Obama Threatens Airstrikes On ISIS If They reach Erbil, Kurdistan 9 replies

Please wait...

Andron Taps Forum Mod

Faktrl is Best Pony

261,592 XP

10th September 2007

4 Uploads

21,746 Posts

1,754 Threads

#1 4 years ago

He called it a reluctant decision but, nevertheless, will use military force if members of Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, continue towards the capital city of Kurdistan. Many Iraqis are already fleeing their homes for fear of being killed by the group of Jihadists:

Obama administration weighing multiple options for Iraq in face Isis incursion | World news | theguardian.com

It's too bad we don't do a little more surgical striking with SPEC-OPS units as well as bombers from the get-go instead of sending entire divisions to mop up gangs of random thugs which in turn influences other people to take arms against the invasion force. Well, at the very least I suppose we'll just have to hope this goes off without incident and the group is halted if not killed off in the following weeks.


"I'd shush her zephyr." ~ Zephyr.



MrFancypants Forum Admin

The Bad

217,011 XP

7th December 2003

0 Uploads

20,003 Posts

6 Threads

#2 4 years ago

It seems he already authorised air strikes in the meantime. Not sure how much good it will do, but there aren't many alternatives. The US gave lots of modern weapons to Iraq and Iraq's pushover army is handing all that stuff over to a terrorist organization that is, according to Al Quaeda, intolerably cruel.




Nemmerle Forum Mod

Voice of joy and sunshine

298,365 XP

26th May 2003

0 Uploads

28,147 Posts

5 Threads

#3 4 years ago
MrFancypants;5742810 Not sure how much good it will do, but there aren't many alternatives. The US gave lots of modern weapons to Iraq and Iraq's pushover army is handing all that stuff over to a terrorist organization that is, according to Al Quaeda, intolerably cruel.

I wouldn't be too concerned about the equipment. It's not like ISIS can just nip down the local 7-Eleven and pick up F16 engine parts and a copy of F16 For Dummies. If they end up taking over, they'll be left with some very expensive hardware that they don't have the infrastructure or relationships to maintain.

Assuming, of course, that the incumbents last act isn't to C4 the stuff, and the Americans don't decide to airstrike the more important equipment they sold if security looks like it's a lost cause.




MrFancypants Forum Admin

The Bad

217,011 XP

7th December 2003

0 Uploads

20,003 Posts

6 Threads

#4 4 years ago

Nemmerle;5742825I wouldn't be too concerned about the equipment. It's not like ISIS can just nip down the local 7-Eleven and pick up F16 engine parts and a copy of F16 For Dummies. If they end up taking over, they'll be left with some very expensive hardware that they don't have the infrastructure or relationships to maintain.

Assuming, of course, that the incumbents last act isn't to C4 the stuff, and the Americans don't decide to airstrike the more important equipment they sold if security looks like it's a lost cause.

Until then they can use whatever they captured to increase their odds or for some nasty terrorist attacks. They supposedly captured stinger missiles - wouldn't be too difficult to smuggle a few of those into a western country.

The Iraqis aren't able to destroy equipment while retreating and the US started acting only now - after much of the stuff has apparently been moved to Syria.

Eventually some of the European islamists who are currently fighting in Syrian and Iraq may return with weapons and skills they picked up in the Middle East. Let's hope the USAF/USN keeps them occupied.




Nemmerle Forum Mod

Voice of joy and sunshine

298,365 XP

26th May 2003

0 Uploads

28,147 Posts

5 Threads

#5 4 years ago

Gonna be a bitch for them trying to get a Stinger through airport security at Gatwick.... ;)

I mean what you're talking about isn't impossible, but it is far from the first time that terrorists have had access to potentially very destructive weaponry. If they wanted to there's been plenty of high explosive lying around in the middle east for ages, they could easily have smuggled that into a Western nation and had themselves what one might euphemistically refer to as, 'A Real Good Time.' Bombing trains and the like.

But they don't. Why not?

I think that:

A) While the odds of being interrupted at the border if you just stick things on the bottom of a civilian boat are low, doing so requires a large organisation and the crossing of many borders. The more people your plot encompasses, and the more points of interaction it has, the greater the cumulative chance of being compromised.

B) Terrorism seems more about culture than it does about being effective. A terrorist that goes from Iraq to France probably doesn't know any terrorists in France. They strike me, on an international level, more as local groups of angry young men than they do an organised force.

Now you might say that ISIS doesn't follow that pattern. But ISIS is an army in a civil war - that's not necessarily the same thing as a bunch of terrorists who are likely to commit acts of terrorism in the West. I think it would be misleading to paint all Middle Eastern conflicts with the brush of terrorism.

