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  1. #1
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    How involved in the war agains IS will the U.S. get?

    This article and the words of defense secretary Chuck Hagel give me the impression that they see a serious threat and will soon be throwing everything they've got at it in desperation.
    Let's face it, they've completely lost on all fronts so far and all that's come out of the mess they've created is an even bigger threat.
    Islamic State: Biggest threat to United States?
    By Shashank Joshi

    US Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel has used a remarkable set of words to describe the militants of Islamic State (IS).

    He warned of their "apocalyptic, end-of-days strategic vision", argued that they pose "an imminent threat to every interest we have, whether it's in Iraq or anywhere else", and depicted them as "beyond anything that we've seen". Is this reckless threat inflation, or is Mr Hagel correct?

    The US has faced a variety of effective militant groups in the past, a number of which have successfully targeted American interests.

    The most significant of these has been al-Qaeda, which bombed three US embassies in 1998, a US warship in 2000, and attacked New York and Washington with hijacked aircraft in 2001. Over the past decade, al-Qaeda's regional allies have killed numerous other Americans, mostly in war zones. One such ally, al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, has successfully placed bombs on US-bound aircraft, forcing heightened airport security as recently as July 2013.

    IS has sought to sideline al-Qaeda, declaring itself the standard bearer of global jihad
    By contrast, IS has never come close to attacking the US homeland and has only claimed one American life, journalist James Foley. A Frenchman who fought with IS did succeed in killing four people at Brussels' Jewish Museum in May. But, as my RUSI colleague Raffaello Pantucci observes, there is no evidence that this, or four other disrupted plots, were directed by IS.

    The potential return of thousands of European citizens from IS ranks does pose a serious challenge to European intelligence agencies and police forces, even if only a tiny proportion of those returnees are inclined to and capable of conducting attacks.

    But this is not a new problem. As early as November 2013, terrorism expert Thomas Hegghammer pointed out that were witnessing "the largest European Muslim foreign fighter contingent to any conflict in modern history".

    Anti-American sentiment within IS is likely to have risen after US strikes began
    Unless Mr Hagel has secret intelligence to the contrary, it therefore seems wildly implausible that IS presents, as he put it, an "imminent threat to every interest… anywhere".

    Even within Iraq, the threat to US forces in Irbil and Baghdad is modest. Mr Hagel's use of the word "imminent" was probably intended to establish a legal rationale for forthcoming US military strikes, and address US domestic concern over Mr Foley's murder.

    On the other hand, it should be recognized that IS is one of the most powerful jihadist movements in modern history. The group possesses an estimated 10,000-17,000 fighters, including an estimated 2,000 Europeans, and billions of dollars, according to the French foreign minister.

    The killing of US journalist James Foley shocked America
    They control 35,000 square miles of territory across two countries, on which they operate advanced US military equipment seized from the Iraqi army. In places, they enjoy the support of former Iraqi officers once loyal to Saddam Hussein and some Sunni tribes.

    IS should therefore be understood not merely as a terrorist group, but as a hybrid revolutionary movement with nation-building aspirations and conventional armed forces. This makes them vulnerable - they have more material infrastructure and capabilities to target than, say, al-Qaeda - but also more resilient.

    In this sense, it is reasonable for Mr Hagel to depict IS as unprecedented. Other fundamentalist groups that controlled states, such as the Taliban in Afghanistan, have been relatively parochial movements far less extreme in their methods and objectives.

    IS is in many ways a cross between a state and a military and ideological group
    The US has faced far more powerful state adversaries. The Soviet Union, for instance, killed many more people under its control than IS has done and could have inflicted far greater damage on the US had it chosen to do so. But Moscow could be deterred, whereas the "apocalyptic" ideology of IS is perceived as incapable of long-term coexistence or compromise.

    Very few groups have combined this territorial control, state-like structure, and avowed intention to attack the West. Mr Hagel, despite his hyperbole, has a point.
    http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-28896348
    "In my professional assessment as an intelligence officer, Trump has a reflexive, defensive, monumentally narcissistic personality, for whom the facts and national interest are irrelevant, and the only thing that counts is whatever gives personal advantage and directs attention to himself."

