local forces and not lead them, so we are in a supporting role, this was we are assisting the locals to resolve their problem.

Anything less that a full scale assault will not solve the issue.

Well that last bit is already happening. Again, the local forces are supposed to take the lead in any ground operations, the west only provides them with material and training.

But all the talk about full scale wars and assaults...yeah, sounds nice, gives you a nice gut feeling, but its such a simplistic answer to such a complex problem.
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Message 1584607 - Posted: 10 Oct 2014, 13:04:04 UTC - in response to Message 1584588.  

Not to mention, Sirus, that Мишель's suggested course of action will result in what the US has been accused of doing... propping up Dictators.

How do you go from supporting moderates to propping up dictators? The whole point is that you support groups that do not want any more dictators.



Мишель,
Essay exam time. Get out your blue book.

1. In the context of the culture, traditions, and history of the region of the 'Middle East', define 'moderates'. Give at least three examples.

2. In the context of the culture, traditions, and history of the region of 'Europe', define 'dictator'. Give at least three examples.

3. Compare and contrast the above two definitions.
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Message 1584693 - Posted: 10 Oct 2014, 15:10:11 UTC

Michel, All out War is the ONLY way to defeat this organisation, people who do not see that are simply delusional. Please don't misunderstand me, I have no desire to see anyone die, I has seen enough of that in 20 years in the Parachute Regiment with tours in Sierra Leone, Bosnia/Kosovo not to mention 3 tours of Iraq as well as operations in places not to be mentioned with 1 Para.

However there are times when the only way to win a battle is with overwhelming and decisive action, and this is one of them. The US is childishly allowing history to block moves that would see the assistance of Iran in thie process, and many in the west will not deal with the Assad regime for similar reasons.

I get and understand the reasoning behind this, but there are times when we need to put differences aside and work collectively for a holistic solution for all. This was why in my last post I stated that we should augment and support the nations of the middle east to deal with this issue as this is the only way it would happen that would not simply kick up more radicals banging the anti-west drum (It likely would anyway, but at least this would be the lesser evil). For too long the West, and the US in particular, has not only been the wiping boy of the Middle East, but most of the nations there, including Israel, have also relied on the Western Powers, notably the US, to be the Policeman too. It is time the West/US stopped performing this function and forced them to fight their own battles but with us in a supporting role instead of the other way around.

The only way to defeat ISL will be a full scale military assault from multiple fronts. The forces pitted against ISL at this time are poorly motivated, poorly trained, poorly equipped and lack the kind of integrated operational strategy required in such fluid environments against a non-conventional force. Faced with assaults from all side ISL will crumble because they have no experience of such scale and simply lack the resources to prosecute such a campaign.
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Message 1584696 - Posted: 10 Oct 2014, 15:17:40 UTC - in response to Message 1584693.  

I fully agree Jim, indeed, there may even be justification for using the type of weapon, that the likes of you and I never envisaged. Two of my closest friends served with 3 Para and they also think it is a case of 'all or nothing'! As things stand at present, it really should be a case of 'my enemy's enemy is my ally'.
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Message 1584717 - Posted: 10 Oct 2014, 16:05:38 UTC - in response to Message 1584693.  

However there are times when the only way to win a battle is with overwhelming and decisive action, and this is one of them. The US is childishly allowing history to block moves that would see the assistance of Iran in thie process, and many in the west will not deal with the Assad regime for similar reasons.

Many in the West do not want to deal with Assad for good reasons. He is the source of the problem, he has, in a move of sheer cynical calculation allowed ISIS and other Islamic extremists to gain power so now the West would be forced to intervene and support him. We should not reward such behavior by helping him, we should reward that behavior with a well aimed Hellfire missile in his face.

Aside from moral concerns, there also practical concerns of supporting Assad. For one, he has lost most if not all of his legitimacy among his people. Helping him will only make the average people in the area, and Muslims in general, hate us in turn. All they will see is the West supporting another brutal dictator who gassed his own people, but because hes against the Muslim extremists we are overlooking that little fact. For the long term stability of the region, Assad has to go.

The only way to defeat ISL will be a full scale military assault from multiple fronts. The forces pitted against ISL at this time are poorly motivated, poorly trained, poorly equipped and lack the kind of integrated operational strategy required in such fluid environments against a non-conventional force. Faced with assaults from all side ISL will crumble because they have no experience of such scale and simply lack the resources to prosecute such a campaign.

Learn your history. ISIS is at its core still a terrorist organization. Faced with such an overwhelming military assault, what do you think will happen? They stand and try to hold their ground? Or go underground and start a terror campaign. And when they do go underground, what good will that large military be? Not a whole lot, traditional militaries are generally really really bad at fighting guerrilla's. It will be Iraq and Afghanistan all over again. Daily car bombs going off, IED's hitting convoys, ambushes, etc until after a few years we are sick of it and we pull out. And a few months later, the terrorists crawl out of the woodwork, they destroy the local security forces and the whole thing starts over again.

Overwhelming military force is not a solution because it doesn't work against this kind of opponent. Whatever force we use should only be a stop gap measure to prevent ISIS from growing and support the local forces containing or driving ISIS back, but the real, long term solution will have to be something other than military force.
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Message 1584718 - Posted: 10 Oct 2014, 16:08:18 UTC - in response to Message 1584696.  

I fully agree Jim, indeed, there may even be justification for using the type of weapon, that the likes of you and I never envisaged. Two of my closest friends served with 3 Para and they also think it is a case of 'all or nothing'! As things stand at present, it really should be a case of 'my enemy's enemy is my ally'.

