The horizon is not so far as we can see, but as far as we can imagine

Obama’s Speech on War with the Islamic State

Let’s just quickly point out the obvious: air power only works if you have effective ground troops backing it up, or your enemy is easily dissuaded from war by losses of infrastructure. Otherwise it wrecks great destruction, and does little more.

To put it simply, this strategy will certainly help those fighting the IS, but it won’t make that big a difference, and it isn’t new, it’s what the US has been doing for some time.  Failure to coordinate with Syria is a mistake, and the only people in the region who have significant numbers of troops capable of defeating the IS are Iran and Hezbollah.  Hezbollah is unlikely to move large numbers of troops into Syria out of fear of Israel attacking them, and there is no assurance Obama can give them of that not happening, because America answers to Israel, not Israel to America.

Meanwhile the US is still giving arms to so-called moderates like the FSA, which wind up in the hands of ISIL.  The Peshmerga have proved largely incapable, though they are more willing to fight than the pathetic Iraqi army, and the IS is filling up with ex-Baathists: very capable soldiers.

The alliance is also laughable: Turkey has been funneling weapons to the Syrian opposition for some time and Saudi Arabia is the spiritual home of the form of Wahhabism the IS believes in.  That said, I do believe that the Saudi royal family is soiling themselves over the IS, because their ideology requires them to overthrow the corrupt rulers of Saudi Arabia and conquer Mecca as part of their caliphate.  The Saudi royal family deserves nothing more, this is an exact result of their pushing Wahabbism as the ideology of Jihad for decades.

And so it goes.  Obama hasn’t managed to fight a war yet that didn’t destabilize multiple countries.  I wouldn’t expect this to be any different.

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On Truth and Burning Bridges


Scotland, England and Hegemonic States


  1. Celsius 233

    And so it goes. Obama hasn’t managed to fight a war yet that didn’t destabilize multiple countries. I wouldn’t expect this to be any different. Ian

    Frankly, it does occur, that is precisely the idea. An organised/stable M.E. would not be friendly to the U.S. bullying and likley that would include all of NATO as well.

  2. Celsius 233

    I didn’t and won’t listen to O’s speech…

  3. Not to be too pedantic, but there’s a typo in your title.

  4. Formerly T-Bear

    But, but, but, destruction is a feature of this administration, not a bug. /scathing sarcasm

    Plus + they are more competent at it than ‘W’ ever was. /snark

  5. Actually, the type makes a good deal of sense. It’s probably wrong, but it makes a great deal of sense.

  6. Ian Welsh

    Woops! Thanks Mandos.

  7. Actually, the type makes a good deal of sense. It’s probably wrong, but it makes a great deal of sense.

    It was vaguely reminiscent of Turkish words, not that I speak Turkish.

  8. Ghostwheel

    Celsius, I have long suspected that too: that the actual strategy is, in fact, to reduce the Middle East to something just above “Mad Max” level anarchy and destruction.

    Of course, if you tell lies long enough you start to believe them yourself. Who in government, I wonder, has deceived themselves into believing the stated aims (Obama himself, perhaps?), and who is cognizant of deeper ones?

    By the way, Israel doesn’t seem to be too frightened of ISIS. I would expect them to be screaming about a new, potential Holocaust at the top of their lungs on every channel. Why aren’t we seeing exactly that?

  9. Celsius 233

    September 12, 2014

    By the way, Israel doesn’t seem to be too frightened of ISIS. I would expect them to be screaming about a new, potential Holocaust at the top of their lungs on every channel. Why aren’t we seeing exactly that?
    Israel’s impunity regarding Gaza is ample evidence that both the U.S. and Israel consider themselves above the law, which frees(?) them to act with said impunity.
    Who’s going to stop them? The U.N.? Not a chance. Again, who’s going to stop either from doing as is their wont?
    Interesting times indeed…

  10. Celsius 233

    Addendum: I would add that Russia is the only possible foil to the west’s march of hegemony; China less so but very important in the realignment of global power.
    The U.S. knows that together they are a genuine deterrent. Economically the U.S. is very vulnerable and they know it. The sanction game is about to come to a head; the west (U.S.) will lose, IMO…

  11. pond

    Air strikes can be effective with any supporting ground troops. So US bombing can hurt the IS forces enough so that Kurdish, Iraqi and Syrian troops can regain territory. The ground troops do not have to be US troops.