  2. #2
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    I think it was him I heard last week talking about going in to wipe Isis out of Syria

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    Sorry I should have added because its the nursery for Isis

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    Oil. We might pretend they didn't exist if they camped in a barren place with no oil, or just fought the people we originally helped support them in fighting. Yet again, we have played Dr Frankenstein with our meddlesome and ultimately inept foreig policy. And no, I do not think Isis can be ignored- they are our enemy in a way in which the Syrian government never was.
    probes Aliens

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    I have heard chatter about the US and the UK going into some kind of weird alliance with Syria and Iran in order to defeat ISIS. Funny stuff - but apparently they are giving it thought.

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    Hmm fund Isis to force regime change in Syria, and to march towards Iran dragging iran into a war they want no part of, and then join up with Syria and Iran? Why not just stop funding and arming ISIS? A lot simpler, no?

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    Custom user Neverna's Avatar
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    They are probably trying to protect their 'baby' - Iraq. I doubt they care about saving Syria. They will likely just keep bombing Iraq and cross their fingers that ISIS will leave Iraq and return to Syria to bother Asad.

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    IS seemingly has the backing of Turkey, which will gladly fill the vacuum and extend it's borders. Turkish expansion by proxy, there's oil and gas in the region. But as Turkey is a 'friend' of the West, the West won't highlight the link or attack the Turkish participation/complacency directly.

    The Bush fire continues to get out of control.
    Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming "Wow! What a Ride!"

  9. #9
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    The Seppos will tear in , bomb the shit out of everything in sight, suck all the others (UK AUS etc ) in then fuk off and leave the others to clean up as usual.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ozcol View Post
    The Seppos will tear in , bomb the shit out of everything in sight, suck all the others (UK AUS etc ) in then fuk off and leave the others to clean up as usual.
    A bit simplistic.
    In this case they're not fighting a country or a government.

    Islamic State militants pose 'biggest threat' to US


    Islamic State militants are the most dangerous threat America has faced in years, top US officials have warned.

    Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel said US strikes had weakened IS in Iraq, but the group could be expected to regroup.

    America's top general Martin Dempsey said IS fighters could not be defeated without attacking its base in Syria.

    The conflict has fuelled sectarian tensions in Iraq. In the latest attack, dozens of people have been killed in an attack on a Sunni mosque.

    Officials say that during Friday prayers a suicide bomber detonated explosives inside the mosque in the eastern province of Diyala, and gunmen fired on fleeing worshippers.

    It is not clear which group carried out the attack. The area has seen recent fighting between Iraqi troops backed by Shia militias and IS, a Sunni jihadist group,

    'Apocalyptic vision'
    Speaking at a news conference on Thursday, Mr Hagel described IS as an imminent threat.


    "They are beyond just a terrorist group. They marry ideology, a sophistication of strategic and tactical military prowess, they are tremendously well-funded. This is beyond anything that we have seen."

    Meanwhile, Gen Dempsey, the chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, said IS was "an organisation that has an apocalyptic, end-of-days strategic vision and which will eventually have to be defeated".

    "To your question, can they be defeated without addressing that part of their organisation which resides in Syria? The answer is no. That will have to be addressed on both sides of what is essentially at this point a non-existent border."

    Neither Mr Hagel nor Gen Dempsey announced a change in the limited military campaign adopted by Barack Obama, and the US president is unlikely to deepen his involvement in Iraq or Syria, the BBC's Barbara Plett Usher in Washington reports.

    But US officials did not rule out additional action against IS in Iraq or Syria, our correspondent adds.

    Britain said it would not work with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in the battle against IS, despite suggestions from a retired top general that it should do so.

    "What if the US had bombed Syria?" BBC Middle East editor Jeremy Bowen on a year that saw Syria's violence spread to Iraq
    Hunt for killer
    The warnings come after IS beheaded US journalist James Foley. The US has now begun a criminal investigation into his death, with US Attorney General Eric Holder warning that the country has a "long memory".

    It has emerged that a special US military mission tried but failed earlier this summer to rescue Mr Foley and other US hostages held in Syria.

    In the UK, police and security services are trying to identify the jihadist who appeared in footage of Mr Foley's killing.

    Jump media playerMedia player help
    Out of media player. Press enter to return or tab to continue.
    The BBC's Ian Pannell says finding Mr Foley's killer and bringing him to justice may be impossible
    Unconfirmed reports suggest the man - who had an English accent - is from London or south-east England.

