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Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Iraq: U.S. compromises with Iran have not influenced the Iranians to abandon the policy of undermining United States initiatives.

Links: A. Turkey unilaterally invades Iraq to launch attacks against Kurdish PKK militants.
           B.  Iraq claims to have retaken 60% of Ramadi City.

In a move that will no doubt escalate already dangerously high tensions in the area, Turkey deployed military units into northeastern Iraq, just outside of Mosul, in order to more effectively launch attacks against militants from the Kurdistan Worker's Party (PKK).  If Turkish President Erdogan was looking for the quickest way to unite the Kurds, and at the same time, bring the Iraqi government and the Kurdish authorities closer together, they found it.  Turkey's actions are almost inexplicable, unless Erdogan is determine to make things difficult for Barack Obama as he tries to leave office gracefully.  At the same time, the Pentagon is preparing to deploy roughly 200 U.S. Army Special Forces elements into Iraq, to act as a mobile "hit squad" to take out ISIS leaders, if you will.  This policy seems to fly in the face of Executive Order 12333, signed by President Ronald Reagan in 1981, which prohibits any Agent or Representative of the United States Government from involvement in assassinations.  I may be nit-picking here, especially since we already are aware of this Administration's perception of the Constitution and the laws of this nation.  Either way, the arrival of this American Special Forces Unit has already come under heavy criticism in Baghdad, where Prime Minister Abadi is doing everything he can to keep the ship of state from sinking altogether.  Abadi is under particular pressure from the Shi'a elements in the Council of Representatives, who are angling to bring a vote of no confidence against the Iraqi Prime Minister.  Also, Iranians in Baghdad are as thick as fleas on a mongrel's back, and they are also putting pressure on the government, both to oppose the deployment of more U.S. troops, and to take action against the Turkish incursion northeast of Mosul.  Abadi has been under fire before, but this time his administration may not survive.

One of the most appalling and embarrassing developments in the region has been the continued intransigence from the Iranians with regards to any U.S. diplomatic or military initiatives.  I assume that following the nuclear treaty negotiations, the Obama Administration (the President, Vice President Biden, and Secretary of State Kerry in particular) expected the Iranian government to lighten the anti-U.S. rhetoric and to be less aggressive in opposing every U.S. action in the region.  I knew better, and you knew better, but for some reason, the three men with the greatest access to intelligence on this planet, didn't see this coming.  Or did they, and it just didn't matter?  At the moment, events in Iraq and Syria need to be stabilized, before the Iraqi's end up at war with Turkey, or the Turks decide that the time is right to "ethnic-cleanse" northern Iraq of Kurds once and for all.  The action ordered by the President and taken by the Pentagon to deploy Special Forces is way too little and way too late, and will cause more harm than good, especially if Abadi falls from power.  It has been suggested (whispered more like) in DC that the Obama Administration is hesitant to take stronger military action against ISIS, because increased U.S. presence in the region will infuriate Iran, and put Obama's "legacy treaty" with Iran in jeopardy.

What we can expect is the Administration attempting to steer the media away from connecting the recent terror attack in San Bernardino to the ongoing conflict in Syria.  Obama is bound and determined to avoid getting drawn into a full-scale war in Syria/Iraq.  I'm not so reactionary that I don't see the ideological motivation; the United States has a tempestuous relationship with most of the governments in the Middle East and Persian Gulf, and lets not forget that we invaded Iraq twice in the last thirty years.  Our historical tradition of supporting unpopular governments in Egypt and Iran and our long-term, close relationship with Israel, have not endeared the U.S. to the people of the region, that's for sure.  But the clock is ticking (excuse the cliché); ISIL/ISIS/Daesh or whatever you want to call them, have not been really impacted by the Russian intervention in Syria (probably because most of the Russian bombs were dropped on anti-government Syrian groups as opposed to ISIS).  ISIS is increasing its activities in Africa and in the Far East, and I expect we will soon see a more regular pattern to domestic terror events (God forbid).  Still today, on December 9, 2015, the United States is military capable of destroying ISIS on our own.  But a serious effort at building a military coalition, to include our European allies and Russia (who should be told, bluntly, to "get on board or get out of the way"), would a tremendous advantage in eliminating this scourge once and for all.  Why now?  Because if ISIS continues to raise money and recruit, I have no idea how improved their conventional army will become (with modern weapons, tanks, artillery, and possibly and Air element), nor can we accurately gauge how complicated and dangerous the situation will be in the urban and residential areas of Europe and the United States.  Some crusty old General once said, that when you go to war, you must use everything at your disposal, every weapon, no matter how heinous, and you must fight with the utmost aggression and determination.  This is the formula for ending a war quickly, which will save countless lives on both sides, especially when compared to wars that drag on and on and on......

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