Author Topic: Defeat ISIS, check.  (Read 697 times)

Crunch

  • All Members
    • View Profile
Defeat ISIS, check.
« on: December 09, 2017, 10:02:45 AM »
In January 2014, Obama dismissively declared ISIS the “JV Team”. A year later, once the threat became so clear even Obama was forced to acknowledge it, Obama insisted the fight against ISIS would “not be quick," either abroad or at home. A couple years, billions of dollars spent, lives forfeited, “ISIS remained a threat as it held land in Iraq and Syria that equaled the size of West Virginia, ruled over as many as 8 million people, controlled oilfields and refineries, agriculture, smuggling routes and vast arsenals. It ran a brutal, oppressive government, even printing its own currency.”

This prompted then candidate Trump to promise, “I will…quickly and decisively bomb the hell out of ISIS” and  “We will not have to listen to the politicians who are losing the war on terrorism." Compare Trump’s results vs Obama:
Quote
Just over a year later, ISIS has been routed from Iraq and Syria with an ease and speed that's surprised even the men and women who carried out the mission. Experts say it's a prime example of a campaign promise kept. President Trump scrapped his predecessor’s rules of engagement, which critics say hamstrung the military, and let battlefield decisions be made by the generals in the theater, and not bureaucrats in Washington.
<sarcasm>
Let battlefield decisions be made by generals in the theater? What a great idea! Why didn’t Obama think of that? Genius level stuff there.</sarcasm>

Quote
The leadership team that is in place right now has certainly enabled us to succeed,” Brig. Gen. Andrew Croft, the ranking U.S. Air Force officer in Iraq, told Fox News. “I couldn’t ask for a better leadership team to work for, to enable the military to do what it does best.”

President Trump gave a free hand to Mattis, who in May stressed military commanders were no longer being slowed by Washington “decision cycles,” or by the White House micromanaging that existed President Obama. As a result of the new approach, the fall of ISIS in Iraq came even more swiftly than hardened U.S. military leaders expected.

This demonstration of leadership is a tour de force of how it’s done. What Obama couldn’t get done in years, Trump does in months:
Quote
I was not optimistic when Trump first came to the office,” Rasool said. “But after a while I started to see a new approach, the way the U.S. was dealing with arming and training. I saw how the coalition forces were all moving faster to help the Iraq side more than before. There seemed to be a lot of support, under Obama we did not get this.”

Barely 2 hours before this post:
Quote
Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi announced Iraqi forces were in full control of the country’s border with Syria during remarks at a conference in Baghdad, and his spokesman said the development marked the end of the military fight against ISIS.

A senior military commander confirmed to The Associated Press that combat operations had been completed.

Like or hate Trump, the man gets results and delivers on his promises, what a refreshing change.
« Last Edit: December 09, 2017, 10:07:29 AM by Crunch »

Fenring

  • Member
  • All Members
    • View Profile
Re: Defeat ISIS, check.
« Reply #1 on: December 09, 2017, 12:15:11 PM »
The comparison is odious, anyhow, since the Obama administration never truly had any desire to do anything about ISIS. They were overjoyed that it was causing havoc to Syria, regime change by proxy army.

LetterRip

  • Member
  • All Members
    • View Profile

Fenring

  • Member
  • All Members
    • View Profile
Re: Defeat ISIS, check.
« Reply #3 on: December 09, 2017, 12:25:17 PM »
You might want to lnclude your source...

http://www.foxnews.com/world/2017/12/08/trump-mattis-turn-military-loose-on-isis-leaving-terror-caliphate-in-tatters.html

I've wondered myself about this particular piece of reporting, as the main thrust of what's always said is that Trump declined to kill the terrorists and instead let them live. This is usually framed as a failure for Trump. However this doesn't square with a fact established years ago, which is that ISIS had made it a standard tactic to entrench themselves in civilian areas making it impossible to destroy them without also destroying cities and their inhabitants. When I first heard the news that the remaining members of ISIS escaped my immediate reaction was "well of course, there's no way to kill them if they're hiding in cities and then disperse", but then the news stations reported it as if Trump somehow could have killed them all and chose not to. Something doesn't add up but I haven't had the time to research it and figure out who's lying.