    In the video of Mr Foley's murder, IS militants threatened to kill another American if the US did not stop its air strikes against the group in northern Iraq.

    US air strikes have continued near Mosul despite the warning.

    On Wednesday, President Obama vowed to bring the perpetrators to justice.

    "We will be vigilant and we will be relentless," he said. "When people harm Americans, anywhere, we do what's necessary to see that justice is done."

    Air strikes intensify
    The US has been conducting air strikes across Iraq since 8 August, as part of a campaign against IS.


    US aircraft destroyed or damaged four IS vehicles and several bomb placements in strikes near the strategic Mosul Dam in northern Iraq on Thursday, the military said.

    There have been a total of 90 air strikes across Iraq since operations began, the Pentagon said. Of those, 57 have been near the dam.

    The US said Iraqi troops and Kurdish fighters had recaptured the dam with American assistance on Monday.

    IS has waged a violent campaign in Iraq and Syria, seizing large swathes of both countries.

    The violence has displaced an estimated 1.2 million people in Iraq alone.

    Who are Islamic State (IS)?

    Formed out of al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) in 2013, IS first captured Raqqa in eastern Syria
    By early 2014 it controlled Falluja in western Iraq
    Has since captured broad swathes of Iraq, seizing the northern city of Mosul in June
    Fighting has displaced at least 1.2 million Iraqis
    Pursuing an extreme form of Sunni Islam, IS has persecuted non-Muslims such as Yazidis and Christians, as well as Shia Muslims, whom it regards as heretics
    In July alone, IS expanded dramatically, recruiting some 6,300 new fighters largely in Raqqa, an activist monitoring group said
    Last edited by Cujo; 26-08-2014 at 03:55 PM.

  11. #11
    Philippine Expat Davis Knowlton's Avatar
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    [quote=Koojo;2849845]
    Quote Originally Posted by Ozcol View Post
    The Seppos will tear in , bomb the shit out of everything in sight, suck all the others (UK AUS etc ) in then fuk off and leave the others to clean up as usual.
    A bit simplistic.
    In this case they're not fighting a country or a government.[

    I wouldn't say Ozcol's comment was "simplistic". Simple-minded might be more appropriate. Idiotic America bashing that adds nothing to a real thread about a real issue.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Neverna View Post
    I have heard chatter about the US and the UK going into some kind of weird alliance with Syria and Iran in order to defeat ISIS. Funny stuff - but apparently they are giving it thought.
    War and military directives will always be profitable in a weird round-about way.
    In these instances, the continued control and less than aborted hold on the fashion of new imperialism is truly what propagates these growing activities.

    Nothing more, nothing less.

    The surface subject line - which most buy into - is the usual PR.

  13. #13
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    Bombing from the air will mot solve the problem neither will boots on the ground.
    Difficult to find an effective solution not found one for Iraq nor Afghanistan whole area is a bloody mess.
    Could try tactile nuclear weapons,tried just about everything else and that's not worked.

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    Quote Originally Posted by klong toey View Post
    Bombing from the air will mot solve the problem neither will boots on the ground.
    Difficult to find an effective solution not found one for Iraq nor Afghanistan whole area is a bloody mess.
    Could try tactile nuclear weapons,tried just about everything else and that's not worked.

    Haven't attempted to mind your own business, have ya?

    That might work - or not.

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    Thailand Expat klong toey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thaimeme View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by klong toey View Post
    Bombing from the air will mot solve the problem neither will boots on the ground.
    Difficult to find an effective solution not found one for Iraq nor Afghanistan whole area is a bloody mess.
    Could try tactile nuclear weapons,tried just about everything else and that's not worked.

    Haven't attempted to mind your own business, have ya?

    That might work - or not.
    Should have minded our own business years ago but off we went in our sailing boats.
    Last edited by klong toey; 26-08-2014 at 08:07 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Davis Knowlton View Post
    ... a real issue.
    What is the real issue, Davis...??

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    Thailand Expat Pragmatic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Davis Knowlton
    In this case they're not fighting a country or a government.[
    Does it matter? America says it has a 'war on terror'. Terrorists don't recognise borders.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pragmatic View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Davis Knowlton
    In this case they're not fighting a country or a government.[
    Does it matter? America says it has a 'war on terror'. Terrorists don't recognise borders.
    Sure....that's obvious.
    Look what the greatest terrorist organisation [USA] has done to the world over and again, historically - never needing to recognize any such proper countries or governments. They just make the shit up as they go, justifying for this and that - always.

