• Why the U.S. Plan for Iraq is Doomed to Fail

    December 19, 2014

    Tags: , , , ,
    Posted in: Embassy/State, Iran, Iraq, Military

    Free Iraqi Child


    If the United States was looking for the surest way to lose Iraq War 3.0, it might start by retraining the failed Iraqi Army to send — alongside ruthless Shi’ite militias — into Sunni-majority territory and hope that the Sunnis will welcome them with open arms, throwing out the evil Islamic State.

    Maybe it’s time for a better plan. The way to find one is by understanding how we lost Iraq War 2.0. We need a plan to create a stable, tri-state solution to the Sunni-Shi’ite-Kurd divide, or the current war will fail as surely as the previous one.


    ISIS

    A critical first step is, of course, to remove Islamic State from the equation, but not how the Obama administration envisions. The way to drive Islamic State out of Iraq is to remove the reason Islamic State has been able to remain in Iraq: as a protector of the Sunnis. In Iraq War 2.0, the Iraqi Sunnis never melded politically with al Qaeda; they allied out of expediency, against the Shi’ite militias and the Shi’ite central government. The same situation applies to Islamic State, the new al Qaeda in Iraq.

    The United States is acting nearly 180 degrees counter to this strategy, enabling Shi’ite militia and Iranian forces’ entry into Anbar and other Sunni-majority areas to fight Islamic State. The more Shi’ite influence, the more Sunnis feel they need Islamic State muscle. More Iranian fighters also solidify Iran’s grip on the Shi’ite government in Baghdad, and weakens America’s. The presence of additional Sunni players, like the Gulf States, will simply grow the violence indecisively, with the various local factions manipulated as armed proxies.


    The Awakening

    Iraq in 2007 was, on the surface, a struggle between insurgents and the United States. However, the real fight was happening in parallel, as the minority Sunnis sought a place in the new Shi’ite-dominated Iraq. The solution was supposedly the Anbar Awakening. Indigenous Iraqi Sunnis would be pried lose from al Qaeda under American protection (that word again), along with the brokered promise that the Shi’ites would grant them a substantive role in governance. The Shi’ites balked almost from day one, and the deal fell apart even before America’s 2011 withdrawal — I was in Iraq with the Department of State and saw it myself. The myth that “we won” only to have the victory thrown away by the Iraqis — a favorite among 2.0 apologists — is very dangerous. It suggests repeating the strategy will result in something other than repeating the results.

    The Sunnis are Who fans; they won’t be fooled again.


    Political Progress?

    Progress otherwise in Iraq? The new prime minister has accomplished little toward unity, selecting a Badr militia politician to head the Interior Ministry, for example. The Badr group has been a key player in sectarian violence.

    Islamic State still controls 80 percent of Anbar Province, the key city of Mosul and is attacking in Ramadi. U.S. air strikes cannot seize ground. The Iraqi Army will never rise to the fullness of the challenge. One can only imagine the thoughts of the American trainers, retraining some of the same Iraqi troops from War 2.0.

    Military vehicles of the Kurdish security forces are seen during an intensive security deployment in Diyala province north of Baghdad. Elsewhere, the Kurds are already a de facto separate state. Their ownership of Arbil, the new agreement to allow the overt export of some of their own oil, and the spread of the peshmerga to link up with Kurdish forces in Syria, are genies that won’t go back into the bottle. America need only restrain Kurdish ambitions to ensure stability.


    Tri-State Conclusion

    Present Iraq strategy delays, at great cost — in every definition of that word — the necessary long-term tri-state solution. It is time to hasten it. The United States must use its influence with the Shi’ites to have their forces, along with the Iranians, withdraw to Baghdad. America would create a buffer zone, encompassing the strategically critical international airport as a “peacekeeping base.” Using air power, America would seal the Iraq-Syria border in western Anbar, at least against any medium-to-large scale Islamic State resupply effort. Arm the Sunni tribes if they will push Islamic State out of their towns. Support goes to those tribes who hold territory, a measurable, ground-truth based policy, not an ideological one. Implementing the plan in northwest Iraq can also succeed, but will be complicated by Kurd ambitions, greater ethnic diversity among the Iraqis and a stronger Islamic State tactical hold on cities like Mosul.

