Middle East Timebomb

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Message 1584836 - Posted: 10 Oct 2014, 18:42:47 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.

A dictator still thinks along similar lines, except that in this case he only further limits the pool of candidates for well placed positions in his government by also selecting along tribal lines. And when the dictator loses power, a civil war gets much more brutal because it also becomes a tribal conflict. But that doesn't negate anything I stated earlier. It just adds to the complexity of the problem, which incidentally also means the solution will require more than such a simplistic 'all out warfare' approach.
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Message 1584839 - Posted: 10 Oct 2014, 18:46:08 UTC - in response to Message 1584831.  

The point is, not that it happened, it is, that it was going to happen. You cannot appease something, that is twisted and warped towards an 'ideal', that has become twisted and warped towards a person.
Don't take life too seriously, as you'll never come out of it alive!
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Message 1584857 - Posted: 10 Oct 2014, 19:03:27 UTC - in response to Message 1584717.  

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.


I know you are in the Netherlands Michel, but could please stop smoking wacky baccy before you post, it comes out as uneducated waffle.

You clearly do not know or understand what you are talking about. ISL have faced military units in open battle, in both Iraq and Syria, they have lost and won, the wins bolstering their campaign. You and I may call them terrorists, but they are not operating as one, they are mobile and with the exception of airpower have the majority of military hardware and tactical abilities as most recognised middle eastern militaries, and the reason for that is that many in the upper levels of the organisation have actual military training...

They will not run, they will not cower as you speculate, they have demonstrated that admirably, and Yes I do have a level of respect for how they have prosecuted their military campaign (but not how they conduct themselves as a whole).

Your tactics are the same as your nation had in both 1914 and 1940....wow now they worked a treat I see...
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Message 1584872 - Posted: 10 Oct 2014, 19:24:19 UTC - in response to Message 1584857.  

You and I may call them terrorists, but they are not operating as one, they are mobile and with the exception of airpower have the majority of military hardware and tactical abilities as most recognised middle eastern militaries, and the reason for that is that many in the upper levels of the organisation have actual military training...

...& therein lies the danger. They know how to use that hardware to good effect as seen recently. The West by holding off now, putting boots on the ground at a later date, even in the manner that you suggested, will be too late.

IS need to be stopped now. The problem is that no one here has the courage to act, too scared of "political suicide".

@Michel

Politicians come & go, the Civil Service remains. Just who do you think advises those ministers on the rights & wrongs of the issues that come before them?
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Message 1584933 - Posted: 10 Oct 2014, 21:07:17 UTC

Some very interesting comments from those who served...

IS threatens service personnel's families

Really love this one: -

"ISIS is aggressive in its propaganda war (which is what this is) and this supports its intent of demonstrating we are powerless and at its mercy. By murdering American warriors and/or family members it demonstrates its power – and our weakness.

Kill them until they beg to surrender. That’s not a flippant answer. We are in a war. Disregard the academics and fools who think they understand warfare but don’t. You win wars by killing the enemy until he begs to surrender. Until you have broken your enemy, you will never have peace.”"
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Message 1585012 - Posted: 10 Oct 2014, 23:07:10 UTC - in response to Message 1584933.  

Some very interesting comments from those who served...

IS threatens service personnel's families

Really love this one: -

"ISIS is aggressive in its propaganda war (which is what this is) and this supports its intent of demonstrating we are powerless and at its mercy. By murdering American warriors and/or family members it demonstrates its power – and our weakness.

Kill them until they beg to surrender. That’s not a flippant answer. We are in a war. Disregard the academics and fools who think they understand warfare but don’t. You win wars by killing the enemy until he begs to surrender. Until you have broken your enemy, you will never have peace.”"

Idiots talk of exit strategies, there is only ever one exit strategy, the enemy signs an unconditional instrument of surrender. Anything else and it isn't war. Perhaps it is bloody nose diplomacy, but it isn't war.
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Message 1585210 - Posted: 11 Oct 2014, 9:22:26 UTC - in response to Message 1584879.  

Jim, I think the point is as I posted before here earlier post All options remain open to the UK, but we will take carefully considered moves, as indeed you would expect us to do.


Unfortunately here in the UK the bleeding heart liberals, the cowardly wankers and stupid morons need to be kept quiet so we can do the only options available, but the wanker whities (The stupid liberals who claim racism on everything to prove they are not discriminating against ethnic monorities) will create a furorer and prevent the country from making the hard choices that need to be made.
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Message 1585228 - Posted: 11 Oct 2014, 11:09:55 UTC - in response to Message 1584857.  

I know you are in the Netherlands Michel, but could please stop smoking wacky baccy before you post, it comes out as uneducated waffle.

