Monday, November 7, 2016

Once upon a time before this age of video games, cell phones and 24 hour continuous cable television, there were four television stations and they all went off around midnight to a hollow vapid medium pitch tone with the picture of an Indian in the background.  This was a period in which if you were not outside playing and being active, if you were inside and not reading you were playing a game with your family of friends. Typically this was either in cards but mainly board games.  One such board game which was one of my favorites was Risk. Made by Parker Brothers, Risk is a strategy board that has three main objectives: to control entire continents to get reinforcement armies, to protect and watch ones borders and to protect and defend against other neighboring armies/nations that could attack you and building up ones military on their own borders for defensive purposes.
It was a heated game and brought the best and worst out in most people whom played it, with each player accumulating and stacking up those little squares in anticipation of a possible impending attack. In risk, a player has the best chance of winning if the hold continents since this is the best way to increase reinforcements. Players often attempt to gain control of Australia early in the game, since Australia is the only continent that can be successfully defended via heavy fortification (continents with fewer borders are easier to defend).

The battle for Mosul is on after Obama announcing out loud it would be eventually taking place before the end of 2016. The way I am seeing this adventure in Mosul is just like a game of Risk.  To take the city you have to first get past all of the villages on the outskirts of the city. Imagine having to go through Newnan or Smyrna, Georgia to get to Atlanta.  But in this city, every road like Peachtree Street has IEDs buried all through them and on every roof there is a sniper. If you manage to get through this, in the back of your mind you know that the cats that have been there have been dug in for two years, that they have the advantage.

The West of Mosul is the old city and from what I have been told, it will be difficult for anyone to go in and fight there – can’t drive Humvees or Tanks because the roads are too tight and thin and ISIS is going to put a stiff front against the U.S.- Iraqi coalition forces as they enter.

This doesn’t even include considering the post conflict environment in Mosul, which will be a very difficult path itself to navigate. I mean, you can’t remove 1.5 million Mosul residents for a few thousand ISIS militants and we can’t make the same mistakes we did by allowing Iraqi security forces to completely demolish everything in sight as we did in Fallujah, Ramadi or Tikrit (or it will set the same conditions that allowed ISIS to grow in the first place), unless it is the Obama Administration goal to push ISIS west into Syria. The danger of this however is that it will take a very long time to get ISIS out of Mosul and the civilians will suffer disproportionately.

How Mosul will be governed after or if ISIS leaves is another query.  Has the Obama team thought about it – a city predominantly Sunni and Iraqi security forces predominately Shia? This will be a very extremely complicated task for we will approach this act as if it is a typical Western intervention and a typical Arab city.  Unfortunately Mosul isn’t your average Arab city. It is a very multi-cultural city centered between Syria and Turkey.  It is a very diverse city filled with Sunni, Shiite, Kurds, Christians. Taking one bank of the Tigris River will be easy, but to take the entire city, will be something that will take a long time.  Which reminds me again, what the after plan is if and/or after Mosul falls?  How will the US coalition deal with a large Iraqi Force, a large Kurdish force and the desire that Shia militia have to get in on the action? All which are paramount issues that worry the Turks (Sunni), who are as we speak training anti-ISIS fighters in the strategic town of Bashiqa and want to enter Mosul and engage in battle. They are vehemently against Shia militias taking part in any fighting in the city; for Erdogan has openly said he thinks Mosul should be a city for Sunni Turkmen, Sunni Kurds and Sunni Arabs.

Turkey already has troops in Iraq and they are not welcomed nor were invited by the Iraqi government. They are not very diplomatic because they claim that Mosul is a Turkish city while at the same time Kurds want autonomy in Iraq, especially Mosul and display even stronger and similar feelings as it pertains to in Norther Iraq.

Turkish military is also training Sunni tribes with the hope of keeping a migration from Mosul to Turkey from occurring. The Peshmerga (Kurds) are coming in from the east heading west to make sure they keep folk from going to Kurdistan and Shia militias are on the West to keep ISIS from going into Syria. Yes, this is a big old game of Risk.

And what of the U.S.? Well after getting rid of Saddam Hussein, they city still lacks consistent running water and consistent electricity due to the U.S. invasion as is the case for most of Iraq and the anti U.S. animosity remains high. For many Iraqis, the U.S. has not only failed to make life better than it was under Saddam Hussein, it has made daily living worse. Strangely, before ISIS took root in Mosul, it was touted as being more secure than Baghdad. Presently, ISIS has every vehicle, building, child, cat and dog rigged with explosives and if success is to be had in Mosul, it will be a street by street, neighborhood by neighborhood, house by house dog fight.

If America continues on this path of the feckless Obama-Clinton – Bush-Rumsfeld foreign policy approach, President Obama could be leaving his predecessor another Aleppo. Not only is the Iraqi government corrupt as all get out, none of the cats doing the fighting trust each other (U.S. military, Kurdish Peshmerga, Turks or Shia militias).

