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The E Man
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because we don't actually want to defeat isis or stabilize the region

7/16/2016 6:30:49 PM

dtownral
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Today's friendly rebel group is tomorrows extremist terrorist group

7/16/2016 8:30:15 PM

BEU
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Why dont we arm the Kurds to the teeth?

1) Turkey
2) Baghdad

If the Kurds become completely independent could lead to violence with Baghdad. (over oil fields?) At this point if I was Baghdad I would just be glad to have someone who doesn't want to control the country on my Northern Border.

Turkey is fighting the PKK I think. They are different than the YPG/YPJ. If we armed the Kurds to the teeth those weapons fall into the PKK's hands and escalation happens. Having said that, this coup mess is amazing. It could have been legit or completely fake in order to gain more power for President.

Turkey becoming more Islamist is not a good idea. The army is notoriously Secular. The president is terrified of another legit coup and this mini coup could be a step in showing how popular he is amongst the people.

Having said all that. Anti tank weapons of all sorts have already fallen into ISIS/Rebel hands. Its the nature of war that all of that finds its way there. Just not in large enough quantities to be a huge threat to any conventional army.

7/18/2016 10:26:31 AM

BEU
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https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/world/the-scale-of-terrorist-attacks-around-the-world/

I always keep this in mind when our 24/7 news cycle blankets the news with these things.

7/18/2016 1:45:01 PM

Kurtis636
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Welp, an Afghan migrant just attacked people with an axe on a train in Germany.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3696410/Man-attacks-21-people-AXE-train-Germany-shot-police.html?ito=social-twitter_mailonline

[Edited on July 18, 2016 at 6:52 PM. Reason : Fhsjdj]

7/18/2016 6:49:48 PM

Shrike
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http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2016/08/iraq-offensive-2016-mosul-islamic-state-isis-isil-obama-foreign-policy-kurdish-214121

Quote :
"The fight for Mosul will be done by a trifecta of military forces: Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Forces (the controversial Hashd al-Shabi), the Peshmerga and Iraqi Security Forces, large numbers of whom are being trained by U.S. advisers."


Anyone with even cursory knowledge of Iraq's recent history should understand that is a Big Fucking Deal™. In many ways, the rise of ISIS and our reluctance to directly oust them ourselves gave Iraq it's best chance for a stable post-Saddam future. For once, not only do they have a common enemy that isn't us, but they will also have a well trained and most importantly battle tested military to maintain a lasting peace.

8/2/2016 2:57:23 PM

BEU
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In the end countries have to stand up for themselves. Have a reason to unite and cooperate for a important goal.

ISIS gave them that.

The real question is how do the Kurds manage themselves. How does Turkey deal with the fallout of Kurds controlling large parts of Syria. The Kurds don't trust the Iraq forces to protect the people and rightly so.

There should be an extended period of de-tensioning. Of heightened security with forces in place throughout the negotiations following ISIS's military defeat in Mosul and its return to a terrorist/insurgency organization.

Hopefully whatever the hell they decide to do when they regain their border with Syria will allow people in charge to focus on a Syria solution and not get into conflict over Kurdish independence.

8/4/2016 10:14:15 AM

BEU
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http://isis.liveuamap.com/

Turkey coming in from the north. Might occupy the border from Al-Rai to Jarablus. Let the free Syrian army advance. From what Turkey is saying, I imagine the Kurds will end up holding ground as the FSA from Turkey attacks Assad forces from the east.

All of this shows how weak ISIS really is. Surrounded on all sides, cut off from Turkey. Turkey now taking direct action against ISIS also shows its not worried about retaliation.

Coalition is already supporting offensive with air power. Will be really interesting to see front line politics.

Assad is going to watch the FSA/Kurds/Turkey push ISIS out and come up against his forces. At some point someone aligned with Assad will shoot at Americans or allies. Creates a justification for more direct action against him.

In the end, I'm guessing the goal is to ratchet pressure up so high it forces him to negotiate leaving the country. At this point the Kurds control large swaths of Syria. Turkey watching its borders. The FSA is the wild card. They contain extremists in their ranks. That group has a chance to fracture and start infighting or fight Kurds directly.