    There’ll be another tough challenge, the sharing of oil revenues between the new Sunni and Shi’ite states, so this plan is by no means a slam-dunk.

    The broad outline is not new; in 2006 then-Senator Joe Biden proposed a federal partition of Iraq along the Bosnian model. Bush-era zeal kept the idea from getting a full review. But much has transpired since 2006.

    If the tri-state plan works, it will deny Islamic State sanctuary where it is now most powerful, and a strategy for northwest Iraq may emerge. America will realize its long-sought enduring bases in Iraq as a check on Iranian ambitions and an assurance of security for the embassy. The president can decouple Syrian policy from Iraq. An indefinite American presence in Iraq will not be fully welcomed, though one hastens to add it basically is evolving anyway.


    I Hate Myself

    For advocates of disengagement like myself, this is bitter medicine. But we are where we are in Iraq, and wishful thinking, on my part or the White House’s, is no longer practical. A divided Iraq, maintained by an American presence, is the only hope for long-term stability. Otherwise, stay tuned for Iraq War 4.0.



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  • Recent Comments

    • Rich Bauer said...

      1

      Why? Because the same idiots who fucked this up are still in charge…like Alfreda Frances Bikowsky.

      http://www.nbcnews.com/news/investigations/bin-laden-expert-accused-shaping-cia-deception-torture-program-n269551

      12/19/14 1:27 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      2

      “Maybe it’s time for better plan.”

      Right. Start by shutting down the “Intelligence” that started it all.

      “There is a horrendous degree of intellectual dishonesty in the building,” the former senior official said, referring to the CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia. “The expert suffers from that as well — and you can see it in the report.”

      12/19/14 1:39 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      3

      Hell, there should be a website devoted to this “Mother of all Fuckups”

      “Bikowsky and another CIA agent named Michael Anne Casey deliberately declined to tell the White House and the FBI that Khalid al-Mihdhar, an Al Qaida affiliate they were tracking, had obtained a visa to enter the U.S. in the summer of 2001. Al-Mihdhar was one of the hijackers on American Airlines Flight 77. The CIA lost track of him after he entered the U.S. Bikowsky was also, according to Nowosielski and Duffy, instrumentally involved in one of the CIA’s most notorious fuck-ups—the kidnapping, drugging, sodomizing, and torture of Khalid El-Masri in 2003 (El-Masri turned out to be the wrong guy, and had nothing to do with terrorism).

      12/19/14 2:14 PM | Comment Link

    • bloodypitchfork said...

      4

      quote” A divided Iraq, maintained by an American presence, is the only hope for long-term stability.”unquote

      ummm, correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t that what Iraq had before Dubya/Cheney decided to de-stablize it? I mean…exactly WHAT has any of this bullshit accomplished..other than make some people in the US rich, and 100k+ in Iraq dead..er..wait. I get it now. Of course. Dumb me. Nevermind. They’re not finished yet.

      12/19/14 2:15 PM | Comment Link

    • bloodypitchfork said...

      5

      quote”Bikowsky was also, according to Nowosielski and Duffy, instrumentally involved in one of the CIA’s most notorious fuck-ups—the kidnapping, drugging, sodomizing, and torture of Khalid El-Masri in 2003 (El-Masri turned out to be the wrong guy, and had nothing to do with terrorism).”unquote

      sheesh, whatta ya expect for the season’s final episode of Homeland?

      bartender..yeah, you got it. A bottle of TwoRollingEyes and a shot of RectalRehydration..er..wait..make that a shot of DoubleFacePalm

      12/19/14 2:24 PM | Comment Link

    • bloodypitchfork said...

