Analysis: After ISIL seizes key territory in offensive acros

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Analysis: After ISIL seizes key territory in offensive acros

مشاركة بواسطة TangoIII » السبت يونيو 14, 2014 7:38 pm

Analysis: After ISIL seizes key territory in offensive across northern Iraq what happens next?

صورة

Following the collapse of security forces in Mosul and the advance of militant group ISIL towards Baghdad, IHS Jane’s looks at the scenarios that may unfold in the coming days and weeks:

Next steps for ISIL

ISIL is almost certain to attempt to exploit the current momentum of its offensive in northern Iraq and seize as much territory as possible in an attempt to maintain serious political pressure on the government.

It also appears likely that the group will strike east as far as Kirkuk but may well halt before it encroaches on territory controlled by the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG). More probable is that the group will focus on pushing south, through Salah ad-Din, towards Baghdad in an attempt to threaten the city from the north as well as from the east through its gains in Anbar.

Deploying sectarian militias could be a trap

With the reported poor performance of the Iraqi security forces over the past several days, the government may be forced to involve Shia Muslim militia groups in the effort to repulse ISIL. The group may be aiming for just such a scenario as this will playonce more into its narrative of presenting itself as the defender of Iraq’s Sunni population against the sectarian Shia government.

The Iraqi government needs to act in a careful and considered manner in its response to ISIL’s offensive in order to avoid handing the group a major propaganda and recruitment boost.

Iraq’s uncontrolled border with Syria grows; greater freedom of movement of men and material

In addition to its impact in Iraq, ISIL’s operations in Ninawa will also have a broader impact on its concurrent campaign in Syria. Firstly, from a logistical perspective, the capture of territory in Ninawa broadens the extent of Iraq’s border with Syria that is effectively no longer controlled by the government, allowing greater freedom of movement of men and materiel across the border between the two theatres.

New stock piles of light and heavy weaponry, cash, military vehicles to flow into Syria

This was doubly significant given the large quantity of light and heavy weaponry, military vehicles, and money seized by ISIL during the capture of Mosul. With police and army bases completely abandoned, the group’s access to small-arms and equipment was significant. Parliamentary speaker Nujaifi stated on 10 June that all the weapons left by security forces were “under the control of the militants”. Further underlining this was a series of images posted by ISIL on social media showing captured weapons caches and security force vehicles. Much of this materiel will likely be moved across the border into the desert area of eastern Syria, which ISIL has been using as a staging ground for attacks in both Iraq and northern Syria.

Mosul could be staging ground for future operations, Islamic state

Although by no means certain, if ISIL proved capable of holding Mosul over the medium term and further expanding its territorial holdings, the impact on the group’s operations in both Iraq and Syria would likely be momentous.

Not only would it help to facilitate the movement of arms, goods, and people across the border, Mosul could also become a major staging ground for the group to expand its campaign into central and southern Iraq. In terms of recruitment and propaganda, the city would also likely become a major rallying point for supporters of ISIL regionally and internationally, with the group able to realistically claim that it was an Islamic state in more than just name.

http://www.janes.com/article/39155/anal ... ppens-next

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Re: Analysis: After ISIL seizes key territory in offensive a

مشاركة بواسطة TangoIII » السبت يونيو 14, 2014 8:58 pm

Iraqi Chaos Could Speed FMS Transfers

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration appeared to closethe door on the Iraq War late last week, flatly rejecting the use of American ground forces in Iraq and offering a cool assessment of the potential for American action as the government in Baghdad struggles to hold back the rapidly advancing radical Islamists closing in on the capital.

“The United States will do our part, but understand that ultimately it’s up to the Iraqis, as a sovereign nation, to solve their problems,” President Barack Obama said.

“We will not be sending US troops back into combat in Iraq” he stated flatly.

In keeping with his administration’s deliberate — critics say overly slow — assessment of how to flex American power abroad, Obama told reporters that “the United States is not simply going to involve itself in a military action in the absence of a political plan by the Iraqis that gives us some assurance that they’re prepared to work together.”

The administration has been adamant that any solution to the increasing violence in Iraq over the past year will have to include greater Sunni participation in the Shia-dominated government of Nouri al-Maliki, who recently won reelection but who has alienated the Sunni population.

When the last US trainers and advisers boarded Kuwait-bound convoys out of Baghdad in December 2011, few had any doubt that the Iraqi military was still very much a work in progress. It lacked the most basic ability to conduct combined arms maneuver, provide air support for troops in contact, gather intelligence, and in many cases even field and sustain units.