Its fascinating to watch in almost real time.

[Edited on August 24, 2016 at 4:27 PM. Reason : fdf]

8/24/2016 4:21:47 PM

The E Man
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you forgot the two most powerful forces in the region in your analysis.

8/24/2016 6:26:28 PM

BEU
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I yield the floor to you good sir. I assume Iraq won't violate it's own border for a long while. If it does it's going all the way to raqqa

8/24/2016 6:42:21 PM

The E Man
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I'm talking about Russia and Iran. You are asking the wrong questions. You shouldn't be wondering about how strong or weak isis is but what happens next after they gone? Syria has the legal highground and what happens when they start attacking anything in their territory. What happens when russia supports them? What happens when the kurds hold territory on the turkish border and turkey decides they have to go?
Quote :
"Presidential spokesperson vows Turkey’s border will be 'cleansed of ISIL and YPG'"

Today represents a serious escalation of an illegal war.

8/24/2016 6:54:40 PM

NeuseRvrRat
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sixteen fuckin' times

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/onpolitics/2015/10/30/16-times-obama-said-there-would-no-boots-ground-syria/74869884/

8/24/2016 8:20:58 PM

BEU
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^^obviously.

I didnt intend to comment on what happens after ISIS is contained/strategically defeated in Al Raqqa.

YPG is necessary in the short term just to hold ground. And considering they are reasonably moderate forces, nobody has to look over their shoulder at them. Turkey does not want Assad in power. With the YPG they can have them hold ground effectively while things are maneuvered in the East and South of Syria.

The key with Assad is having a viable alternative to him. You need some stability in order to get some sort of council together to give authority too. To determine if elections take place, etc. But you need everyone to hold ground to stabilize the society.

Russia wants to strengthen itself while weakening America. I don't think it matters what form that takes. If it can accomplish that without Assad then Putin doesn't care if Assad is in power or not. Iran/Hezbollah are the only real stake holders that are directly aligned with Assad. Iran's true leverage are the militias in Iraq and Syria that can be used to threaten stability.

The key is who do you support fighting Assad.

FSA? Turkey? Kurds?

If I had sway I would do the following.

Kurds focus on shaping Al Raqqa area. Iraqi Army captures Mosul by Feb of next year. Leave forces there long enough to establish some stability. Send forces east to maintain a offensive front against ISIS pushing them back to Al Raqqa. Support FSA/Turkey/Kurds in the north allowing them to push ISIS south forcing retreat to Al Raqqa. Jordan/Isreal/Assad hols the east lines. Kurds holds western lines. Then a coalition takes Al Raqqa.

Then everyone stays fucking still and deals with cleansing remnants of ISIS throughout Syria while FSA continues to pressure Assad.

Then someone figures out what to do with the FSA/Assad.

[Edited on August 25, 2016 at 11:00 AM. Reason : fsdf]

8/25/2016 10:59:10 AM

BEU
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^^

Who cares?

8/25/2016 11:57:40 AM

BEU
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8/25/2016 1:21:49 PM

0EPII1
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^ awesome!

hey, do you have a link to the CNN page where the graphic is found?

8/25/2016 6:31:39 PM

The E Man
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I'm interested in hearing more about the Russia/Turkey support double arrow? I know they are major trade partners but is there more to it?

8/25/2016 6:48:02 PM

0EPII1
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https://www.facebook.com/topic/Kayla-Mueller/427657507391992

8/26/2016 12:53:56 PM

Kurtis636
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For those of you who may be interested might I suggest the following podcast:

Sam Harris - waking up podcast #30 from March of this year is a great history. I'm sure many of you either love or hate Harris, I have mixed feelings about the man myself, but this episode is excellent.

His guest was Michael Weiss of the Daily Beast, who was apparently in the region and got to see the way ISIS developed, how they operated, etc. It's from almost 6 months ago, so some of the discussion is a little out of date, but the background stuff is all very informative and important.

8/26/2016 2:24:45 PM

CapnObvious
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Oh good. The US is only attacking ISIS there are no "[o]ther Islamist groups" we are attacking. Phew!

