On a day when the president declares that the United States does not yet have a complete strategy for defeating ISIS, it compounds the discouragement to learn that, as Barry Posen writes at DefenseOne:
The most important fact revealed by ISIS’s victory is that the “Iraqi Army” no longer exists.
Which, of course, means that there are greater challenges than rearming and retraining. This comes down to rebuilding. As Posen writes:
Public sources reported some fourteen divisions in the Iraqi Army in 2014. Between three and five were destroyed in Mosul, leaving nine. At most one was defending Ramadi. Where were the rest? Indeed, where are they now? How is it that Shiite militias must be called upon to liberate Ramadi? If the Iraqi Army has evaporated, or perhaps more accurately deteriorated into a collection of local militias and palace guards, then the U.S.“re-training” mission in Iraq is vastly more difficult than we have been led to believe. Having claimed to build an Iraqi Army, which seems not to exist, and which one doubts ever really existed, the U.S. military is now trying to build another one, from the ground up. Why will things turn out better this time?
This comes as General John Allen says in a speech that it may take “a generation or more” to defeat ISIS and that if it is not defeated:
… it could "wreak havoc on the progress of humanity.”
And at the same time that General David Petraeus is saying:
the U.S. is “probably losing” its fight against the Islamic State in Iraq.
Petraeus under whose leadership Anbar Province was pacified, added that
… these are fights where if you’re not winning, you’re probably losing because time is not on your side.”
Still, he believes that :
"We’ll turn it around. We will win again in Iraq,”
It won’t be easy and it will require an army that does not, at the moment, exist.
Kentucky senator Rand Paul says the "hawks" in the Republican party helped create and grow the Islamic State terrorist group. Paul, who is running for president, appeared Wednesday morning on MSNBC, where host Joe Scarborough asked him about fellow senator Lindsey Graham's own likely White House bid.
"Graham would say ISIS exists because of people like Rand Paul who said, 'Let's not go into Syria.' What do you say to Lindsey?" said Scarborough.
A DoD News story, published on Defense.gov, claims that the "Strategy to Defeat ISIL is Working, Military Official Says."
The report reads, "The coalition and Iraqi security forces strategy to defeat and dismantle the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant extremist group is clear and on track, the chief of staff of Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve said today."
The U.S. killed an ISIS leader, Abu Sayyaf, last night in Syria. And, U.S. forces, now have his wife, Umm Sayyaf, in custody. The news was released today by the White House's National Security Council.
The United States is offering big pay outs to anyone who has "information" on key ISIS leaders. "The U.S. Department of State's Rewards for Justice Program is offering rewards for information on four key leaders of the terrorist group Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).
Kuwait City Here in Kuwait, as in the rest of the Arab states of the Persian Gulf, there is a sense that the Middle East is changing. In the Gulf media, there seems to be a consensus in support of Operation Decisive Storm, the Saudi-led military campaign launched to beat Houthi insurgents and reinstall Yemen's government under President Abdrabbo Mansour Hadi. Almost everyone wants to see Iran and its allies, like the Houthis, cut to size, and almost everyone is excited to see Arab governments flex their military muscles. Even those who are questioning the campaign couch the debate not in terms of regional political doctrines like Arab nationalism or Islamism, but rather in terms of national sovereignty and constitutionality.
When the revolt in Syria began in 2011, many policy analysts and former officials argued that the downfall of the Assad regime would be a major setback to Iran. I was one of them, and the claim was not complicated: Syria was Iran’s only Arab ally, provided its only ports on the Mediterranean, was a land bridge to Hezbollah in Lebanon that allowed Iran an easy means of arming Hezbollah, and via Hezbollah gave Iran a border with Israel. The fall of Assad would deny Iran all these assets and all these possibilities.
Last week, outgoing chief of staff of the Israel Defense Forces Benny Gantz told an American audience that it’s important the international community defeat both camps of regional extremists. The way Gantz sees it, on one side there are Sunni radicals, like the Islamic State, al Qaeda, the Muslim Brotherhood, and the Nusra Front, an al Qaeda affiliate. On the Shiite side are Iran and the Revolutionary Guards expeditionary unit, the Quds Force, as well as Hezbollah and Iranian-backed Iraqi Shiite militias.