“There were gaping holes in the capabilities of the Iraqi military” in late 2011, said Rick Brennan, a senior political scientist at Rand who served as a civilian adviser for the US military command in Baghdad in 2011.

“We knew that we were leaving the job significantly uncompleted,” when US forces pulled out, he said. In November 2011, the command in Baghdad completed a war termination assessment that looked at all the goals and objectives laid out for the command by the Pentagon, “and roughly 30 percent of the tasks we felt comfortable saying we had achieved.”

When the United States left, it also took with it sophisticated surveillance drones, satellite imagery, and its human and signalsintelligence capabilities, all things the Iraqis have been unable to replicate.

One of the big things US forces focused on was training the trainers, but “that was one of the things we started late in the game and it was probably still one of the things that was the weakest” capability by the end of 2011, Brennan said.

The videos of fighters from the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) group driving around Mosul in armored American Humvees has startled Washington and its allies, and it underscores the larger problem of sophisticated US equipment falling into the hands of extremist elements on their march south toward Baghdad.

It’s difficult to arrive at any precise accounting of what real capabilities the $14 billion in foreign military assistance that the United Stateshas provided to Iraq since 2005 brings to the fight, since much of the equipment has yet to be delivered.

This month an Iraqi delegation signed the transfer papers for the first deliveries of F-16 fighters, but it will be years before the planes are delivered and pilots are trained.

Likewise, Washington announced in January its desire to sell 24 Apache attack helicopters to Iraq along with more than 400 Hellfire missiles, more than $2 billion in radar, and anti-aircraft missiles.

More recently, the US has rushed 10 ScanEagle drones along with 48 Raven drones to Iraq, and has shipped hundreds of tank rounds and Hellfire missiles to Baghdad; it has also indicated it is working onselling dozens of Stryker infantry carriers and surveillance helicopters. There are also deals in the works for more M113 infantry carriers, Humvees, and other equipment in agreements worth another $2 billion.

Pentagon spokesman Army Col. Steve Warren said on June 12 that US officials “are continuing the process of providing weapons and equipment to the Iraqis so they can counter this ISIS threat,” but “security is part of the process of transferring weapons systems” to Baghdad.

On June 12, President Barack Obama said that when it comes to additional assistance to Baghdad, “I don’t rule out anything because we do have a stake in making sure that these jihadists are not getting a permanent foothold in either Iraq or Syria, for that matter.”

But any help will have to include promises of political reform in Baghdad, Obama said. Maliki’s Shia-led government has replaced many senior Sunni military officials with Shia allies since the American exit and purged Sunni political leaders, leading to widespread anger in the Sunni heartland being overrun by the Sunni ISIS.

Adding to the confusion on the ground is the fact that some ISIS groups have started moving east toward the Iranian border, leading to reports that Ghassem Suleimani, the commander of Tehran’s Quds Force, which is already heavily involved in bolstering Assad’s government in Syria, would get involved.

There is “no doubt Tehran will build up its border forces” said Shahram Chubin, senior associate in the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. But he added that he doubts the Shia government in Iran “will want to get directly involved just yet, though they may increase aid to Maliki.”

Terrorism Rises
Only about half of the Iraqi companies in the field were able to conduct combined arms maneuver operations at the time. Videos posted on YouTube in recent days show long columns of thousands of disarmed Iraqi troops being marched out of cities in the north, indicating a massive collapse of entire divisions that had handed their weapons and equipment over to the estimated 3,000 to 6,000 fighters with ISIS, a radical group pouring over the border from Syria.

The group, led by native Iraqi Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi — who had long experience battling US forces in Iraq before heading to Syria to battle the forces of Bashir al-Assad — has an estimated 3,000 foreign fighters.

The group has grown from the remnants of al-Qaida in Iraq, which was formed after the US invasion of Iraq in 2003, and whose leadershipfled to Syria late in the war to escape the pursuit of US Joint Special Operations Command and US airstrikes.

ISIS has been battling less radical Islamist groups and secular rebel organizations in Syria, and has seized control of the oil fields of eastern Syria, using the proceeds to bankroll its operations. In Iraq, it has taken the Iraqi cities of Mosul and Tikrit, causing close to a million refugees to flee those cities.

But the Iraqi security force is not what the United States envisioned it was building in the final years of US involvement there.

“Internal capacity to train and maintain forces did not exist in Iraq” by the end of 2011, Brennan said, adding “we did work with them to try and enhance their intelligence gathering capacity, but it was rudimentary at best.”