8/26/2016 3:44:45 PM

BEU
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Oh, but we could do nothing!

Or invade again!

8/26/2016 6:07:30 PM

BEU
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http://www.longwarjournal.org/archives/2016/08/2-us-backed-groups-clash-in-northern-syria.php

Ugh

8/29/2016 8:53:30 AM

BEU
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http://isis.liveuamap.com/

http://isis.liveuamap.com/en/2016/17-october-isis-suicide-car-bomb-detonates-next-to-an-iraqi

The tanks couldn't shoot the damn truck. WTF.

But regardless.

So much mess going on atm.

10/17/2016 10:05:29 AM

The E Man
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i'm expecting this to be quick work. isis will probably put down the weapons and blend in until things calm down.

10/17/2016 6:52:39 PM

BEU
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The one thing about how long its taken to get to this point, the coalition has been putting pressure on them constantly. Destroying cash reserves, grinding down the soldiers, cutting off its route through Turkey, losing city after city. Hopefully they want to make a stand in Raqqa. But you're right, there will definitely be insurgents left behind.

10/17/2016 10:06:59 PM

NyM410
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I hear that 40% of territory lost number from time to time. Is that from the peak or over a given time period?

In any case there is no doubt the coalition IS winning the ground battle but not sure this is going to have any net effect on Jihadism in aggregate.

10/18/2016 8:12:50 AM

0EPII1
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http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-37689210

Mosul battle: EU 'should prepare for returning jihadists'

Quote :
"The European Union should be prepared for returning jihadists if the so-called Islamic State (IS) is driven out of its Iraqi stronghold, Mosul, the EU's security commissioner warns.

Julian King told Germany's Die Welt newspaper that even a small number of militants would pose "a serious threat that we must prepare ourselves for".

Iraqi forces launched what is expected to be a lengthy offensive on Monday.

As many as 5,000 IS fighters are believed to remain in Mosul.

There were currently about 2,500 fighters from EU countries in the combat zones, he said.

However, he stressed that it was "very unlikely that there would be a mass exodus of IS fighters to Europe".

Similar cases in the past had shown, he said, that "only a few fighters come back".

"I don't want to talk the risk down," he added. "Even a small number constitutes a threat.""

10/18/2016 11:08:16 AM

The E Man
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hmm i wonder what all of these jihadis are going to do when they can no longer run a government and collect taxes/paychecks

10/18/2016 1:43:33 PM

BEU
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http://www.iraqinews.com/iraq-war/armed-uprising-isis-begins-mosul/

Most of Iraq on some level blames the people of Mosul for letting ISIS in, joining their ranks when they took power. The governments handling of the people of Mosul after the city is taken is key!

You need the tribes of Anbar to hate terrorists more than Baghdad. Hopefully they've learned their lesson with ALQ and ISIS.

The government has to include Anbar in the government in order to prevent resentment. Maliki cannot gain power again.

Dont trust the Iranian militias!

10/18/2016 3:56:01 PM

BEU
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Mosul is looking really bad for any ISIS members that stay.

Patrols are being taken out by citizens forming armed squads.

Snipers are taking out members.

The actual city might be taken more easily than originally thought.

http://www.iraqinews.com/iraq-war/mysterious-fire-devours-isis-headquarters-mosul/

http://www.iraqinews.com/iraq-war/sniper-mosul-pursues-isis-members-4-neighborhoods/

http://www.iraqinews.com/iraq-war/mosul-residents-discover-isis-land-caliphate-map/

The more these attacks happen internally on ISIS the more it encourages the population to do the same.

I mean there are around 1,000,000 citizens left with maybe 5,000 isis fighters.

It would also go a long way for the citizens of Mosul to show the world they tried fighting them before the end in order to show some kind of resistance. Show that they never wanted ISIS there to begin with. Reduce chances of revenge attacks.

10/19/2016 3:36:52 PM

The E Man
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an american died in not combat from an ied in northern iraq. no boots on the ground because they were blown into the sky

10/21/2016 4:16:43 AM

BEU
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If you want a say you have to play.

