Joint Chiefs chair: The Iraqi army’s not going to be able to retake territory lost to ISIS by itself

posted at 6:01 pm on July 3, 2014 by Allahpundit

No reason to doubt him. They’ve been fighting to retake Tikrit for more than a week with little progress.

This sounds like a job for — well, for Iran, actually.

“If you’re asking me, will the Iraqis at some point be able to go back on the offensive to recapture the part of Iraq that they’ve lost, I think that’s a really broad campaign quality question. Probably not by themselves,” Dempsey said. “Does it mean we would have to provide kinetic support? I’m not suggesting that that’s the direction this is headed. But, at any military campaign, you would want to develop multiple access to squeeze ISIL. You’d like to squeeze them from the south and west, you’d like to squeeze them the north, and you’d like to squeeze them from Baghdad. And that’s a campaign that has to be developed.”

“But the first step in developing that campaign is to determine whether we have a reliable Iraqi partner that is committed to growing their country into something that all Iraqis will be willing to participate in. If the answer to that is no, then the future is pretty bleak.”

Translation: If you want U.S. help, it’s time to transition from Maliki to a PM less despised by Sunnis and Kurds. Why would Iran agree to that, though? The consensus, which includes Dempsey himself, seems to be that Baghdad will hold. There are too many Shiites in the capital for ISIS to handle, especially when they’re spread thin trying to hold the Sunni areas they’ve already taken. The most ISIS can probably hope for in Baghdad is to seize some Sunni neighborhoods temporarily and to bleed the Shiites with a terror campaign. From Iran’s perspective, though, aren’t you better off with a Shiite rump state in Baghdad and the south that’s controlled by a proxy like Maliki than with a “unified” Iraq controlled by someone less loyal? The Kurds are probably gone for good anyway, so all you’d be getting in return for making a concession on the new prime minister is nominal unification between the Shiite and Sunni areas. Why not let the Sunnis go and trust that the U.S., the Saudis, Jordan, Turkey, and Kurdistan will keep the jihadis there in check? As long as the Saudis don’t threaten Iran by occupying Anbar province (which may be more likely today than it was yesterday), they can probably live with that area’s independence, no?

Note what Dempsey says too about squeezing ISIS from all directions — the west (Jordan), the south (Saudi Arabia), the north (Turkey and Kurdistan), and Baghdad (Iraqi Shiites and Iran). Hard to imagine those five actors cooperating on a battle plan, but maybe they don’t need formal cooperation. U.S. air assets could attack from Jordan and Saudi Arabia, the peshmerga could push south, and the Shiites could push west. Maybe, in exchange for their help, the Kurds will gain support for formal independence from the other key actors. And once ISIS has been driven back into Syria, Iraq’s Sunni tribesmen can be bought off with Saudi money and promises of their own de facto independence to make sure ISIS has a harder time the next time it tries to come south. Exit question: You trust Iraq’s Shiites to let go of the oil fields in Sunni territory, don’t you?

Update: On second thought, letting Sunnistan go maybe isn’t such an easy call after all.


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Barry O. ♥’s the Caliphate.

albill on July 3, 2014 at 6:05 PM

#diplomacy

Walter L. Newton on July 3, 2014 at 6:06 PM

#RealitySetInAtDCCaliphateHeadquarters

Schadenfreude on July 3, 2014 at 6:07 PM

Hagel and Brennan converted to Islam.

Schadenfreude on July 3, 2014 at 6:08 PM

After all, Baghdad has not fallen; this is mostly Iraqi hinterland, right?

Not yet…and to call the gov’t in Baghdad “feeble” is the understatement of the year. They are only feeble compared to the DC gov’t.

Schadenfreude on July 3, 2014 at 6:10 PM

Sunni vs Shiite…Let the have at it then deal with the winner, kinetically as the General says. But, do help the Kurds out, they are the only sane ones it seems.

major dad on July 3, 2014 at 6:14 PM

And, of course, our guys have been replaced by ActUp.

formwiz on July 3, 2014 at 6:16 PM

Whatever we do can’t take more than three weeks, that being the modern American attention span.