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    The original question “How involved the war against IS will the U.S. get?” really can’t be answered. As the situation is fluid, the US response will vary. The US will get as involved as it (the current administration) believes is required to protect US interests. US interests, of course is the energy, the almighty oil.

    I personally do not believe the game, nor the players, have changed at all, just the “names”. As long as it remains in the Middle East, the players are the same. The individuals ascribe to no country, no government and hold little or no loyalty to anyone other than their immediate small groups leadership. They will change sides and allegiances based on religious fervor and/or personal gain on a whim.

    And, the players involved have a never ending supply of replacements, their children, their children’s children and so on and so on.

    The “hate” is easy to grow, unless you were born there, you have no right to be there, and so, it (everything that is wrong in the world) is your fault. This is spoon fed to the children on a daily basis to maintain the never ending supply of replacements.

    And, can you blame them?

  20. #20
    Neo
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    Quote Originally Posted by Koojo View Post
    This is a whole new ball game.
    Nope.. Just a whole new bogeyman. They didn't appear out of nowhere and northern Syria is hardly the easiest place to go. Turkey is the key to this, the politics of which have become more fundamentalist recently. The war on terror serves both sides equally well.

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    The Kurds are doing very well out of this, and
    I say jolly good , it is about time they had some luck.
    They have been wanting their own homeland for over 100 years.
    They consider themselves as not Arabs.

  22. #22
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    This is from 7 months ago and shows the local opposition forces involved,
    many of whom have no doubt perished in the recent conflicts.
    Great insight into what is happening on the ground.


    As Syria's bloody civil war enters its third year, fighting has reached the country's Kurdish-dominated northeast, a region until recently almost untouched by the conflict. The Kurdish PYD party and its YPG militia, which is affiliated with the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) in neighboring Turkey, took over control of much of Hassakeh province from the Assad regime in the summer of 2012, and with it control of Syria's precious oilfields.

    But the PYD's hopes of staying neutral in the conflict and building an autonomous Kurdish state were dashed when clashes broke out with Syrian rebel forces in the strategic border city of Ras al-Ayn. That encounter quickly escalated into an all-out war between the Kurds and a powerful alliance of jihadist groups, including the al-Qaeda affiliates ISIS and Jabhat al-Nusra.

    In September of 2013, VICE crossed the border into Syria's Kurdish region to document the YPG's counteroffensive against the jihadists, who had struck deep into rural Hassakeh in an attempt to surround and capture Ras al-Ayn. With unparalleled access to the Kurdish and Syrian Christian fighters on the frontlines, we found ourselves witnessing a bitter and almost unreported conflict within the Syrian war, where the Assad regime is a neutral spectator in a life or death struggle between jihadist-led rebels and Kurdish nationalists, pitting village against village and neighbor against neighbor.

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    Quote Originally Posted by wasabi View Post
    The Kurds are doing very well out of this, and
    I say jolly good , it is about time they had some luck.
    They have been wanting their own homeland for over 100 years.
    They consider themselves as not Arabs.
    That because they're not Arab.
    Nor are any of their immediate neighbors - Iraqis, Iranians, Turks, Syrians, or Armenians.

  • #24
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    He added: "We are not interested in trying to help the Assad regime," but acknowledged that "there are a lot of cross-pressures here".

    Britain's foreign secretary, Philip Hammond, took a similar line last week in the wake of the murder of the American journalist James Foley. He said: "We may very well find that we are fighting, on some occasions, the same people that [Assad] is but that doesn't make us his ally. It would not be practical, sensible or helpful to even think about going down that route."
    Assad's foreign minister, Walid al-Muallem, highlighted the possible shifting of international alliances in the region by offering Syrian cooperation in the fight against Isis.

    US launches reconnaissance flights over Syria
    Drones and NSA intelligence-gathering team based in Baghdad lay groundwork for extending air strikes against Islamic State militants in Iraq



    Matthew Weaver and Martin Chulov
    The Guardian, Tuesday 26 August 2014 18.36 BST

    The US has begun reconnaissance flights over Syria in preparation for a possible cross-border expansion of its aerial campaign against Islamic State militants in Iraq.