A recent report by the International Institute for Strategic Studies estimated that Iraq had 271,400 active military personnel by early 2013, with 193,400 in the Army, and 5,050 in its developing Air Force, and special operations forces. ■

http://www.defensenews.com/article/2014 ... -Transfers

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Re: Analysis: After ISIL seizes key territory in offensive a

مشاركة بواسطة TangoIII » الاثنين يونيو 16, 2014 7:23 pm

Weak Iraqi Army No Match for ISIS Insurgents

The government in Baghdad has hundreds of thousands of soldiers and armed police under its command. But a raft of deep structural problems is crippling the Iraqi army's ability to fight ISIS militants.

In many of Iraq's northern and western cities, the nation's army has simply been overrun. In January, the militant group Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) captured the central city of Ramadi and parts of Fallujah. Then in early June, they stormed the metropolis Mosul as well as several other major cities.

It was only with great difficulty and a huge effort that the army managed to fend off the Sunni extremists in some places.

Although Iraq's Shiite Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki likes to be seen as a guarantor of security and stability, he seems powerless to stop the extremists' advance towards Baghdad. Maliki's only hope is to appeal for help from abroad.

Army with no power

Under dictator Saddam Hussein, Iraq had about 375,000 soldiers in the armed forces. During the eight-year war with Iran, and the two Gulf wars in 1991 and 2003, the army suffered only defeats. The force was strong enough, however, to crush uprisings by Kurdish rebels and other groups.

Following the fall of Saddam Hussein in 2003, the US administration disbanded the army, as it was considered a key pillar of the regime. Soldiers and military officers became unemployed overnight.

"These people went into hiding during the occupation," said Günter Meyer, director of the Center for Research on the Arab World at the University of Mainz, Germany. Many of these well-trained officers went on to fight against the government on the side of ISIS, he added.

From 2003 to 2011, the US military tried to build a new Iraqi army. But US advisors were later asked to leave the country because the Maliki government no longer approved of their mission.

At its current size, the Iraqi army is stronger than the ISIS forces, hands down. According to a report by the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), the army currently has more than 270,000 troops. On top of this, the Interior Ministry has about 550,000 armed police and special forces under its command. Yet these resources have been overwhelmed in the fight against heavily armed terrorist groups and militias.

The army has about 340 tanks, according to the IISS. Among them are M1 Abrams tanks from the United States and old Soviet T-55s. They also have combat helicopters for air attacks.

The fighting in recent days has proven that ISIS militants are capable of holding their own against these weapons. The group also seized a large amount of heavy artillery from government forces during the surprise assault on Mosul.

Flawed chain of command

Despite its manpower and sizeable weaponry stocks, the Iraqi army is hardly powerful. According to a report by the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington, the command structure is a key weakness. It's tailored to Maliki, who currently serves as the defense and interior ministers, as well as the commander in chief of the army.

"Prime Minister al-Maliki has continuously worked to strengthen his control over the Iraqi army and security forces," the authors of the CSIS report wrote. They said Maliki is using the state's security apparatus for political control and repression.

Meyer said the officers' ranks are also often awarded to government cronies and have little to with military competence.

Another problem is the country's sectarian divide. Many Sunnis feel oppressed by the Shiite majority. The ISIS militants, on the other hand, present themselves as protectors of the Sunni minority against the Shiite-dominated government and its security forces.

If ISIS insurgents attack army posts in Sunni neighborhoods, Sunni soldiers leave their positions, take their weapons, and join the extremists. Meyer said the ISIS militants deliberately spread reports of government soldiers being slaughtered by the Islamist group to undermine morale.

However, the Mainz-based researcher added that when Sunni extremists attempt to advance through Shiite areas, they also meet with fierce opposition from Shiite militias. These groups have risen up to take the place of the failed army, to prevent the ISIS from conquering Shiite neighborhoods and destroying Shiite shrines.

Campaign poster for al-Maliki

Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki is asking for help from the international community to crush ISIS insurgents

Widespread corruption is another reason the Iraqi army is so weak. The CSIS report revealed that even when US advisors were in the country, many soldiers sold military equipment in an attempt to supplement their meager salaries.

In order to stop ISIS' rapid advance, Maliki has turned to the United States for help. Washington has been providing weapons to support the Iraqi army against the militia since the beginning of 2014. "Now the demand will be that the Americans proceed with air strikes and drones against the ISIS forces," said Meyer.