Crunch

  • All Members
    • View Profile
Re: Defeat ISIS, check.
« Reply #4 on: December 09, 2017, 12:42:57 PM »
You might want to lnclude your source...

http://www.foxnews.com/world/2017/12/08/trump-mattis-turn-military-loose-on-isis-leaving-terror-caliphate-in-tatters.html
I actually pulled from two sources. Perhaps you can link that for me as well? Thanks!

Crunch

  • All Members
    • View Profile
Re: Defeat ISIS, check.
« Reply #5 on: December 09, 2017, 12:45:07 PM »
The comparison is odious, anyhow, since the Obama administration never truly had any desire to do anything about ISIS. They were overjoyed that it was causing havoc to Syria, regime change by proxy army.
The argument thar Obama never truly desired to do anything about Islamic terrorism is usually a alt-right argument...

Fenring

  • Member
  • All Members
    • View Profile
Re: Defeat ISIS, check.
« Reply #6 on: December 09, 2017, 12:56:13 PM »
The comparison is odious, anyhow, since the Obama administration never truly had any desire to do anything about ISIS. They were overjoyed that it was causing havoc to Syria, regime change by proxy army.
The argument thar Obama never truly desired to do anything about Islamic terrorism is usually a alt-right argument...

And? Even a broken clock, and all that.

LetterRip

  • Member
  • All Members
    • View Profile
Re: Defeat ISIS, check.
« Reply #7 on: December 09, 2017, 01:50:06 PM »
So Obama planned to arm the Syrian Kurds to help fight the Islamic State in Syria, Trump rejected that.

Quote
o on January 17, just three days before the transfer of power, Obama directed his national security adviser to hand over to the Trump team a paper detailing the plan to arm the Kurds, including talking points that President Donald Trump could use to explain the move to Turkey's president, who officials knew would be furious. The Turks viewed the Kurdish fighters as terrorists and their No. 1 enemy.

Obama hoped that his last-minute preparations would clear the way for Trump to authorize a swift assault on the Islamic State's most important stronghold, where U.S. intelligence officials say militants are plotting attacks outside Syria.

Instead of running with the plan, Trump's national security team deemed it wholly insufficient and swiftly tossed it.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/politics/ct-obama-trump-islamic-state-plan-20170202-story.html

Then Mattis apparently convinces Trump to follow Obama's plan.

Quote
Defense Secretary Mattis is expected Friday to detail the weapons the U.S. will begin supplying to Syrian Kurds fighting ISIS — over the objections of Turkey.

https://www.npr.org/2017/05/19/529080971/pentagon-to-detail-plans-for-arming-syrian-kurds-fighting-isis

Now Trump is taking credit because the military followed the plan devised under the Obama administration instead of foolishly rejecting it as Trump had originally done.


JoshCrow

  • Member
  • All Members
    • View Profile
Re: Defeat ISIS, check.
« Reply #8 on: December 09, 2017, 02:55:58 PM »

Fenring

  • Member
  • All Members
    • View Profile
Re: Defeat ISIS, check.
« Reply #9 on: December 09, 2017, 03:05:57 PM »
LR, I find it hard to parse who's planning what and authorizing what behind closed doors. To much internal politics there that we aren't privy to. Did Trump change his mind, or did they tell him to screw himself and do the correct plan, or what? Who knows. Also, very convenient for Obama to have laid out a plan - kicking the can to the next administration - to take action that would aggravate Turkey and cause more Russia/Turkey/Syria pyrotechnics. If Obama's plan was so precious then why didn't he do it himself? I'm not able to say whether or not it was a good idea, only that we can be fairly sure why Obama would have been happy for the next guy to have to take care of that messy business. If your point was to suggest that because Obama was the one who suggested it that this somehow invalidates my point that his administration never really wanted to go after ISIS, in my view it actually confirms it.

