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    (Original post by queen-bee)
    Would you guys rather he was brought back to the UK and put on trial or left to die where he is,if he is dead?
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Size:  97.4 KB John was useless.
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    (Original post by MrKmas508)
    Raqqa is in Syria so that's far off but Mosul will likely be taken down by a joint effort by the Iraqi government,Kurds and western special forces. Now that the motorway is blocked and winter is coming food,water and fuel supplies will be running low and that's when we will strike.
    The Iraqi army isn't great and Mosul is outside the Kurdish region so why would the Peshmerga risk their own forces to retake a city on behalf of a nation which many see as their oppressor?
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    (Original post by MrKmas508)
    Raqqa is in Syria so that's far off but Mosul will likely be taken down by a joint effort by the Iraqi government,Kurds and western special forces. Now that the motorway is blocked and winter is coming food,water and fuel supplies will be running low and that's when we will strike.
    I do wonder about that. It gets quite cold in Northern Iraq, and also I'm not sure the Iraqis are ready to hit Mosul. They still need to take back Ramadi, and they may want to clear the ISIL strongholds along Highway 1 on the drive up to Mosul.

    It is possible that once the Kurds have taken Tal Afar you could have a Kurdish offensive west from Kirkuk to cut Highway 1, but that would essentially place all the responsibility on the Kurds and they may want to see the Iraqis are properly invested in this and wait until Highway 1 has been cleared and the towns along it taken by the Iraqi Army.

    I can't envisage that everyone will be ready before the Spring, and I do wonder whether it will perhaps be next Autumn before the final offensive on Mosul takes place.

    But you do make an excellent point about the winter lack of provisions and that it will be a good time to push back the ISIL frontiers and press them hard
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    (Original post by The Rad Prince)
    The Iraqi army isn't great and Mosul is outside the Kurdish region so why would the Peshmerga risk their own forces to retake a city on behalf of a nation which many see as their oppressor?
    As long as ISIS have a presence in Iraq, Iraq will not be save for Arab or Kurd. It's best to snuff them out while they are weak which will be in a few weeks time.
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    (Original post by woIfie)
    I do wonder about that. It gets quite cold in Northern Iraq, and also I'm not sure the Iraqis are ready to hit Mosul. They still need to take back Ramadi, and they may want to clear the ISIL strongholds along Highway 1 on the drive up to Mosul.

    It is possible that once the Kurds have taken Tal Afar you could have a Kurdish offensive west from Kirkuk to cut Highway 1, but that would essentially place all the responsibility on the Kurds and they may want to see the Iraqis are properly invested in this and wait until Highway 1 has been cleared and the towns along it taken by the Iraqi Army.

    I can't envisage that everyone will be ready before the Spring, and I do wonder whether it will perhaps be next Autumn before the final offensive on Mosul takes place.

    But you do make an excellent point about the winter lack of provisions and that it will be a good time to push back the ISIL frontiers and press them hard
    That's there overall strategy, time wise I don't know maybe you're right but I feel that ISIS in Mosul are exceptionally vulnerable.
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    (Original post by MrKmas508)
    That's there overall strategy, time wise I don't know maybe you're right but I feel that ISIS in Mosul are exceptionally vulnerable.
    I suspect you're right on that score, I think at this point ISIL is... not exactly a paper tiger, but far less capable than is feared.

    The constant airstrikes have caused a "hollowing out" of their forces. Many of their most battle-hardened veterans have been killed, and they are being replaced by very young and very old men conscripted from the populations under ISIL control.

    ISIL will have spent the last year (and probably all of the next) preparing Mosul for a huge battle, setting booby traps and IEDs, building berms and trenches, and the like. But they really don't have the manpower to keep large numbers of men in Mosul to defend it, their men are primarily on the frontlines and I suspect by the time the Iraqis and Kurds have surrounded Mosul, they will have been considerably reduced.
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    (Original post by MrKmas508)
    As long as ISIS have a presence in Iraq, Iraq will not be save for Arab or Kurd. It's best to snuff them out while they are weak which will be in a few weeks time.
    But what would they do with it if they did take it?


    You cannot expect Sunni Arabs to live under Kurdish control and there is always a danger that if the general populace feel persecuted under a foreign force, they will long for Daesh to return and free them. This was why I.S. had such great success in Iraq and Syria, both those countries are known for oppression of Sunnis.
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    (Original post by The Rad Prince)
    The Iraqi army isn't great and Mosul is outside the Kurdish region so why would the Peshmerga risk their own forces to retake a city on behalf of a nation which many see as their oppressor?
    That's a good question. The Kurds clearly won't head all the way down to Ramadi to fight, but Mosul is right next to the KRG. This conflict has been deeply injurious to the prosperity of the Kurdish region, and they want it over. They don't want to live with a neverending war, and they know the best way to do that will be to work with the Iraqi government to bring the war to a conclusive end (at least in the Iraqi theatre).