US President Barack Obama has stressed that options to help the government in Baghdad remain open. According to Meyer though, the government in Washington believes Maliki is the main offender and has brought the situation on himself. He said the deliberate discrimination of the Sunni minority is a main cause of the current conflict.

http://www.defense-aerospace.com/articl ... gents.html

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Re: Analysis: After ISIL seizes key territory in offensive a

مشاركة بواسطة ابو احمد العراقي » الاثنين يونيو 16, 2014 7:42 pm

TangoIII كتب:
Weak Iraqi Army No Match for ISIS Insurgents

The government in Baghdad has hundreds of thousands of soldiers and armed police under its command. But a raft of deep structural problems is crippling the Iraqi army's ability to fight ISIS militants.

In many of Iraq's northern and western cities, the nation's army has simply been overrun. In January, the militant group Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) captured the central city of Ramadi and parts of Fallujah. Then in early June, they stormed the metropolis Mosul as well as several other major cities.

It was only with great difficulty and a huge effort that the army managed to fend off the Sunni extremists in some places.

Although Iraq's Shiite Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki likes to be seen as a guarantor of security and stability, he seems powerless to stop the extremists' advance towards Baghdad. Maliki's only hope is to appeal for help from abroad.

Army with no power

Under dictator Saddam Hussein, Iraq had about 375,000 soldiers in the armed forces. During the eight-year war with Iran, and the two Gulf wars in 1991 and 2003, the army suffered only defeats. The force was strong enough, however, to crush uprisings by Kurdish rebels and other groups.

Following the fall of Saddam Hussein in 2003, the US administration disbanded the army, as it was considered a key pillar of the regime. Soldiers and military officers became unemployed overnight.

"These people went into hiding during the occupation," said Günter Meyer, director of the Center for Research on the Arab World at the University of Mainz, Germany. Many of these well-trained officers went on to fight against the government on the side of ISIS, he added.

From 2003 to 2011, the US military tried to build a new Iraqi army. But US advisors were later asked to leave the country because the Maliki government no longer approved of their mission.

At its current size, the Iraqi army is stronger than the ISIS forces, hands down. According to a report by the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), the army currently has more than 270,000 troops. On top of this, the Interior Ministry has about 550,000 armed police and special forces under its command. Yet these resources have been overwhelmed in the fight against heavily armed terrorist groups and militias.

The army has about 340 tanks, according to the IISS. Among them are M1 Abrams tanks from the United States and old Soviet T-55s. They also have combat helicopters for air attacks.

The fighting in recent days has proven that ISIS militants are capable of holding their own against these weapons. The group also seized a large amount of heavy artillery from government forces during the surprise assault on Mosul.

Flawed chain of command

Despite its manpower and sizeable weaponry stocks, the Iraqi army is hardly powerful. According to a report by the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington, the command structure is a key weakness. It's tailored to Maliki, who currently serves as the defense and interior ministers, as well as the commander in chief of the army.

"Prime Minister al-Maliki has continuously worked to strengthen his control over the Iraqi army and security forces," the authors of the CSIS report wrote. They said Maliki is using the state's security apparatus for political control and repression.

Meyer said the officers' ranks are also often awarded to government cronies and have little to with military competence.

Another problem is the country's sectarian divide. Many Sunnis feel oppressed by the Shiite majority. The ISIS militants, on the other hand, present themselves as protectors of the Sunni minority against the Shiite-dominated government and its security forces.

If ISIS insurgents attack army posts in Sunni neighborhoods, Sunni soldiers leave their positions, take their weapons, and join the extremists. Meyer said the ISIS militants deliberately spread reports of government soldiers being slaughtered by the Islamist group to undermine morale.

However, the Mainz-based researcher added that when Sunni extremists attempt to advance through Shiite areas, they also meet with fierce opposition from Shiite militias. These groups have risen up to take the place of the failed army, to prevent the ISIS from conquering Shiite neighborhoods and destroying Shiite shrines.

Campaign poster for al-Maliki

Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki is asking for help from the international community to crush ISIS insurgents

Widespread corruption is another reason the Iraqi army is so weak. The CSIS report revealed that even when US advisors were in the country, many soldiers sold military equipment in an attempt to supplement their meager salaries.

In order to stop ISIS' rapid advance, Maliki has turned to the United States for help. Washington has been providing weapons to support the Iraqi army against the militia since the beginning of 2014. "Now the demand will be that the Americans proceed with air strikes and drones against the ISIS forces," said Meyer.

US President Barack Obama has stressed that options to help the government in Baghdad remain open. According to Meyer though, the government in Washington believes Maliki is the main offender and has brought the situation on himself. He said the deliberate discrimination of the Sunni minority is a main cause of the current conflict.

http://www.defense-aerospace.com/articl ... gents.html
تحليل حقير وداعشي جملة وتفصيلا.. داعش لم يدخلوا الموصل بمعركة وانما دخلوها بمؤامرة بين البرزاني والبعثيين تعتمد على خيانة اهل الموصل لوطنهم وبيعهم لشرفهم واعراضهم.. هذا الكلام ينسف هذا التحليل المؤدلج جملة وتفصيلا..

