Monday, June 01, 2015

More failures from the (retired) general

In an attempt to embarrass themselves (why else?), the US State Dept has posted an interview John Allen gave to Sky News.


John Allen.

A retired general.

Who was picked by US President Barack Obama to work with the State Dept and be his Special Presidential Envoy for the Global Coalition To Counter ISIL.

I know this will be a shocker to John Kerry who thinks he's overseeing the Defense Dept when, in fact, he's Secretary of State, but the State Dept is over diplomacy.

Maybe if Kerry grasped that, there would be a deal with Iran?

There's no deal.

All this time later, there's no deal.  And it's June 1st -- June the month the deal with Iran was supposed to be nailed down.

June is infamous for something else.  June 19th, Barack declared the only answer to Iraq's crises was a political solution.

That's what the State Dept and envoys are supposed to be working towards.

What they were supposed to be working towards.

It's a year later this month.

Let's listen to John Allen play toy soldier yet again.

QUESTION: (In progress) the Coalition’s campaign (inaudible) recent loss, say, of Ramadi, and indeed, of Palmyra.

GEN ALLEN: Let me – let me put it in the context of where we’ve come from, I think, to give you a sense of where hopefully we will go. We’re about nine months into the organization of the Coalition. It didn’t exist even this time last year, and we’re coming up on the one-year acknowledgement or the anniversary of the events in northwest Iraq. And in a relatively short period of time, 62 countries and organizations came together ultimately to deal with this threat of Daesh – the Arabic acronym.

In that time, we have seen a significant element within the Coalition contribute military capacity both in terms of air power, trainers, the trainers in the context of building the capabilities of the Iraqi Security Forces overall, providing camps and trainers for the train and equip program with respect to Syria. We’ve had elements within the Coalition volunteer and organize to provide for assistance to the liberated populations as the campaign unfolds. That stabilization effort is going to be vital. Other members of the Coalition are going to support the recovery and the employment of the Sunni Iraqi police in the Sunni provinces as they are liberated. That’s a lot of work in the space of nine months.

Allow me to provide some context for Allen.  (A) He now works for the State Dept and all he's described is what DoD should be doing.  (B) Political solutions need coaxing and they need working.  Allen and his roll dog Brett McGurk (also with the State Dept) have failed at everything.

Jonathan Marcus (BBC) interviews David Petraeus, retired US General and former CIA Director:

The keynote of the Petraeus approach today is as it always was - the need for the political and military aspects of strategy to march closely in step.
"You cannot deal with an industrial-strength extremist problem just with force of arms," he said. "You have to have that political component as well."
Political change has to start at the top. Above all, Gen Petraeus says, "the Sunni Arabs have to be given incentives to support the new Iraq rather than to oppose it".

That's what Barack was supposed to have been pursuing -- by his own words -- for a year now.  But it hasn't happened.

So is John Allen just blowing him off?  Is John Kerry blowing him off?  Is the entire State Dept in open rebellion against the White House?

Or have they all spent too long playing soldiers (from a very safe distance) and too little time doing their actual jobs?

Today, the New York Times editorial board offers:

The best chance of quickly responding to the Islamic State would be to get weapons and training directly into the hands of Sunni tribal fighters in Anbar. But the Shiite-led central government, which wants to control the weapons, has resisted that, just as it has resisted integrating those Sunni units into a provincial-based, government-paid national guard. It has instead relied increasingly on Shiite-based militia, some backed by Iran, to fight against ISIS, thus worsening the country’s sectarian divisions and expanding Iran’s influence. Given the urgent threat, the Americans should consider working more directly with the Sunni tribes if Baghdad continues to refuse.

It's a shame that the editorial board was silent when Congress was considering this in April.  Remember that?

Various Shi'ite leaders (not all) were threatening harm to the United States because the Congress was considering directly arming the Kurds and the Sunnis?

And this was under reported or it was ignored.

The press did have time to lie and call it a Republican proposal despite it passing out of Committee on a huge bi-partisan vote.

Various outlets acted as if the Congress was proposing something extreme and illegal.  They rushed to distort what the bill said, what the bill would mean and who supported it.

Now events have made it even more obvious how much the bill is needed.

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