‘Top advisors predict a long, very long campaign’ in Iraq

posted at 8:41 am on August 8, 2014 by Noah Rothman

“We don’t understand real evil, organized evil very well,” said America’s former ambassador to Iraq and Afghanistan, Ryan Crocker, in an interview with The New York Times. “This is evil incarnate.”

“People like [Islamic State commander] Abu Bakar al-Baghdadi have been in a fight for a decade,” he added. “They are messianic in their vision, and they are not going to stop.”

President Barack Obama authorized military strikes on select targets in Iraq on Thursday aimed only to halt the Islamic State’s advance on the cities of Erbil, the Kurdish capital in the north, and Baghdad. At the same time, however, the president continues to assure the American public that this is not the start of a third Iraq War. For the time being, the introduction of American ground forces has been ruled out.

American military commanders seem to think that the president’s strategy of using airpower alone to reduce the threat posed by the Islamic State fighters is insufficient.

“We must neutralize this enemy,” Army Lt. Gen. Mick Bednarek, U.S. chief of the Office of Security and Cooperation-Iraq told a Military Times reporter. “This is not just an Iraqi issue. This is not just a regional issue.”

He added that, as even those only familiar with the threat posed by the Islamic State through media accounts know, this organization “is not just a violent extremist organization.”

“This is an army,” Bednarek added, “and it takes an army to defeat an army.”

Regardless of the assurances the president has made to a war-weary public, a report in CBS This Morning on Friday indicates that American military officials are aware of just how comprehensive a military campaign aimed at neutralizing this fundamentalist threat will have to be.

“Senior officials describe ISIL forces as swift, effective, and capable of carrying out military mission with quote ‘tremendous military proficiency,’” CBS news reporter Major Garrett reported. “The Iraqi army and Kurdish fighters have been no match for them. Now, from the air, the U.S. will join the fight. Top advisers predict a long, very long military campaign.”

CBS reporter David Martin noted that the humanitarian airlift operation “could foreshadow a much larger military campaign.” He noted that at least 150 American military advisors and an “unknown number of diplomats” remain in Erbil, a city under siege by Islamic State forces.

“Until this week, the Kurdish region had been considered so secure that the United States had chosen it as one of two Iraqi locations safe enough to transfer staffers from the U.S. Embassy in Iraq. But a sense of dread fell over the Kurdish capital on Thursday as the magnitude of the Islamic State threat became clear,” read a McClatchy news report revealing the fear that has overtaken that Iraqi city.

Military officials are already indicating that strikes in Iraq could be far broader than what the president described. “One senior administration official suggested that could include strikes on militants that have captured Iraq’s largest dam near Mosul,” a Wall Street Journal report read.

“We’re laying down a marker here,” an unnamed administration official said. “Just their presence…and the potential threat they pose could lead us to take action if targets present themselves.”

UPDATE: The first strikes on ISIS targets are already underway, according to the Pentagon:


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Comment pages: 1 2 3

I don’t care what happens as long as I can deflect blame away from my god-king.

-ThisWeedIsTooGood

Meremortal on August 8, 2014 at 5:17 PM

This is the fault of Obama and the voters who chose him. They knew what would happen.

Perspicacious on August 8, 2014 at 5:30 PM

Top. Men.

faraway on August 8, 2014 at 5:30 PM

Western civilization can spend the next decade ( if we last that long ) trying to contain and defeat the Jihadist forces of Islam. We can keep struggling in the quest for the Democratization of Islamic states which we already did and failed at after investing billions in money and blood.

We can try to strengthen the so-called ‘moderate branches of Islam, if there is one. They’re either being cowed Into silence or winking and nodding to their Islamic brothers.

We can continue to use drones and special forces and police actions but so far that hasn’t been effective. The violent Jihadists reproduce faster than we can neutralize them. We can try making nice with the organizations of ‘Soft-Jihadists’ who advance Sharia and Jihad through usually peaceful and legal means (like the Muslim Brotherhood Obama an McCain have been backing for the last six years) but that backfired.

The problem of violent Islamic Jihad is more widespread and virulent today than it was even at the height of its glory days when Hordes of Jihadists Advanced on Spain and other parts of Europe, something happening again even at this moment. For Over 1400 years of Jihadist violence, of murder and enslavement, forced conversions, and abuse Of women and children …and yet still In this modern day and age Islam remains more a retro-sixth century ideology of bloody conquest than anything resembling a religion of peace and harmony.

The world can’t wait for this backward cult of Muhammad to somehow ‘reform’ itself. Not when nuclear and chemical weapons of Jihad very soon will be within the reach Of religious psychopaths and end-of-days fanatics who yearn for martyrdom.

When a beehive is burnt the surviving bees are dispersed. Certainly there are many angry bees initially but then they lose their ability to sting and just scatter into the countryside and soon die. There’s a lesson in this. The hive is in Mecca. It’s called the Kaaba. Or we can continue getting stung for the rest of history!