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Re: Analysis: After ISIL seizes key territory in offensive a

مشاركة بواسطة TangoIII » الأربعاء يونيو 18, 2014 2:09 pm

Marines, US Soldiers Arrive at the US Embassy Compound in Iraq

The Pentagon has deployed about 100 troops — including more than 50 Marines attached to a Fleet Antiterrorism Security Team to the U.S. Embassy compound in Baghdad, Iraq, to help protect diplomatic personnel and property.

Meanwhile, President Obama is considering miltiary action against the Islamic insurgents, who have seized vast swaths of northern Iraq and are moving south toward the capital. Several U.S. warships have moved into the Persian Gulf, where they provide “the commander in chief additional options to protect American citizens and interests in Iraq, should he choose to use them,” said Rear Adm. John Kirby, a Pentagon spokesman, on Monday.

The arrival of FAST Marines and a contingent of U.S. soldiers on the ground in Iraq on Sunday marked the first operational deployment of U.S. troops there since the withdrawal of combat forces in December 2011. Pentagon officials declined to identify the Army unit deployed to Baghdad. The Marine platoon is based out of nearby Bahrain, and is tasked with protecting American personnel and property, said Master Sgt. William Price, a spokesman for Marine Corps Forces Central Command.

FAST Marines are the traditional go-to assets when U.S. embassies require reinforcement in times of crises. The Marine Corps has two more forward-deployed FAST elements in Spain and Japan.

“This is a temporary thing,” Kirby said Monday. “There is no intention that this is any kind of permanent plus up. They are there temporarily, to assist with some relocation of some personnel who work at the embassy. They are not engaged in ferrying to and fro anyone. No military aircraft … is being used to ferry these folks.”

On Monday, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel ordered the amphibious transport dock Mesa Verde, part of the Bataan Amphibious Ready Group, to enter the Persian Gulf. It joins the carrier George H. W. Bush, which Hagel ordered to enter the Gulf on Saturday.

The carrier brings F/A-18 Super Hornets that could provide air strike capability over Iraq. The Mesa Verde carries more Marines, all members of the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit, along with MV-22 Osprey transport aircraft that will be in standby in case the State Department needs support to completely evacuate the embassy in Baghdad.

Also entering the Persian Gulf Saturday was the guided-missile cruiser Philippine Sea and the guided-missile destroyer Truxtun. The ships carry Tomahawk missiles that could reach inland Iraq.

Insurgents with an al-Qaida-offshoot group known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, appear to be approaching Baghdad from three sides: from Anbar province in the west, from Samara and Tikrit in the north, and also from northwestern Diyala province, which is within 50 miles of the capital. Reports suggest their advance has slowed since approaching Baghdad and moving into places with large Shiite populations.

While the ISIS force is not large — estimates suggest no more than several thousand personnel inside Iraq — the group’s stunning series of victories largely resulted from the widespread desertion of thousands of Iraqi security forces. An ISIS force of about 800 fighters reportedly routed two Iraqi Army divisions totaling about 30,000 troops in Mosul during a brief battle last week.

As the Iraqi troops have melted away, the ISIS force has seized some of its American-made military gear, including Humvees and possibly even some helicopters, according to photos released by ISIS forces. But U.S. military officials say it remains unclear how much weaponry the ISIS force took and what is operational impact might be.

For now, the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad is scheduled to remain open, but some staff will be temporarily relocated amid growing violence and instability in Iraq, according to a statement Sunday from Jen Psaki, a State Department spokeswoman.

Kirby said the relocation of those personnel is being facilitated aboard commercial, charter and State Department aircraft. But the military has airlift assets “at the ready” should the State Department request them, he added.

The Marines’ ability to quickly deploy and enhance security at diplomatic posts is one of the service’s central missions since the deadly 2012 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi that left four Americans dead, including Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens.

When Congress demanded better protection of diplomatic facilities and personnel across the globe, the Marine Corps added 1,000 new embassy security guards. That included the creation of a new group called the Marine Security Augmentation Unit made up of teams of trained embassy guards. Those teams can be summoned directly by an ambassador if intelligence indicates the threat of an attack.

The Marine Corps also stood up a new crisis response force, made up of nearly 1,000 Marines. That unit is based in Europe, and is designed to respond to diplomatic crises in Africa. Plans call for a creation of similar crisis-response force in the Middle East.

