Wednesday, October 22, 2014

The long goodbye

Karen DeYoung (Washington Post) reports the White House thinks it has another 'plan' for addressing the Islamic State in Iraq.  This one would be termed a "battle plan" and a sure sign of its weakness can be found in the belief that it will take place "gradually."

DeYoung write:

The plan, described as methodical and time-consuming, will not begin in earnest for several months and is designed to ensure that Iraqi forces­ do not overextend themselves before they are capable of taking and holding territory controlled by the militants.

It may also include U.S. advisers in the field with the Iraqis, should that be recommended by American military commanders, said the official, who updated reporters on administration strategy on the condition of anonymity under rules imposed by the White House. The advisers, the official said, would not participate in combat. President Obama has said repeatedly that no U.S. ground forces would be deployed to Iraq.

You can be sure that the "may"s will disappear after the start of the next month when Barack will no longer have to worry about the immediate voter fallout.

As for letting Iraqis suffer for months while the Iraqi military tries to learn to stand and take baby steps?  Shashank Joshi (Gulf News) reminds everyone of the current state of the Iraqi forces:

 However, those local forces were, and remain, so inept, so weak and so demoralised that this was always going to be a Herculean task. In June, four entire divisions of the Iraqi army disintegrated in the face of the Daesh advance, despite the militants’ relatively feeble numbers. A team of US advisers concluded that just half of Iraq’s 50 brigades were “reputable partners”.

Apparently, when Barack was talking about this being a long operations, the biggest time extender was the time needed to (once again) train the Iraqi forces.

(Title of entry a nod to the Robert Altman film classic.)

The following community sites -- plus Black Agenda Report -- updated:

  • The e-mail address for this site is