Facts on the Ground as ISIS Closes in on Baghdad
Waiting for their New Name
Islamic State of Iraq and ash-Sham (ISIS) or simply: The Islamic State
Not to overstate the obvious, but Iraq and nearby Syria are in very bad shape.
Headlines are eye catching: Sec. Def. Carter: “Iraq has no will to fight and win” (see his remarks here).
Washington (CNN) — In his first comments since the key town of Ramadi fell to ISIS in Iraq, Mr. Carter blames the weak state of Iraq's military as one major reason for the city's fall in an exclusive interview on CNN recently with Barbara Starr, saying in part:
“What apparently happened was that the Iraqi forces just showed no will to fight. They were not outnumbered. In fact, they vastly outnumbered the opposing IS force, and yet they failed to fight. They withdrew from the site, and that says to me, and I think to most of us, that we have an issue with the will of the Iraqis to fight IS and defend themselves.”
My notes from here: Mr. Carter went on to say that the U.S. can give Iraq arms and equipment and such but NOT the will to fight and win. I totally agree with that assessment.
I also add that IS has the material, equipment, message, and appeal to recruit the type of forces they need - that is:
(1) for young men with nothing else to do in life except travel there to “fight and die for Allah,
(2) to earn a small salary,
(3) to receive minimum combat training (unless they are prior military someplace else),
(4) to receive their clothing and equipment and food,
(5) be promised a part of the victory for a brighter future that they did not have back home where they probably were unemployed with no future,
(6) to have the honor to rally around a cause to “Kill the Infidels” and protect Islam against the U.S. and their lackeys.
The funding for ISIS is a key and critical part of this whole mess. Money is needed to pay their fighters and buy stuff they haven’t already captured from the fleeing Iraqi forces. They seem to have plenty that and lots of Toyota trucks (I wonder who supplies them????) and gas to move the gear. And, they are gaining support based on fear of death wherever they end up winning.
It seems to me that the U.S. and others in the air fight need to provide more air to hit their supply routes and convoys. A hungry, slow moving force, without their equipment is weak. I hope that is a part of the overall air campaign strategy, which won’t win, but it may provide an incentive to fight for their own damn country with a morale booster as it were, or if they lose Iraq, then what?
That would be very bad news for their next door neighbor, Iran, who is an sworn enemy of ISIS. Surely they would enter the fight big time since they are a foe of ISIS and would not want them entering Iran, which ISIS could be emboldened to do.
Then that would make things uglier than now, not even counting the fact that ISIS would gain a country, Iraq, as their launching pad for actions across the entire ME. That would be very bad news for a lot of countries with young men who would surely join ISIS for some sort of ISIS PR campaign and play: “World Domination for Allah.”
No more American blood can or must be shed in the defense or liberation of Iraq or that region, other than protecting and helping Israel. As Bush-Cheney once said, “Mission Accomplished: ha... that never came even close once the politics changed in 2011 after the U.S. left. The Iraqis simply could not handle the “freedom as it were.” That is painfully obvious.
Finally, the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq will always remain the precursor for what we see now in Iraq and across that region regardless of the nasty politics here at home. Now, a complete and near total disaster is about to get worse with the Battle of Baghdad, which is coming.
Stay tuned – the worse is yet to come.