LetterRip

  • Member
  • All Members
    • View Profile
Re: Defeat ISIS, check.
« Reply #10 on: December 09, 2017, 04:16:55 PM »
Fenring,

Quote
Very convenient for Obama to have laid out a plan - kicking the can to the next administration - to take action that would aggravate Turkey and cause more Russia/Turkey/Syria pyrotechnics. If Obama's plan was so precious then why didn't he do it himself?

Obama administration was going to implement it, but the Trump's team asked them to delay doing so because Trump's administration might change policy direction - which they did - completely scrapping the plan.

Fenring

  • Member
  • All Members
    • View Profile
Re: Defeat ISIS, check.
« Reply #11 on: December 09, 2017, 11:37:44 PM »
Fenring,

Quote
Very convenient for Obama to have laid out a plan - kicking the can to the next administration - to take action that would aggravate Turkey and cause more Russia/Turkey/Syria pyrotechnics. If Obama's plan was so precious then why didn't he do it himself?

Obama administration was going to implement it, but the Trump's team asked them to delay doing so because Trump's administration might change policy direction - which they did - completely scrapping the plan.

If that's so, then why didn't Obama implement the plan two years ago? Why wait until after the election, at such a time when brand new policy decisions would directly impact the next administration? It sounds too pat. If Obama had wanted to appear impartial in his decision to arm the Kurds he could have done so right before the election so as to not know who he was going to affect; that way he might have been dumping it on Hillary. As it was, waiting for Trump to win meant knowing for certain that making the decision at that time would be dumping it on Trump, and that since it would royally piss off a member of the G20 Trump would likely resist the plan. I certainly don't know what went on behind closed doors but on the face of it I find it hard to avoid the conclusion that Obama's 'plan' was a political tactic to make the Trump admin look bad. Maybe that's uncharitable, but Obama spent so many years doing nothing about ISIS that I find any other conclusion improbable.

Greg Davidson

  • Member
  • All Members
    • View Profile
Re: Defeat ISIS, check.
« Reply #12 on: December 10, 2017, 02:58:57 AM »
The issue was to get the regional powers to take on ISIS rather than having US troops do it.  Not only has ISIS been defeated, but the vast majority of the fight against ISIS was performed by others. Also note that both Iraq and Iran supported the fight against ISIS.

And no, this defeat also had nothing to do with the secret plan that Trump promised he had that could defeat ISIS in 30 days.

Crunch

  • All Members
    • View Profile
Re: Defeat ISIS, check.
« Reply #13 on: December 10, 2017, 09:35:34 AM »
The comparison is odious, anyhow, since the Obama administration never truly had any desire to do anything about ISIS. They were overjoyed that it was causing havoc to Syria, regime change by proxy army.
The argument thar Obama never truly desired to do anything about Islamic terrorism is usually a alt-right argument...

And? Even a broken clock, and all that.

I meant that jokingly, failed to put a emoji to indicate that.  My bad.  :o

Fenring

  • Member
  • All Members
    • View Profile
Re: Defeat ISIS, check.
« Reply #14 on: December 10, 2017, 09:45:05 AM »
The issue was to get the regional powers to take on ISIS rather than having US troops do it.

That would have been ideal, yes, except that -

Quote
the vast majority of the fight against ISIS was performed by others.

Which means Syria and Russia - you know, the parties the U.S. was trying to prevent fighting ISIS. Yes, I'm sure that was all according to plan  ::)

Crunch

  • All Members
    • View Profile
Re: Defeat ISIS, check.
« Reply #15 on: December 10, 2017, 09:51:20 AM »
Fenring,

Quote
Very convenient for Obama to have laid out a plan - kicking the can to the next administration - to take action that would aggravate Turkey and cause more Russia/Turkey/Syria pyrotechnics. If Obama's plan was so precious then why didn't he do it himself?

Obama administration was going to implement it, but the Trump's team asked them to delay doing so because Trump's administration might change policy direction - which they did - completely scrapping the plan.