    I also believe that the proclamation that the US will not ask permission of President Assad tells us that part of the US strategy is to continue with the conquest of Syria under cover of war against IS. The war on Syria is also a war on Iran and Russia of course.

    President Obama, only a couple of years after announcing his firm intentions to go to war against China, is now at war with Russia. Meanwhile China is consolidating her control over the China Seas. It really does look like the US generals that President Obama heeds either believe that both China and Russia will prove cowards against our saber rattling and blustering threats, or else they WANT to engage both Russia and China at once in the next world war.

    Which will be a nuclear war, alas.


  12. Ian Welsh

    This is why I said effective troops…. The Syrian troops aren’t bad, now, but we’ll see if there’s any coordination there.

  13. Celsius 233

    This is what I’m talking about!

    John Pilger;

  14. johnny

    no one has mentioned the wreck/wreak distinction yet, so I will : it is “to wreak destruction”, not wreck . . .

  15. Celsius 233

    September 12, 2014
    no one has mentioned the wreck/wreak distinction yet, so I will : it is “to wreak destruction”, not wreck . . .

    Yeah, I caught that but decided not to say anything…

  16. alyosha

    From what few things I’ve read or heard Obama speak on this subject, I get that his intention, in his own words, is “to keep the lid on” the Middle East, in much the way that a Roman emperor would try to keep down the rabble out in the provinces, to allow him to focus on other stuff closer to home. IMO, it’s reading too much into it to say that creating and maintaining a Mad Max level of anarchy in these regions is the end goal.

    Obama has an eager, blunt tool at his disposal, the US military, one that his political opponents and the masses in the US absolutely fawn over, and so it’s very natural for him to release this tool, however clumsy its results, and to live with its less than optimal, but acceptable, and easy-to-get, politically double-plus-good results. There’s a cute bumper sticker, that parallels Fed Ex’s slogan: “When it Absolutely, Positively, has to be Destroyed Overnight”, call in the Marines. The Americans are cool with that.

    Despite the many negatives about Obama, I believe at his heart he has an inclusive, community organizer bent that’s trying to find expression in this situation. I didn’t listen to his speech, but from what I’ve read of the long list of things that this administration wants to bring about in the Middle East, it’s all about reducing conflict and tensions. His inclusive desire drives the monumental, time-consuming, exasperating, multi-faceted task of trying to bring together the warring factions. He knows that getting these people together is the only real way to bring about peace in this region, and reduce tensions and ultimately problems for America.

    And so there’s a near term focus on using the military to deal with the more radical elements, and simultaneously a longer term effort to try and bring peace to the region. It’s simplistic, but not completely inaccurate to say that Bush/Cheney’s arrogance shattered the pot, and now it’s left to Obama and his successors to try and glue all the pieces together.

    Now, Obama is not Jesus, this desire toward seeking inclusive solutions is something that maybe he had some practice with at the community-organizer level, but he is way out of its league in the world of Dick Cheneys, Wall Street, the Saudi Royal family, and the nation of Israel, in the crucible of the Middle East. It’s extremely underdeveloped, in other words, and it’s so very easy to simply call in air-strikes instead.

    Given this, I’ve read that Shia and Sunni Muslims in America have a key role to play. In America, for the most part, these people get along. They could be instrumental in finding ways for the opposing factions overseas to come together. Until Obama listens to groups like this, drawing on their “domain knowledge” (my IT background is showing), his ineptness in the face of massive obstacles is just going to drag things out, and everything you’ve written about how “Obama hasn’t managed to fight a war yet that didn’t destabilize multiple countries” will only be ever more true.

  17. Since the topic is the speech in general I will bring up an interesting point which I saw touched upon elsewhere. I noted it in passing and can’t find it now. Anyway, it was a comment on how Obama talked at such length about our leadership and how urgent it was to destroy ISIS for American security and because two Americans had been beheaded, and then said that we are unwilling to risk our own soldiers to do it. The commenter wanted to know what kind of nation wants other nations to risk their troops to achieve its own security.

