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Thread: What to do About ISIS?

  1. #1

    What to do About ISIS?

    Been reading a lot of suggestions about what to do with ISIS and other terrorists. Some want to go all in to wipe them out while others seem to think simply bringing everybody home is the answer. The best course likely lies somewhere in between. After Iraq and Afghanistan, the last thing this country is prepared for is another long occupation. Containment may really be the answer, though probably a more muscular approach than what we have been doing.

    I am a believer in airpower, but not in an airpower-only approach. Boots on the ground are necessary -- but they don't have to be American boots. If the indigenous troops are up to the task, great. Tbe bombing campaign has been successful, in no small part because it supported troops on the ground who have stopped and even rolled back ISIS gains.

    We will likely have to adopt the methodology of the British after their failed Afghan campaign of 1839-42. In 1839, the Brits marched into the Stan to create buffer state between their Indian colony and Russia. In the end, even the friendly government they installed in Kabul turned on them and the British were massacred as they marched out in the winter if 1842.

    After that, the Brits would return to Afghanistan a few more times, but each time they would conduct short, sharp campaigns and then leave. It is a strategy we could have adopted after 9/11, not just with Afghanistan but also with Iraq, a containment strategy which would have left terrorists and other bad guys rotting on the vine, even as we conducted occasional short, sharp campaigns to keep them in their boxes.

    Rather than invading Iraq in 2003, we should have strengthened the box Saddam was already in. But, this kind of containment strategy requires patience, and after ten years of containing Saddam in the 1990s, we were already losing patience. Without the requisite patience, then, would a containment strategy be any more successful than a counterinsurgency strategy?
    "It'd be nice to please everyone but I thought it would be more interesting to have a point of view." -- Oscar Levant

  2. #2
    Sam the Sheepdog LA Ute's Avatar
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    "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."
    --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

    "Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold."
    --Yeats

    “True, we [lawyers] build no bridges. We raise no towers. We construct no engines. We paint no pictures - unless as amateurs for our own principal amusement. There is little of all that we do which the eye of man can see. But we smooth out difficulties; we relieve stress; we correct mistakes; we take up other men's burdens and by our efforts we make possible the peaceful life of men in a peaceful state.”

    --John W. Davis, founder of Davis Polk & Wardwell

  3. #3
    This is a tough situation, enhanced because ISIL is really more of an ideology than an actual State. It is more of a virtual movement with a goal of establishing a Homeland in a place they do not occupy.

    "Boots on the Ground", or "Bomb them Back to the Stone Age" feel good to say, but won't really accomplish anything unless we are committed to a true occupation of a sovereign nation halfway around the world.

    Perhaps one of the largest failures of intelligence was putting a Shia leader in charge of Iraq after Saddam was deposed, thinking that they would somehow mend a thousand years of division with the Sunnis and forget the previous forty plus years of oppression by Saddam's (Sunni) Baathist regime.

    With a relative power vacuum among the minority Sunnis and facing oppression from the Shia majority, a new group of leaders stepped in. The most notorious was Abu Mussab al Zarqawi. He molded the IS group into a ferocious geurilla terrorist group, but also somehow convinced the young fighters themselves that they are doing wonderful things for the world, and that life is better with the Islamic State.

    We saw just how fierce they can be in the two Battles for Fallujah. Those were 11 years ago. The goal now for IS is to have a glorious and final battle on their home lands vs the US (and Western countries). They use clips from US news programs in their propaganda, particularly from Fox News. They have sold the notion that the US is weak and impotent, and that we plan to put boots on IS lands, which will only lead to increased propaganda for IS.

    Maybe they see a huge battle in their own territory as their version of the Battle of Armageddon. But whatever it is they want, we absolutely must not take the bait.

  4. #4
    The US spent almost $30B training Iraqi forces to take over security in the country. But when the Iraqi forces faced IS, the Sunni forces would either refuse to fight and run away, or would take their weapons with them and join IS.

    And Maliki (Shia) didn't do his country any favors by acting as a pawn for the Iranian government, often against Sunni interests, rather than doing what was necessary to unite his country.

    The US has been heavily bombing IS sites for quite some time now, and is approaching 30,000 bombs dropped this year alone.

    Unfortunately Pres Obama has treated IS with contempt (and acting on bad intelligence) when he called them "the JV team suiting up for the Lakers", and again when he said they were contained. Unfortunately it can be very hard to contain an idea like this, and a cell of only a few people can cause mass casualties and create major disruptions, particularly when they willingly carry out suicide missions.