      6

      from the link…
      quote”In fact, much of the four-month battle between Senate Democrats and the CIA about redactions centered on protecting the identity of the woman, an analyst and later “deputy chief” of the unit devoted to catching or killing Osama bin Laden, according to U.S. officials familiar with the negotiations.”unquote

      Oops. I made a mistake. It wasn’t Homeland. It was this…

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EYFhFYoDAo4

      See..it’s all just theater. I mean, HOLLYWOOD is THE main propaganda INFRASTRUCTURE! Hell, we’ll go to WAR for Hollywood!! I mean..we gotta protect it at ALL COSTS!! USA!! USA!! USA!!

      https://www.emptywheel.net/2014/12/19/were-going-to-start-a-war-to-protect-a-negligent-corporations-property/

      yeah. you can’t make this shit up ..unless you live in Hollywood.

      12/19/14 2:39 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      7

      Breaking News: Ted Cruz is going to read the script on the Senate floor. Defies terrorists to attack.

      12/19/14 2:51 PM | Comment Link

    • bloodypitchfork said...

      8

      Hahahahahaha, if that buffoon running North Korea thinks The Interview makes him look like one…wait till he get’s a load of this..

      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/12/19/jon-stewart-north-korea_n_6352946.html

      The Worlds Biggest Penis…. Hahahahahaha..

      After Girth. ….hohohohohohohoh…heeehehehehehehe…hahahahahahaha.

      I bet his head is exploding. ….er..it already looks like that. I can see the headlines already.

      North Korea readies for nuclear holocaust on John Stewert.

      12/19/14 3:03 PM | Comment Link

    • bloodypitchfork said...

      9

      sheeezus..that was almost as good as this…

      http://i100.independent.co.uk/article/remembering-when-stephen-colbert-destroyed-george-w-bush–gyryqzb_Ye

      Shades of Bush trying to keep his head from exploding till he got home..goddamn. You can’t buy that kind of warm fuzzy feelings.

      12/19/14 3:09 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      10

      And while we flush the turds out of the CIA who sold US out on the Iraqi WMDs, let US flush the FBI too who missed the story about a real WMD –

      The Government Accountability Office says the science the FBI used to investigate the 2001 anthrax attacks was flawed.

      The GAO released a report Friday on its findings. The agency didn’t take a position on the FBI’s conclusion that Army biodefense researcher Bruce Ivins acted alone in making and sending the powdered spores that killed five people and sickened 17 others.

      The report adds fuel to the debate among experts, including many of Ivins’ co-workers at Fort Detrick in Frederick, Maryland, over whether Ivins could have made and mailed the anthrax-filled envelopes.

      The GAO said the FBI’s research did not provide a full understanding of the methods and conditions that give rise to genetic mutations used to differentiate between samples of anthrax bacteria. The report calls this a “key scientific gap.

      12/19/14 5:15 PM | Comment Link

    • Kyzl Orda said...

      11

      “Rich Bauer said…Hell, there should be a website devoted to this “Mother of all Fuckups”

      “Bikowsky and another CIA agent named Michael Anne Casey deliberately declined to tell the White House and the FBI that Khalid al-Mihdhar, an Al Qaida affiliate they were tracking, had obtained a visa to enter the U.S. in the summer of 2001. Al-Mihdhar was one of the hijackers on American Airlines Flight 77. The CIA lost track of him after he entered the U.S…”

      From Rich’s link to te NBC news article:

      “The expert is no stranger to controversy. She was criticized after 9/11 terrorist attacks for countenancing a subordinate’s refusal to share the names of two of the hijackers with the FBI prior to the terror attacks.

      But instead of being sanctioned, she was promoted.”

      It figures. Promoted. Also covered. That NBC article is the first that mentions Bikowsky’s name. So she’s THAT ‘expert’ the one who prevented FBI New York from going after the 9/11 terrorist cabal, that directly/directly lead to 9/11 being able to happen. And she is promoted for it.

      Meanwhile …if one is a whistleblower what happens…??

      Would be interesting to know, what happened to that New York-based FBI agent who nailed things right on the 9/11 terrorists. Did he get promoted or what happened after he got caught up in stupid agency turf wars?

      12/19/14 6:44 PM | Comment Link

    • bloodypitchfork said...

