2014 September 11 Thursday
America's Diverse Allies In Iraq Against ISIS
Supporting diverse factions in Iraq is the best way to pretend we can construct a more inclusive central government in Baghdad.
“The ground coalitions we’re supporting with air power are uniquely different in each case,” said Doug Ollivant, a former advisor to Gen. David Petraeus who served in the National Security Council under Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama. “In Sinjar, it’s largely the PKK [a Kurdish militia] who rescued the Yazidis,” Ollivant said. “In Mosul, it was the Golden Brigades [An elite unit of the Iraqi army] with the Peshmerga in support, and in Amerli it looks like Shia militias with the Iraqi military in support.
Some of those Shia militias are backed by Iran. Some have Iranian Shias fighting with them.
The Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) is considered to be terrorists for how they oppose Turkish rule over Kurds. But PKK female fighters are totally cool. Plus some of the Jihadists are afraid if they are killed by a woman they won't get the big reward of many beautiful women in heaven. I say we arm the PKK women warriors with shoulder-launched rocket launchers, armored vehicles, and anything else they want.
Also, we should arm the Kurdish women fighters in Syria and when the United States extends the air war to Syria the Kurdish warrior women could escort the US special forces that will call in the air strikes.
US journalists should step up and find the sexiest Kurdish women fighters and show us their pictures in action using fancy American weapons.
Just as the feminist web sites are ignoring Rotherham UK rapes of early teen girls by Pakistani Muslims are they also ignoring the Kurdish warrior women? Nothing quite says sexual liberation like a a Kurdish woman getting an ISIS jihadist in the crosshairs of a sniper scope.
By Randall Parker at 2014 September 11 08:13 PM
Courtesy of the Chicago Tribune, here are some nice pictures of the Kurdish women warriors. ISIS has its own female warriors.
What a mess. The Turks hate the Assad government in Syria and have been allowing ISIS fighters to enter across the Turkey-Syria border. Also, the Turks are concerned about the Kurds. The Iranians and Iraqi Shiite militias and Hezbollah hate ISIS, but the Sunnis are afraid of them (not without reason). Saudi Arabia isn't too happy with ISIS but is afraid of the Shiite axis, stretching from Tehran to Beirut. Yow!
By the way, if air strikes are indeed necessary, the Turkish air force has 142 US F-16's and 69 modernized F-4's, all of which would be highly effective in ground strikes against ISIS, which has no air power. If more help is needed, the Saudi air force has 311 US F-15's and 183 British Typhoons. So there's no shortage of air assets in the region.
But air power alone won't defeat ISIS - that will require boots on the ground. What about the Turks? Their 650,000 man, NATO-equipped army could swat ISIS like flies. Or Iran? Or Saudi Arabia? Or Egypt? But these nations are all deeply suspicious and mistrustful of each other and would rather let the US do it. And there's always the question - what next? If, say, the Iranians and Iraqi Shiites move in and crush ISIS, that will result in the persecution of the Sunni population and the creation of a Beirut-Damascus-Baghdad-Tehran Shiite crescent, which won't delight the Saudis or Turks. And if the Turks move in, this won't please the Iranian or Iraqi governments.
Into this mishmash of tribal, ethnic and religious hatreds steps our Fearless Leader, Barack Obama. He boasted that he opposed the Iraq war and withdrew our forces from that wretched country, now he wants to go back in. Driven by polls which confirm his growing unpopularity, this weak, vacillating narcissist now wants to try to act like George Patton. What a mess.
Obama wants to arm the non-ISIS Syrian rebels But I doubt he can control them if he does. Some will ally with ISIS when it suits them or just join ISIS.
The Turks and Saudis aren't going to attack ISIS. I think the Kurds could push back ISIS but not really far. I doubt the Kurds will fight hard a hundred miles from their own territories. But ISIS are close enough to the Kurds now that the Kurds will go on attack if they have lots of air power and more equipment.
I doubt the Iraqi Shiite soldiers will fight need into Sunni territory. My guess is that a Sunni zone in Syria and Iraq will remain out of control of the official Syrian and Iraqi governments for some years into the future. Maybe some Sunni tribes could be bribed to fight against ISIS. But Iraq will still remain split. Not that I object to the end of the Sykes-Picot borders.
Pretty much agree on all fronts. The Turks and Saudis aren't going to do anything because ISIS is fighting to prevent the formation of a Shia crescent. They don't want ISIS to lose, plus ISIS is no real threat to them. ISIS keeps the Kurds busy so that they can't make trouble in eastern Turkey. The Iraqi and Syrian governments aren't strong enough to defeat ISIS. The non-ISIS Syrian rebels (the Free Syrian Army) have never won a battle and divide their time between fighting the Assad government and ISIS. THE FSA isn't going anywhere.
Sykes-Picot was a bad idea to begin with, and nobody will shed any tears if it goes. Best to let the locals sort this one out. Of course, the formation of tribal-ethnic-religious states is desirable, but the boundaries between different groups are not well-defined, and there will be fighting for many years to sort them out. Not a pretty solution, but probably the best available.
The really interesting situation is if Iran intervened directly to assist the Iraqi Shiites and the Assad government to defeat ISIS. Turkey and Saudi Arabia would be faced with the unpleasant choice of backing ISIS, which would seriously damage their relations with the US and EU, or doing nothing but watch the formation of a Tehran-Beirut Shiite axis. Not likely to happen, but still an interesting scenario to consider.
If there is any benefit at all here, it is to expose Barack Obama as the liar, fraud and hypocrite that he really is. As these events continue to unfold, we can observe him flopping around trying to look decisive while his presidency twists slowly, slowly in the wind.
NATO - the North American Terrorist Organisation