The U.S. military withdrew its forces in 2011 in large part because the Iraqi government refused to grant U.S. troops legal immunity from prosecution in local Iraqi courts. Since 2011, the number of U.S. troops in Iraq has been capped at a few hundred uniformed personnel working at the embassy, and those troops have legal protections as embassy workers despite the lack of a formal Status of Forces Agreement between the U.S. and Iraq.

Kirby said Monday the additional troops sent into Iraq this weekend are not at risk legally. “I would expect that all the legal protections they need, they have,” he said.

http://www.defensenews.com/article/2014 ... ionstories

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Re: Analysis: After ISIL seizes key territory in offensive a

مشاركة بواسطة TangoIII » الأربعاء يونيو 18, 2014 11:49 pm

Iraqi Abrams losses revealed

صورة
These images were posted on a pro-ISIL Twitter account on 6 June and are in the order they were originally released. Source: Al-Anbar News

The armour on five of Iraq's M1A1 Abrams tanks was penetrated by anti-tank guided missiles (ATGMs) and six helicopters were shot down between 1 January and the end of May, The New York Times quoted an unnamed US official as saying on 13 June.

The official said 28 Iraqi Army Abrams had been damaged in fighting with militants, five of them suffering full armour penetration when hit by ATGMs. The United States supplied 140 refurbished M1A1 Abrams tanks to Iraq between 2010 and 2012. While they have new equipment to improve situational awareness, they do not have the depleted uranium amour package that increases protection over the tank's frontal arc.

The penetration of a tank's armour by a shaped-charge warhead increases the likelihood of crew casualties, but does not necessarily result in the destruction of the vehicle, especially if it has a dedicated ammunition compartment, as in the case of the Abrams.

However, the US official said the Iraqi Army has problems maintaining its Abrams, suggesting it will struggle to get damaged tanks back into service.

At least one video has emerged showing an Abrams 'brew up' after being hit by an ATGM during fighting this year in the western province of Al-Anbar. Militants operating in Al-Anbar have also released images of numerous attacks on other Abrams tanks, including ones involving a 9K11 Kornet ATGM, RPG-7 rocket-propelled grenade launchers, and a M70 Osa rocket launcher. The latter is a Yugoslavian weapon that has been widely used by insurgents in neighbouring Syria, but is rarely seen in Iraq.

The damage inflicted on the tanks has been difficult to assess from the images. These mostly seem to be stills from unreleased videos and tend to show spectacular explosions, but not the state of the vehicles after the attacks.

Only one sequence of images posted on a pro-Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) Twitter account on 6 June appears to show an Abrams actually being destroyed. A militant is seen placing a charge on the tank and an object is also thrown into an open turret hatch. Flames are then seen coming out of the hatches. The fate of the crew is unclear.

Another sequence posted on 28 May purportedly shows the same militant placing a charge on or in the turret of another Abrams in a hull-down position. While the extent of the damage caused by the resulting explosion is unclear, the fact that militants are repeatedly getting close to the tanks suggests the vehicles lack adequate infantry support.

Other types of armoured vehicle in service with the Iraqi Army appear to have suffered higher attrition rates than the Abrams. Militants have released many images showing destroyed or captured Humvees, M113 armoured personnel carriers (APCs), and mine resistant ambush protected (MRAP) vehicles.

The Soviet-era armour the Iraqi Army has been using in Al-Anbar has also suffered losses, including MT-LB multipurpose armoured vehicles, a BMP-1, and T-55 tanks.

The US official also said that six Iraqi helicopters had been shot down and 60 damaged in combat between 1 January and the end of May. This represents a significant proportion of the Iraqi Army Aviation Command's assets. Another helicopter was shot down by a light anti-aircraft gun (LAAG) over Al-Saqlawiyah on 16 June; its two crew members were killed.

It is unclear what helicopters the Iraqis have lost, but militants have released footage shot using an infrared camera of heavy machine guns or LAAGs bringing down at least two Mi-24/35 combat helicopters carrying out low-altitude rocket attacks.


http://www.janes.com/article/39550/iraq ... s-revealed

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Re: Analysis: After ISIL seizes key territory in offensive a

مشاركة بواسطة TangoIII » الخميس يوليو 10, 2014 12:30 am

What if Iraqi Military Can't Defeat ISIL?

WASHINGTON — For the United States, it would be the worst-case scenario: Iraq’s ethnic groups are unable — or unwilling — to form a unity government, and the country’s military is deemed irreparable.

Yet, a senior US senator tells CongressWatch most officials are “excluding” that possible outcome. Experts, however, suggest it could happen.