PersonFromPorlock on July 3, 2014 at 6:16 PM

proposed addition to UCMJ:
Anybody who talks about “kinetic” whatever is sentenced to 5 years of KP.

corona79 on July 3, 2014 at 6:18 PM

“I’m a better General than my Generals”!

BacaDog on July 3, 2014 at 6:19 PM

Reading this post made my head hurt.(Reaches for the aspirin…..)

flackcatcher on July 3, 2014 at 6:24 PM

They use the term kinetic now because it doesn’t sound so bad as blow their @$$ up.

major dad on July 3, 2014 at 6:26 PM

Obama: “Yay!”

The MSM: “It’s Malia’s birthday! Everybody celebrate!”

Ward Cleaver on July 3, 2014 at 6:31 PM

Joint Chiefs chair: The Iraqi army’s not going to be able to retake territory lost to ISIS by itself


See
the text highlighlighted in bold?

Ok, the easiest way I know to post graphics if you are a commenter/commoner:

https://twitter.com/PolAgnostic/status/484173578192318464/photo/1

Posted as a “bare” link for the people as paranoid as me ;)

The graphic shows the map of how ISIS envisions its Caliphate.

Question: Is there ANYONE outside the Obama Administration dumb enough to believe the Russians and the Chinese, both of whom have major Islam problems, are going to let the BULK of the world’s proven oil reserves be inside of this proposed caliphate?

Follow up: How many nuclear warheads on how many missiles do the Russians and Chinese have between them?

I am only asking to counterpoint the “can’t think past next week shortsightedness” of the KneePad Media Narrative.

At this point the question isn’t:

You trust Iraq’s Shiites to let go of the oil fields in Sunni territory, don’t you?

.
The question is how long before TWO global players get tired of the chickenshit games being played over small pieces of desert?

PolAgnostic on July 3, 2014 at 6:34 PM

“I’m a better General than my Generals”!

BacaDog on July 3, 2014 at 6:19 PM

Yes, but they’re better politicians. How do you think they got to be generals?

DFCtomm on July 3, 2014 at 6:36 PM

But the first step in developing that campaign is to determine whether we have a reliable Iraqi partner what’s in it for us. Are we going to re-establish a base, stronger diplomatic relationships and leave a residual force to gaurd against another repeat in the future, or are we simply pacifying one set of terrorists on behalf of another?”

Recon5 on July 3, 2014 at 6:38 PM

Joint Chiefs chair: The Iraqi army’s not going to be able to retake territory lost to ISIS by itself

…play a round of golf for it!

JugEarsButtHurt on July 3, 2014 at 6:42 PM

Chuck Hagel: ‘Point this place out again on the map!’

This sounds like a job for — well, for Iran, actually.

Great, let them deal with it..or Putin…Chicago Jesus has better things to do….Fore!!!!

BigWyo on July 3, 2014 at 6:44 PM

Joint Chiefs chair: The Iraqi South Vietnamese army’s not going to be able to retake territory lost to ISIS the Viet Cong by itself

Simple recycling.

rbj on July 3, 2014 at 6:44 PM

Here’s my plan.

1. Let them unify into a caliphate
2. Give the caliphate UN membership
3. Issue stern letters until they comply

That’ll fix’em.

BobMbx on July 3, 2014 at 7:29 PM

That’s OK General, the Iranians and Russians will help.

metprof on July 3, 2014 at 7:32 PM

Too bad.

Maybe Maliki shouldn’t have been such a d!ckhead.

John the Libertarian on July 3, 2014 at 7:47 PM

You blathering jerkwater, how about all the American land you lost to Mexico?

VorDaj on July 3, 2014 at 7:52 PM

As horrendous as so many government computer systems are, including the mega cluster fark called ObamaCare Healthcare-dot-gov fiasco, they pale by comparison to the DOD’s computer system called ‘Brilliant General’.
This computer system was suppose to achieve super human artificial intelligence and combine the strategic and tactical brilliance of Sun Tzu, Niccolo Machiavelli, Charles Martel and George S. Patton, as well as Mohammad Ali’s “Float like a Butterfly, Sting like a Bee”.