Seriously? God how original. You are only the like the millionth foreigner who made that joke...

You clearly do not know or understand what you are talking about. ISL have faced military units in open battle, in both Iraq and Syria, they have lost and won, the wins bolstering their campaign. You and I may call them terrorists, but they are not operating as one, they are mobile and with the exception of airpower have the majority of military hardware and tactical abilities as most recognised middle eastern militaries, and the reason for that is that many in the upper levels of the organisation have actual military training...

They will not run, they will not cower as you speculate, they have demonstrated that admirably, and Yes I do have a level of respect for how they have prosecuted their military campaign (but not how they conduct themselves as a whole).

And if you look at how they started out, you would know that ISIS origins lie with urban guerrilla warfare and terrorism. They have evolved into something larger now because they have the manpower, money and equipment to do so, but once the air campaign has destroyed a significant portion of that equipment, taken out their oil fields and cut off a major source of revenue and the local ground forces are pushing them back, why is it so weird to suggest that they don't change their tactics again and return to their roots? It is literally one of the dumbest things you can do, assume that your enemy is an idiot and is just going to keep playing a game in which they are at a severe disadvantage. Its a strategic sin to severly underestimate your enemy and just assume that they are not gonna try and exploit their advantages. But then again, you British have knack for underestimating your enemy and getting slaughtered in the process. The Zulus, Afghanistan, Operation Market Garden.

Your tactics are the same as your nation had in both 1914 and 1940....wow now they worked a treat I see...

For someone with a supposed military background you seem to know jack about it. Geez, you don't even get the basic difference between tactics and strategy. Tactics is the small scale level, its how individuals or small groups of people operate to get to a very specific set goal. A Nation by default cannot operate on a tactical level, they are to big and its goals are to broad. Nations pursue strategies instead.

As for my tactics, well honestly I don't know what you mean with that. If you mean my strategy, I would assume you are referring to neutrality, but Im pretty sure Im not arguing for anyone to stay neutral here.
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Message 1585229 - Posted: 11 Oct 2014, 11:12:08 UTC - in response to Message 1584872.  

@Michel

Politicians come & go, the Civil Service remains. Just who do you think advises those ministers on the rights & wrongs of the issues that come before them?

Correct, but that only gets them so far. In general, civil servants have a high degree of influence when it comes to domestic or institutional issues, issues that affect day to day operations. Their influence on things like toppling regimes in other countries...well they have pretty much no say over that.
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Message 1585230 - Posted: 11 Oct 2014, 11:15:24 UTC - in response to Message 1585138.  
Last modified: 11 Oct 2014, 11:15:49 UTC

We shouldn't have 'Partnered' with the vile dictator Stalin against a common enemy Hitler?

YES... It does work!

Yeah but look at the long term consequences of that. Sure, you beat Hitler, but after that the world got divided in two and for the next 40 years the world was on the edge of nuclear annihilation. There is a real risk to partnering with dictators and we often forget about that.
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Message 1585243 - Posted: 11 Oct 2014, 13:03:19 UTC

Michel, you do raise some good points regarding partnering with dictators, however to put Assad in the same league as Stalin is rather simplistic. There are sigant risks by partnering with Assad, not least we risk pushing the FSA toward supporting ISL instead of fighting them so any moves in this direction need careful and thoughtful processes.

I think if the right moves are made toward the FSA then they will be on board with the support for the conventional Syrian Forces as long as it is for the long term goal of a free Syria, but promises made must be put into writing and then honoured after the fact.

However it would be wrong to go into this blindly and without thinking about the consequences if we do not honour agreements. But just because it would be difficult does not mean we should not do it, or at least attempt it.

With regards to Tactics and Strategy, I do know the difference, you are being picky. As for your comments regarding 1914 and 1940...please do develope a sense of humour.
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Message 1585306 - Posted: 11 Oct 2014, 16:17:37 UTC - in response to Message 1585243.  

Michel, you do raise some good points regarding partnering with dictators, however to put Assad in the same league as Stalin is rather simplistic. There are sigant risks by partnering with Assad, not least we risk pushing the FSA toward supporting ISL instead of fighting them so any moves in this direction need careful and thoughtful processes.

I think if the right moves are made toward the FSA then they will be on board with the support for the conventional Syrian Forces as long as it is for the long term goal of a free Syria, but promises made must be put into writing and then honoured after the fact.

However it would be wrong to go into this blindly and without thinking about the consequences if we do not honour agreements. But just because it would be difficult does not mean we should not do it, or at least attempt it.

Which is why Assad has to go at some point. We cannot support the FSA and then have them get slaughtered by Assad or have him destabilize the region again by fighting the FSA.