      12

      quote”So she’s THAT ‘expert’ the one who prevented FBI New York from going after the 9/11 terrorist cabal, that directly/directly lead to 9/11 being able to happen. And she is promoted for it.”unquote

      Bingo! THAT CIA scumbag. The one who the relatives of those who died in the towers should be hanging from a lamp post. Furthermore, even Bill Binney and Thomas Drake are still claiming they saw documents that PROVE the NSA knew who the terrorist’s were, prior to 9/11..and THAT is the real reason they were persecuted.and prosecuted. ..

      quote:”“That’s where I found the pre- and post-9/11 intelligence from NSA monitoring of some of the hijackers as they planned the attacks of 9/11 had not been shared outside NSA. This includes critical pre-9/11 intelligence on al-Qaeda, even though it had been worked on by NSA analysts. I learned, for example, that in early 2001 NSA had produced a critical long-term analytic report unraveling the entire heart of al-Qaeda and associated movements. That report also was not disseminated outside of NSA.”unquote

      https://consortiumnews.com/2014/01/07/nsa-insiders-reveal-what-went-wrong/

      This whole 9/11 could have been prevented by NSA.

      I don’t know about you, but this tells me these jackels at NSA committed the most criminal act in history. And here we are today..with Congress STILL secretly giving them more power.

      http://tenthamendmentcenter.com/2014/12/17/constitutional-criminals-congress-expands-
      nsa-spying-again/

      I smell a revolution coming.

      12/19/14 7:48 PM | Comment Link

    • bloodypitchfork said...

      13

      bartender.. give me a double DFCOTP and a six pack to go of CONTEMPLATION.

      12/19/14 10:55 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      14

      12/19/14 11:09 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      15

      If she has the blood of thousands on her hands, Obama should allow a one -time exception to waterboarding to get her to tell the truth.

      12/19/14 11:10 PM | Comment Link

    • bloodypitchfork said...

      16

      Rich, now that her name is an Internet viral, I submit at some point..she’s as good as dead. And she knows it. And THAT just tickles me pink.

      12/20/14 2:57 PM | Comment Link

    • bloodypitchfork said...

      17

      well sooprise sooprise sooprise..

      Her name is Alfreda Frances Bikowsky.

      That leads to the critical question: Why is NBC News protecting an overzealous torturer?

      The media organization claims that they are protecting her anonymity “at the request of the CIA” because the agency cited “a climate of fear and retaliation in the wake of the release of the committee’s report.” But the notorious CIA officer is already known to the world.”

      http://dissenter.firedoglake.com/2014/12/19/nbc-news-cites-climate-of-fear-retaliation-withholds-identity-of-architect-of-cias-defense-for-torture/

      Alfreda Frances Bikowsky.

      She will go down in the annuls of history in the same catagory as Nuremberg. Speaking of which..she should remember Judge Dan Haywood’s
      infamous words…”the real complaining party at the bar in this courtroom..is CIVIILIZATION.”

      indeed.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N3BwK51YFgQ

      12/20/14 3:16 PM | Comment Link

    • bloodypitchfork said...

      18

      sooprise indeed. Not. Didn’t I mention ZeroDarkThirty?
      From the same article at the Dissenter:

      “Once her middle name appeared in a news report and once it was reported later in 2012 that she was one of the officers who inspired the character of Maya in Zero Dark Thirty, her anonymity was compromised. Journalists and the public had figured out her identity.” unquote

      That degenerate cunt that produced and directed ZDT, Kathryn Bigelow, should be facing planet wide revulsion as well.

      Oh, speaking of..well..you know..guess what Corporation released it? C’maaan..I bet you can.

      http://www.sonypictures.com/movies/zerodarkthirty/

      whudda thunk. btw..read what it says at the top of the page.

      12/20/14 3:28 PM | Comment Link

    • bloodypitchfork said...

      19

      HOLY SHIT!!

      https://firstlook.org/theintercept/2014/12/19/senior-cia-officer-center-torture-scandals-alfreda-bikowsky/

      It won’t be long before her picture is plastered across the entire planet. After all..she already has a Wikipedia page.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alfreda_Frances_Bikowsky

      I bet her head is exploding about now.

      12/20/14 3:37 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      20

      12/21/14 8:46 PM | Comment Link

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