    On the other hand we have people on the other side of the political spectrum pledging to fight harder, to bomb them back to the stone age, and to put boots on the ground.

    Dan Carlin compared this situation to Muhammed Ali vs George Foreman, and I think the comparison is valid. IS (Ali) swoops in and strikes with these tiny little jabs, and the US (Foreman) answers with a huge, powerful roundhouse and expends tremendous energy doing so. Foreman isn't equipped to okay the dance/feignt/jab game, but he can't ignore the jabs, because they sting and they add up over time and take their toll.

  5. #5
    Sam the Sheepdog LA Ute's Avatar
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    So, NWUF, are you saying that the United States is doing everything he can and should do about Isis?


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    "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."
    --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

    "Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold."
    --Yeats

    “True, we [lawyers] build no bridges. We raise no towers. We construct no engines. We paint no pictures - unless as amateurs for our own principal amusement. There is little of all that we do which the eye of man can see. But we smooth out difficulties; we relieve stress; we correct mistakes; we take up other men's burdens and by our efforts we make possible the peaceful life of men in a peaceful state.”

    --John W. Davis, founder of Davis Polk & Wardwell

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by LA Ute View Post
    So, NWUF, are you saying that the United States is doing everything he can and should do about Isis?


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    Probably. But I am not entirely certain what else to do to go forward.

    It is probably a good thing in the long run to let Russia and Iran take a leading roll in the battle against IS. But we will need to accept that their goals are not necessarily aligned with our goals, and their vision of a peaceful Middle East might not mirror our vision.

    If not for the horrible human toll, I would almost want to wall it off and allow them to figure out their own natural borders, rather than keep redrawing the same post-Ottoman Empire borders (which were drawn by England, Russia, and the US after WWI).

  7. #7
    Sam the Sheepdog LA Ute's Avatar
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    Here's a Politico piece with various experts' ideas about what to do about ISIS. I don't know enough to endorse anyone of them, but none of them thinks the current effort is going well.

    http://www.politico.com/magazine/sto...#ixzz3s8xCNzDj

    "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."
    --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

    "Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold."
    --Yeats

    “True, we [lawyers] build no bridges. We raise no towers. We construct no engines. We paint no pictures - unless as amateurs for our own principal amusement. There is little of all that we do which the eye of man can see. But we smooth out difficulties; we relieve stress; we correct mistakes; we take up other men's burdens and by our efforts we make possible the peaceful life of men in a peaceful state.”

    --John W. Davis, founder of Davis Polk & Wardwell

  8. #8
    Those are interesting opinions. It is very good to read info from all sides like that.

    I am convinced that the army to defeat ISIL _MUST_ be Islamic. Preferably it would be a coalition of neighbor states including Iran, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Jordan, etc. IS and al Baghdadi thrive on a 'Forces of Allah vs the West' narrative, so keeping our distance seems wise.

    Sunnis are radically apocalyptic, to the point where they celebrated the murder of over 150 schoolchildren in Peshawar region of Pakistan last year, and another 150 university students in Kenya this past April, because they have 'saved' the students from following the evil pathways of secular education.

    Apocalyptic beliefs will allow them to blame any collateral casualties on the 'Christian invaders', and they will gain more sympathy from villages that previously opposed them.

    It is worth noting that part of the instability in Syria can be attributed to climate change. Syria is 4 years into one of the worst droughts in recorded history. This drought has forced farmers and other rural people into the cities to compete for increasingly scarce resources. This has led to overcrowding and heightened tensions across the region. It was a powderkeg inside a nitroglycerin factory and it only needed a spark to start the conflagration.
    Last edited by NorthwestUteFan; 11-23-2015 at 12:55 AM.

  9. #9
    The House passed, and the Senate fast-tracked, legislation to ban refugees from Syria. This is an incredibly small-minded move. The refugees coming to the US from Syria have to undergo extensive background checks and interviews, and the process requires between 18-24 months.

    At least 7 (and potentially 8, based on analysis of a forged Syrian passport found near his body) of Paris attackers could have easily and legally flown to the USA 3 weeks ago and nobody would have noticed or cared. They were French or Belgian citizens and could have waltzed through Immigration at any airport with their EU passports. 20M+ people enter the US annually with a VISA waiver, which takes only 24 hrs to obtain.