    Someone else, Obama says, will have to do the fighting and dying on the battlefield. That bit of “let’s you and him fight” gives new meaning to his penchant for “leading from behind.”

    Form a “broad coalition” to start a new war and then say “we’ll provide the leadership, you provide the dying.” American exceptionalism at its best.

  18. Remember last spring, when the Pentagon faced both automatic budget cuts and a half-trillion ten-year Congressionally-mandated cutback? Guess what’s not going to happen thanks to this new war.

  19. Pepe

    Despite the many negatives about Obama, I believe at his heart he has an inclusive, community organizer bent that’s trying to find expression in this situation.

    He was a community organizer to pad his cv.

  20. 31500 strong

    ISIS continues to grow from 10,000 men to 31,500.
    Russia continues to be sanctioned.
    China continues to be aggresive.
    Isreal has destroyed Gaza with their offensives..and of course the US has entered yet another perpetual war against an ideologically driven hate group.

    Meanwhile, the US dollar, the stock market grind higher on Fed stimulus for the wealthy 1%

    …pop the champagne, break out your iWatch and start dancing the future looks bright

  21. markfromireland

    Talk talk talk and that’s all it was. The Islamic State while still in its infancy and easily routable is busily establishing itself. The current laughable efforts are merely making them stronger.


  22. VietnamVet

    These are very strange days; flash floods everywhere, the Putin regime change campaign, a forever Levant bombing campaign and Seniors on Social Security forced into poverty to pay off student loan debt.

    The one clear conclusion is that the Economic Elite who rule the West simply do not give a damn what’s happening to the people. Besides Israel, the overriding priority of the US government and its puppet states are to protect the Petrodollar and to control more wealth and resources.

  23. OldSkeptic

    Couple of good articles on ISIS, lovely snarky summary from Yves Smith’s Naked Capitalism site (one of my daily reads), go to the site to get the links to the sources:

    “Our political class has been banging their spoon on the table for war the whole summer, but now that they’ve got one, they’re not sure they like it. Check out the New York Times front page. Syrian moderates — and I know this will surprise you — are thin on the ground in this “very dirty war.” We can’t control what these “rebels” will do with their weapons. We can’t control what they’ll do with their “training.” (One word: blowback) [Times]. The models for Obama’s war are Somalia and Yemen. I’m sure that will turn out well [Al Jazeera]. But Susan Rice says “knock on wood” [NPR]. So that’s alright, then.

    However, something new: We have “so-called operations rooms,” supposedly only in Jordan and Turkey, where we’re “vetting” unicorns these rebels and handing out the goodies [Times]. Are there any black sites?

    Still perusing the Times front page, the Arab world is “tepid.” Egypt, Jordan and Turkey — who, presumably, should be very worried and glad of our help — are all “finding ways to avoid specific commitments” [Times]. But wait! I thought John Kerry was doing the ask? [CNN] Anyhow, suppose they join, and let’s throw in some Gulf states, because threat. Isn’t that rather a lot of moving parts for an administration that can’t manage to launch their own website after three years of work? [Sic Semper Tyrannis].

    And I’m not seeing yellow ribbons round the old oak tree out in the flyover states, either. In another front page story, neither does the [Times]. As long as the bombing doesn’t kill any of our boys and girls, seems to be the general idea (though blowback already has, and will again). Even if (see Page and Gilens) the views of dull normals only matter when they’re congruent with elites, presumably they matter a little when there’s conflict between elite factions. “isis divided” brings up a lot of hits….

    Meanwhile, a “senior administration official” briefs that “‘Saudi Arabia has an extensive border with Syria” [NLPC]. Not Susan Rice, I trust, and I hope nobody passed the glad news on to John Kerry, because he’d look pretty dumb if he passed that on to anyone else.

    Shaking my head. If your model is that we as an empire are trying for endless churn of pain and blood and fear and wedding parties blown to pink mist, just to keep the self-licking ice cream cone going at the Pentagon, Langeley, and Fort Meade, along with maybe a fillip for Red State Democrats in the mid-terms, I’d be hard-pressed to disagree. And my problem, so often, is that I’m not cynical enough. Maybe they’ll inflate a ginormous ISIS balloon for the Macy’s Thanksgiving parade. That should do the trick.”

