For John, BLUF: The Iraq imbroglio will require attention, either now or after 20 January 2017 (592 Days). Nothing to see here; just move along.
This is going back to 5 June, but it is an interesting take on "How to defeat the Islamic State". The author is retired Air Force Lieutenant General David A. Deptula. The lede:
Defense Secretary Ashton B. Carter’s recent remarks on the efficacy of Iraq’s army reflect the fact that, despite years of training by thousands of U.S. and coalition forces, the army has not been able to halt Islamic State aggression. What makes anyone think that a few more months of similar training will yield success?Dave Deptula is one very smart thinker and he has a proposal for how to move forward.
We must not, however, confuse Iraq’s objectives with critical U.S. national security interests. While the two may overlap, they are not the same. Each demands its own strategic, military and policy approach. From the U.S. perspective, the most important goal is not the maintenance of the Iraqi government but the destruction of the Islamic State.
And just this morning, in the web magazine War on the Rocks, we have the counter-argument from retired Marine Corps Colonel T X Hammes, "Independent Long-Range Strike: A Failed Theory".
TX is one very smart thinker.
The good news is that there are ideas out there and in competition.
This is especially good news because there is a sense we are adrift with regard to Iraq. In fact, Defense One had a 3 June article by S V Dáte, "The White House’s Game Plan for Iraq: Run Out the Clock". Ouch!
Regards — Cliff