Sunday, July 19, 2015

Radio Silence

Why am I not reading news about Iraq operations lately?

President Obama was briefed at the Pentagon on the war on ISIL--a rare event for the president--a couple weeks ago. Iraq began a major offensive a week ago in Anbar province. And Jordan closed their border with Iraq three days ago.

So why has there been no news out of Iraq on the offensive for many days now?

A big offensive. A major Jordanian move (it harms their economy to close the border). And noteworthy presidential interest in the area.

Oh, and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff is over there right now:

The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff made an unannounced visit here today to discuss progress in the ongoing fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.

Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey spoke to leaders about the situation on the ground, and he spoke to service members about their experiences in the country.

This article simply notes that operations to reclaim Ramadi are "ongoing."

Yet nothing newsworthy is happening over the last week? What gives? The press would usually hype any failures if nothing was going on, so even lack of progress wouldn't explain the silence.

Is there no news? Am I just not seeing the news? Is there news that isn't being reported right now?

It just seems odd.

UPDATE: Ah! News! Well, odd news. ISIL blew up a stadium in Ramadi. I assume to prevent it from being used as a landing place for helicopters.

UPDATE: On the 23rd, I read that our Secretary of Defense visited Iraq. That's a lot of interest lately.

But the article says that the grandly announced offensive really isn't trying very hard to retake objectives--yet:

His unannounced visit coincides with attempts by Iraqi forces to lay the groundwork for an eventual push to try to recapture Ramadi, isolating parts of the city with help from U.S.-led air strikes ahead of a full offensive.

The spirit of Baghdad Bob and grand announcements persists.

Big overture, little show.