Commentary on the economic , geopolitical and simply fascinating things going on. Served occasionally with a side of snark.
Thursday, November 13, 2014
Iraq / Syria Regional War Watch ( November 13 , 2014 ) - US now going to focus on removing Assad ( while secretly coordinating with Assad's Military to bomb ISIS in Syria ? ) Daily Updates on the Iraq Battlefield and items of note ( H/T Anti War ) ...... Tweets of the Day !
The Obama Administration today realized what everyone else has known for quite some time, that their strategy in the new ISIS war in simply not working. Unfortunately, they seem to be shifting toward even deeper escalation of the war, particularly in Syria.
Instead, the new Syria strategy appears to be the military removal of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, even though his forces are the major significant anti-ISIS force inside Syria, and officials now seem to believe that ousting Assad first and cobbling together a new regime from the non-existent “moderate” factions that the Pentagon is supposed to be creating, is the key to the war.
Which is to say that the war is even less tenable than it was before, as between attacks on ISIS, Nusra, and Islamic Front fighters, and now the Assad government, the US is fighting materially all of the combat forces inside Syria at the same time, even the ones that are aligned with their publicly-stated goals.
Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R – GA) cheered the announcement, while pushing for further escalation, insisting the war needed more boots on the ground. Chambliss was similarly vague on how this new strategy would even conceivably work, saying only that the US would have to hope some moderate faction would emerge and benefit the US in some unforeseen way.
The policy, in that regard, isn’t so much changed as simply escalated, as US policy has from the start been to do things that don’t make any sense, and to keep fingers crossed that their war will be won in spite of themselves.
At least 322 were killed across Iraq today, and 49 more were wounded. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Haider al-Abadifired 26 Iraqi commanders for corruption and incompetence. Also, Iraq is facing a worsening food crisis and needs support in planning next year’s wheat harvest. The country already imports a significant amount of its wheat, but with many of Iraq’s recently displaced being farmers, that amount could rise dramatically.
Iraqi Premier Hayder Abadi has continued the government’s purge of army commanders seen as responsible for the decisive defeats the Iraqi military suffered at the hands of ISIS over the summer, a policy started by former PM Nouri al-Maliki.
Abadi announced today that 26 military commanders were being fired for corruption, incompetence, or both. This followed a sermon by Iraqi Shi’ite leader Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani blasted the Iraqi military’s corruption.
Sistani’s sermon blamed corruption for the loss of large portions of the nation’s west to ISIS, and added to the push to speed up a purge aimed at purging the nation’s least competent military leaders.
The question, however, is how many of the purged leaders are actually involved in the fight with ISIS, and how many are being purged for political reasons. Either way, there is a risk that such moves will worsen the already atrocious morale problem in the Iraqi military.