And of course Assad is not Stalin. And I never compared him to Stalin.

With regards to Tactics and Strategy, I do know the difference, you are being picky. As for your comments regarding 1914 and 1940...please do develope a sense of humour.

Thats saying that Im picky for point out the difference between a potato and an apple because 'they are both food'. As for my sense of humor, perhaps you should start by actually saying something funny.
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Message 1585310 - Posted: 11 Oct 2014, 16:19:24 UTC - in response to Message 1585248.  

The difference between strategy and tactics is quite simple. e.g. to win this battle the strategy will be to take control of that hill. To achieve that, the tactics will be to attack with a small force from the South to distract the enemy, whilst the main force attacks from the North.

Hmm I think you're describing whats called the operational level there.
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Message 1585315 - Posted: 11 Oct 2014, 16:22:17 UTC - in response to Message 1585252.  

A Hitler victory would have been better for The World? Why?

Never said that would be better. Don't put words into my mouth.

In an International World, where everything is inter-connected: Hard Choices may have to be made.

There is No Neutrality in this modern world. Unless you are advocating a return to the Past. Where certain Regions of The World were controlled by... With only limited inter-actions between them.

Again, I never said that its best if everyone is neutral. I'm simply saying that being friends with dictators is generally a bad thing and will hurt your interests in the long run and gets you dragged into conflicts where you can't engage on your own terms.
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Message 1585363 - Posted: 11 Oct 2014, 18:00:48 UTC

Hidden agenda by the Turks?

Kobane

Turkey has stated that they will not let Kobane fall. They have their forces at the border, but still no action. However, we see this: -

"Turkey has ranged its military forces on the border but has so far ruled out any ground operation on its own, and has refused to allow Kurds in Turkey to cross the border to fight."
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Message 1585665 - Posted: 12 Oct 2014, 6:58:36 UTC - in response to Message 1585626.  

Hidden agenda by the Turks?

Kobane

Turkey has stated that they will not let Kobane fall. They have their forces at the border, but still no action. However, we see this: -

"Turkey has ranged its military forces on the border but has so far ruled out any ground operation on its own, and has refused to allow Kurds in Turkey to cross the border to fight."

Hidden Agenda. Possibly.

Have heard from those, whose job is to 'study' this part of the world, this postulation:

Turkey, who consider The Kurds a threat to Turkey (Kurdistan), will allow ISIS to destroy the Kurdish population within Iraq. Then Turkey will launch a massive Military Operation to destroy The Islamic State. Turkey does have this capability.

With the destruction of The Kurds: Any move to create a Kurdish State, will be blunted.

Interesting.


Same tactics the Russians/Soviet used during the Warsaw Uprising 1 August – 2 October 1944. The Russians did not want the Polish Resistance to develop to an opposition against their coming rule, after WWII was won. So, they stayed just outside of the city, and allowed the Nazis to kill all resistance fighters.

After that had been done, the Russians/Soviet moved into Warsaw, and defeated the Nazis.

Turkey hates the kurds, and have always done. They would just love it if ISIS kills all the kurdish fighters in Kobane. Then, and only then will they move against ISIS.

You are correct. I hadnt put those two things together in the current conflict. It makes a lot of sense. Its not right. But it is politcaly sensible for Turkey.
Let one group solve a problem and then you solve the other one.
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Message 1585733 - Posted: 12 Oct 2014, 11:38:54 UTC - in response to Message 1585317.  

Was the world better without Hitler?

Then you are assuming that the Western allies needed to partner with the Russians to beat Hitler. The fact is that Hitler could not have won the war in any case. Lets say the Russians and the Western allies never partnered up. The Russians relied heavily on Western support to keep the nazis at bay, without that support a lot more of them would have died. They might have held, but barely, so their eventual march towards Berlin would have been significantly slowed down. Meanwhile the allies would have kicked the Germans out of Northern Africa, opened up a front in Italy and at some point also one in Western Europe. The majority of the German forces would still be occupied in the East, the allies march on, liberate Western Europe, but because the Russian advance is nowhere near as effective, the Western allies also get to liberate huge parts of Eastern Europe. Europe wouldn't end up divided, the Soviet Union would come out of the war severely weakened and the cold war might have never happened because of the extremely unfavorable balance of power for the Russians.

Yes, the cost during the Second World War would have been higher, but in the long run, I think the world might have been better off.

Of course, this is all talk in hindsight. I understand why the Allies partnered with Stalin and from their perspective it made a lot of sense to do so. So my point is really only that partnering with dictators is simply a dangerous thing to do. And you have to wonder, if the allies had known that their actions would result in the Cold War and 40 years of the very real threat of nuclear annihilation, if they still would have partnered with Stalin, or would have let Hitler and Stalin weaken each other to exhaustion before swooping in and liberate Europe from Nazi rule.

