Saturday, June 14, 2014

Iraq jihadis cut off head for World Cup tweet

Your most morbid and demented imagination of evil doesn't come close to the reality these people live in. Their tactics are cowardly. Their technique is control by oppression through fear and terror. There is no reasoning with them. They respond only to force. They are evil personified. Words cannot describe how frustrating this whole situation is.

Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham

This article provides some good background on the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham. My platoon back in 2005 spent more than a couple sleepless nights out hunting Zarqawi. This is pure evil in action. For all you isolationists out there, don't think for a second this snake won't bite.

4,470 KIA in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation New Dawn. Tens of thousands wounded. Trillions of U.S. dollars. We can debate the invasion all day. But we were there. While we were there, mistakes were made. Things could have been done better and more efficiently. Hindsight is 20/20. The one thing that everyone agreed on was that a premature withdrawal without sufficient security on the ground would cause the whole thing to come tumbling down.

In 2010 I was an assistant operations NCO and for a time acting battle captain in an Infantry Battalion Tactical Operations Center. Our Battalion conducted convoy security and escort from Kuwait into southern Iraq and for a few months elements of our Battalion conducted security and escort operations all over Iraq. For a period these convoy escort teams were tasked with sending reports to our operations center outlining their observations of Iraqi Army and Iraqi Police checkpoints spread throughout Iraq's major highways. We would compile the reports we received from our convoy escort teams and then send them up the chain.

These reports were clear and concise. There wasn't any room for interpretation. The checkpoints weren't manned, or the Soldiers and Police Officers at these checkpoints were sleeping on the job, or they were inside watching TV, or they were drunk, or they were doing any number of activities other than manning an effective checkpoint. At the very least, these reports were indications of some significant shortcomings within the Iraqi government's security forces.

These reports were just one indication out of many. Just about every metric you could use indicated that the withdrawal timeline that was established for American forces from Iraq was premature, that Iraqi forces weren't ready, and that Iraq's government wasn't ready. Despite the multitudes of indications and the urging of the intelligence and military communities, this President opted to place his individual political ambitions and his re-election pursuits ahead of the national interest and continued with a premature withdrawal of forces.

This is what happens when your foreign policy is built upon the whims of public opinion. This, my friends, is a very scary situation.