In all honesty, if Mosul is liberated, it will be the start of a bigger war and an excuse for the Obama administration to move into Syria which I believe is his true desire albeit we ALL know Washington hasn’t planned properly nor is ready for such an event (See Libya and Yemen). I may be wrong, but you tell me if the present administration, like the prior, has outlined any strategic goals or objectives for achieving such and dealing with the aftermath other than aerial bombardments? And if I am correct, it will be more wasting of the loot of the American people when our problems should be first and foremost on the table for solution finding regarding our struggling economy.

Mosul is problematic. Not only is there no central command, without the U.S., Kurds and Shia militias, the Iraqi Security Forces would never be able to take the city on their own and would probably run as they did when ISIS first entered Iraq. Add this to the tangible hatred between all involved, it would be highly unlikely for everybody, in particular when you throw the Turks in the mix, not to just end up shooting at each other. Even if this doesn’t manifest, what is consistent is that it will represent regardless of the outcome, more failed U.S. foreign policy and more dead bodies and destroyed communities since our only answer is to just give out weapons to whoever we decide to support, not based on logic nor the interest of the people living in the Middle east

And you can best believe if Hillary Clinton becomes the president elect, the D.C. neocon and neoliberal foreign policy establishment will be salivating for more U.S. intervention which would probably be in the form of a no-fly zone, that would not save anyone or help the people on the ground or get rid of ISIS, but rather cause more problems and maybe even a direct confrontation with Syria, Russia and Iran. But if I were optimist I would speculate that, we may get rid of ISIL in Mosul, eventually, but what will come next after them to fill the void is my concern.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for sharing in this article, I can a lot and could also be a reference I hope to read the next your article update


Torrance T. Stephens. Powered by Blogger.

I am Author, Writer and Infectious Disease Scientist. Originally from Memphis, Tennessee.

My Old Blog & [Bitcoin Wallet]

Torrance T. Stephens on Google Scholar
Torrance T. Stephens on Research Gate







Worth A Read
24 Hr Gold
Adeyinka Makinde, Writer
Advancing Time
http://Afghanistan Times
Africa Confidential
African Independent
Ahval News
Al-Alam News Network
Al-Ayham Saleh Aggregator
American Partisan
Anadolu Agency
ANF News
Another Day In The Empire
Antonius Aquinas
The Arab Weekly
Asharq Al Awsat English
Antonius Aquinas
Article V Blog
Bakhtar News English
Bill Mitchell Blog
Borneo Bulletin
CAJ News Africa
Catalan News
Chuck Spinney
Center for Economic and Policy Research
Crime Prevention Research Center
24 Cryptogon
Dawn News
Deep Throat
Der Spiegel International Online
Diogenes Middle Finger
Dollar Collapse
Donbass International News Agency
EA WorldView
Economist View
Egypt Independent
Empty Wheel
eNews Channel Africa
Fabius Maximus
First Things
Foreign Policy In Focus
Fortune Financial Blog
France24 Debate Youtube
Frontline Magazine, India
Global Guerrillas
gods & radicals
Gold Anti-Trust Action Comm
Gray Zone Project
Greg Palast
Gubbmint Cheese
Gun Watch
Hacker News
Intercollegiate Studies Institute
If Americans Only Knew Blog Ie
Illegal Alien Crime
Independent Ie
Indian Punchline
Information Clearinghouse
Institute for New Economic Thinking
Insecurity Analysis
James Petras
James Bowman
John Brown's Public Diplomacy Press
Khaama Press News Agency
Kashmir Monitor
Land Destroyer Report
LegeNet blog
Le Monde diplomatique
Libyan Express
MIT Technology Review
Manhattan Institute for Policy Research
Mark Curtis
Measure Text Readability
Mello Reads The Meter
Mish Talk
Moon of Alabama
Morningstar News
NewBlackMan (in Exile)
Op India
Owl's Asylum
OWL In Catch Up Mode
Palestinian News & Info Agency
Paperboy - Newspaper Front Pages
PanAm Post
Philosophy of Metrics
Planet of the Chimps #2
Pogo Was Right
Prensa Latina
Prison Reform
Privacy Watch News
Professional Troublemaker
Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty
Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently
Real Time Business News
Redress Information & Analysis
Ripped Em Up
Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity
Russian Insider
Seven Days
Silent Crow News
Silver For The People
Snake Hole Lounge
South China Morning Post
South Front
Spiked Online
Steve Keen's Debtwatch
Steve Lendman Blog
Straight line logic
Strategic Culture Foundation
Syrian Arab News Agency
The Asian Age
The American Conservative
The Automatic Earth
The Cable Nigeria
The Conscious
The Conversable Economist
The Daily Sabah
The Day UK
The Diplomat
The Economic Collapse
The Field Negro
The Fifth Column News
The Hindu
The Ignorant Fisherman
The Money Illusion
The National Interest
Tom Dispatch
TRT World
Tyranny News
Oriental Review
The Rutherford Institute
The Slog
The Social Contract
The Standard (Hong Kong)
The Unbalanced Evolution of Homo Sapiens
Triangulum Intel
vigilant citizen
Volkay's Volcano
Wall Street On Parade
Warsaw Voice
We Kill Because We Can
Yanis Varoufakis
Yohap News Agency
Zero Anthropology