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Insurgents advance in Iraq as Obama ponders what to do, if anything

Insurgents advance in Iraq as Obama ponders what to do, if anything

President won’t commit to helping Iraq for a few days

Media and civilian reports throughout northern and central Iraq on Friday suggest that the situation on the ground has become increasingly violent and unstable to the point that the Iraqi government is crumbling:

Heavily armed Islamist militants flush with $450 million in stolen cash pushed toward Baghdad on Friday, sending thousands fleeing in fear from the Iraqi capital.

Al Qaeda-linked insurgents who overran large parts of the north of the country earlier this week also seized about $450 million during a bank heist, Mosul Mayor Athier Nujaifi told NBC News. That makes the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) the world’s richest terrorist group.

The ISIS troops are led by Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi (or Abu Dua) was once held by the US in Camp Bucca Iraq. al-Baghdadi was captured by U.S. forces in Iraq, but released by the Obama Administration in 2009.

On his way to a visit to North Dakota, President Barack Obama held a brief statement and exchange with reporters on The White House lawn.

Unfortunately for the President, events are deteriorating so fast around Baghdad, it may be too late for the United States to do anything before the ISIS/Sunni insurgents take the Iraqi capital.

Reporters didn’t ask specific questions about the failure of Obama to leave U.S. combat troops in Iraq after 2011 or his failure to complete a Status of Forces Agreement with the Iraqi government.

Obama also didn’t address the incredible military and tactical success that the ISIS Islamic terror group has demonstrated — including the amount of land they control from Syria to the outskirts of Baghdad, the capture of U.S. military assets in northern Iraq, and the seizure of the $450 million from a bank in Mosul, Iraq.

The Institute for the Study of War has laid out some disturbing scenarios for the situation in Baghdad moving forward which suggest that the destabilization of Iraq has yet to see its worst moments. ISIS forces appear to be organizing for an attempt to take Baghdad as early as Saturday.

ISIS will seek to target the seat of Iraq’s government in the Green Zone. This may be a symbolic target rather than an operational target. Strategically, ISIS does not need to overrun the Green Zone. They only need to demonstrate the ability to maneuver ground forces into the city center, past the best that the ISF [Iraqi Security Force] can muster, and touch the flagpole. If ISIS is able to assault the Green Zone with a ground attack force, they will realize the full defeat of the Iraqi Security Forces. The command and control of Shi’a militias, police forces, and Iraqi civilians in the wake of such an attack would overwhelm the Baghdad Operations Command. The core functions of the Iraqi state would break down. Baghdad would become a ward of the Iranian government to protect the Khadimiya shrine, and Baghdad would become a buffer zone for low-level attacks across an Iranian-ISIS demarcation line.

ISIS may also activate sleeper cells to gather at internal rally points within Baghdad. Particularly during the Anbar campaign, new sleeper cells may have had the opportunity to emplace within the Baghdad city center from previously held positions in the Baghdad Belts. In this case, ISIS would need rally points that are proximate to existing infrastructure inside the city. ISIS would also likely leverage existing infrastructure associated with the longstanding VBIED operation to receive, gather, and deploy vehicle convoys. ISIS may also use VBIEDS to buffer the rallying stage of the assault force. Last week, ISIS executed two large VBIED waves, both entirely complete within one hour. This suggests that ISIS has also been testing its own ability to deliver VBIEDS at the same time across Baghdad. A blitzkrieg of VBIEDS might mask a force consolidating and staging inside Baghdad in order to advance upon the Green Zone.

The battle for Baghdad would likely involve several attack vectors – a main assault force by ground, but also supporting efforts to shock and dismantle likely Iraqi Security Force response. The best way for the ISF to mitigate this outcome is to designate fixed defenses that must hold and rehearse battle drills, because ISIS will seek to overwhelm them.

Many Republican lawmakers on Capitol Hill have blasted the President for allowing ten years of sacrifice by United States servicemen and women in the war in Iraq to collapse within less than two weeks.

This will be a very long weekend for Iraqis struggling to save their country from collapse and U.S. veterans and military families who lost so much over the past ten years in liberating Iraq watch it all go up in smoke.

(Featured Image source: ABC News)


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For some strange reason (/sarc) the U.S. media isn’t reporting that al-Maliki requested U.S. assistance last month. I suppose Obama might have have missed that request to to an urgent golf game or something…

    Freddie Sykes in reply to snopercod. | June 13, 2014 at 11:25 pm

    There would be no way for Obama to know about it if it didn’t make the media. Nothing exists for Obama unless it was feature on the pages of the NY Times or Rolling Stone.

It is 3:00 AM and the phone has been ringing for 5 1/2 years !

Doug Wright Old Grouchy | June 13, 2014 at 7:39 pm

Please, for goodness sake, Obama is merely trying to achieve his goal of radically transforming this country! What better way than to turn a once military victory into a crass political defeat of his enemies, those of US who oppose him?

Obama wants that crap here as well.

    Estragon in reply to gettimothy. | June 13, 2014 at 11:36 pm

    Something tells me that if the mess comes here, the best and most fighters will not be on his side.

    Including the armed forces and all the paramilitary wings of Agriculture, Homeland Security, Treasury, etc. Oh, their leadership will be with him, but they will have a higher rate of desertion than the Iraqi army.

al-Maliki must not have studied history. He made the same mistake as Saigon.

    Doug Wright Old Grouchy in reply to genes. | June 13, 2014 at 11:01 pm

    Yeah, he thought the USA would support the new Iraqi government but he found out what Saigon found out, that the 1974 Democratic controlled Congress would not live up to the agreement the USA signed with Saigon when our combat forces pulled out in 1973. So, Saigon’s forces, which had been putting it to the NVA and the VC became a wounded duck and fell in 1975.

    Guess al-Maliki should have realized Obama wouldn’t live up to whatever “W’s” folks said, shame on al-Maliki.

      One word, well, one acronym. SOFA. Stands for Status of Forces Agreement. Maliki didn’t want to sign one, holding out the possibility that residual US force soldiers could be arrested by local authorities, tried for some actual or imagined crime, possibly up to and including public executions.

      If Maliki thought the US was going to support him with troops on the ground without a SOFA well, he’s even more delusional than I remembered.

        Estragon in reply to JBourque. | June 13, 2014 at 11:39 pm

        He took that position publicly, but had negotiated most of the next SOFA already, there were only a few details remaining to be settled.

        Obama did nothing to negotiate because he wanted out altogether. After having to keep Gitmo open, he wanted at least one campaign promise to his anti-American leftist base to be kept.

          Sanddog in reply to Estragon. | June 13, 2014 at 11:53 pm

          Exactly. Obama wasn’t interested in negotiating a SOFA. Apparently, he thought saying “I WON” would impress the Iraqis.

          The left and right can argue whether the invasion of Iraq was a good idea until hell freezes over but the fact is, we broke it, we bought it. You can’t overthrow a government and leave 6 years later pretending you’ve left behind a stable new country. The only way to bring “democracy” into that region is to force it on them and then hang around for a very long time until that system is so entrenched, the citizens are willing to fight and die for it. We didn’t do that because we seem to be incapable of learning any lessons of the past.

“He made the same mistake as Saigon.” A little more detail would be helpful?

This is very inconvenient for the President. Don’t they know he has a golf game, and a fundraiser to go to in California??? Why can’t they go to war when he is out of office. How racist of them to ruin his and Michelles west coast vacation!!!

Please. Folks. Obama is busy this weekend. After touring the Indian reservations, he’s planning on golf and some vaca time in Palm Springs.

Uncle Samuel | June 13, 2014 at 10:30 pm

According to the Americans who have escaped Iraq, there are still 200 Americans and they are now under fire from ISIS (whose leader Obama released!)

Meanwhile, Obama is off to Palm Springs for golf and fundraising.

Freddie Sykes | June 13, 2014 at 11:33 pm

You can tell Obama is taking this seriously. He is never out of sight of a helicopter just in case he has to make an emergency evac. Sauve qui peut!

Subotai Bahadur | June 14, 2014 at 12:37 am

Unfortunately for the President, events are deteriorating so fast around Baghdad, it may be too late for the United States to do anything before the ISIS/Sunni insurgents take the Iraqi capital.

Assuming facts not in evidence. There is nothing, nothing at all, to indicate that events are not unfolding as he wishes. Is there anything at all in his record as president, any act at all, that would indicate that he opposes ISIL/ISIS?

Estragon | June 13, 2014 at 11:36 pm

….all the paramilitary wings of Agriculture, Homeland Security, Treasury, etc. Oh, their leadership will be with him, but they will have a higher rate of desertion than the Iraqi army.

You have far more faith in Obama’s hired guns than I do. I see them as having chosen power over the Constitution. There may be some few who are Patriots, but the number of enemies in their ranks makes it impossible to trust them. I see no hesitation when they face unarmed American civilians. They only have hesitated when they have faced armed and prepared Americans.


But, if Obama is a militant Muslim like it always seemed that it was, then Syria, Sudan, Libya, Iraq, and soon Afghanistan are major victories for him. He only failed in Egypt.

Wow, premature evacuation and impotence (aka “Benghazi”). Obama should be concerned. The combination is detrimental to his standing.

Juba Doobai! | June 14, 2014 at 7:10 am

The LSM and other lickspittles will attribute this indecisiveness of Obama’s to an intellectual brilliance paralyzed by an endless evaluation of the options.

In reality, Obama’s inaction should be down to this: things are unfolding as he wishes. The caliphate is being established in Iraq, Syria, and Libya.

Game on, America!

Bitterlyclinging | June 14, 2014 at 7:49 am

If Obama had been President, instead of FDR, The Germans would have been in Effingham, Illinois and the Japanese would have made it to Paxico, Kansas before Obama had finished studying the situation and decided what to do. There’s a valid reason why British historian Max Hastings labeled Obama a “Marshmallow foreign policy pygmy” compared to Churchill and FDR.
Obama thought all he had to do, foreign policy wise, was to travel the world extolling the joys, pleasures, virtues, and benefits to be derived from active participation in multiple acts of sodomy, fellatio, and cunnilingus and everyone would be cool, the lion would lie down with lamb, the dog would befriend the cat, the hawk would nest with the chicken, and if he distracted the folks attention long enough, the Worldwide Islamic Caliphate, would ‘peacefully’ materialize, although he knew full well, there can be no joy, nor peace with Islam.

    Uncle Samuel in reply to Bitterlyclinging. | June 14, 2014 at 8:32 am

    Yep, Hillary’s globe trotting was mainly to promote her and Obama’s sexual agenda: pansexuality and abortion. She made it clear that foreign aid was contingent upon affirmation of their sexual agenda.