But instead this system turned out to have been so ineptly designed that after 9/11 instead of calling for an attack on Saudi Arabia, where 3/4 of the terrorist murderers came from and where most of the money for hate madrases comes from, and confiscating their oil fields as financial compensation, it called for overthrowing Iran’s greatest enemy in Iraq, the Sunnis, and handing it over to Iran’s fellow Shiites there, and trying to turn 7th century goat fornicators in Afghanistan into Jeffersonian democrats.. It’s operation cost has now topped around 2 trillion dollars and 6,000 lives, and many thousands of limbs and no small number of genitals from IEDs, and it hasn’t been unplugged yet.

The computer system called “Brilliant General” has now commanded that it be referred to reverently as the COIN God. I think it has threatened to blow up the Pentagon if anyone does try to unplug it and has already released chemicals into the ventilation system that have lowered the IQ of most everyone there by at least one full standard deviation, and in fact, throughout the Washington D.C. area, as a warning that it must be saluted and obeyed.

VorDaj on July 3, 2014 at 8:00 PM

Sounds to me like the JCS has just declared Iraq to be “SOL”.

rplat on July 3, 2014 at 8:15 PM

Looks like Iraq needs to up its game.

BobMbx on July 3, 2014 at 8:31 PM

ISIS has to be kept out of Baghdad, and there may be a need for an American force to defend Baghdad from any ISIS attacks from the north and west. The Shiites in Baghdad and to the south would probably fight any ISIS fighters trying to get to the south of Baghdad, and the Kurds could harry them on the eastern flank of the ISIS-controlled area.

If Obama is not willing to make another “surge” to re-take the Sunni triangle, the best strategy may be containment–keep ISIS out of Baghdad by defending the northern and western parts of Baghdad (with Iraqi Shiite help), and let the Kurds contain ISIS to the east. The only supply lines for ISIS are from Syria across the desert, which could be easy targets for U.S. airstrikes.

Perhaps the best way of getting rid of the “great caliphate” of northwestern Iraq is to surround it and starve it out of its misery.

Steve Z on July 3, 2014 at 8:35 PM

Obama was their ally. He deserves most of the credit for the al Qaeda gains of recent years ( Arab Spring ). But not long ago, in Syria and Benghazi, he realized what the hell he created. The jihadists realized Obama was no longer any use to them and went into Iraq, which was hands-off as long as they could keep Obama fighting for them.

Buddahpundit on July 3, 2014 at 9:48 PM

Barry says it’s time for those Iraqis to man up – they’re only going against a JV team – so what’s the big deal?

Hill60 on July 3, 2014 at 10:34 PM

I’m thinking that all you need is to tell the Kurds “whatever you can take from Iraq, we’ll make you give back — whatever you take from ISIS, you can keep.”

cthulhu on July 3, 2014 at 10:57 PM

I wish the joint chiefs would divert their attention to doing what they’re supposed to do.

The Rogue Tomato on July 3, 2014 at 10:59 PM

Anytime a Democrat is in power, the world goes up in flames…

Carter, need I say more ?

JMG

Gauthijm on July 4, 2014 at 6:54 AM

Why do you gotta rush in and “save” Iraq? Let the monkeys toss poo at each other, and when all is done you can continue to buy oil from the remaining monkey, in whatever mud hut he ends up living in… Iraq, or “Sunnistan”, or Kurdistan, or whoever else.

And if any country in the region is at risk (i.e. Jordan), let the Arab League deal with it. They’ve got US tanks and jets and other toys, they’ve got their big boy pants, their patriotism, let them do the work for once.

AlexB on July 4, 2014 at 9:05 AM

As I have said repeatedly, no matter what the Muslim majority may (or may not) think, fanatics are in control everywhere in the Muslim world. Therefore ANY regime change ANYWHERE simply means EXCHANGING ONE SET OF FANATICS FOR ANOTHER. This same principal would also apply to helping any Islamic regime (in trouble) anywhere–at great American expense and lives you would be supporting an UNSATISFACTORY status quo.

Because fanatics are in control everywhere, THE MUSLIM RELIGION ITSELF MUST BEAR THE BLAME. the general rule should be-No American involvement unless you ban the religion and re-educate the people–otherwise it would be like overthrowing Hitler but leaving the Nazi ideology intact.

