The Islamic State (IS) burned alive 45 Iraqis in the town of Khan al-Baghdadi on Tuesday. It remains unclear who the victims were, but its likely they were a combination of IA personnel and pro-government tribal fighters who were cut off and isolated when the rest of the town’s garrison fled in panic. We also hear that some of the families of security personnel may be among the victims, although that remains unconfirmed at this time. The location of the executions isn’t a coincidence as Khan al-Baghdadi is only 5 miles from al-Asad Airbase. The message IS sent to the Obama administration is clear: “We’re doing this right in front of your American military and there’s nothing they can do about it. In fact, they’re too scared to do anything.” This act throws more fuel on the propaganda fire and it also fuels the whole “Flames of War” theme they’ve been going with these days.
Every six months we’ve seen an exponential growth for IS. We have about two more years of President Obama’s weak responses and complete lack of understanding the problem that could allow IS to grow somewhere between 4-8 times larger than it is now by the time he leaves office. If one were to overlay the areas AQI/IS controlled during OIF the thing that would be noticed is they controlled very little areas in Iraq such as safe-houses and maybe some specific neighborhoods and desert areas in 2008. From late-2010 you’d begin to see the end of IS’ decline (ISI during this time), overlay that around OCT 12, OCT 13 through OCT 14 and you will see the startling growth pattern. In two more years of limited airstrikes it will control a sizable chunk of Libya, parts of Egypt, Most of Syria and the Kurds of Iraq will be hanging by a thread. By then we’ll probably see Western Pakistan and Eastern Afghanistan carved up between IS and the Taliban/AQ. In Nigeria, Mali, Morocco, Algeria and other Maghreb nations we may see open conflict by the later part of this time frame. Some of them are already in open conflict and others are seeing latent-incipient stages of conflict. What we do know is that Islamic State has been sending cadre of seasoned commanders to organize groups like Boko Haram, which if you look at their strength and growth you will see it gaining momentum in tandem with the Islamic State over the past 12 months. These cadre from Islamic State are likely natives of the lands they are sent to organize already existing movements. Islamic State has also attracted military professionals from some of the 90 plus countries it has been able to recruit from. Some people will look at this with great skepticism, but 5 years ago the Islamic State was a skeleton compared to what it is now. This is something that we here at the ISIS Study Group have been talking about since we started posting articles about the Islamic State in the summer of 2014. The US needs to begin an aggressive campaign to regain the initiative to include providing more material support to Arab allies such as Egypt and Jordan. The United States and indeed the rest of the world cannot afford to have a President Buchanan type in the White House right now which is exactly what Barack Obama is doing. He is doing the minimum hoping to run out the presidential clock without a major incident and pass this problem off to the next president where it could be exponentially worse as we’ve stated.
Unfortunately, the Obama administration remains oblivious to the threat. Just recently DoS spokeswoman Marie Harf got on TV and said that “we can’t kill our way to victory” and then said that the root cause of the threat is all jihadists really want are “jobs” – just like what the delusional Danish government thinks. Ms. Harf is a reflection of the incompetence that’s endemic throughout the Obama administration’s DoS and National Security Council. Its highly unlikely that she even understands any of the things she gets told to say on TV. Meanwhile, other members of the administration are either downplaying the threat to our 300 Marines stationed at al-Asad Airbase or they’re puffing out their chests claiming how “easy” it will be to “kill more IS fighters because they’ll all be in one place.” However, IS has proven to be extremely resilient and are adapting to US airstrikes and our overly restrictive ROE – which they’re exploiting to the fullest. Yes, al-Asad is a large base and yes, it will take a sizable force – and time – to completely secure it. As the fall of the Syrian Army’s 17th Division and Taqba Airbase have demonstrated, IS has quickly applied lessons learned to refine their TTPs for follow-on operations. The current siege of al-Asad Airbase has already demonstrated several of these lessons. Unless aggressive action is taken now, our troops will be in even greater risk than they are now in the coming days. Ms. Harf and the rest of the Obama administration doesn’t understand this because they’ve never served a day in the lives in the military. If they did, they would know that this enemy can’t be reasoned with, they can’t be bargained with and they absolutely will not stop until they’ve eradicate the world of all “nonbelievers” or “Kufar.” This is how Baghdadi and his followers think – jobs or a free phone is nowhere on their list of priorities. They also only respect strength through instilling fear, which is a common theme with everything they do. Until the Obama administration – and its European counterparts – comes to terms with this, IS will continue to expand and threaten the civilized world.
Harf Truths and Whole Lies:
State Department Spokeswoman Marie Harf has become the butt of jokes like this one and worse on a near daily basis. This is the only job DoS Spokeswoman Marie Harf is qualified to do
Source: @exjon (twitter)
Godspeed to the US Marines, any and all other US advisers, and their Iraqi counterparts, and may all the ISIS fiends die horrible deaths and burn in Hell for ten thousand years . . .
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