Ravings of a Ratbag
The War on Terror for Beginners
The US seems to have lost the killer instinct. They’ve fiddled around the margins in Afghanistan and Iraq and now they’re at it again in Iraq and Syria. They had a win a while back in Panama but that’s like Manchester United beating a local pub team.
Now they’re up against ISIL who are Bad Guys focused on annihilating anything in their way. The US has assembled a motley crew of Good Guys who are nothing like as nasty.
The Iraqi army are Good Guys who appear to have modelled their tactics on an Italian Army Manual from the 1940’s. Their fundamental misunderstanding of what it takes to win a war on terror was exemplified by their role as a supplier of US military equipment to ISIL.
The non-ISIL rebels in Syria are also Good Guys who are fighting both ISIL and Assad without the US military equipment they were promised but so far not delivered by either the Iraqi Army or the US.
The Good Guy Kurds are having a real dig at ISIL although the Turks who are Good Guys believe some of them are Bad. They have received some US military equipment but disappointingly they haven’t received anything yet from the Iraqi Army either.
The Shia militia in Iraq are potentially a major anti-ISIL Good Guy Force. The trouble is they’re waiting in the wings for a nod from Iran who in the context of this war are Ugly Guys who are torn between their natural instincts to make bad things happen for both the Good and the Bad Guys.
Hopefully Israel won’t join on the Good Guys side against ISIL because things might start to become confusing. Iran are just as violently anti-Israel as they are anti-ISIL so they might end up being the Good, the Bad and the Ugly Guys all at the same time.
Obama remains in the background sending planes in the air but no boots on the ground. His main focus is avoiding doing anything that will result in ISIL being resupplied with US military equipment.
In the final strategic analysis however Obama has to understand that trying to win a war in the Middle East with a bombing campaign directed from Washington is like expecting to protect the US from the damaging effects of climate change through a switch to solar power in the Middle East.