To Take or not to Take…Mosul, Iraq

I am in the camp that ISIL/Daesh is an entity that needs to be eradicated for a number of reasons. I don’t really see Syria as the place to start though so when word leaked of the potential operation to retake Mosul I was optimistic. 

The Leak

First and foremost the leak was in my opinion a bad idea but not the case of criminal negligence anti Obama folks stressed it to be. When a credible full-fledged assault is mounted against Daesh it will be obvious and known to them well ahead of time. This is the unfortunate reality of the region and its players. One thing I always felt the leak had going for it was to serve as public pressure on the Iraqi government forces who have up to now been far less than credible. I also thought it may serve as a warning shot that might see the ISIL forces,est. @ 2-3,000 in Mosul, to respond in some manner.

The Leak has taken a Leak

As it stands now the leak was irrelevant since the Spring 2015 offensive at least is seemingly off the table. The Iraqis are reportedly not ready to mount the attack and anything else resembling an ally has far too much baggage for the key players to accept. Basically the anti-ISIL coalition is useless except for the fighters backed by Iran and the of course the Kurds. The US has back peddled rather shamefully and has tried to paint this pig now as a fully Iraqi operation which speaks to how it probably isn’t going to happen —ever.

What it takes to take

It is estimated and backed by history that the required force to attack Mosul needs to be in the area of 25,000 ! This is a 25k fully backed force by the way. We’re talking armor and air support and of course the poor guys that have to boot it door to door. The predominantly Sunni population of the city makes it hard for a majority Shiite government to attack it and still play the unification card. Sympathy for AQI was strong in Mosul and it still is fertile ground for the Sunni/Shia schism. It has to be stressed that the ISIL folks are dug in good too.The city has been adorn with trenches and obstacles and one has to think fields of fire and IED’s have been set up as well. You really don’t want to be the trooper who has to go in here soft.  It is of course to be seen as a liberation mission.No matter how serious the sectarian splits are in Iraq the central government must try to paint the ISIL folks as the true outsiders and greater evil.

I think this is not the way to go.

Truth be told Mosul is not inhabited by people who like America or the Baghdad government. In my operation we don’t help the Iraqis with drones we use AC-130 Spectre class assets. My choice would be to lay siege to the city,I’m talking old fucking school baby! Nothing in,Nothing out! Gradually take the bridges and the airport.Target the utilities. You see a piece of military equipment inside the circle?


I’m not fucking around with these people. Either you’re a problem that needs to go away or you’re something that doesn’t matter and we walk away. ISIL needs to go away.



  1. jonolan says:

    I don’t favor a siege in hostile territory, which Iraq et al has to be considered. I favor the Dresden solution for Mosul.

    Simply let the Muslims know that siding with losing to ISIS means they lose their city, town, village, hut, whatever.

  2. Alfie says:

    The thing with the Dresden Option is that really isn’t an Iraqi operation with US support,that would be an all Yankee thing.
    I think the Iraqis can encircle Mosul and “coalition” air support can drive it home.

  3. jonolan says:

    I don’t think the Iraqis, if we can call them a single thing, can and/or will do that. The Shiites might, but the majority of the ISIS-controlled areas of Iraq are Sunni and not greatly at odds with ISIS.

  4. Alfie says:

    An offensive has begun against the ISIL held Iraqi city of Tikrit. Reports indicate the Iraqi force is a mix of Sunni and Shiite fighters and that Iran is providing some form of tactical support.

  5. jonolan says:

    True, but the Iraqis did it more to spite the US than for any other reason and, so far, they’ve made little progress. I don’t expect them to make any either, unless Iran steps in with more air support – an eventuality that will not end well for Sunnis in the long run.

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