MaiDee on July 4, 2014 at 9:40 AM

ISIS is the best thing to happen for the US in the middle east. It diverts the players attention there from the US. They kill each other, plot against each other, and destroy each others infrastructure — at minimal cost to us.

The Russians and the Chinese are probably going nuts trying to figure out who is the evil genius behind the scenes in the US who got all this going. They know it isn’t Barky or Vallerie. But they know that the US funded ISIS and provided them with weapons (by destroying the governing structures in Libya, by running weapons via the CIA in Libya, and by providing direct funding for rebel forces in Syria of which ISIS was one).

So yeah — the US enabled ISIS; and the Russians and Chinese (and the Iranians) know it. By this point they are frantically trying to figure out who is running things in the US. No one is going to believe it was all happenstance, accident, and luck. And they know Barky is an idiot — he didn’t plan it. He is just the figurehead, the cardboard prop out front.

(This is the point where the conspiracy theorists come out of the woodwork and tell us all about the Juice being behind it all.)

SunSword on July 4, 2014 at 9:48 AM

I’m sure our Army did a better job at training those Iraq troops than this. They must not have kept up with the training or readyness since we left. This is what’s going to happen over the last 2 years of the Won’s regime to our soldiers. Who ya gonna call when the terrorists start to call on our land.

Kissmygrits on July 4, 2014 at 11:45 AM

I’m sure our Army did a better job at training those Iraq troops than this. They must not have kept up with the training or readyness since we left. This is what’s going to happen over the last 2 years of the Won’s regime to our soldiers. Who ya gonna call when the terrorists start to call on our land.

Kissmygrits on July 4, 2014 at 11:45 AM

Trouble is, many of the military leaders we trained were Sunni, and Makiki purged them asap when we left. Remember, he had his Sunni vice-president tossed in jail 24 hours after we left.

So, the Iraqi military is run by Shiite political appointees, who have no particular military training. Small wonder they flee combat!

Any projections when Iran will proclaim itself (and what’s left of Shiite Iraq) a Shia Caliphate?

ReggieA on July 4, 2014 at 10:30 PM

I’m sure our Army did a better job at training those Iraq troops than this. They must not have kept up with the training or readyness since we left. This is what’s going to happen over the last 2 years of the Won’s regime to our soldiers. Who ya gonna call when the terrorists start to call on our land.

Obi wan kan-hope screws the pooch again!!!!

http://newsbusters.org/sites/default/files/2012/Obama%20Wan.jpg

pc253 on July 4, 2014 at 11:09 PM

Not to sound cheerful about it, or pat us on the back, but it all seems so perfectly clear now, just as it did in the run-up to 2008. This administration will go down in history with some unique notes. As Bush will be remembered as a man of deep Christian conviction and unshakable commitment, along with a poorly considered plan in Iraq, O’Bozo (“The Clown President”) will be remembered for:

- The great disappointment to skin-color voters of both parties;
- The most overrated intellect in modern social history;
- Two hilariously incompetent Secretaries of State;
- A hilariously incompetent administration, from top to bottom, and especially O’Bozo’s strange refusal to ever fix anything (see HHS hag Sebelius);
- A hilariously incompetent Secretary of Defense;
- The bizarre Rasputin-like Valerie Jarrett, the “vacuous cipher”;
- Moochelle.

Jaibones on July 5, 2014 at 11:56 AM

Stay out of the Sunni/Shia war. This is Iran vs. Saudi (plus Hashemite Jordan).

Intramural fight. Not our problem.

mojo on July 5, 2014 at 12:58 PM

So yeah — the US enabled ISIS; and the Russians and Chinese (and the Iranians) know it. By this point they are frantically trying to figure out who is running things in the US.

(This is the point where the conspiracy theorists come out of the woodwork and tell us all about the Juice being behind it all.)

SunSword on July 4, 2014 at 9:48 AM

Excellent summary. Both Ivan and Chang know very well that Bawreck O’bummer is not the one running the show, and as ISIS is a very credible threat they have to scramble who’s the puppetmaster.

As for “the Juice”, they sure are benefiting from it, but so is the rest of the civilized world so that line doesn’t go very far. And since American Jews (who voted him in) are laughable on dedication to Judaism one can hardly point to that either!

LawfulGood on July 6, 2014 at 12:34 PM