    Kicking out Syrian Refugees is on the order of attacking Brazil after Pearl Harbor. An exceptionally high percentage of the Syrian refugees are the VICTIMS of terror, not the terrorists themselves.

    ISIL wants all of these people kept home in Syria so they can be forced to be part of the Caliphate.

  10. #10
    Sam the Sheepdog LA Ute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NorthwestUteFan View Post
    The House passed, and the Senate fast-tracked, legislation to ban refugees from Syria. This is an incredibly small-minded move. The refugees coming to the US from Syria have to undergo extensive background checks and interviews, and the process requires between 18-24 months.

    At least 7 (and potentially 8, based on analysis of a forged Syrian passport found near his body) of Paris attackers could have easily and legally flown to the USA 3 weeks ago and nobody would have noticed or cared. They were French or Belgian citizens and could have waltzed through Immigration at any airport with their EU passports. 20M+ people enter the US annually with a VISA waiver, which takes only 24 hrs to obtain.

    Kicking out Syrian Refugees is on the order of attacking Brazil after Pearl Harbor. An exceptionally high percentage of the Syrian refugees are the VICTIMS of terror, not the terrorists themselves.

    ISIL wants all of these people kept home in Syria so they can be forced to be part of the Caliphate.
    I think we need to take the refugees. It's the American thing to do. I think you're a bit off on the facts, though. Didn't Congress require more stringent screening of the refugees, not that they be blocked? NY Times story:

    WASHINGTON — The House voted overwhelmingly Thursday to drastically tighten screening procedures on refugees from Syria, seizing on the creeping fear stemming from the Paris attacks and threatening to undermine President Obama’s Middle East policy.

    The bill, which passed, 289 to 137, with nearly 50 Democrats supporting it, would require that the director of the F.B.I., the secretary of the Department of Homeland Security and the director of national intelligence confirm that each applicant from Syria and Iraq poses no threat. The bill’s fate is uncertain in the Senate.

    The White House called the demands “untenable” and said that the president would veto the bill if it reached his desk.

    The sweeping majority of the House vote was a rejection of Mr. Obama’s moral appeal on the issue and the most vivid manifestation of the rapidly shifting politics within the United States, where Americans are at once war weary yet also frightened by the threats made by the Islamic State. More than two dozen governors, including one Democrat, have said they would try to block Syrian refugees from entering their state, and a recent Bloomberg poll shows that more than half of the nation agrees with them.
    I don't know enough to say whether the screening is actually feasible. How long will it take to screen 10,000 people? Will we find the dozen or so ISIS types who are probably among them? I can see why people are nervous but don't know if this is the way to address the problem.
    Last edited by LA Ute; 11-23-2015 at 12:35 PM.

    "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."
    --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

    "Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold."
    --Yeats

    “True, we [lawyers] build no bridges. We raise no towers. We construct no engines. We paint no pictures - unless as amateurs for our own principal amusement. There is little of all that we do which the eye of man can see. But we smooth out difficulties; we relieve stress; we correct mistakes; we take up other men's burdens and by our efforts we make possible the peaceful life of men in a peaceful state.”

    --John W. Davis, founder of Davis Polk & Wardwell

  11. #11
    Right now they pull an application if any single thing shows up on the record. But if the FBI director or Sec of Homeland Security has to individually certify each applicant, then the program is effectively dead.

    I was probably conflating tjr actions of Congress with the statements by 30+ governors who said they will not allow refugees.

    Tightening up the Visa Waiver program would seem to be far, far more effective than tightening the already tight process on screening Refugees.

    Of all the current methods for a potential terririst to enter the USA, perhaps the most difficult would be as a Syrian refugee.
    Last edited by NorthwestUteFan; 11-23-2015 at 12:52 PM.

  12. #12
    Sam the Sheepdog LA Ute's Avatar
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    Here's a piece by that right-wing nut Dana Milbank in the Washington Post.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/opini...8a6_story.html


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

    "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."
    --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

    "Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold."
    --Yeats

    “True, we [lawyers] build no bridges. We raise no towers. We construct no engines. We paint no pictures - unless as amateurs for our own principal amusement. There is little of all that we do which the eye of man can see. But we smooth out difficulties; we relieve stress; we correct mistakes; we take up other men's burdens and by our efforts we make possible the peaceful life of men in a peaceful state.”

    --John W. Davis, founder of Davis Polk & Wardwell

  13. #13
    I am seeing a lot of arguments and ideas regarding how to fight ISIS and how to deal with Syrian refugees that have a lot of emotional appeal. But that appeal does not mean that the arguments or ideas will be practical tactically, operationally or strategically.