Senior US military officials have deployed what they are calling “assessment teams” to Iraq to provide President Barack Obama and his top aides with a better picture of the situation.

Administration officials and lawmakers are waiting for those six teams to report back on the state of the largely disbanded Iraqi military, and what it might take to rebuild it.

White House officials, lawmakers and experts say two things are necessary to beat back gains made by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), a violent Sunni group that has captured towns and territory in western and northern Iraq in recent weeks.

One is an Iraqi military capable of defeating ISIL’s troops, which are experienced and battle-hardened after years of combat in Iraq against US forces and in Syria’s civil war.

Another is a new political arrangement that tilts less toward embattled Iraqi President Nouri al-Maliki and his Shia sect, and encompasses the country’s other major ethnic groups: Sunnis and Kurds.

Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., was asked Tuesday by reporters if he worries that the US, which already has upped its deployment of combat forces from 300 to nearly 780, is on its way to a much larger military footprint in Iraq.

Levin did not directly address the issue, saying he first wants to review the coming Pentagon assessment of the Iraqi military.

“I think what needs to happen right now is they need to complete that assessment of the capability of the Iraqi Army,” Levin said.

The US military assessment also must measure “whether the Iraqi military is coming together against a common enemy.

“What we do with [ISIL] needs to wait until the assessment is made … of whether or not the Iraqi Army is capable of stopping [ISIL].”

What should happen next if the assessment concludes indigenous forces cannot be rebuilt to a level capable of defeating ISIL or pushing it beyond Iraq’s borders?

“Well, there’s another half: Whether or not the political leaders in Iraq are able to come together to broaden their base, and to do what that government has not yet done: Involve the Sunnis a lot more and unify the country politically,” Levin said.

CongressWatch asked Levin what if the US review concludes the Iraqi military is not up to the job and there is no likelihood of a political arrangement that includes Sunnis, Shia and Kurds.

“I think,” he replied while entering an elevator, “everyone is excluding that possibility.”

Yet, a truly inclusive government in Iraq is no sure thing.

The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace’s Marwan Muasher warned this week that building that kind of government and society in Iraq “will be painful and slow moving.”

“The situation in Iraq may get worse before it gets better, but in the end, exclusionist policies will never produce a functioning society,” Muasher has written.

Michael O’Hanlon of the Brookings Institution and Edward Joseph of Johns Hopkins University have gone so far as to propose breaking Iraq into three autonomous regions, one for each ethnic group. Their proposal suggests an inclusive central government cannot be accomplished.

The duo wrote in a recent op-ed that while it “would be difficult to accomplish, federalism could still be a helpful element.

“The fundamental US and European goal in Iraq now is neither an intact Iraq nor a partitioned one. We can live with either outcome,” O’Hanlon and Joseph wrote. “The important objective is the defeat of [ISIL].”

Then there’s the Iraqi Army, which numerous times during ISIL’s June advance threw down their weapons and went home.

A recent Center for Strategic and International Studies report summarized the Iraqi military in less-than-inspiring terms.

“The Iraqi army continues to lack adequate logistical and intelligence capabilities,” according to the report, authored by Anthony Cordesman and Sam Khazai. “It suffers from political interference in command positions, the sale of other positions at every level and other forms of corruption, a failure to maintain the facilities and systems transferred by the US, and a host of other issues.”

http://www.defensenews.com/article/2014 ... feat-ISIL-

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TangoIII
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Re: Analysis: After ISIL seizes key territory in offensive a

مشاركة بواسطة TangoIII » الأحد مايو 31, 2015 10:03 pm

Ramadi is Only Part of the Problem With Iraq

The Iraqi defeat at Ramadi is a warning, but no more of a warning than the supposed Iraqi “victory” at Tikrit last month – or all of the other signals that are coming out of the U.S. engagement in Iraq and Syria.

The U.S. urgently needs to reappraise its current strategic posture in both Iraq and Syria. It needs far more realism in shaping its military efforts and far more honesty and transparency in assessing the risks of those decisions. The current level of U.S. military intervention may be too limited and too constrained to succeed, but the risk of failure will be high even if the U.S. uses added force more effectively.

A major defeat like Ramadi is only part of the problem. The U.S. cannot focus on the Islamic State, or ISIS, as if Iraq and Syria were not failed states with far deeper problems. The divisions in Iraq between the Shiite-led, Arab central government, Arab Sunnis, and Kurds remain critical.