    That will mean taking Mosul. I suspect the Kurds will receive strong inducements from the Americans to participate in that operation. For the moment, I am genuinely worried that the Peshmerga haven't been paid for about three months now.

    Because of the fall in the price of oil, the KRG has lost a lot of revenue. I am dubious about whether the fall is so bad that they can't even pay their troops, I do wonder whether someone has had their hand in the till. But I would be content for the West to pay a subsidy to the KRG so that the brave Peshmerga are paid. Many of these men and women are working people, volunteers. They should not have to wonder whether they choose between fighting the enemies of their people and working so their family can eat.

    A deplorable situation, I have nothing but respect for how well the Peshmerga have performed in spite of the pay situation, the poor (though getting better) equipment and the fanaticism of their enemy
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    (Original post by The Rad Prince)
    But what would they do with it if they did take it?
    You cannot expect Sunni Arabs to live under Kurdish control and there is always a danger that if the general populace feel persecuted under a foreign force, they will long for Daesh to return and free them. This was why I.S. had such great success in Iraq and Syria, both those countries are known for oppression of Sunnis.
    From what I've read, the Sunnis of Iraq have realised that whatever their grievances with the Iraqi government, things are ten times worse under ISIL. Many of the Sunni tribes are now fighting against ISIL again (just as they did during the Anbar Awakening against ISIL back when it was Al-Qaeda in Iraq)

    PM Maliki is now out of the picture and Abadi is much more conciliatory to the Sunnis. They have offered the Sunnis internal autonomy, that they won't be policed by Shi'a dominated army units or police, and that the sunnis will receive their proper share of the oil revenue paid to a sunni regional statelet. I do feel that, overall, this is enough to convince the sunnis to engage in the process.

    The Mosulians won't live under Kurdish rule, the idea is that they will live under their own rule once the ISIL insurgency is ended. The Kurds may try to press their advantage in Kirkuk, but in Mosul it is highly unlikely I think
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    (Original post by woIfie)
    That's a good question. The Kurds clearly won't head all the way down to Ramadi to fight, but Mosul is right next to the KRG. This conflict has been deeply injurious to the prosperity of the Kurdish region, and they want it over. They don't want to live with a neverending war, and they know the best way to do that will be to work with the Iraqi government to bring the war to a conclusive end (at least in the Iraqi theatre).

    That will mean taking Mosul. I suspect the Kurds will receive strong inducements from the Americans to participate in that operation. For the moment, I am genuinely worried that the Peshmerga haven't been paid for about three months now.

    Because of the fall in the price of oil, the KRG has lost a lot of revenue. I am dubious about whether the fall is so bad that they can't even pay their troops, I do wonder whether someone has had their hand in the till. But I would be content for the West to pay a subsidy to the KRG so that the brave Peshmerga are paid. Many of these men are working men, volunteers. They should not have to wonder whether they choose between fighting the enemies of their people and working so their family can eat.

    A deplorable situation, I have nothing but respect for how well the Peshmerga have performed in spite of the pay situation, the poor (though getting better) equipment and the fanaticism of their enemy
    I agree with this.


    The Americans should just straight up pay them and promise to support additional autonomy and building of infrastructure within Kurdish areas after the war ends. I feel the Americans are always slow to act, like they want to allow some atrocities to sell any action to the American public. I feel the enslavements and massacres on mount Sinjar were totally preventable.


    (Original post by woIfie)
    From what I've read, the Sunnis of Iraq have realised that whatever their grievances with the Iraqi government, things are ten times worse under ISIL. Many of the Sunni tribes are now fighting against ISIL again (just as they did during the Anbar Awakening against ISIL back when it was Al-Qaeda in Iraq)PM Maliki is now out of the picture and Abadi is much more conciliatory to the Sunnis. They have offered the Sunnis internal autonomy, that they won't be policed by Shi'a dominated army units or police, and that the sunnis will receive their proper share of the oil revenue paid to a sunni regional statelet. I do feel that, overall, this is enough to convince the sunnis to engage in the process.The Mosulians won't live under Kurdish rule, the idea is that they will live under their own rule once the ISIL insurgency is ended. The Kurds may try to press their advantage in Kirkuk, but in Mosul it is highly unlikely I think
    I wasn't aware such changes had taken places in Iraq, but I always felt that I.S. was less of a pure Islamic Caliph and more of a club for Sunnis who felt persecuted in the wake of Saddam's removal from Iraq. Nothing justifies Daesh, but it's naive to just expect people to take persecution without some sort of reaction.
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    (Original post by The Rad Prince)
    I agree with this.

