Sunday, July 24, 2016

The Gift of Time

It may seem like I complain a lot about how long it is taking to eject ISIL from Iraq. But my reason is that by taking so long to defeat a clearly inferior enemy trying to hold territory, we grant our enemy the precious gift of time.

Yes, one aspect of granting our enemies time is the carnage in cities as ISIL is able to plan or just inspire terror attacks against Westerners.

But we also ensure that we'll be facing more jihadis long after we crush the caliphate, as information we've gained from ISIL indicates, according to a Defense Department briefing:

We've mentioned recently the significant amount of intelligence about Daesh that has come out of the Mara operation so far -- or the Manbij operations so far. More than 10,000 items, including more than four terabytes of digital information, have been seized and are being examined to exploit the information.

We are learning more about Daesh at all levels from this. On a broad scale, we see Daesh has plans to insert their personnel into every facet of people's lives, as one would expect a totalitarian state to do.

We've learned about how they organize their governance structures to ensure they can completely control all aspects of daily life, from religious practice, to education to tax collection and management of central services.

We also see indoctrination of the young by rewriting text books with the language of hate for those not following the prescribed Daesh way of life written into it. [emphasis added]

That control of daily life for the last two years will indoctrinate a lot of impressionable minds in Iraq.

Yes, many around the world and in Iraq will find their faith in the ultimate victory of the caliphate weaken when the caliphate is shut down.

But some number who have been indoctrinated in Iraq will continue to wage their jihad after ISIL is defeated in Mosul.

Heck, by granting our enemy the precious gift of time, it isn't just longer range problems we are creating. ISIL might even come up with ways to prevent the fall of the caliphate.

Like that shaky dam upriver of Baghdad.

Because we've granted ISIL the precious gift of time.

UPDATE: I'm just happy that something can get the Obama administration to have a little more sense of urgency:

Some U.S. officers in Baghdad believe the Obama administration is rushing plans for a Mosul offensive so it takes place before the November presidential election, a retired general says.

If the offensive to take Mosul back from ISIL starts by November, it will have taken almost as long to launch that offensive as it did to build a military and then launch the D-Day offensive following Pearl Harbor! This is rushing things??!!

I'm with this officer:

Col. Garver said Army Lt. Gen. Sean MacFarland, the in-country commander, wants to accelerate the timeline to increase pressure on an enemy that has lost territory. The Islamic State retreated from three major towns in Iraq — Tikrit, Ramadi and Fallujah — as well as from territory close to Raqqa, its so-called capital in Syria.

“When you have an opponent on the ropes, you don’t let him off the ropes; you press the attack,” he said. “This prevents the enemy from reconstituting his force and rebuilding combat power. We believe we — the coalition and the Iraqi Security Forces — have the initiative and are gaining momentum. To keep that momentum moving in our favor, we will do what we can to accelerate the campaign.”

We should get on with it. ISIL's Iraq forces haven't shown much desire to die for their caliphate over the entire year and extending back to the liberation of Sinjar and Ramadi at the end of last year. Are we waiting for ISIL to rediscover the will to fight and die?

If we don't have sufficient planning under our belt by now, why don't we?