RasThavas on August 8, 2014 at 5:54 PM

And no country in the world saying or doing anything. They are watching Iraq divisions being taken over by ISIS group and not a finger moved to help. Shame on every Country was responsible for destroying Iraq.

pambi on August 8, 2014 at 5:13 PM

Really sorry about this but how can over 10 years of help not count? Defend your own damn country. So sorry.

2L8 on August 8, 2014 at 5:57 PM

‘Top advisors predict a long, very long campaign’ in Iraq

Putting on my Democrat hat: Why can’t Obama just give peace a chance!!!

RJL on August 8, 2014 at 6:01 PM

2L8 on August 8, 2014 at 5:57 PM

Understand.
That was the view from a persecuted nun, so can’t blame her on that.

pambi on August 8, 2014 at 6:19 PM

Saddam Hussein would have taken care of ISIS in less than 24 hours.
This part of the world is best ruled by a dictator.
Another reason why we should have never been in Iraq.
This would have been Saddam’s problem. Now it’s the problem of the American tax payer.

weedisgood on August 8, 2014 at 3:26 PM

That’s then, this is now. I’m asking you for your personal opinion. Not the whole body politic or the rest of the American taxpayers.

I’ll ask you again. Should we do something NOW to protect the estimated 40 thousand people that may be executed and/or starved to death through a siege?

A simple yes or no would suffice.

Walter L. Newton on August 8, 2014 at 6:49 PM

Crocker’s statement, “We don’t understand real evil… very well” may come as a shock to most Americans, who might believe that the leaders they elect and the military officers they pay are supposed to understand the evils of the nation’s enemies. If the Obama administration does not understand evil, it may not be able to stop it from expanding from the Middle East to the United States.

Be very afraid…

Colony14 on August 8, 2014 at 7:20 PM

Will the military go back to reclaim the victory in Iraq bought in their blood and then consciously, politically and cynically squandered by Mr. Obama or might they just tell him, “Sir, with all due respect, pound sand”. With the shameful way he has treated the military and their sacrifices perhaps the professional senior officers and NCOs may be willing to do it again but how about the junior enlisted men whom we call upon to do the bulk of the fighting and dying? Sadly for our country that day may come.

Mason on August 8, 2014 at 7:43 PM

Weediswreckingbraincells…and if your father had pulled out…?

CW on August 8, 2014 at 8:23 PM

Yeah, our chance to end this quickly left the building about a year ago.

Count to 10 on August 8, 2014 at 8:51 PM

‘Top advisors predict a long, very long campaign’ in Iraq

No shit sherlock, even people on this site who are NOT “top advisors” said that ISIS needs to be bombed months ago, before they got to civilian population areas. Too late now. All the US can do is bomb them when they poke their heads out.

redguy on August 8, 2014 at 9:31 PM

Crocker’s statement, “We don’t understand real evil… very well” may come as a shock to most Americans, who might believe that the leaders they elect and the military officers they pay are supposed to understand the evils of the nation’s enemies. If the Obama administration does not understand evil, it may not be able to stop it from expanding from the Middle East to the United States.

Be very afraid…

Colony14 on August 8, 2014 at 7:20 PM

The Obama administration is evil……

They are taking notes on what ISIS is doing and will use their playbook on Americans when the time comes.

redguy on August 8, 2014 at 9:32 PM

Biden’s partition plan is starting to make sense

weedisgood on August 8, 2014 at 10:14 PM

Send Malia over to kick ‘em in the head…..

Realdemocrat1 on August 9, 2014 at 12:36 AM

Since Liberals won’t send their kids over to fight the Russians, maybe they’ll send them over to smash ISIS……

Realdemocrat1 on August 9, 2014 at 12:40 AM

That’s then, this is now. I’m asking you for your personal opinion. Not the whole body politic or the rest of the American taxpayers.

I’ll ask you again. Should we do something NOW to protect the estimated 40 thousand people that may be executed and/or starved to death through a siege?

A simple yes or no would suffice.

Walter L. Newton on August 8, 2014 at 6:49 PM

We cannot be in Iraq forever. Time for the Iraqis to provide their own security.

weedisgood on August 9, 2014 at 10:43 AM

I expect a campaign as well…with peoples lives.

tomas on August 9, 2014 at 2:17 PM

The real question is will the next president spend his/her first term incessantly whining and crying like a baby about that which (s)he has inherited from the predecessor?

A: depends… democrat or a Republican?

Tard on August 9, 2014 at 3:00 PM

We cannot be in Iraq forever. Time for the Iraqis to provide their own security.
weedisgood on August 9, 2014 at 10:43 AM

That’s a “no”. Because. We. Just. Don’t. Care.

At least if we have weed.

applebutter on August 10, 2014 at 5:58 PM

Gerrrrr. I read on a Kurd English site that all that aid we air dropped to those staring people on the mountain, the Yazid. Well it was air dropped from 15,000 with no parachutes and exploded on impact destroying everything. I have tremendous respect for the USAF and really hope this isn’t true. What idiot drops it’s cargo from 15,000 without a parachute.

mike3121 on August 10, 2014 at 6:37 PM

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