We now know that partnering with dictators is dangerous and more often than not hurts our long term objectives and interests, so why do we keep doing it? It buys us an easy peace now, but more conflict the next decade. I think I rather have an expensive peace now if it means the outcome will be more sustainable for over a much longer period of time.
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Message 1585735 - Posted: 12 Oct 2014, 11:44:53 UTC - in response to Message 1585665.  


You are correct. I hadnt put those two things together in the current conflict. It makes a lot of sense. Its not right. But it is politcaly sensible for Turkey.
Let one group solve a problem and then you solve the other one.

It only looks sensible on paper. In reality such a 'solution' will be fuel for the next conflict, this time within Turkey's border. ISIS will never completely purge the area of Kurds, and the survivors will remember what Turkey did to them. And then it wont be ISIS setting of car bombs in Turkey, but angry Kurds.

The more sustainable solution for Turkey is to act now. It would buy them immense goodwill from the Kurds and that goodwill they could translate in diminished Kurdish calls for having their independent nation, at least within Turkey.

But perhaps they are already to late for that. We'll see...
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Message 1585746 - Posted: 12 Oct 2014, 12:19:23 UTC

The issue of Turkish intrangigence is something that the world needs to address. The Turks have the ability to seriously dent the ISL advance in Nthn Syria, however it is not as simple as some believe.

If Turkish forces fire into Syria they are effectively declaring war, it is not known how the Syrian Government and Military will react, and lets consider that fact that 2/3rd of Syrias military might has not yet committed iteself to the campaign for whatever reason that is. On paper the Syrians can seriously damage Turkey and would potentially be the victor in an all out conflict based purely on fire power alone.

The equipment both have is almost identical in abilities and the same is true for the personnel. The elephant in the room for both is NATO. If Syria attacks Turkey, then the Turks can invoke article 5 and request help from the rest of NATO, however if Turkey attacks Syria then Turkey is unable to enact Artical 5 and thus would be fighting alone.

Turkey clearly has an adgenda, and the Kurdish issue is clearly part of this that cannot be played down, but I do not believe that this is the over-riding factor.

Whoever gets involved on the ground has to take into account the very fluid and very confused situation on the ground, Blue on Blue conflict is very real and simply identifying who the other "Blue" is is fraught with problems due to the complex political and religious situation in Syria, I am sure the over-riding issue for the Turkey is to not be seen to be supporting the Assad regime in the civil war.

Call me cynical, but ISL does more for the Assad regime than anything else, and it is rasther strange how the group came to dominance once the supply of weapons and munitions from Russia was delt a blow. Why have the Syrian Forces committed barely 1/3rd of the abilities to the suppression of the uprising? Perhaps the situation in Syria is far more complex than people think, perhaps it is more contrived than is being painted either. I do find it rather strange that ISL seems to have people who know how to use complex weapons systems off the bat and with tactics that are superior even to the Iraqi and Syrian Military that is sent against them.
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Message 1585771 - Posted: 12 Oct 2014, 14:13:42 UTC - in response to Message 1585746.  

Call me cynical, but ISL does more for the Assad regime than anything else, and it is rasther strange how the group came to dominance once the supply of weapons and munitions from Russia was delt a blow. Why have the Syrian Forces committed barely 1/3rd of the abilities to the suppression of the uprising? Perhaps the situation in Syria is far more complex than people think, perhaps it is more contrived than is being painted either. I do find it rather strange that ISL seems to have people who know how to use complex weapons systems off the bat and with tactics that are superior even to the Iraqi and Syrian Military that is sent against them.

Well the Syrian strategy was to allow ISIS gain in strength. It would force the Western government to stop supporting the other rebel forces out of fear of letting those weapons fall into the wrong hands and it would give credit to Assad's claims that the rebels are actually all Muslim extremists. It would force the West to intervene on Assad's behalf. Its some serious Machiavellian maneuvering on Assads side, and which again only strenghtens my claim that the West shouldn't be friends with Assad. Currently the reason of why we are being drawn into Syria and Iraq is BECAUSE of what Assad has done.

And well, its not really a surprise that ISIS has some strong military capabilities. Don't forget, former members of the Iraqi army that were fired after the American invasion have joined them and adding their expertise to the organization. And the current Iraqi army isn't all that impressive and the Syrian army, due to the fact that its an army owned by a dictator, has a lot of incompetent idiots at the top. Remember, dictators don't like competent people in charge of their army. They might get ideas...
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