Tikrit was not a victory, simply because ISIS was driven out at great cost. It was as much a defeat because it was fought by an Iraqi Army that had to rely on Shiite militias that most Sunni Iraqis fear, have ties to Iran, show limited concern for civilians and collateral damage, and can take revenge on the innocent. The Tikrit battle was one more case where the Iraqi Army was committed too soon. It showed that Iraq requires a far larger and more effective U.S. train-and-assist effort. Such an effort, in which U.S. advisors are embedded in forward combat units, could help develop Iraqi leaders, help make the supply and reinforcement system work, and use U.S. and allied air power effectively.

The Obama administration’s limited U.S. effort did keep Americans from suffering casualties, but they also did more in Iraq to empower Iran than win support for the U.S. Worse, Tikrit was a campaign that failed to give Iraq’s Sunnis the reassurance they needed that the central government would support them in resisting ISIS or following-up an ISIS defeat with immediate efforts to secure Tikrit and allow its Sunni Arab population to return.

The defeat at Ramadi simply should not have happened. Key Iraqi political leaders like Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi did try to bring Iraqi Sunnis into the fight and gave them support and arms. It seems clear that there was an effort to provide Iraqi Army reinforcements and U.S. air support. But Abadi and his government face serious if not fatal problems in making the efforts to build and support Sunni forces effectively. The many media warnings that the Iraqi Army and Ministry of Defense are still broken, unmotivated, and incompetent proved all too true.

The collapse and near panic of the Iraq Army’s 8th Brigade and the Iraqi police again showed that a far stronger and forward-deployed U.S. advisory effort is needed and U.S. advisors should be put in critical positions where they can help assure that competent Iraqi commanders are given proper supplies and reinforcements and incompetent ones are removed. It is brutally clear that the warnings senior U.S. officers gave in the spring of 2014 that former Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki had left the Iraqi Army so broken it would take two to three years to fix – even to the level of 12 effective brigades – were all too true.

At the same time, a U.S. military effort cannot work unless Abadi’s government becomes strong enough to heal the gap between Arab Sunni and Arab Shiite, limit the role of Shiite militias and Iran in dividing the country. It also can’t work if Iraq’s Sunnis have lost faith in the central government, will not provide local forces, and are largely bypassed with the Iraqi Army.

A stronger U.S. advisory effort can at best help Iraqi forces inflict tactical defeats on ISIS. It cannot win on a strategic level without far more Iraqi unity, it cannot create secure areas in the west where Sunnis can live a secure and normal life, and it cannot bridge the growing sectarian gap between them.

The U.S. also cannot help Iraq recover Mosul and the lost areas in Ninewa unless it can create an equally effective forward-based advisory presence for both the Iraq Army and Kurdish forces and can do so in a political and economic climate where Iraq’s Arab and Kurds cooperate in recovering the north, and are willing to compromise over how to govern the liberated areas and restore some kind of normal life and economy.

The areas ISIS holds in the north are far more populated than Anbar in the southwest, and largely by Arab Sunnis that have sharply competing claims from the Iraqi Kurds. At the same time, they are populations that will never be loyal or stable if they feel Iraq’s central government and oil wealth are dominated by Shiites and Iran at their expense. As a recent Crisis Group report on the Iraqi Kurds shows, the Kurds themselves are deeply divided, and present major problems in creating some kind of stable government and life in the north.

Mosul and Ninewa, not Ramadi and Anbar, are the strategic prize that is the key to Iraqi unity, and creating some form of federalism that gives Iraq’s Sunnis status and security. But, this fact reveals a gaping hole in U.S. strategy. No one in the Obama administration has ever explained how the Iraqi Army can both liberate and secure Mosul and Ninewa if the civil war in Syria continues just across the border, and if ISIS or some other form of Sunni Jihadist movement remains active. There is no solution to Iraq without a solution to Syria, and sporadic bombing and training up to 15,000 volunteers over the next three years is scarcely going to do anything to provide such a solution.

And this brings us to a far broader problem in the Obama administration’s approach. As is the case with Afghanistan and earlier with Yemen, the administration has failed to provide any honest transparency about the impact of the limits to its present strategy, the train and assist mission, the real world course of the fighting, and the risks and cost benefits of the present form of U.S. military intervention. There have been no substantive plans, risk assessments, or progress reporting – just spin, positive claims and vacuous reports like that of the lead inspector general over the conflict, which totally failed to say anything meaningful about the progress of the war.

It is all too clear that the present U.S. air and train and assist campaigns are not enough. What is totally unclear is that administration has a viable strategy, that the risks of becoming involved in Iraq’s deep divisions and the Syrian civil war can be overcome, and that the administration is prepared to be honest in presenting the cost-benefits and risks to either the American people or the Congress.

http://www.defenseone.com/ideas/2015/05 ... aq/113239/

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