If that's so, then why didn't Obama implement the plan two years ago? Why wait until after the election, at such a time when brand new policy decisions would directly impact the next administration? It sounds too pat. If Obama had wanted to appear impartial in his decision to arm the Kurds he could have done so right before the election so as to not know who he was going to affect; that way he might have been dumping it on Hillary. As it was, waiting for Trump to win meant knowing for certain that making the decision at that time would be dumping it on Trump, and that since it would royally piss off a member of the G20 Trump would likely resist the plan. I certainly don't know what went on behind closed doors but on the face of it I find it hard to avoid the conclusion that Obama's 'plan' was a political tactic to make the Trump admin look bad. Maybe that's uncharitable, but Obama spent so many years doing nothing about ISIS that I find any other conclusion improbable.

It’s pretty sad, trying to steal the credit for this. Like Obama never owned the economy (it was always Bush’s) or was to blame for all his failures (always someone else’s fault), they’ll take credit for success they don’t own even when it occurs well after leaving office. Given enough time, I’m sure Mother Jones or Vox, some media outlet like thar, will tell us how Obama continued to directly manage the effort after leaving office. There’ll be something delusional like that sooner or later.

The undeniable fact is, Trump took over, appointing new leadership, and what Obama was unable to do in years suddenly got done in months.

JoshCrow

  • Member
  • All Members
    • View Profile
Re: Defeat ISIS, check.
« Reply #16 on: December 10, 2017, 11:07:07 PM »
Why am I sure Crunch took more or less the opposite position when Obama got bin Laden? :)

I am amused by the need to attribute such eventualities to a person - as if everything was the result of some top down decision (when it supports your side, of course).
« Last Edit: December 10, 2017, 11:09:30 PM by JoshCrow »

D.W.

  • Member
  • All Members
    • View Profile
Re: Defeat ISIS, check.
« Reply #17 on: December 11, 2017, 10:11:24 AM »
Trump the delegator, and Trump the disinterested, always seemed like the best case scenario.  It's Trump the micromanager, or Trump the spontaneous we worry about.

rightleft22

  • Member
  • All Members
    • View Profile
Re: Defeat ISIS, check.
« Reply #18 on: December 11, 2017, 02:05:32 PM »
Laughing Out Loud
So Sad

Crunch

  • All Members
    • View Profile
Re: Defeat ISIS, check.
« Reply #19 on: December 11, 2017, 02:09:58 PM »
Why am I sure Crunch took more or less the opposite position when Obama got bin Laden? :)

I am amused by the need to attribute such eventualities to a person - as if everything was the result of some top down decision (when it supports your side, of course).
Prime Minister of Iraq and military commanders on the ground attributed their success to Trump and the leadership team he established. I suppose they could be making that up. You should offer some kind of proof though.

What do you think has changed in the last 10 months that allowed this success?

D.W.

  • Member
  • All Members
    • View Profile
Re: Defeat ISIS, check.
« Reply #20 on: December 11, 2017, 02:29:53 PM »
If we can't manage it alone, Obama will shower us with money to "fix" the ISIS threat.
If we can't manage it alone, Trump will shower us with bombs to "fix" the ISIS threat.

To be fair, as much as I agree with others that it's unwise to attribute too much weight to the president alone on this...  That reasoning (whether it was a bluff or not) could be... motivational.

Mostly though, I think that we'd see a similar state of ISIS had Hillary won. 

LetterRip

  • Member
  • All Members
    • View Profile
Re: Defeat ISIS, check.
« Reply #21 on: December 11, 2017, 03:17:32 PM »
Quote
What do you think has changed in the last 10 months that allowed this success?

The arming of the Kurds by the military.

As to the Iraqi Prime Minister praising Trump - it would be surprising if he didn't regardless of Trump's role.  The world is well aware that if you kiss Trump's ass, Trump thinks you are a wonderful person; and if you are in any way critical of Trump he will hate you and try and destroy you.  That is how you easily manipulate malignant narcissists - it costs you nothing but your integrity to offer false praise and to withhold valid criticism.

