Monday, August 08, 2016

More US troops and weapons headed to Iraq

Ali Jawwad (AA) reports that the US has just given Iraq four more F-16 jets.  This is apparently part of a bribe from the White House to secure armed forces attacking Mosul in time for the reported "October surprise" Barack Obama has planned to throw the election to Hillary Clinton.

Why else would they be given four more?

To combat the Islamic State's massive air force?

The Islamic State has no planes.

It's a sign of how pathetic Iraqi forces and Iraqi leadership remain that they need planes to fight a ground war.

October surprise?

For those who missed it, last week  POLITICO'S Mark Perry reported that Barack is planning to start the battle to retake Mosul in early October and, "If Mosul is retaken, it would both mark a major political triumph for Barack Obama and likely benefit his party’s nominee at the polls, Hillary Clinton, undercutting Republican claims that the Obama administration has failed to take off the gloves against the Islamic State."

This as ARMY.TECHNOLOGY.COM reports, "The US Army has announced the deployment of additional troops to support Operation Inherent Resolve in Iraq for the next phase of the fight against ISIS." AP says it's 400 more troops.  IN CASE YOU MISSED IT observes:

Last month, President Obama raised the “cap” on the number of ground troops in Iraq to 4,647. This cap has become something of a running joke, as the Pentagon has repeatedly admitted to having well more troops than that. Most recent estimates have over 6,000 US ground troops in Iraq already, before this new deployment.

Meanwhile the International Crisis Group has issued a new report this morning.  It's entitled "Fight of Flight: The Desperate Plight of Iraq's 'Generation 2000'."  The executive summary opens:

  Beset by political dysfunction, endemic corruption and a jihadist threat, Iraq is squandering its greatest asset: its youth. By failing to provide a vision and concrete prospects for the future, it is pressing young men into the straitjacket of jobs-through-patronage, pushing them into combat with either the Islamic State (IS) or Shiite militias or inducing them to emigrate. Arguably, the government faces more pressing challenges: pushing IS out, ensuring that subsequent governance does not further alienate the local population, instituting overdue reforms and tackling corruption. Yet, it will not succeed if it does not at the same time develop a strategy for creating a meaningful place in politics and society for the young. They are the country’s most important resource; abandoning them could turn them into the most important threat to national and regional security.
The leadership’s inability to forge a future for “Generation 2000”, which grew up after Saddam Hussein’s fall, has turned it into easy quarry for predators, be they IS, Shiite militias or populists preaching Iraqi nationalism. The potential for mobilising large numbers of young men at loose ends as pawns in violent conflicts has enabled both IS and Shiite militias to gain recruits. In the process, it has compounded sectarian polarisation and widened the divide between street and elites. Fed by fresh pools of fighting-age men, local tensions and conflicts proliferate and escalate, destabilising the country and the surrounding region. The most powerful Shiite militias receive training and advice from the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, have an ideological orientation consistent with Tehran’s and can be deployed as proxies outside Iraq as well.
The familiar expression “youth radicalisation” distorts the reality that an entire generation is adrift, in need of a dramatically new state-led approach. Young Iraqis whose formative years were in the post-2003 turmoil have much more in common than they suspect, whatever side of local conflicts they are on, but they have been increasingly socialised within communal confines and left to the mercy of radical groups that promote dehumanised, even demonised perceptions of one another.
Before violence engulfed Iraq again, with the rise of IS, youth had attempted to peacefully hold the political class accountable for years of dismal governance. Sunni Arabs staged sit-ins in several towns in 2013, questioning national leaders, including senior Sunnis. They met with repression, leaving scores dead, many more in prison. These events paved the way for IS, which seized Falluja, the Sunni town nearest Baghdad, Mosul and other majority-Sunni towns in June 2014.

The collapse of the Iraqi army triggered a Shiite call to arms. Militia commanders quickly tapped into youthful disappointment with the Shiite political establishment, turning it into sectarian mobilisation against IS. By summer 2015, IS’s battlefield fortunes had turned, even as it continued to control territory and population. The absence of services, especially electricity shortages in the searing summer, stimulated a popular movement in Baghdad and other majority-Shiite areas reflecting a general sense of frustration with the political establishment.

No time for this on MSNBC's MORNING JOE -- but then Mika's not a reader.

She'd rather embarrass herself repeatedly this morning by repeatedly stating Donald Trump would be reading his upcoming speech off a teleprompter.

This was 'news' to Mika.

Remind me, was it Donald Trump who embarrassed himself with a teleprompter this election cycle?

Did he read a direction from the telepromter?

Oh, no.

That was Hillary.


She read "sigh" off the teleprompter instead of sighing.

That was a month ago.

We never noted it.

It wasn't really news.

Until Mika made it news this morning by treating the teleprompter as something only Donald does.

With Hillary's recent use of the term "short-circuited" as well as other "glitches," this could become news as some are trying to paint her as not healthy enough to be president.

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