    In fighting ISIS and other terrorist organizations we first must decide who the enemy is. Is the enemy all Muslims or just those who choose to join terrorist groups? If it is the former, we are in serious trouble since Muslims greatly outnumber Americans. If it is the latter, then we must be careful not to alienate Muslims who might be neutral or even willing to ally with those who fight the terrorists. By alienating those who would at worst stay on the sidelines, we will only create more enemies to fight.

    Denying entry to all refugees or carpet bombing the middle east have great emotional appeal, but on the battlefield will have little utility. We bombed enemy populations indiscriminately during the Second World War, but post war studies found that such bombing did not negatively impact the morale of those populations, or lead to the defeat of their nations. What won the war was defeating the enemy on the battlefield.

    Before you can defeat or destroy the enemy on the battlefield you first have to identify him. In a conventional war this is made easier because the enemy is wearing uniforms and traveling in marked vehicles. On an unconventional battlefield, which is the kind we face now, the enemy is deliberately hiding among the local populations.

    In counterinsurgency doctrine, the local population is considered the center of gravity, or the prize to be won away from the insurgents. The goal is to separate the population from the insurgents to protect them.and to persuade them to support the government. You can't do that if you are bombing or attacking indiscriminately.

    Counterinsurgency may not be a viable strategy, if only when used by an occupying power, and certainly when that power lacks the commitment to execute that strategy over the long haul -- meaning, over a period of decades. But when it comes to operating on the battlefield against insurgents, counterinsurgency doctrine will be effective where conventional tactics, doctrine and strategy will not be.

    Find, fix and kill. That is what we want to do with the enemy. To do that we must separate them from the population. Once we do that, lethal force becomes much more effective.
    "It'd be nice to please everyone but I thought it would be more interesting to have a point of view." -- Oscar Levant

  14. #14
    Sam the Sheepdog LA Ute's Avatar
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    What to do About ISIS?

    From a speech by Hilary Benn, Britain's Shadow Foreign Secretary, in the House of Commons. This is the Labour Party's foreign policy spokesman. The last two paragraphs are the key ones:

    *****

    Now Mr Speaker, no-one in this debate doubts the deadly serious threat we face from Daesh and what they do, although sometimes we find it hard to live with the reality. We know that in June four gay men were thrown off the fifth storey of a building in the Syrian city of Deir ez-Zor. We know that in August the 82-year-old guardian of the antiquities of Palmyra, Professor Khaled al-Assad, was beheaded, and his headless body was hung from a traffic light. And we know that in recent weeks there has been the discovery of mass graves in Sinjar, one said to contain the bodies of older Yazidi women murdered by Daesh because they were judged too old to be sold for sex.

    We know they have killed 30 British tourists in Tunisia, 224 Russian holidaymakers on a plane, 178 people in suicide bombings in Beirut, Ankara and Suruc. 130 people in Paris including those young people in the Bataclan whom Daesh – in trying to justify their bloody slaughter – called ‘apostates engaged in prostitution and vice’. If it had happened here, they could have been our children. And we know that they are plotting more attacks.

    So the question for each of us – and for our national security – is this: given that we know what they are doing, can we really stand aside and refuse to act fully in our self-defence against those who are planning these attacks? Can we really leave to others the responsibility for defending our national security when it is our responsibility? And if we do not act, what message would that send about our solidarity with those countries that have suffered so much – including Iraq and our ally, France.

    Now, France wants us to stand with them and President Hollande – the leader of our sister socialist party – has asked for our assistance and help. And as we are undertaking airstrikes in Iraq where Daesh’s hold has been reduced and we are already doing everything but engage in airstrikes in Syria – should we not play our full part?

    It has been argued in the debate that airstrikes achieve nothing. Not so. Look at how Daesh’s forward march has been halted in Iraq. The House will remember that, 14 months ago, people were saying: ‘they are almost at the gates of Baghdad’. And that is why we voted to respond to the Iraqi government’s request for help to defeat them. Look at how their military capacity and their freedom of movement has been put under pressure. Ask the Kurds about Sinjar and Kobani. Now of course, air strikes alone will not defeat Daesh – but they make a difference. Because they are giving them a hard time – and it is making it more difficult for them to expand their territory.