Crunch

  • All Members
    • View Profile
Re: Defeat ISIS, check.
« Reply #22 on: December 11, 2017, 06:17:14 PM »
 ::)

JoshCrow

  • Member
  • All Members
    • View Profile
Re: Defeat ISIS, check.
« Reply #23 on: December 11, 2017, 11:29:23 PM »

Prime Minister of Iraq and military commanders on the ground attributed their success to Trump and the leadership team he established. I suppose they could be making that up. You should offer some kind of proof though.

What do you think has changed in the last 10 months that allowed this success?

I guess it helps to believe whatever the PM of Iraq says. He can't possibly have other motives.  ::)

Pete at Home

  • Member
  • All Members
    • View Profile
Re: Defeat ISIS, check.
« Reply #24 on: December 19, 2017, 11:12:00 AM »
Crunch, I submit that the men and women of our armed forces, and the Kurdish fighting men and women, deserve a bit more credit for defeating ISIS than any president.  And yet Trump and Congress are shifting both US vets and the Kurds. Despite peom8ses to not forget our vets.

Seriati

  • Member
  • All Members
    • View Profile
Re: Defeat ISIS, check.
« Reply #25 on: December 20, 2017, 12:17:04 PM »
Why am I sure Crunch took more or less the opposite position when Obama got bin Laden? :)

I am amused by the need to attribute such eventualities to a person - as if everything was the result of some top down decision (when it supports your side, of course).

While I'm not sure what I think about the issue overall is the specific context of wrapping up ISIS, I don't think there is any reasonable question that military effectiveness is directly tied to Presidential policy and support.  There shouldn't even be a debate that the military under Trump will be and is more effective than it was under Obama.  Effectiveness is a trade off that Obama accepted to achieve other goals.

I may be misunderstanding you, but I've never understood the idea of giving much credit for the death of Bin Laden.  Bush upended Al Queda as a real player.  Getting Osama was important but a very small thing in comparison. 

Even aside from the ramifications, the operation was completely mishandled.  The goal of the operation should have been his capture, it's almost impossible to conceive of how that was screwed up and he ended up dead.  I note,  a similar "mistake" occurred with Kaddafi under Obama, where he also ended up dead rather than captured.  Compare that to the capture of Saddam and his ultimate trial under Bush.  Bringing these men to trial was in many ways more important than taking them out of power (and in Osama's case, Bush had already taken him largely out of power).  Failing to capture and bring Obama to trial was a big mistake, that shame would have done more to undermine Al Queda than virtually anything else could have. 

TheDrake

  • All Members
    • View Profile
Re: Defeat ISIS, check.
« Reply #26 on: December 20, 2017, 01:40:00 PM »
Quote
Failing to capture and bring Obama to trial was a big mistake, that shame would have done more to undermine Al Queda than virtually anything else could have. 

 ;D ;D ;D

Seriati

  • Member
  • All Members
    • View Profile
Re: Defeat ISIS, check.
« Reply #27 on: December 20, 2017, 01:51:12 PM »
Lol, yep that was quite an error on my part.  I can't tell you how many times I've corrected that transcription error before, guess my mind is hopeless conflicted...

Fenring

  • Member
  • All Members
    • View Profile
Re: Defeat ISIS, check.
« Reply #28 on: December 20, 2017, 02:27:13 PM »
I may be misunderstanding you, but I've never understood the idea of giving much credit for the death of Bin Laden.  Bush upended Al Queda as a real player.

He did? When was that? As far as I know Al Qaeda is doing just fine, and had the pleasure of fighting alongside the Saudis in Yemen recently. I suppose you'll argue that some branches of Al Qaeda have fared better than others, which is probably true. Nevertheless they were promptly forgotten as a mortal enemy as soon as it was no longer politically expedient to have them as a boogeyman.

