The fact they’re taken Iraqs third biggest city, and also hold Fallujah, parts of Ramadi, Samarra, Al Raqaa in Syria seems to me to be one of the biggest threats to Western security since 9/11.
Why isn’t Western intelligence working in coordination with some of the Arabs states to destroy this movement? In fact, why isn’t Turkey? This is all happening on their southern border you’d think they’d be concerned about a radicalist organisation growing in size.
I read Patrick Cockburns account of this organisation and he hits the nail on the head.
If the entire well-equipped and supported US-led Multi-National Forces couldn’t stop the insurgency, why do you expect that the relatively poorly supported Iraqi security forces (primarily the Army and national police forces) are going to be effective against them, especially given all of the external support and funding from Iran, Syria, and independent fundamentalist Islamic sources, and the fact that a diverse collection of otherwise unassociated groups have joined together in opposition of what is largely viewed as a Coalition-installed puppet government?
It is important to understand history; specifically, that Iraq, as a nation or shared cultural identity, doesn’t have any prior to the British Mandate which installed the Syrian-born Hashimite King Faisal. The state is entirely a fabrication of European nations, and owes its continued existence and highly varied leadership to direct support by Western powers. It is little wonder the population has little regard for the United States, the United Kingdom, and its ‘clients’ in the current Iraqi government, especially given the once strong support provided to the brutal regime of Saddam Hussain by the United States (in opposition to Iraq) followed by using his actions as an excuse to invade the nation, destroy its infrastructure, and rebuild the nation in the ostensible form of a Western-style democracy while favoring one strong ethnic subgroup and profiteering the hell out of the situation.
That government is ironically more representative than most governments in the Middle East barring Israel or Turkey. So implying they’re a puppet government is quite ridiculous.
The Iraqi Army was supposed to do better due it being indigenous to that region, and hence being able to work more effectively than a foreign occupier. The main problem of the Iraqi Army is that it’s barely ten years old, and a reconstituted force made from scratch.
They have a shared identity as being subjects of the former Ottoman Empire.
Honestly, I think we in the Western world is sick of Iraq and would prefer it to go away. There’s absolutely NO public support whatsoever to go back into Iraq for the duration and manpower it would take to pacify those places again.
The main problem with the Iraqi Army is that it’s the Iraqi Army. That’s its had ten years to get its act together and still hasn’t managed to isn’t very surprising. The Iraqi Army has performed poorly at best in every war its been in, horribly ineptly at worst. The Iraqi Army was easily quashed by the British in 1941 despite being heavily outnumbered:
In the 1973 Arab-Israeli War, the Iraqi contingent consisting of the 3rd Armored Division arrived at the front as Israel was advancing on Damascus. Its arrival took the IDF off guard, and had it been effectively led could have presented a serious threat to the flank of the Israeli advance. Instead, the division inexplicably halted in the early afternoon of 12 October and didn’t resume the advance again until the next morning, neglecting to perform the most basic reconnaissance in the interim. The advance the next morning blindly walked into a huge ambush prepared by the Israelis during the night; over 150 tanks were lost, the 8th Mechanized Brigade effectively destroyed and Israeli losses were negligible. I assume the horrific performance of the Iraqi Army in the Iran-Iraq War, Desert Storm and the 2003 war are well enough known to not need repeating.
You’re the one claiming being former subjects of the Ottoman Empire creates some sort of shared identity.
They don’t have to, but in comparison to the former British colonies of India and the US, on the surface, they appear to have nothing in common, but they have similarities in Law and the influences of British culture as they were both once parts of the British Empire, same goes with the Ottoman Turks in relation to their Arab realms, plus they’re nearly all Muslims, unless you’re denying that the Ottoman Turks left any tangible influence in the Middle East?
What area is this you speak of? I’m not blind to the fact there will be people who disagree, I’m generalising to certain extent.
But we’re dealing with a terrorist threat, not a national army or a technologically superior Western one. It seems to me that we’re witnessing the Iraqi version of Ap Bac
Yup, Turkey has a lot of cultural influence in the Middle East, one small example is the popular Turkish dramas which are syndicated by various TV networks.
But putting this to one side, doesn’t anyone find this disturbing in the least? Al-Qaeda affiliates have now got sway over around 2 million people, in the heart of the Middle East and have held back two armies through sheer ruthlessness.
Ap Bac wasn’t a terrorist threat, it wasn’t even a guerilla action. It was a conventional fight between the Viet Cong and the ARVN; the VC deliberately chose to stand and fight:
So if you feel we’re witnessing an Iraqi version of Ap Bac, you’re contradicting yourself. In any event, the main problem with the Iraqi Army in its current incarnation isn’t its youth. That was an excuse when it was first being slapped back together. It stops working as an excuse when it’s had 10 years to get its act together.