    The Americans should just straight up pay them and promise to support additional autonomy and building of infrastructure within Kurdish areas after the war ends. I feel the Americans are always slow to act, like they want to allow some atrocities to sell any action to the American public. I feel the enslavements and massacres on mount Sinjar were totally preventable.
    The Peshmerga salaries are $435 per month, and there are 200,000 of them, so we'd be looking at a monthly bill of about $80 million. Then again, the US is currently spending $18 million a day on the intervention so it's the equivalent of a few days expenditure per month extra to ensure the Peshmerga are justly compensated for their service. I think that perhaps the West could find a way to split up the bill; the US pays $40 million, Britain $10 million, Australia $10 million etc.

    I agree with you about prevention. The problem for President Obama was that he saw the same issue you saw; it would be futile to defeat ISIL only for there to be no change in the situation vis-a-vis the Shi'a government and the Sunnis. He held out intervening until Maliki stepped down as Prime Minister, which I think was somewhat justifiable. It is an incredibly difficult situation, but I think you're right about Sinjar. We should have promised support to the Kurds no matter what (and in the end I think it was ISIL's move on Erbil that in the end brought the US fully in).

    I wasn't aware such changes had taken places in Iraq, but I always felt that I.S. was less of a pure Islamic Caliph and more of a club for Sunnis who felt persecuted in the wake of Saddam's removal from Iraq. Nothing justifies Daesh, but it's naive to just expect people to take persecution without some sort of reaction.
    Definitely. There was a good article the other day talking about an ISIL defector from Syria who said that basically all the decisions in ISIL were made by mysterious Iraqis who would come to Syria and give the orders, and sit in ISIL command meetings with balaclavas on, saying little and taking notes. Each local ISIL emir would have an Iraqi deputy who would be the one who is really in charge.

    Looking at the top of the ISIL organisation, they mostly are former Ba'athist intelligence officers and military officers. That's how ISIL was so amazingly sophisticated, not just on the battlefield, but possibly in being the first military organisation to truly use social media like Twitter as a powerful force multiplier, for communications, for recruitment. They knew about how to make videos with high production values, with HD cameras using mini-drones. It's because the people commanding aren't just some conscript soldier, they are very sophisticated upper-middle class former Ba'athist officers, they are very aware of the outside world

    It was a huge mistake when the US invaded Iraq to have immediately disbanded the Iraqi Army. You then had 400,000 men who suddenly lost their jobs, but who knew where thousands of tonnes of explosives were kept in underground caches, who still had their service rifles, who knew how to fight. Iraqi generals actually went to the Americans shortly after the invasion and said that their men could be calmed, and that all you needed to do was continue to pay their salaries (it was tiny, something like $20 a month) and that they would keep their men in line if that happened.

    One American State Department official refused, and they started to experience attacks against American forces. General Petraeus confonted that official and basically bawled him out, and they decided to reverse the decision and pay them, but it was already too late. The insurgency had started.

    Surprisingly, the Americans actually did quite well in dealing with Al-Qaeda in Iraq. In 2006/7, they implemented the surge strategy and sent in tens of thousands of extra troops. They managed to convince the Sunni tribal sheikhs to help fight against Al-Qaeda in exchange for money (the Anbar Awakening movement), because the sheikhs could see that Al-Qaeda was a dangerous, nihilistic organisation (bombing markets, mosques etc).

    The strategy was hugely successful, by 2010/11 when the US pulled out, the violence was down from about 50,000 deaths in 2006 to about 5,000 deaths (which is comparable to South Africa's murder rate). The tragedy is that after the US pulled out, PM Maliki suddenly felt emboldened to go after the sunnis in a big way. It was that, along with the Syrian Civil War, that caused the sunni uprising and the rebirth of Al-Qaeda in Iraq as ISIL.

    It's a tragedy because this situation genuinely could have been avoided if the Iraqi government had built on what the Americans had achieved, rather than burning it down. That's why your point about ensuring the sunnis do feel included post-ISIL so vital.
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    (Original post by The Rad Prince)
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    I just thought I'd provide this link, it's probably the best documentary I've seen on the rise of ISIS. It's by PBS, and it has very good interviews with Iraqi politicians, with American national security officials. It really focuses on how what was effectively the Iraqi sunni component of the Arab spring, protesting about corruption and unemployment, turned into the ISIL uprising.

    It's chilling, but very very interesting and informative.

    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/rise-of-isis/
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    (Original post by woIfie)
    I just thought I'd provide this link, it's probably the best documentary I've seen on the rise of ISIS. It's by PBS, and it has very good interviews with Iraqi politicians, with American national security officials. It really focuses on how what was effectively the Iraqi sunni component of the Arab spring, protesting about corruption and unemployment, turned into the ISIL uprising.

    It's chilling, but very very interesting and informative.

    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/rise-of-isis/

    Thanks for this, I'll check it out.


    In terms of what you said before about the Iraqi army being disbanded; the Shia dominated army which seemed to replace them under Maliki were so obviously inexperienced in comparison with I.S.


    It was like police officers with guns vs a professional, battle hardened force
 
 
 
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