Iraq
Wikipedia refers to the Iraq war as follows: "The Iraq War, or the War in Iraq (also referred to as the Occupation of Iraq, the Second Gulf War, or Operation Iraqi Freedom by the United States military), was a conflict that occurred in Iraq from March 20, 2003 to December 15, 2011, though sectarian violence continues since and has caused hundreds of fatalities." Well said. Again, call this campaign anything you want, but realize this was and is part of the global War on Terror. If you believe this invasion was disastrously stupid, then please tell me how you think the last 10 years of fighting terrorism would have been better with Saddam Hussein still in power in Iraq. What follows below is discussion around how to monitor the developments in Iraq as they fight to establish a country that is friendly with itself and its neighbors.

Get Ready for Obama’s ‘October Surprise’ in Iraq

8/2/16
from The Gray Area:
8/1/16:

If you don't think this new bombing expansion in Syria & Libya has everything to do with the Presidential Election, you just don't know Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and the Democrat Party!

Look what lies they told about Benghazi to hide their failure in Libya in 2012, just before the election!

The hit the Obama Administration and specifically Hillary Clinton are taking on failed foreign policy and the disasters occurring around the world needs to be muted. What better way to mute that narrative then to 'finally' take some decisive action. Of course, the decisive action is not a strategy motivated to develop a solution or to solve a problem. No, it is a politically motivated tactic designed to win an election.

from Politico,
8/1/16:

If Iraqi and Kurdish troops—with stepped-up U.S. support—retake Mosul as planned, it could be a big boost for Hillary.

The American public could be treated to a major U.S.-led military victory in Iraq this fall, just as voters are deciding who will be the nation’s next president—but U.S. military officials insist the timing of the operation has nothing to do with politics. Iraqi and Kurdish military and paramilitary units are preparing for a push on Mosul, the Islamic State-held city that is now in the cross hairs of the U.S.-led coalition battling the terrorist group across the Middle East. “The idea is to isolate Mosul, cut it off, kill it,” a senior U.S. Central Command officer told me. If Mosul is retaken, it would both mark a major political triumph for Barack Obama and likely benefit his party’s nominee at the polls, Hillary Clinton, undercutting Republican claims that the Obama administration has failed to take off the gloves against the Islamic State. Even so, senior officers at U.S. Central Command who are overseeing the effort scoff at the notion that the Mosul offensive is being timed to help the candidate Obama is now actively campaigning for, his former secretary of state. “Hurrying this thing along for political benefit would be just about the dumbest thing that we could do,” the senior Centcom officer told me this week, “and there’s been no pressure for us to do that. None. Iraqi and Kurdish fighters are going to fight for the city when they’re damned good and ready, and not before. There’s too much at stake to do it any other way.” All evidence supports that notion, but U.S. officials have confirmed the Pentagon is planning ways to time their offensive against Mosul with an attack on the Islamic State “capital” in Raqqa, Syria. A coordinated Mosul-Raqqa military offensive could yield a dual defeat to the ISIS caliphate, unhinge ISIS power in both Syria and Iraq and have the added benefit of pinning ISIS units moving into Iraq along interior lines from Syria in place. In late March, the Centcom stepped up its monitoring of the Syria-Iraq border, with the intended purpose of spotting and bombing ISIS units headed toward Mosul. The ambitious plans for Mosul and Raqqa reflect a shift in tactics and deeper U.S. involvement that has not been fully reported in the U.S. media—or talked about in the presidential campaign. Most recently, Centcom has gained White House permission to deploy U.S. advisers with Iraqi units at the battalion level, which would place U.S. advisers and trainers in greater danger, but would also give them more control of the battlefield. And the U.S. has been quick to flow advisers (an initial tranche of some 200 in all) into al-Qayyarah air base, about 40 miles south of Mosul, which was overrun by Iraqi military forces last week. Washington has also boldly stepped up its support of the Peshmerga, the veteran military units of the Kurdistan Regional Government who will lead the assault on Mosul from the north, despite the risk of upsetting the delicate regional politics—especially suspicions by the Shia-led Iraqi government that the U.S. is favoring the Kurds. On July 12, the U.S. signed an agreement with the KRG to provide Peshmerga units with $415 million for the purchase of ammunition and medical equipment. The agreement would also provide heavy weapons to Peshmerga units, which have been consistently outgunned by ISIS fighters, according to one senior civilian Pentagon official. The $415 million would correct that shortfall, with weapons flowing into Peshmerga units near Mosul. The stepped-up aid to the Kurds reflects U.S. military confidence that the Islamic State is being rolled back. Since the campaign was initiated on August 8, 2014, the U.S.-led coalition has launched over 13,000 airstrikes on Islamic State military targets. Just as crucially, the four near-term goals laid out by the U.S. military to combat ISIS are on the verge of completion: to stabilize Anbar, prepare coalition ground forces to take Mosul, organize a ground campaign in Syria for a planned assault on Raqqa and ramp up the flow of weapons for anti-ISIS ground forces.

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