Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Two more years to defeat ISIS? Time to fire some generals!

Thanks to William for the link!

via Daily Beast
The general commanding coalition forces in Iraq predicts it will take two years of hard work to clear the so-called Islamic State from its twin capitals of Mosul and Raqqa, and then to burn out the remnants that will likely flee to the vast empty desert between Syria and Iraq.
In a Christmas Day sit-down with The Daily Beast at his headquarters, Lt. Gen. Stephen Townsend would not put specific timelines on the battle. But he mapped out a grinding campaign that he thinks is going slowly but as well as can be expected, considering how much time ISIS had to prepare and how brutal its fighters are willing to be.

“A fighter walking out of a building will hold a child over his head so we can see him through ISR until he reaches another building,” he said, using the military acronym for intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance.

The grim battle against ISIS is taking place against a backdrop of continuing sectarian tension in Iraq, which could get worse if newly empowered militia groups let their influence go to their heads. A new Iraqi law that goes into force this week makes militia forces here legal. Such groups—especially Iranian backed Shiite armed forces—have been accused of war crimes against Iraq’s Sunni minority. The U.S. has ordinarily eyed these units warily.

But Townsend, in an unusual statement for an American commander, said these militias been been “remarkably disciplined” allies since he arrived. That assessment marks a stark contrast with his previous tours, when deadly Iranian-manufactured bombs almost hit his vehicle, and took the lives of many of his troops.

The coalition footprint is much smaller than the 100,000-plus of Townsend’s previous tours in Iraq—somewhere south of 10,000 when troops on short term duty are added to the count. At the headquarters compound, soldiers were taking a brief break from work on Christmas to stage a spoon relay race in a hallway. One soldier dressed as Santa cheered competitors to the finish line, while those watching swigged nonalcoholic cider for some semblance of Christmas cheer.

The headquarters is tucked inside the sprawling “Green Zone” which the U.S. used to run, now turned over to Iraqi control. The Americans feel very much like visitors. U.S. authority extends to the gate of the compound—all outside is done with Iraqi government permission. Townsend’s team is very aware they are there to help, not to lead.
JESUS!  Our way of war needs to be totally revamped.  Two MORE years to destroy a force that numbers less than 50K?  Allowing our supposed allies to legalize death squads so that the sectarian violence will continue...even those on the sidelines will eventually pick up arms if the govt forces are seen as being cold blooded murders!  A sprawling Green Zone which almost guarantees that we will be committed to supporting a faction in the sectarian violence...which means we've taken sides...also means that we're guaranteeing a generational conflict?

Its past time to fire this generation of generals.

I don't know how it happened but somehow, someway they've made Vietnam look like a well run military operation.

Is it even possible to win there anymore?

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