12:51 PM, Sep 17, 2014 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
Robert Burns of the AP reports that:
About half of Iraq’s army is incapable of partnering effectively with the U.S. to roll back the Islamic State group’s territorial gains in western and northern Iraq, and the other half needs to be partially rebuilt with U.S. training and additional equipment, the top U.S. military officer said Wednesday.
The inadequacy of the Iraqi army implies, necessarily, a need for it to be trained up, with Americans doing the training. But:
renewed U.S. training effort might revive the issue of gaining legal immunity from Iraqi prosecution for those U.S. troops who are training the Iraqis. The previous Iraqi government refused to grant immunity for U.S. troops who might have remained as trainers after the U.S. military mission ended in December 2011.
Which bring things back around to that never negotiated status-of-forces agreement and the failure to leave a core U.S. presence in Iraq.
11:07 AM, Sep 17, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
A New York man was indicted last night for helping ISIS, the terrorist army President Obama has pledged to "degrade" and "destroy."
ISIS Strategy Unrealistic.7:29 AM, Sep 17, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
Robert Gates, President Obama's first defense secretary, said this morning on CBS that President Obama's strategy for defeating the Islamic State is unrealistic:
"The reality is, they're not going to be able to be successful against ISIS strictly from the air or strictly depending on the Iraqi forces or the Peshmerga or the Sunni tribes acting on their own," said Gates.
7:05 AM, Sep 17, 2014 • By THOMAS DONNELLY
In testimony yesterday before the Senate Armed Services Committee, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, admitted that the most that could be done by way of creating an effective Free Syrian Army – that is, the forces of the moderate opposition to Syrian dictator Bashar al Assad – was to train a force of 5,000 over the next year.
2:31 PM, Sep 16, 2014 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
ISIS is a threat to world peace and the U.S. has reason, the president has said, to “degrade" and, then, to “destroy” it. The threat, for some, is much closer. Right next door, in fact.
10:07 AM, Sep 16, 2014 • By WILLIAM KRISTOL
We're at war. We're putting boots on the ground. We're not waiting around for the host nation's government to get its affairs in order, or for a regional coalition to commit first. The president has apparently overcome his reluctance to use the military, his worries about a commitment to intervene without an exit strategy, and his usual reluctance to acknowledge (even implicitly) that his administration was wrong when it assured us that there was nothing much for us to worry about.
7:15 AM, Sep 16, 2014 • By JERYL BIER
Secretary of State John Kerry said Monday that to counter the ideology of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and its claim of a "religious foundation" for its actions, part of the strategy of the international coalition he is attempting to assemble must be to "begin to put real Islam out there." Kerry, in Paris for talks with various world leaders to build that coalition, further said that all of the Arab leaders he had spoken with earlier concurred about their focus on
2:45 PM, Sep 15, 2014 • By THOMAS DONNELLY
The Obama administration is behaving like a prisoner under interrogation: eventually, if unintentionally, it ends up talking most about the subjects it least wishes to discuss.
10:31 AM, Sep 15, 2014 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
We have learned much about ISIS in the last few weeks, virtually all of it troubling. The CIA has upped its estimates of the number of ISIS fighters to something in the neighborhood of 30,000. And from Ken Dilanian of the AP we learn that through various methods, it can raise the money it needs to fund operations.
What difference does it make?11:42 AM, Sep 14, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
John Kerry argued that it doesn't really make a difference if we call U.S. action against ISIS a "war." He criticized the "tortured debate" this morning on CBS:
"Mr. Secretary, thank you so much," said CBS host Bob Schieffer. "Can I clear up one thing first. This week you went to some lengths to say you wouldn't call this a war, but yet at the Pentagon and at the State Department even they were saying we are at war with ISIS. Are we at war?"
2:32 PM, Sep 12, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
The White House now definitively says that the "U.S. is at with with ISIL," a position the Obama administration has been hesitant to state in the last couple days: