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Generational Dynamics Web Log for 20-Jun-2014
20-Jun-14 World View -- President Obama orders more U.S. military involvement in Iraq

Web Log - June, 2014

20-Jun-14 World View -- President Obama orders more U.S. military involvement in Iraq

Nato reports new Russian troop build-up on Ukraine's border

This morning's key headlines from

Warlord Suleiman becomes Iraqi Sunni anti-government spokesman

Sheik Ali Hatim Al-Suleiman
Sheik Ali Hatim Al-Suleiman

Sheik Ali Hatim Al-Suleiman is a warlord, Emir of the Dulaim tribe in Iraq. And he's being quoted in media reports quite a bit and is becoming the unofficial spokesman for all the Iraqi Sunnis who are joining ISIS. the Dulaim tribe is one of the largest in Iraq, and al-Suleiman was one of the warlords who sided with the Americans against al-Qaeda in Iraq in 2007. Now he's disillusioned with the government of president Nouri al-Maliki, and is joining with ISIS against al-Maliki.

According to al-Suleiman:

"It is the tribal rebels who are in control of the situation in Mosul. It is not reasonable to say that a group like ISIS, which has a small number of men and vehicles, could be in control of a large city like Mosul. Therefore, it is clear that this is a tribal revolution, but the government is trying to force us all to wear the robe of the terrorists and ISIS.

The time for political solutions has passed. We will not permit a political solution. Maliki has used all his strength against the Iraqi people ... So how can there be a political solution? The only solution is Maliki’s ouster.

“When we get rid of the government, we will be in charge of the security file in the regions, and then our objective will be to expel terrorism—the terrorism of the government and that of ISIS."

Suleiman believes that Iraq is headed for partition:

"The revolution does not belong to anyone, but the tribal revolutionaries are the masters of the scene. Iraq is heading towards partition. There are two choices; either Iraq becomes a sea of blood, or each community rules itself. Central government is not the solution. We do not want an Iraq that fails to respect our dignity and religion."

I guess this is a possibility, but the Generational Dynamics historical analysis of Iraq that I posted two days ago indicates that it's unlikely. There are sectarian differences in Iraq, but as I described at length, those differences are far less significant than the Arab/Persian differences that separate them from Iran. Partitioning Iraq would throw the Shias into hands of Iran, and nobody wants that, as far as I can tell. It's true that the Kurds want a separate Kurdistan, and they have wanted that for over a century, but the Kurds control a lot of oil, so it's unlikely that the Sunnis and Shias will agree to a Kurdish separation. Washington Post and Asharq Al Awsat (Riyadh)

President Obama orders more U.S. military involvement in Iraq

President Barack Obama set as his highest priority is to be able to brag that he left office with all U.S. wars ended. Because his only foreign policy doctrine was to be the anti-Bush, he's had one disastrous foreign policy debacle after another. Now concerns are being raised that there's another foreign policy debacle in the making.

For the third time this week, Obama is announcing an increase in America's re-involvement in Iraq. First, he sent 300 troops to protect the embassy in Baghdad. Then word came of surveillance flights over Iraq. Now, on Thursday, he's announcing 300 more troops, to serve as "advisors," a phrase that I've heard many times in my life. Here's his statement on Thursday:

"Second, at my direction, we have significantly increased our intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance assets so that we’ve got a better picture of what’s taking place inside of Iraq. And this will give us a greater understanding of what ISIL is doing, where it’s located, and how we might support efforts to counter this threat.

Third, the United States will continue to increase our support to Iraqi security forces. We’re prepared to create joint operation centers in Baghdad and northern Iraq to share intelligence and coordinate planning to confront the terrorist threat of ISIL. Through our new Counterterrorism Partnership Fund, we’re prepared to work with Congress to provide additional equipment. We have had advisors in Iraq through our embassy, and we’re prepared to send a small number of additional American military advisors -- up to 300 -- to assess how we can best train, advise, and support Iraqi security forces going forward.

American forces will not be returning to combat in Iraq, but we will help Iraqis as they take the fight to terrorists who threaten the Iraqi people, the region, and American interests as well.

Fourth, in recent days, we’ve positioned additional U.S. military assets in the region. Because of our increased intelligence resources, we’re developing more information about potential targets associated with ISIL. And going forward, we will be prepared to take targeted and precise military action, if and when we determine that the situation on the ground requires it. If we do, I will consult closely with Congress and leaders in Iraq and in the region."

With the remark that "American forces will not be returning to combat in Iraq," it's not clear to me whether he's lying to the public or to himself.

He also made demands of Iraqi leaders:

"Above all, Iraqi leaders must rise above their differences and come together around a political plan for Iraq’s future. Shia, Sunni, Kurds -- all Iraqis -- must have confidence that they can advance their interests and aspirations through the political process rather than through violence."

But this is naive, for the historical reasons I gave two days ago ( "18-Jun-14 World View -- Generational Dynamics historical analysis of the violence in Iraq", viz., Iraqi Sunnis and Shias will unite during a generation crisis war against common enemy, but they are politically chaotic during a generational Awakening era, and will not unite.

The White House doesn't know what it's doing. Inaction in Syria in 2011 led to the creation of ISIS and its spillover into Iraq, and now the President isn't even mentioning Syria, but is hoping that Iraq's government will "advance their interests and aspirations through the political process." This is so bizarre it's laughable.

I don't know how many people have told me that they don't like the idea of the U.S. being "policeman of the world," but that's exactly what the U.S. has been since President Harry Truman's Truman Doctrine of 1947. Every President since then has fulfilled that commitment till now, because the cost of a small military action was always better than a repeat of something as enormous as World War II. President Obama has repudiated that commitment, and the Mideast is turning into a mess because of it, just as New York city would turn into a mess if the police force stopped policing. Like it or not, America is the policeman of the world, and is already paying a price for the abrogation of that commitment. White House and AP

Nato reports new Russian troop build-up on Ukraine's border

You'll recall that Russia's president Vladimir Putin kept promising to pull back his 50,000 troops from Ukraine's border, and nothing happened, week after week. Finally the troops were pulled back. But now, Nato's Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen is reporting that Russian troops are coming back, and that "at least a few thousand" are once again deployed along the border. A statement from Ukraine's government said that they'd identified two airborne divisions, and airborne assault brigade and a motorized rifle brigade at the border.

It's not known what the purpose of this Russian troop movement is. There are two possibilities:

We'll have to wait a few days to see which scenario is right. Washington Post and CNN

(Comments: For reader comments, questions and discussion, see the 20-Jun-14 World View -- President Obama orders more U.S. military involvement in Iraq thread of the Generational Dynamics forum. Comments may be posted anonymously.) (20-Jun-2014) Permanent Link
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