10/21/2016 8:48:39 AM

The E Man
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who is going to try to run mosul once isis is out?

10/27/2016 5:42:20 PM

BEU
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Kurds and Baghdad have some sort of agreement about how it fleshes out.

Supposedly only Iraqi Army assaults city. So with their guns in control I imagine it would be someone from Baghdad.

Turkey, Iranian Militias are the wild cards.

10/29/2016 6:18:14 PM

The E Man
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we all know how this is going to play out

10/29/2016 6:40:15 PM

BEU
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Do tell

10/30/2016 5:28:46 PM

BEU
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11/2/2016 7:41:29 AM

BEU
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11/11/2016 1:23:39 PM

BEU
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East Mosul soon to be completely controlled.

Militias to the west of Mosul largely cutoff ISIS escape route early on. I think Iraq and US forces wanted ISIS to have that escape route back to Syria largely left untouched to allow more fighters to get out and fight the Syrian regime. Would also reduce resistance Iraq forces encounter.

Going was really hard initially. Large losses to Golden Brigade. After a couple weeks pause, with addition of advisers, and closer coordination between divisions, Iraq's forces are learning how to coordinate advances on more than one front at a time which ISIS can't deal with. Combine that with a hugely successful night raid, Eastern Mosul is more or less captured.

Vehicle IED's have fallen off dramatically as their is a finite number of these. The VIED factories are being taken out when we find them too. Tactics have changed to minimize effectiveness.

Its taken longer than originally planned, but Iraq's forces have to learn to be effective institutions.

It will be interesting to see how they try to tackle western Mosul. Its harder for vehicles with narrower streets and alleys. Do the militias to the west simply stay put and let Iraq's forces take the brunt of losses? Good for Iran, Assad. Or do Iraq forces advance from south, surround western Iraq, and coordinated assaults from East and south happen at the same time?

1/10/2017 5:04:52 PM

NyM410
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Happy Birthday, New Years and Anniversary all rolled in to one!

1/28/2017 2:18:29 PM

kdogg(c)
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ISIS may be coming...but:

1/29/2017 8:55:29 AM

NyM410
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I mean they can take a first class flight from Saudi Arabia if they want to. Or Berlin.

But yeah, lets act like this makes as safer than we were two days ago. I love make believe!

[Edited on January 29, 2017 at 9:39 AM. Reason : X]

1/29/2017 9:38:53 AM

AndyMac
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Isis has been on the ropes for a while, this muslim ban will give them a pretty significant recruitment bump though.

1/29/2017 11:51:02 AM

eleusis
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ISIS is fighting for the right to travel freely to the US?

1/29/2017 5:32:46 PM

Hoffmaster
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How does the ban help ISIS?

1/29/2017 10:52:00 PM

Cabbage
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^

^^^ "this muslim ban will give them a pretty significant recruitment bump though."

1/29/2017 10:53:56 PM

JCE2011
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I'm sure a radical muslim was on the fence about joining Isis to attack America, then saw the temporary ban to prevent people like him from attacking America, and said "How offensive, I'm in".

1/29/2017 10:59:58 PM

TreeTwista10
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The US was the Great Satan long before Trump's EO on immigration. I doubt the brainwashing they put on suicide bomber candidates is highly swayed by some new legislation.

1/29/2017 11:03:00 PM

thegoodlife3
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you think they just brainwash random, unsuspecting people?

1/30/2017 12:46:59 AM

Cabbage
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Quote :
"Indeed, on Saturday, Republican Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham issued a joint statement making that exact point: “Our most important allies in the fight against ISIL are the vast majority of Muslims who reject its apocalyptic ideology of hatred,” the senators explain. “This executive order sends a signal, intended or not, that America does not want Muslims coming into our country. That is why we fear this executive order may do more to help terrorist recruitment than improve our security.”

“Ultimately,” they write, “we fear this executive order will become a self-inflicted wound in the fight against terrorism.”"


http://www.vox.com/world/2017/1/29/14426892/trump-muslim-immigration-refugee-ban-isis-terrorism

1/30/2017 2:25:16 AM

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