Monday, August 11, 2014

Another Summer Hiatus

I'm taking another summer hiatus from blogging for the next couple of weeks. Primary reason is that I'll be on vacation hanging out on some beaches that look very similar to the one above. Also, I've resigned my position here in central Virginia and will be starting a new job up in Maryland next month. Between vacation, moving, and settling in to my new place, I don't want to stress about the blog. I'm sure you can handle life without it for a bit.

Friday, August 8, 2014

How Many GBUs Does It Take To Stop An ISIS Assault?

Iraq is...well...a complete clusterfuck mess right now. My initial thoughts on the rapid offensive by ISIS were of tentative optimism. I saw the collapse of Iraqi security forces in the Sunni regions along with ISIS territory gains in Syria as a potential catalyst for redrawing the borders in the Middle East. Perhaps that's a bit of a pipe dream.

My current thoughts are more along the lines of, "holy hell, can anybody step in and stop these jackasses?!"

The Kurds have lost their initial gains that they acquired after ISIS captured Mosul and the Iraqi Army fled Ninewa Province. The Peshmerga are regrouping around Dahuk but any kind of counter offensive seems unlikely in the near term. This retreat has caused a bit of a humanitarian crisis amongst the population in the area, specifically with the minority Yazidi. I liked the Yazidi and found their religion to be unique and interesting, even if they worshipped a peacock who may or may not be Satan.

The Peshmerga aren't exactly doing all that hot at the other end of the disputed zone either. At the same time that Iraqi security forces were leaving Ninewa, they were also leaving northeast Diyala Province...the area I was deployed to with 1-14 Cav back in '09-10. Kurds moved into the towns of Jalula and As Sadiya but have been forced out of As Sadiyah and due to lack of ammunition and funds, are forced to be on the defensive in Jalula. While there is a significant Kurdish minority in that area, many of the Sunni tribes are extremely hostile towards the Kurds which makes controlling that area all the more difficult.

It appeared that an ISIS assault against Irbil was likely very soon as well which would have really put a wrench in the Peshmerga defensive lines. Luckily for the Kurds, Uncle Sam flew in to prevent, or at least delay, this attack.