The IRA are the most organised terrorist force I can think of in recent history, and they looked very unlike ISIS in their approach to things.




MrFancypants Forum Admin

The Bad

217,011 XP

7th December 2003

0 Uploads

20,003 Posts

6 Threads

#6 4 years ago

Nemmerle;5742827Gonna be a bitch for them trying to get a Stinger through airport security at Gatwick.... ;)

I mean what you're talking about isn't impossible, but it is far from the first time that terrorists have had access to potentially very destructive weaponry. If they wanted to there's been plenty of high explosive lying around in the middle east for ages, they could easily have smuggled that into a Western nation and had themselves what one might euphemistically refer to as, 'A Real Good Time.' Bombing trains and the like.

But they don't. Why not?

I think that:

A) While the odds of being interrupted at the border if you just stick things on the bottom of a civilian boat are low, doing so requires a large organisation and the crossing of many borders. The more people your plot encompasses, and the more points of interaction it has, the greater the cumulative chance of being compromised.

B) Terrorism seems more about culture than it does about being effective. A terrorist that goes from Iraq to France probably doesn't know any terrorists in France. They strike me, on an international level, more as local groups of angry young men than they do an organised force.

Now you might say that ISIS doesn't follow that pattern. But ISIS is an army in a civil war - that's not necessarily the same thing as a bunch of terrorists who are likely to commit acts of terrorism in the West. I think it would be misleading to paint all Middle Eastern conflicts with the brush of terrorism.

The IRA are the most organised terrorist force I can think of in recent history, and they looked very unlike ISIS in their approach to things.

You can always just ship your weapons in a container, hidden among some harmless goods. Or by transporting them through the Balkans and eastern Europe, exploiting the lack of border controls (which is how organized crime gets their weapons from the last Balkan wars).

ISIS may be a militia currently busy in Syria and Iraq, but if you look at Afghanistan or Pakistan you can see some parallels. And once such a militia controls an area they start to get interested in attacking western countries. Probably because this kind of organization derives stability from conflict.

I wouldn't use the last couple of years to predict terrorist activity in the future. Some things have changed. Isis has experience, money and weapons. Al Quaeda didn't have it that easy recently. Isis also has large numbers of fanatical Europeans fighting for them. The German governemnt estimates that about 400 Germans left to fight in Syria. They'll form networks there, learn to fight and get access to all sorts of weapons.

There have been a bunch of attempted terrorist attacks in Germany over the years. They usually failed because the would-be terrorists were unorganized and didn't have the resources or skills to accomplish anything. If islamsits returning from Syria and Iraq aren't detected this may well change.

Besides, chances are that ISIS has already started targeting Europe.




Andron Taps Forum Mod

Faktrl is Best Pony

261,592 XP

10th September 2007

4 Uploads

21,746 Posts

1,754 Threads

#7 4 years ago

UPDATE:

Obama has authorized surgical airstrikes to perform mini-Dr. Strangeloves on ISIS mobile artillery groups.


"I'd shush her zephyr." ~ Zephyr.



Nemmerle Forum Mod

Voice of joy and sunshine

298,365 XP

26th May 2003

0 Uploads

28,147 Posts

5 Threads

#8 4 years ago

MrFancypants;5742828You can always just ship your weapons in a container, hidden among some harmless goods. Or by transporting them through the Balkans and eastern Europe, exploiting the lack of border controls (which is how organized crime gets their weapons from the last Balkan wars).

ISIS may be a militia currently busy in Syria and Iraq, but if you look at Afghanistan or Pakistan you can see some parallels. And once such a militia controls an area they start to get interested in attacking western countries. Probably because this kind of organization derives stability from conflict.

I wouldn't use the last couple of years to predict terrorist activity in the future. Some things have changed. Isis has experience, money and weapons. Al Quaeda didn't have it that easy recently. Isis also has large numbers of fanatical Europeans fighting for them. The German governemnt estimates that about 400 Germans left to fight in Syria. They'll form networks there, learn to fight and get access to all sorts of weapons.

There have been a bunch of attempted terrorist attacks in Germany over the years. They usually failed because the would-be terrorists were unorganized and didn't have the resources or skills to accomplish anything. If islamsits returning from Syria and Iraq aren't detected this may well change.

Besides, chances are that ISIS has already started targeting Europe.

Alrighty, so there's broadly speaking three things there.

A) Shipment

B) Personnel

C) Politics

Shipment:

Land borders I agree that an open land border is much more dangerous. It may be that such things have to go away. It's no longer technologically infeasible to watch and secure a land border of arbitrary length and stick check points on the authorised crossings.

Sea borders I don't think that it's as simple as putting your weapons in a crate with standard produce in it. Or at least it shouldn't be.