    Now, I share the concerns that have been expressed this evening about potential civilian casualties. However, unlike Daesh, none of us today act with the intent to harm civilians. Rather, we act to protect civilians from Daesh – who target innocent people.

    Now on the subject of ground troops to defeat Daesh, there’s been much debate about the figure of 70,000 and the government must, I think, better explain that. But we know that most of them are currently engaged in fighting President Assad. But I’ll tell you what else we know, is whatever the number – 70,000, 40,000, 80,000 – the current size of the opposition forces mean the longer we leave taking action, the longer Daesh will have to decrease that number. And so to suggest, Mr Speaker, that airstrikes should not take place until the Syrian civil war has come to an end is, I think, to miss the urgency of the terrorist threat that Daesh poses to us and others, and I think misunderstands the nature and objectives of the extension to airstrikes that is being proposed. And of course we should take action. It is not a contradiction between the two to cut off Daesh’s support in the form of money and fighters and weapons, and of course we should give humanitarian aid, and of course we should offer shelter to more refugees including in this country and yes we should commit to play our full part in helping to rebuild Syria when the war is over.

    Now I accept that there are legitimate arguments, and we have heard them in the debate, for not taking this form of action now. And it is also clear that many members have wrestled, and who knows, in the time that is left, may still be wrestling, with what the right thing to do is. But I say the threat is now, and there are rarely, if ever, perfect circumstances in which to deploy military forces. Now we heard very powerful testimony from the honorable member for Eddisbury earlier when she quoted that passage, and I just want to read what Karwan Jamal Tahir, the Kurdistan regional government high representative in London, said last week and I quote: ‘Last June, Daesh captured one third of Iraq over night and a few months later attacked the Kurdistan region. Swift airstrikes by Britain, America and France, and the actions of our own Peshmerga, saved us. We now have a border of 650 miles with Daesh. We’ve pushed them back, and recently captured Sinjar. Again, Western airstrikes were vital. But the old border between Iraq and Syria does not exist. Daesh fighters come and go across this fictional boundary.’ And that is the argument Mr Speaker, for treating the two countries as one, if we are serious about defeating Daesh.

    Now Mr Speaker, I hope the house will bear with me if I direct my closing remarks to my Labour friends and colleagues on this side of the House. As a party we have always been defined by our internationalism. We believe we have a responsibility one to another. We never have – and we never should – walk by on the other side of the road.

    And we are here faced by fascists. Not just their calculated brutality, but their belief that they are superior to every single one of us in this chamber tonight, and all of the people that we represent. They hold us in contempt. They hold our values in contempt. They hold our belief in tolerance and decency in contempt. They hold our democracy, the means by which we will make our decision tonight, in contempt. And what we know about fascists is that they need to be defeated. And it is why, as we have heard tonight, socialists and trade unionists and others joined the International Brigade in the 1930s to fight against Franco. It’s why this entire House stood up against Hitler and Mussolini. It is why our party has always stood up against the denial of human rights and for justice. And my view, Mr Speaker, is that we must now confront this evil. It is now time for us to do our bit in Syria. And that is why I ask my colleagues to vote for the motion tonight.
    [CHEERS]

    *****

    I'd like to hear something like those last two paragraphs from our current Commander in Chief or Secretary of State.

    Here's the entire speech -- go to about 12:00 for the stirring part:

    Last edited by LA Ute; 12-13-2015 at 04:40 PM.

    "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."
    --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

    "Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold."
    --Yeats

    “True, we [lawyers] build no bridges. We raise no towers. We construct no engines. We paint no pictures - unless as amateurs for our own principal amusement. There is little of all that we do which the eye of man can see. But we smooth out difficulties; we relieve stress; we correct mistakes; we take up other men's burdens and by our efforts we make possible the peaceful life of men in a peaceful state.”

    --John W. Davis, founder of Davis Polk & Wardwell

  15. #15
    Sam the Sheepdog LA Ute's Avatar
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    "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."
    --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

    "Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold."
    --Yeats

    “True, we [lawyers] build no bridges. We raise no towers. We construct no engines. We paint no pictures - unless as amateurs for our own principal amusement. There is little of all that we do which the eye of man can see. But we smooth out difficulties; we relieve stress; we correct mistakes; we take up other men's burdens and by our efforts we make possible the peaceful life of men in a peaceful state.”