    And an excellent summary of how ISIS was created and supported. If you add in Patrick Cockburn’s articles and Seymour Hersh’s great one on the Syrian’ gas’ attack then you can pretty much get a picture of what is going on there (hint ….total CF).

    Via Information Clearing House, arguably one of the best aggregation sites around (plus Tom, who runs it, is a really nice guy).


    “Missing from the chorus of outrage, however, has been any acknowledgement of the integral role of covert US and British regional military intelligence strategy in empowering and even directly sponsoring the very same virulent Islamist militants in Iraq, Syria and beyond, that went on to break away from al-Qaeda and form ‘ISIS’, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or now simply, the Islamic State (IS).

    Since 2003, Anglo-American power has secretly and openly coordinated direct and indirect support for Islamist terrorist groups linked to al-Qaeda across the Middle East and North Africa. This ill-conceived patchwork geostrategy is a legacy of the persistent influence of neoconservative ideology, motivated by longstanding but often contradictory ambitions to dominate regional oil resources, defend an expansionist Israel, and in pursuit of these, re-draw the map of the Middle East.

    Now despite Pentagon denials that there will be boots on the ground – and Obama’s insistence that this would not be another “Iraq war” – local Kurdish military and intelligence sources confirm that US and German special operations forces are already “on the ground here. They are helping to support us in the attack.” US airstrikes on ISIS positions and arms supplies to the Kurds have also been accompanied by British RAF reconnaissance flights over the region and UK weapons shipments to Kurdish peshmerga forces.
    Divide and rule in Iraq

    “It’s not that we don’t want the Salafis to throw bombs,” said one US government defense consultant in 2007. “It’s who they throw them at – Hezbollah, Moqtada al-Sadr, Iran, and at the Syrians, if they continue to work with Hezbollah and Iran.”

    Early during the 2003 invasion and occupation of Iraq, the US covertly supplied arms to al-Qaeda affiliated insurgents even while ostensibly supporting an emerging Shi’a-dominated administration.”

  24. OldSkeptic

    MFI I agree

    But if you agree with my hypothesis that that this is really an issue about IS ‘going off reservation’ and not doing what the US/UK/Turkey/SA/Israel/etc want….that is go for Syria and Hezbollah (then Iran and Russia) … then this is really about them (badly) trying to work out a way to get them back on ‘on the program’.

    Basically: “Stop frigging around in Iraq and scaring people, get back to doing your job and taking out Assad”.

  25. amspirnational

    Israel continues its permitted perfidy.

    Obama was vetted by Rahm Emanuel, who fought in the IDF, not the US armed forces.
    He was never a threat to go all Kucinich on the nation to which America answers.

  26. Hussla

    Lies lies lies….. all a crock of lies.

    The ttruth is you could bomb da3sh (isis) and nusra and alciada mb for as long as you want all your doing is creating more death and destruction.

    You want peace in the ME its simple stop supporting the saudis and khaleej

    No one seems to be making a peep about Bahrain ? Tje GCC basically did what Isis did in Mosul but instead of pick up trucks and balaclavas they were in military uniform and tanks.

    Stop supporting saudi = killing off the ideology of wahhabism = killing of taliban etc etc etc

    Majority of problems in the middle east are because of the lack of structure in sunnism and how easily influenced they are bec of that lack of structure.

    Believe you me bef obama and the state of israel these same barbarians (Isis n co salafism wahabism decsendants of abu sufyan and yazid) have been killing and lobbing off heads for thousands of years. Why do you think Islam is soo hated ? Why do you think they are so poorly educated and reactive instead of pro active ?

    Its because for centuries these same tyrants that love power will distort religion and strike alliances with europe n co to stay in power.

    If you guys want the middle east to solve itself then its simple. Stay out and stop getting involved.

    Gee obama gives these guys 500 million a few months ago and now starts yapping on about air strikes. Good work buddy you have given isis enough time to go into hiding so your air strikes will be useless.

