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Thursday, September 11, 2014
Iraq / Syria Regional War Watch ( September 11 , 2014 ) - President Obama speech highlights evergrowing " Mission Sprint " toward US involvement into Syria Civil War and further involvement in Iraq Conflict ...
Obama insisted hunting ISIS anywhere on the planet is a “core principle of my presidency,” and made a move that has been considered likely for a couple of weeks now as the war expands.
The administration has beenlaying the groundwork for attacks inside Syria for quite some time now, whether to attack the Assad government, as was the plan last year, or to attack ISIS, as they now intend.
Yet, the administration has rested the legality of its attacks inside Iraq on being “invited” by what passes for an Iraqi government there, and in Syria, while the Assad government has expressed openness to coordination, the US has ruled it out.
Which is in keeping with what literally every nation on the planet would do, but as the administration tries to build up a huge, but ultimately feckless, “coalition” to fight ISIS, they want to keep Syria and Iran away from it in favor of the Saudis and other GCC countries which want to bankroll Syria’s various other rebels.
That’s where the new US war in Syria is going to get extremely complicated, as those arms for “moderate rebels” are ending up in ISIS hands, something those US allies have been perfectly willing to ignore in the name of ousting Assad, and will continue to push Syria toward more and more factions fighting with more and more foreign arms.
President Obama’s major Wednesday speech on the new war against ISIS tried to assure the American public, even as he is expanding a new open-ended Iraq War into neighboring Syria, that there will be “coalition partners” doing the real fighting on the ground.
Yet the nations cobbled together so far, mostly NATO members, haven’t actually committed to do anything, and while a few nations like France and Britain have floated the idea of sending warplanes, none are expected to send ground troops. Secretary of State John Kerry’s tour of the Middle East is unlikely to secure any tangible support either, beyond financial pledges for Syrian rebel factions already being bankrolled by the GCC.
Rather, the “boots on the ground” in this major new war are likely to be exclusively the Iraqi and Kurdish forces already there in the near-term, as the US continues to build up its own presence on the ground for what, despite all promises to the contrary, is going to be an American ground war.
President Obama made it clear that the air war is just “stage one” of the war, but the future assumptions that the heavy lifting of the ground war is going to be carried out by some coalition partners is sheer fantasy. The war is, and was always going to be, America’s to fight.
The scramble for the buildup began awhile ago, with the Pentagon already putting out feelers for contractors to support an open-ended conflict in Iraq. Announcements of a few hundred new troops for Iraq, including 475 announced at tonight’s speech, are happening pretty much weekly now.
With the president continuing to try to pretend this isn’t taking the US straight down the road to a new ground war in Iraq (and Syria), the policy continues to be sneaking as many ground troops in under the radar as quickly as possible, while continuing to scare the public about the ISIS threat so that when the ground war begins in earnest, they are too frightened to object.
Iraqi Kurdistan’s political leadership, under intense pressure from the Obama Administration, give its backing to the new Iraqi central government, but that doesn’t mean they’re on board unconditionally, and the big issue of oil revenue remains unresolved.
The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) hasrejected the proposed Abadi government oil plan, which is to pay “installments” on past oil exports to the Kurdish government going forward.
The KRG is owed nearly $8 billion since January, when Iraq cut them off from promised oil payments over export disputes. The Kurds tried to export oil on their own to make up the difference, but threats of lawsuits by Iraq have made buyers tough to come by.
Iraq maintains they just don’t have the money anymore because of their budget shortfall, and is also trying to condition the “installment” payments on Kurdistan agreeing to once again give the central government a monopoly on production and exports.
Abadi may have the Kurds on board for the time being, but keeping them there is no guarantee they will remain there if the oil dispute, as well as territorial disputes over Kirkuk, remain unresolved.
As the administration continues to expand the scope of the ISIS war far beyond its initial presentation to the American public, the administration’s leadership is also picking up their hysterical rhetoric, trying to justify the conflict.
President Obama has continued to promise to destroy ISIS “wherever they exist,” while he and Secretary of State John Kerry continue to present the group as a massive threat to the whole world, and one with no ideology of their own, but simply vision-less, irredeemable evil whose sole purpose is to be the latest dragon for the US to go forth and slay.
The rhetoric of the threat is also beingmatched by the claims about the largely fictional global coalition that the US is supposedly leading in this huge new conflict.
Promises that the US won’t get dragged into a ground war in Iraq seem to be getting dialed back a bit by President Obama, who in tonight’s speech insisted only that the US troops couldn’t be in direct combat, while Kerry conceded that US troops might be committed to a ground war in “extreme circumstances.”
That’s a telling bit of rhetoric, as the administration has been working tirelessly to convince the public that extreme circumstances already exist in Iraq, and they continue to send more troops, a few hundred at a time, building up the eventual ground force for this war.