    --John W. Davis, founder of Davis Polk & Wardwell

  16. #16
    Sam the Sheepdog LA Ute's Avatar
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    This helps see the complexity of the challenge:

    http://www.cbsnews.com/pictures/new-faces-of-terror/

    "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."
    --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

    "Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold."
    --Yeats

    “True, we [lawyers] build no bridges. We raise no towers. We construct no engines. We paint no pictures - unless as amateurs for our own principal amusement. There is little of all that we do which the eye of man can see. But we smooth out difficulties; we relieve stress; we correct mistakes; we take up other men's burdens and by our efforts we make possible the peaceful life of men in a peaceful state.”

    --John W. Davis, founder of Davis Polk & Wardwell

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by NorthwestUteFan View Post
    This is a tough situation, enhanced because ISIL is really more of an ideology than an actual State. It is more of a virtual movement with a goal of establishing a Homeland in a place they do not occupy.

    "Boots on the Ground", or "Bomb them Back to the Stone Age" feel good to say, but won't really accomplish anything unless we are committed to a true occupation of a sovereign nation halfway around the world.

    Perhaps one of the largest failures of intelligence was putting a Shia leader in charge of Iraq after Saddam was deposed, thinking that they would somehow mend a thousand years of division with the Sunnis and forget the previous forty plus years of oppression by Saddam's (Sunni) Baathist regime.

    With a relative power vacuum among the minority Sunnis and facing oppression from the Shia majority, a new group of leaders stepped in. The most notorious was Abu Mussab al Zarqawi. He molded the IS group into a ferocious geurilla terrorist group, but also somehow convinced the young fighters themselves that they are doing wonderful things for the world, and that life is better with the Islamic State.

    We saw just how fierce they can be in the two Battles for Fallujah. Those were 11 years ago. The goal now for IS is to have a glorious and final battle on their home lands vs the US (and Western countries). They use clips from US news programs in their propaganda, particularly from Fox News. They have sold the notion that the US is weak and impotent, and that we plan to put boots on IS lands, which will only lead to increased propaganda for IS.

    Maybe they see a huge battle in their own territory as their version of the Battle of Armageddon. But whatever it is they want, we absolutely must not take the bait.
    I don't remember on which radio station I heard it, but there was a former Green Beret who said what you said about ISIS...that it was more an ideology than a state. His thoughts were to allow troops to engage with them on the battlefield and give them a good ol' fashioned butt kicking, then only stick around long enough to curb stomp them a bit more, just for the sake of humiliation. Then leave. No nation building, no financial aid to rebuild; give them nothing. If they start trouble, come in and humiliate them again. Repeat as necessary.

    He pointed out that it won't kill the ideology, but what it would do is cause fewer and fewer to join the ISIS die hards each time there is a humiliating and crushing defeat on the battlefield. His belief was that eventually - and it wouldn't take too many campaigns really - the rest of the area will get tired of the ISIS types and the problem will take care of itself.

    I'm not sure how effective that would be, but it would be something that would expose ISIS as the cowards that they really are, as they would have to fight or shut knock off that crap. This Green Beret said that ISIS is a bully and should be treated as such.
    "Ninety feet between home plate and first base may be the closest man has ever come to perfection." - Red Smith

  18. #18
    ISIS is the undesirable result of previous military campaigns, the aspects we completely ignored.

    ISIS needs to be defeated militarily in Iraq and Syria, but I think Ted Cruz' call for carpet bombing them is a horrendously bad idea. (He can't be that dumb, can he?) This is exactly what ISIS is trying to provoke, an overreaction that will catalyze great sympathy for them and their cause, among 1 Billion Muslims.

    We're getting reports from disaffected ISIS "converts" that life in the Islamic State is increasingly miserable. The disenfranchised need to spread the word in the Islamic world, moderate Muslims need to describe a different, better path.

    The challenge for moderate Muslims is that the West - mostly the US - has been playing the role of the oppressive Infidels, perfectly. Within Islam, moderates are increasingly viewed as dupes of the West (at best).

    If we're not smart about this, we're going to have a long term, multi-generational conflict on our hands.

  19. #19
    Sam the Sheepdog LA Ute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ma'ake View Post
    ISIS is the undesirable result of previous military campaigns, the aspects we completely ignored.
    You recognize, of course, how hotly debated this premise is?

    "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."
    --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

    "Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold."
    --Yeats

    “True, we [lawyers] build no bridges. We raise no towers. We construct no engines. We paint no pictures - unless as amateurs for our own principal amusement. There is little of all that we do which the eye of man can see. But we smooth out difficulties; we relieve stress; we correct mistakes; we take up other men's burdens and by our efforts we make possible the peaceful life of men in a peaceful state.”