Pete at Home

  • Member
  • All Members
    • View Profile
Sycophatic symphony in B major
« Reply #29 on: December 20, 2017, 11:51:31 PM »


While I'm not sure what I think about the issue overall is the specific context of wrapping up ISIS, I don't think there is any reasonable question that military effectiveness is directly tied to Presidential policy and support.  There shouldn't even be a debate that the military under Trump will be and is more effective than it was under Obama.  Effectiveness is a trade-off that Obama accepted to achieve other goals.
 

Hold that thought.  Because Obama came after Bush but before Trump.  Remember that chronology. :)

Quote
I may be misunderstanding you, but I've never understood the idea of giving much credit for the death of Bin Laden.  Bush upended Al Queda as a real player.   

Only by making a bigger mess in Iraq that we had to focus on as the "real" problem.  That's called swallowing the spider to catch the fly.

Back to your tradeoff between effectiveness and "other goals."  One of Bush Jr's "other goals" that Obama deemphasized in order to be "more effective" than Bush, was appeasing Pakistan.   Obama blew that right out of the water with the hit on Osama.  Playing chicken with a nuclear power that's only marginally more stable than North Korea is a much more dramatic shift from "other goals" to "military effectiveness" than anything that Trump's changed from Obama.

Also, one of the "other goals" shared by the Bushes, the Clintons, the Obama, and the Donald is the assiduous licking of Saudi balls.  If anything, the Donald has increased that emphasis, and antagonizing Iran looks to me more about pleasing the Saudis than about direct domestic defense.  (Let me know if I'm wrong on that last one).

Obama was chillier to the Sauds than Bush Jr or Trump, but then he was more sycophantic to India's theocratic BJP, allowing genocide juggler Modi off the no fly list that Bush Jr had placed him on for good reason. 

If there's any political group that I failed to offend with this post, I apologize wholeheartedly.


Pete at Home

  • Member
  • All Members
    • View Profile
Re: Defeat ISIS, check.
« Reply #30 on: December 21, 2017, 12:09:23 AM »
Quote
Even aside from the ramifications, the operation was completely mishandled.  The goal of the operation should have been his capture

Holy shades of Munich, Batman!!  Only if your point was the death of americans.  The last bloody thing we want is the world thinking we're holding Osama Bin Laden alive.  THAT would have been the focal point of Americans being tortured on the internet to secure his release. Picture operations like the Paris Theater attack, on US soil, with people being executed one by one with demands for Osama's release. And that is not something America could have endured.

Obama's mistake, or rather his "other goal" in opposition to US security, was putting it out in public.  If we'd kept it hush hush --

+Our information source in Pakistan would not have been executed by the angry excuse for a government.

+ Other potential information sources would not have realized that America will screw them for good publicity.

+ Al Qaeda's cell structure would have suffered from having its main leader incommunicado, and unable to fill the power vaccum

Worst thing Obama could have done is capture Osama and put him on trial.  That could even have ended up with a nuclear incident, with the ISI scrambling to save Pakistan's face.  Think about it--what's a greater violation of sovereignty -- a military strike in another nation's territory against a clear and present threat, or a police action, the arrest of a criminal in another state?
Best thing he could have done is capture Osama and keep it a secret.



TheDrake

  • All Members
    • View Profile
Re: Defeat ISIS, check.
« Reply #31 on: December 21, 2017, 07:15:05 AM »
There's another risk if you go for capture. You get binLaden, but on the way out Pakistani troops arrive and demand his release. You could wind up with an armed confrontation with an <ahem> ally - on their own ground. And, remember that even the possession of a dead bin Laden was considered dangerous enough that he got tossed overboard (officially).

Fenring

  • Member
  • All Members
    • View Profile
Re: Defeat ISIS, check.
« Reply #32 on: December 21, 2017, 08:42:43 AM »
There's another risk if you go for capture. You get binLaden, but on the way out Pakistani troops arrive and demand his release. You could wind up with an armed confrontation with an <ahem> ally - on their own ground. And, remember that even the possession of a dead bin Laden was considered dangerous enough that he got tossed overboard (officially).

The Pakistanis allegedly handed him over anyhow, so I doubt it. Anyhow the big fiasco there wasn't that he was killed but that the body was "misplaced".