The problem with that is that its been done for decades now in the Middle East by the US and it has directly resulted in the current mess. Its a stupid, shortsighted policy that will guarantee that within a decade another conflict comes up and we get drawn right back in. When will we learn that dictators make for useless horrible partners.
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Message 1584722 - Posted: 10 Oct 2014, 16:17:31 UTC - in response to Message 1584717.  

Why?
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Message 1584728 - Posted: 10 Oct 2014, 16:26:20 UTC - in response to Message 1584717.  

but the real, long term solution will have to be something other than military force.

Well as one can see, your "diplomatic" solution has consistently failed in the region & as you're against full scale military intervention, just what is left but the one option that will have people such as yourself screaming bloody blue murder under the "Humanitarian Aid" banner...

...So where does that leave the region & the West? Care to answer that?

@Jim your last two posts were excellent. As for Action v Campaign, concede that point as they are interchangeable.
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Message 1584734 - Posted: 10 Oct 2014, 16:41:02 UTC - in response to Message 1584722.  

Why?

A dictatorship is inherently unstable. It requires massive amounts of repression to remain intact and repression only results in resentment. That resentment grows and as it grows, so does the repression, until at some point that resentment explodes into protests and those protests turn into a civil war.

Further adding to the resentment is the fact that most dictatorships are fundamentally incapable of providing the things that could make people happy, such as jobs and economic growth. There are two reasons for this. The first is that dictators tend to spend a lot of money on useless stuff for themselves or their security services. The second reason is that governments run by dictators are inherently corrupt and inefficient to an extreme idea. This is because since dictators are continuously fearful for their position, they tend to the incompetent idiots to better positions because incompetent idiots are less of a threat than capable people promoted by their merit. As a result all the capable people working for the government work at the bottom, while all the idiots occupy the higher positions. Corruption and government inefficiency are the result.

And how do you think people will react if we support another dictator because we are afraid of a bunch of extremists? You think they will say 'oh yeah sure, go ahead, support the guy that unleashed WMD's on his own people and who's secret police kidnapped and tortured thousands of people, including children. We forgive him for that because obviously ISIS is a much bigger threat'. No, they will go ahead and support ISIS because at least ISIS fights Assad, and ISIS so far has brought some measure of stability, as long as you are a Sunni and stick to their rules. ISIS hasn't had the chance yet to unleash their own form of terror on the people.

But if thats not convincing enough, then just look at the history of the region. First we installed the Shah in Iran. Look at what happened there. Now Iran is a theocracy. Then we supported Saddam Hussein because he was fighting Iran. Then that went wrong. We supported the muhjadeen against the Soviets. They turned into the Taliban and formed Al Queda. And because of our constant interference, there is a lot of hate towards the United States, who is seen as the principal culprit, and a lot of distrust towards the rest of the West. The region is economically weak and its fertile ground for extremists and terrorists. The simple fact is that our current policies in the Middle East have caused a huge mess, and repeating those policies again in the hope that this time it will be different is just sheer insanity.
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Message 1584738 - Posted: 10 Oct 2014, 16:47:43 UTC - in response to Message 1584734.  

Nice post but it has two major flaws.

Just who are the "we & our"?

Don't you mean bureaucrats & politicians as it's certainly not the citizens or military forces of the West!

Just like politicians, you cannot see the large hole you're digging for yourself with every post you make.
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Message 1584743 - Posted: 10 Oct 2014, 16:54:40 UTC - in response to Message 1584734.  
Last modified: 10 Oct 2014, 16:56:19 UTC

Try thinking along more 'tribal' lines. I was not a Mid-East expert, but most countries in the Mid-East were (and still are), along 'tribal lines'. Your concepts are derived from 'flawed' thinking - things are not done, in the Mid-East, as you might think.
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Message 1584744 - Posted: 10 Oct 2014, 17:01:05 UTC - in response to Message 1584743.  

Try thinking along more 'tribal' lines. I was not a Mid-East expert, but most countries in the Mid-East were (and still are), along 'tribal lines'. Your concepts are derived from 'flawed' thinking - things are not done, in the Mid-East, as you might think.

& then add on top of that the various religious sects such as Shia & Sunni, as well as the smaller ones.

One can see much the same thing here in Europe. Just look at the UK. 3 main parties & along comes an upstart. The vitriol & accusations flying thick & fast are often amusing.

Take away our so called civility, do you think we would be much better than the Middle East as it currently stands?
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Message 1584750 - Posted: 10 Oct 2014, 17:08:38 UTC - in response to Message 1584744.  

Try thinking along more 'tribal' lines. I was not a Mid-East expert, but most countries in the Mid-East were (and still are), along 'tribal lines'. Your concepts are derived from 'flawed' thinking - things are not done, in the Mid-East, as you might think.

& then add on top of that the various religious sects such as Shia & Sunni, as well as the smaller ones.

One can see much the same thing here in Europe. Just look at the UK. 3 main parties & along comes an upstart. The vitriol & accusations flying thick & fast are often amusing.

Take away our so called civility, do you think we would be much better than the Middle East as it currently stands?


Very little different. One has only to look at how some 'news' sites in the UK, reacted to recent political events in the UK.
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Message 1584831 - Posted: 10 Oct 2014, 18:38:56 UTC - in response to Message 1584738.  

Don't you mean bureaucrats & politicians as it's certainly not the citizens or military forces of the West!

Bureaucrats? I'm pretty sure the bureaucrats weren't involved in this. Politicians? Yeah sure, they call the shots. The rest was the military and the intelligence agencies.

But what does it matter whos to blame? It happened, playing the blame game is not gonna help anyone now.
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