    --John W. Davis, founder of Davis Polk & Wardwell

  20. #20
    Sam the Sheepdog LA Ute's Avatar
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    Gallup: Americans Name Terrorism as No. 1 U.S. Problem

    http://www.gallup.com/poll/187655/americans-name-terrorism-no-problem.aspx?g_source=Politics&g_medium=newsfeed&g _campaign=tiles

    "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."
    --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

    "Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold."
    --Yeats

    “True, we [lawyers] build no bridges. We raise no towers. We construct no engines. We paint no pictures - unless as amateurs for our own principal amusement. There is little of all that we do which the eye of man can see. But we smooth out difficulties; we relieve stress; we correct mistakes; we take up other men's burdens and by our efforts we make possible the peaceful life of men in a peaceful state.”

    --John W. Davis, founder of Davis Polk & Wardwell

  21. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by LA Ute View Post
    You recognize, of course, how hotly debated this premise is?
    Hmmmm... I guess Muslims just have a weird way of treating liberators?

    The premise is simplistic, but all that resistance we encountered in Fallujah? Wasn't a spontaneous, one time event, didn't appear out of thin air. Pleasing Allah is a potent motivator.

    ISIS has been very successful in speaking Islam-ese to Muslim youth around the world, exploiting their psyches of feeling disrespected and marginalized.

    We need to avoid feeding that narrative, we need to give moderate Muslims a foothold in their battle for "hearts and minds".

    Fighting ISIS is like trying to smash mercury balls from a thermometer. If we carpet bomb everyone - including all the non-combatants - in ISIS held areas, be prepared for radicalized Islamic youth in Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, etc.

  22. #22
    Sam the Sheepdog LA Ute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ma'ake View Post
    Hmmmm... I guess Muslims just have a weird way of treating liberators?

    The premise is simplistic, but all that resistance we encountered in Fallujah? Wasn't a spontaneous, one time event, didn't appear out of thin air. Pleasing Allah is a potent motivator.

    ISIS has been very successful in speaking Islam-ese to Muslim youth around the world, exploiting their psyches of feeling disrespected and marginalized.

    We need to avoid feeding that narrative, we need to give moderate Muslims a foothold in their battle for "hearts and minds".

    Fighting ISIS is like trying to smash mercury balls from a thermometer. If we carpet bomb everyone - including all the non-combatants - in ISIS held areas, be prepared for radicalized Islamic youth in Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, etc.
    I'm no proponent of carpet-bombing or boots on the ground. I'm just quibbling with the premise that G.W. Bush et al. "created" ISIS, which is more of a Democratic National Committee talking point than a serious bit of foreign policy analysis, IMO.

    "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."
    --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

    "Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold."
    --Yeats

    “True, we [lawyers] build no bridges. We raise no towers. We construct no engines. We paint no pictures - unless as amateurs for our own principal amusement. There is little of all that we do which the eye of man can see. But we smooth out difficulties; we relieve stress; we correct mistakes; we take up other men's burdens and by our efforts we make possible the peaceful life of men in a peaceful state.”

    --John W. Davis, founder of Davis Polk & Wardwell

  23. #23
    Administrator U-Ute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LA Ute View Post
    I'm no proponent of carpet-bombing or boots on the ground. I'm just quibbling with the premise that G.W. Bush et al. "created" ISIS, which is more of a Democratic National Committee talking point than a serious bit of foreign policy analysis, IMO.
    True. The idea that W somehow singlehandedly caused the rise of ISIS is overly simplistic. They arose from years of miscalculated efforts by the west. The invasion of Iraq and the removal of Saddam Hussen was just the latest significant event.

  24. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by Ma'ake View Post
    We're getting reports from disaffected ISIS "converts" that life in the Islamic State is increasingly miserable. The disenfranchised need to spread the word in the Islamic world, moderate Muslims need to describe a different, better path.
    If so, then ISIS is making the same mistake al Qaeda in Iraq made in its attempts to create a caliphate in Al Anbar province. This led to the Anbar Awakening, which the so called Surge sought to extend into Baghdad, not without some success (the basic strategy in Iraq was summed up by General Daniel P. Bolger in his recent book, Why We Lost, as "al Qaeda out, Sunnis in, Iraqis in control). The Awakening, however, was squandered by the Maliki government which continued to oppress the Sunni minority in Iraq. Maliki thus pushed back out those Sunnis who had opted in to support the government. This contributed to the rise of ISIS. We couldn't just remove Maliki, or any other Shiite who was oppressing the Sunnis because we had given sovereignty back to Iraq. Still, we did have a chance to get rid of Maliki when he lost, however narrowly, an election.

