If there isn't going to be a Kurdish front to fight ISIL while the Iraqi government battles ISIS north of Baghdad, why are we sending a planning cell to the Kurdish region?
Rear Admiral Kirby said this in a press conference last month on the 27th:
Well, as the president said, I mean, one of the -- one of the joint operations centers will be in northern Iraq. As far as I know, there's been no final decision yet about location. But I think it's our expectation that -- that Peshmerga forces, as well as -- as well as ISF forces, would be contributing to that -- to that overall effort.
It seems pretty clear that the Kurds will throw their weight against ISIL.
If this is the case, the Iraqi government doesn't need a fast drive north. All the Iraqi forces have to do is hold the attention of ISIS before the shiny object of Baghdad while the Kurds slash through their rear in northern Iraq.
The question is what is the price? Does Kurdistan get a revenue deal plus Kirkuk or does Kurdistan get independence?
I hope the former, since having Kurds within Iraq is important to keeping the Sunni Arabs in Iraq (because otherwise the Sunni Arabs are all alone to face the more numerous Shias), which is important to deny Iran dominance of a rump Shia Iraq.
I never understand why only our enemies seem determined to fight until they win. Can we try doing that rather than looking for excuses to give up?