    The flights, involving both manned aircraft and drones, began on Tuesday, an official confirmed to AP, after they were approved by the US president, Barack Obama, over the weekend.

    Obama has been reluctant to take military action in Syria, but the flights are being seen as laying the groundwork for extending US air strikes against Islamic State militants (Isis) into the group's stronghold of Raqqa in north-eastern Syria, where it has been leading the fight against the regime of Bashar al-Assad in a civil war that has killed almost 200,000 people.

    On Tuesday, Obama warned that defeating Isis would not be easy, but he vowed to pursue the killers of American journalist James Foley.

    "America does not forget, our reach is long, we are patient, justice will be done," Obama told veterans gathered at a convention of the American Legion in Charlotte, North Carolina. "Rooting out a cancer like ISIL won't be easy and it won't be quick," he said,

    Up to 150 US intelligence operatives have been sent to Baghdad over the past nine months in response to the growing threat posed by Isis, Iraqi officials have told the Guardian. Almost all of the US operatives are connected to the National Security Agency (NSA) and have been tasked with monitoring the phone calls and email traffic of jihadist networks.

    Most of the officials arrived early this year, soon after the insurgents seized Fallujah and Ramadi, two Sunni cities west of Baghdad that throughout the US occupation were both strongholds of the Sunni-led insurgency.

    Sources in Iraq and elsewhere in the region say the US presence had helped Iraqi forces target Isis militants with airstrikes in western Anbar province in late December. But the intelligence-gathering effort has also extended into Syria, where Isis maintained a command and control centre in the eastern city of Raqaa until mid-June.

    Isis has proven to be disciplined in its communications, with senior leaders completely avoiding telephones, email, or anything that the most powerful signals intelligence networks in the world could intercept. Even rare correspondence from the jihadists has proven difficult to track, with the senders using software to hide their tracks.

    The White House refused to publicly discuss reconnaissance flights, but did not deny the reports. Spokesman Josh Earnest said the US was willing to take military action to protect US citizens "without regard to international boundaries".

    He added: "We are not interested in trying to help the Assad regime," but acknowledged that "there are a lot of cross-pressures here".

    Britain's foreign secretary, Philip Hammond, took a similar line last week in the wake of the murder of the American journalist James Foley. He said: "We may very well find that we are fighting, on some occasions, the same people that [Assad] is but that doesn't make us his ally. It would not be practical, sensible or helpful to even think about going down that route."

    The irony that the US only a year ago considered – but ultimately rejected – conducting air strikes against Syrian government forces was not lost on the regime.

    Assad's foreign minister, Walid al-Muallem, highlighted the possible shifting of international alliances in the region by offering Syrian cooperation in the fight against Isis. But he warned the US against carrying out air strikes on its territory without consent from Damascus. "Any strike which is not coordinated will be considered as aggression," he said.

    Muallem revelled in the awkward position the west now finds itself in on Syria, claiming Damascus had repeatedly warned of the nature of the opposition to the Assad government but "no one listened to us".

    He condemned Foley's killing in the "strongest possible terms" but asked: "Has the west ever condemned the massacres by the Islamic State againt our armed forces or citizens?"

    Officials told the New York Times that the US had not consulted Damascus about the surveillance flights. On Monday, Obama held a meeting with his military commanders and his defence secretary, Chuck Hagel, to discuss the possibility of expanding the US's campaign against Isis, which began with air strikes in Iraq on 8 August.

    General Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, has already conceded the fight against Isis will need to be extended across the border.

    "Can they be defeated without addressing that part of their organisation which resides in Syria? The answer is no," he said last week. "That will have to be addressed on both sides of what is essentially at this point a nonexistent border."

    Former state department Middle East analyst Aaron David Miller said the Obama administration appeared to have accepted Assad was going to survive in Syria, even as it considered providing military help to moderate opponents of his regime.

    Writing in Foreign Policy magazine, he saids: "The battlefield will be expanded; air strikes in Syria will happen. Does it all lack for strategy? Is it a prescription for mission creep? Yes and yes. But blowing up a bunch of very bad people feels good. And whether you approve or not, it's coming."
    US launches reconnaissance flights over Syria | World news | The Guardian

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