- They're trackable.

- They go through a relatively small number of points where you can concentrate your efforts.

- Trade with places where the weapons are likely to come from can be restricted, and considering that unstable places tend not to produce much by way of finished goods is arguably so anyway in the relevant terms.

Personnel:

I don't think that those who fight in foreign countries are necessarily going to be huge threats at home. They may feel moved to defend their compatriots in other countries, but will they then come home and make war here, or will they make war in some other place, or will they just give the thing up as a bad idea?

But assuming, as seems likely, that some small portion of them return. They've associated with these terrorists, and is it likely that that's gone unnoted? It's gonna be a tad suspicious if they turn up at a shipping company and collect their crate. And if they're going to have the stuff delivered that's going to be associating with a wider network again.

Politics:

I don't really disagree with you much there, other than to note that the Taliban sat around doing very little for a very long time. It's difficult to tell whether this is going to follow more the sort of model that Iraq under Saddam did or closer to the one that Hamas is.

#

I don't think that anything you're talking about isn't a risk, mind. I just think that it's manageable if the intelligence services are actually doing their jobs.

Frankly the knowledge that the exported personnel might bring back with them strikes me as more of a risk. But then you've the question of how far ahead ISIS is thinking. Whether they're sitting the exports down with their specialists in certain areas and what the return on that's likely to be in terms of the intellectual capabilities of the exports and their motivation to subsequently make use of that knowledge on returning to the West.

...

Not that I think that Obama and co' are likely to want to see how things come down. The question there I suppose is how cold blooded they're prepared to be in using airstrikes. This stuff seems to have a tendency to snow-ball. If the Iraqi army aren't able to take the matter in hand themselves, there's only so much that a series of limited strikes seems likely to accomplish.




MrFancypants Forum Admin

The Bad

217,011 XP

7th December 2003

0 Uploads

20,003 Posts

6 Threads

#9 4 years ago

Nemmerle;5742860Alrighty, so there's broadly speaking three things there.

A) Shipment

B) Personnel

C) Politics

Shipment:

Land borders I agree that an open land border is much more dangerous. It may be that such things have to go away. It's no longer technologically infeasible to watch and secure a land border of arbitrary length and stick check points on the authorised crossings.

Sea borders I don't think that it's as simple as putting your weapons in a crate with standard produce in it. Or at least it shouldn't be.

- They're trackable.

- They go through a relatively small number of points where you can concentrate your efforts.

- Trade with places where the weapons are likely to come from can be restricted, and considering that unstable places tend not to produce much by way of finished goods is arguably so anyway in the relevant terms.

Problem is the volume. If you have millions of containers arriving per year in one harbour it gets difficult to control them all. You still have to be somewhat clever about how you do it and maybe send the container through one or two waypoints and fake companies first, but I doubt that it is very hard.

I don't think that those who fight in foreign countries are necessarily going to be huge threats at home. They may feel moved to defend their compatriots in other countries, but will they then come home and make war here, or will they make war in some other place, or will they just give the thing up as a bad idea?

But assuming, as seems likely, that some small portion of them return. They've associated with these terrorists, and is it likely that that's gone unnoted? It's gonna be a tad suspicious if they turn up at a shipping company and collect their crate. And if they're going to have the stuff delivered that's going to be associating with a wider network again.

Depends how you define threat. They may not feel like bombing a random train, but it wouldn't surprise me if they'd try to target US installations in Europe or Jewish communities.

The important part is whether they are detected when they return. If they are dumb and arrive by plane to a major airport in Germany or Britian it is going to be rather easy to deal with them. If they take a bus through eastern Europe and delegate the weapon transfer to less suspicious people (e.g. islamists who didn't feel like going to Syria but still want to help somehow)...

I don't think that anything you're talking about isn't a risk, mind. I just think that it's manageable if the intelligence services are actually doing their jobs.

I agree, I am not overly optimistic about that happening though. They seem pretty good at what they do, but there are lots of potential suspects.




Red Menace

SCHOFIELD DID 4/30

415,758 XP

10th August 2004

0 Uploads

40,364 Posts

1 Threads

#10 4 years ago

ISIS has heavy equipment (stolen from the Syrian and Iraqi armies, from Western shipments meant for the "good" Syrian rebels and supplied from the Sunni states) the Kurds really don't. Not talking airplanes, but artillery and armored vehicles.

The mission doesn't seem too much about stopping the proliferation of these weapons, but giving the Kurds an edge. The central government isn't particularly interested in equipping them because of territorial and ethnic issues, and probably because the Kurds seem like the only ones capable of fighting.

I'm cool with this.


sigpic82523_3.gif</div></body></html>