GDI Risk Advisory Group

Posts Tagged ‘Iraq’

Lebanon: The Syria Playbook

In Defense, FYI - For Your Intelligence, Intelligence, International, International Trade, Israel, Libya, Terrorism, Uncategorized on December 29, 2013 at 4:37 am

LebSyrFlagWith Assad continuing to make his stand against Western backed forces and various jihad extremist groups in Syria, he has pulled an old play out of the go-to playbook for his regime. He has elected to use his faithful ally Hezbollah to open a new front. As Syria continues to sink into its current battlefield quagmire at home, taking out another high level politician in Beirut expands the scope of his operations, and provides relief through distraction. And with the assassination of the Hezbollah leader earlier this month, it all comes across as a justification on the part of Hezbollah. But make no mistake, this is the same MO as with previous assassinations and it will have Syria’s prints all over it.

The real issue is how US foreign policy is allowing for the war to spread, the empowerment of extremist groups to grow and for old and new terrorism breeding grounds to flourish. Libya and Syria are key examples, and indicators are that Iraq is beginning to follow suit. Here’s what the international media is reporting to support this.

Iraq back in the news: Sunni cleric death shows Iraqi government’s challenges

In Defense, Terrorism on September 9, 2010 at 10:08 pm

Gunmen behead, set alight Sunni cleric in Iraq

Straight out of Diyala province comes an act of terror resembling those that pre-date the U.S. military surge in Iraq.  This particular murder is significant since it resembles the heinous acts used to threaten and intimidate locals in the early stages of the Al Qaeda insurgency.  In this case the cleric was a Sahwa supporter, a group who assisted U.S. forces in defeating Al Qaeda.  It was these types of atrocities that allowed the insurgency to get a foothold and grow.  Unfortunately, remnants of the Al Qaeda insurgency remain in areas like Diyala and if left unchecked can reassert themselves back into the mix.  A long delay by the Iraqis to seat their unified government and support their police and military will only result in a loss of the advances of the surge.  Iraq cannot afford to delay.  They cannot take on a reinvigorated Al Qaeda by themselves – and with Al Qaeda in Yemen in the mix – the challenge would be insurmountable.

From Iraq to Israel: US arms stockpiles grow

In Defense, Iran, Israel, U.S. on September 6, 2010 at 2:37 pm

Israel to use stockpiled US arms

Alleged Weapons Transfer Threatens Mideast Status Quo

As U.S. troops withdraw from Iraq and military resources are directed toward Afghanistan, other activities are taking place in the periphery.  DOD reported earlier this year that US weapons stockpiles in Israel were expanding and that the Obama administration was authorizing Israel use of these weapons in case of emergency.  Of course, this has been standard practice for past administrations over several decades.  The new development in this case comes on the heels of the end of US combat operations in Iraq and includes the transfer of the leftover U.S. weapons from the Iraq combat theatre to the Israeli military.  Now at first blush this may not appear significant.  However, it is noteworthy at a time when Israel is planning its next move to deal with Syria and possibly Iran.   As Syria continues to arm Hezbollah and Russia continues to arm Syria, Israel may need these arms sooner than expected.

Poll: Nearly 6 in 10 oppose war in Afghanistan – U.S. leadership not engaged

In Defense, Intelligence, International, military, Terrorism on August 20, 2010 at 5:59 pm

Poll: Nearly 6 in 10 oppose war in Afghanistan

Polls like this should always raise red flags to those who understand and are concerned about national security.  This AP article will become a major story in the coming week to further deteriorate support by Americans for the Afghanistan war effort.  By painting a picture of futility and a perceived lack of direction by the military, the media is attempting to make this appear unwinnable.  Even more important, the overall tone is that it is not necessary.  This is the trap that we must avoid at all cost.

Today, Afghanistan is more critical to U.S. national security than any other part of the world – more than peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians, more that Al-Shibaab in Somalia, and more than Iraq.  It is the catalyst and the epicentre of everything we do to fight against radical jihad in America.  In that region, radicalization, financing from an over abundant opium industry, and a void in law and order provide the perfect mix for groups like al-Qaeda to grow and spread.  Any U.S. leader who takes this poll and accepts that we should leave Afghanistan will do so at their own risk.  

I had the opportunity to speak with someone about the Iraq war and the “futility” of that war back in 2006.  My main comment to that person was that, if the U.S. committed the resources and the leadership was focused, there is no way any country in that region would be able to stop our military from meeting their objectives.  Sure enough, when the surge of 2008 was conducted, resources and commitment by the U.S. leadership provided the necessary thrust for successful.  In fact, polling during that time period became favorable to the U.S. military’s mission.  The key was resources and engagement by the U.S. administration. 

In Afghanistan, we are at that same point now.  There is no third world gang of fighters that can push our military off its goals if we have that commitment and our leadership is engaged at the highest level.  With that, you will find success and polls like this will lean the other way.  However leaving Afghanistan before this job is done will only push the hard work off onto the next generation – and we will end up right back there.