More on ISIS in Iraq

The Economist in its May 23rd edition discussed the fall of Ramadi and had a pretty in depth article on ISIS, and it had a couple of graphs I wanted to make sure you all saw.

These are the two final graphs in the article.

First, here’s some insight into how ISIS is actually able to hold ground — and nope, it’s not completely through fear, as I mostly assumed.

  • “(ISIS) administrators win plaudits for their efficient management, clean streets and timely payment of salaries. They have partially restored electricity to Mosul, refurbished a hotel there and opened Saddam Hussein’s palaces for weekend strolls. Debt-burdened Jordan hopes that IS might see a mutual interest in keeping its border crossing open for trade, and even recognises the receipts it issues for import duties as tax-deductible.”

So, clearly, ISIS  is actually competing with the Iraqi government — it seems, quite well — on providing services. This has been exacerbated by the pro-Shia government of Iraq, which I’m certain has short-changed the Sunni-part of its own population.

Thus the opening for ISIS, a Sunni-based organization.

The final paragraph was the nail in the coffin, so to speak. I mean, I like to be optimistic, but reading this graph helped convince me that Joe Biden was probably right all the way back in 2006 about dividing up the country. Here’s the last graph from the article:

  • “The danger is that the IS caliphate is becoming a permanent part of the region. The frontiers will shift in the coming months. But with the Kurds governing themselves in the north-east, and the Shias in the south, Iraqis question the government’s resolve in reversing IS’s hold on the Sunni north-west. “Partition is already a reality,” sighs a Sunni politician in exile. “It just has yet to be mapped.””

Colin Powell famously said “if you break it, you own it.” I think we certainly broke it, and there’s probably not any putting it back together.

Keep the faith,

Stan R. Mitchell

Oak Ridge, Tenn.

About me: I’m a full-time, action-fiction author with books similar to Vince Flynn, Stephen Hunter, and Tom Clancy. I’m also a prior infantry Marine with Combat Action Ribbon, and a guy who spent 10+ years writing every day in the newspaper business. Please consider subscribing for email alerts — I mostly post about things American foreign policy, national security, and all things Marine Corps.

P.S. You should really consider buying this book: The Shaolin Workout: 28 Days to Transforming Your Body and Soul the Warrior’s Way. It’s absolutely changed my life for the better.


4 thoughts on “More on ISIS in Iraq

  1. Crazy Uncle Joe was right, his point being made by his boss’ decision to politicize the withdrawal of our forces prematurely. Iraq should have been divided, our relationship with the “states” determined by how wisely they actually used the resources provided to them. And big mistake not having stronger ties with the Kurds. The president’s attitude of doing nothing reeks of wanting to prove that we should have never gone into Iraq in the first place. My two cents. SF.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Good stuff, Mike. Great to hear from you.

      On this point: “The president’s attitude of doing nothing reeks of wanting to prove that we should have never gone into Iraq in the first place. My two cents.”

      You know, maybe that’s the case. Maybe it’s not. Hard to know for sure. Two points to consider on this thought.

      First, the man honestly ran on ending the wars, so I give him props for actually doing what he said he’d damn. Pretty rare in a politician. : )

      Secondly, the Congress has shown almost no desire to stay in the war in Iraq. They didn’t even have the guts to vote on ISIS.

      No matter what any of us think, the truth seems to be that basically, the American people have spoken. Even the current (I think all of them?) GOP Presidential candidates say the war was a mistake. We sacrificed so much, we tried to make something happen, and we’ve come up short.

      There’s certainly a lot of blame to go around, but in the end, right or wrong, I think we came up short.

      Iran and Saudi Arabia will probably (maybe already) wield more influence in Iraq than America, and it’s quite clear a true democracy will not occur.


      • It’s a tough position to be in; the GWOT is essentially all but over in name. American involvement in Iraq was not the #1 cause of the current situation – but it was a large catalyst and certainly played its part in Iraq essentially being on the verge of becoming a failed state.

        Iraq is broken, and ISIS is running rampant where they can, and are inciting worldwide problems that are reaching the heartland of a lot of Western powers – and despite all the commitment we have to train Iraqi forces or advise them (not to mention air sorties and drone strikes) we simply cannot conquer ISIS without putting another large fighting force on the ground – and that ain’t NEVER gonna’ happen.

        As far as the general public goes – I believe they’re mostly ignorant to what is going on or that the GWOT still goes on. Millennials have no clue I am sure what the war in Iraq was, or what ISIS is, or how this all came to be. The public moved on – sad but true – while men and women still fight in Afghanistan.

        So who will do it? Is it like Stan says – will other regional players ultimately step up and seize the initiative and essentially invade and annex? Doubtful. Will the Kurds finally get a free Kurdistan and continue to wage war on ISIS? Maybe. Will anyone else in the world want to go fight there? I doubt it…

        World gonna be an interesting place this next decade that’s for sure…

        Liked by 1 person

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