    Invading Iraq was a mistake, which we compounded by how badly we managed the conflict after the fall of Saddam.
    "It'd be nice to please everyone but I thought it would be more interesting to have a point of view." -- Oscar Levant

  25. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by U-Ute View Post
    True. The idea that W somehow singlehandedly caused the rise of ISIS is overly simplistic. They arose from years of miscalculated efforts by the west. The invasion of Iraq and the removal of Saddam Hussen was just the latest significant event.
    Saddam held them in check. Sometimes it takes a very bad man to contain an even worse situation. W merely pulled the plug and the worse elements flooded in to fill the void.

  26. #26
    Sam the Sheepdog LA Ute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NorthwestUteFan View Post
    Saddam held them in check. Sometimes it takes a very bad man to contain an even worse situation. W merely pulled the plug and the worse elements flooded in to fill the void.
    There wasn't a void until President Obama decided to...oh, never mind.

    "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."
    --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

    "Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold."
    --Yeats

    “True, we [lawyers] build no bridges. We raise no towers. We construct no engines. We paint no pictures - unless as amateurs for our own principal amusement. There is little of all that we do which the eye of man can see. But we smooth out difficulties; we relieve stress; we correct mistakes; we take up other men's burdens and by our efforts we make possible the peaceful life of men in a peaceful state.”

    --John W. Davis, founder of Davis Polk & Wardwell

  27. #27
    Quote Originally Posted by LA Ute View Post
    There wasn't a void until President Obama decided to...oh, never mind.
    ISIL were the 'insurgents' we fought in the Second Battle of Fallujah. That was in 2004. What could President Obama have done back then as a first-term junior Senator to cause the situation?

  28. #28
    Sam the Sheepdog LA Ute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NorthwestUteFan View Post
    ISIL were the 'insurgents' we fought in the Second Battle of Fallujah. That was in 2004. What could President Obama have done back then as a first-term junior Senator to cause the situation?
    We're not going to get anywhere with this discussion. Many people, smart and well-informed people, believe that the United States should have pressed harder to keep sufficient forces in Iraq to preserve what had been achieved there. I know what the response to that is. Let's just not go there.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

    "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."
    --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

    "Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold."
    --Yeats

    “True, we [lawyers] build no bridges. We raise no towers. We construct no engines. We paint no pictures - unless as amateurs for our own principal amusement. There is little of all that we do which the eye of man can see. But we smooth out difficulties; we relieve stress; we correct mistakes; we take up other men's burdens and by our efforts we make possible the peaceful life of men in a peaceful state.”

    --John W. Davis, founder of Davis Polk & Wardwell

  29. #29
    The Kurdish Peshmerga is fighting the good fight and are using ISIL's religion against them. The fighters believe they are fighting in the name of Islam, and they will go to a glorious Heaven if they die in battle.

    With one catch . If thry are killed by a woman they will not go to Heaven. It is even worse if they are killed by a Christian woman.

    So the Kurds have built a decent size division (500) made up of only women. They use propaganda to great effect, posting pictures of female Kurdish soldiers with statements like "She killed over 100 Daesh..."

    This has to be terrifying for young men who see women as little more than personal,breeding, playthings.

    And the women are fierce. For obvious reasons they will refuse to allow themselves to be captured. They will fight to the death, and save the last bullet for themselves.

    This is an interesting angle. And it shows just how backward and dogmatic ISIL can be.

    More info here: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/wo...-a6766776.html
    Last edited by NorthwestUteFan; 12-15-2015 at 10:35 PM.

  30. #30
    Quote Originally Posted by LA Ute View Post
    We're not going to get anywhere with this discussion. Many people, smart and well-informed people, believe that the United States should have pressed harder to keep sufficient forces in Iraq to preserve what had been achieved there. I know what the response to that is. Let's just not go there.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    You are throwing cheap shots and complaining when I show you to be wrong.

    Perhaps one of the biggest mistakes, second to "Let's go fight a ground war in Iraq, it will be easy!", was dismantling the Iraqi army (esp. the Republican Guard). Instead of sending them home, they should have kept them functional, paid their salary, fed them, and charged them to keep the peace and rebuild their country.

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