    Its all just lies lies lies

  27. And I thought I was over the edge.

  28. markfromireland

    @ OldSkeptic September 12, 2014

    But I don’t agree with that hypothesis or rather I agree with it only to a very limited extent – from the outset it’s been very clear that Da’ash have an agenda of their own and that they intend sticking to it. They’ve not got much (if any) help that I can discern from the Western Powers and for these purposes both Turkey and Israel come under that heading. Other groups have got lots of help in the form of money, arms, and propaganda, but Da’ash no. You need to bear in mind that Da’ash has always had as its core the Iraki fighters who successfully took on first the Americans and the GZG, and then the GZG alone. Later accretions such as the involvement of Chechen groups are exactly that later accretions.

    So who does that leave? It leaves the Gulf Countries. Da’ash have been getting money to beat the band from those countries, mostly from private sources I would think. Even under Bandar I doubt the Saudis would have funded them directly although I could well be wrong about that.

    Bandar incidentally is back in favour – doesn’t that warm the cockles of your heart?

    Da’ash have always been very clear about their agenda and it’s the classic one of dealing with the near enemy first. Furthermore they have always acted in a manner consistent with that agenda. They attack the near enemy first and then consolidate. As the territory under their control expands the definition of near enemy alters. This is what we’re seeing now.

    As I say at best I agree with your hypotheses to a very limited extent – kharijites for that is what they are, have never been amenable to doing outsiders’ bidding. That’s sort of the whole point.


  29. Linda Amick

    The Atlantic globalist objective generally is to create chaos and destruction in all non Western areas. Since the US/Israel has virtually unlimited firepower via weaponry there is little fear on the part of these globalists of a worthy foe. Destruction of countries along with payment to local opportunists eventually paves the way for resource grabs by transnational corporations. The finite earth no longer provides the unconquered lands needed to satisfy the greed of all the oligarchs. There is a zero sum game afoot. Russia is the path of the Atlantic globalists to China. Ultimately China must be subdued and its resources subsumed. The recent acceleration of conflicts is due to the global growing distaste for the US which is manifesting itself as impending financial crisis.

  30. Tom

    There is a lot of twitter rumors going around that IS, IF, Nusra, YPG, and other Sunni Rebel groups are negotiating a ceasefire in Syria and a joining of forces against Assad. If true, the rebels have only themselves to blame when IS pulls the rug on the them like it did to the Iraqi Groups that joined them.

  31. Hussla

    @ Tom this is true. It has been well known in the middle east over the last few weeks via reports on the ground and well documented on arabic news sites/channels.

    One thing everyone needs to know is that all these “rebel groups” are all the exact same. Isis nusra etc etc all under the samw umbrella. So its not isis that will pull the rug out, but rather their backers US and co.

    They will do to them like they did to Osama, Mubarak, Morsi, Saddam, Ghadaffi etc etc etc.

    The only one who was kicked out via true means was the shah and that’s why they have been making Iran suffer ever since.

    The only thing the rebel groups have done is ruin a nation/nations (African ones too sudan somalia nigeria). Most of these are sunni nations and as one mentioned earlier they are nothing but khawarijites.

    Their ignorance has lead them to serve their masters well

  32. Lisa Formally OldSkeptic

    MFI “…Bandar incidentally is back in favour ” ..oh sigh, this guy is like a ‘whack a mole’, just keeps on turning up and creating chaos. Oh Putin and Assad will not be happy.

  33. Formerly T-Bear


    Has any consideration been given, given the turmoil in (the) Ukraine, to the reported threat Bandar gave Putin about the time of the winter games? It seems unlikely there is no connection.

  34. markfromireland

    Tom And a ‘mysterious’ bomb that just so happens to wipe most of the commanders of the one significant salafist fighter coalition against you is just so convenient. Well the Lord helps those who help themselves to coin a phrase.


  35. markfromireland

    @ Formerly T-Bear September 14, 2014 Doubt it. Russia is far enemy not near enemy. It’s possible of course but on the basis of what’s known so far I’d reckon it highly improbable.


  36. markfromireland

    @ Lisa Formally OldSkeptic September 14, 2014

    They have a limited talent pool in Saudi he’s good at what he does when he doesn’t let innate Saudi arrogance blind him to unfavourable consequences and the man was too well connected and too well informed to eliminate. I find myself wondering if there’s a set of letters with interesting information to be sent to interesting addresses if the author meets an unnatural end.


    PS: Should “formally” read “formerly”?

  37. Lisa Formerly OldSkeptic


  38. Lisa Formerly OldSkeptic

    Never mind, IS is now doomed, our esteemed Prime Minster is on the case….

    “Tony Abbott: Australia to send military force to fight Isis ‘death cult'”

    This is a man who has an approval rating about the same level as my smelly socks, infamous for pics of his ‘budgy smugglers’ (look it up)… but there we are, getting into yet another US war thousands of miles from us…sigh. You couldn’t make this stuff up.

  39. Formerly T-Bear

    markfromireland 14 Sept 2014

    IIRC that was at a time when Russian policy was looking as if Iran would benefit from a distinct change in direction. Iran would still be a near enemy (your terms) and Saudi Arabia as chief pooh-bah of OPEC, it would have served as a reminder to Russia who was still capable of affecting market price (I suspect those days to be numbered though) in no uncertain terms. What is Russia to do? Declare hostilities?

    That was why I was asking. Thanks for the reply, good to see you back.

  40. Hussla

    @ Lisa Formaly OldSkeptic

    Lol yeah, real good way of improving our economy !!!!

    The funny thing is most of the aussies in Isis the gov let them slip on purpose. They Syrian embassy is still closed even though they have killed more terrorists then the coalition of the willing has over the last decade.

    Just go for a stroll down to bankstown near the train station and you will find corner shops selling isis flags. Its not hard to find out who supports them and who doesnt and its prob cheaper to arrest them all here.

    But I guess the fear of china invading will keep us as american lap dogs for a long long time

  41. Tom

    YPG has gone on a rampage and massacred at least 80 Sunni Arabs after truce negotiations broke down with IS.

    This will not end well…

    In Iraq, ISA is counter attacking towards Kirkuk, they already seized back what they lost in the Kurdish Mid August Offensive. The Shia Militias are so far holding Sulaiman Bek and Amirili after kicking the Kurds out and are trying to break out towards Tu Khurmato.

    Peshmerga still have yet to break out of the Mosul Dam Floodplain despite US Airstrikes and its forces trapped in Al-Kasik Military base since mid August have yet to be relieved.

    In Syria, ISA assaulted the Military Housing for Kweiris Airbase, the first practical step before hitting the base itself, they will then take an air defense site just outside the airbase before assaulting the base itself.

    ISA is also renewing its assault on the Kobane Canton, having attacked several more villages on the eastern side of the canton on the Euphrates River in what looks to be the final push to take Kobane and wipe this YPG force out before clearing the FSA forces alongside the Euphrates that are still holding out.

    Also there are reports of ISA forces near Palmyra of unknown strength and numbers.

    Well its official.

    Welcome to the Jihadi Spring 2014. All will be judged and found wanting.

  42. Lisa Formally OldSkeptic

    Just watching all the players all trying to be ‘clever’ is both saddening (because of the death and chaos they cause) and amusing (in a schadenfreude way as their ‘plans’ all turn to custard).

    The main players in the ‘coalition of the stupid’ (CoS) all are trying to reconcile different desires and thus resort to ‘default positions’ and outright lies since it is basically impossible. This gives the neo-cons a perfect situation to drive their agendas though as they are brilliant at being politically adept in chaos and confusion.

    Looking at MoA’s latest post starts to confirm my hypothesis about the CoS’s next actions, firstly to attack Syria. Politically it is the only thing that the US/SA/Turkey/Israel can really agree on right now, stay on the original track while using IS as a ‘fig leaf’ to justify their actions, but behind the scenes get IS join in and be the CoS’s infantry.

    Israel attacking the southern Syrian areas to ‘clear the way’ for the various rebels (which as we all know are IS and/or IS affiliated and/or led by IS) is the model they are going to follow IMHO, at first at least.

    Again I see it as an attempt to get IS ‘back on track’ and do what they are supposed to do. The carrot is that the US/Israel/maybe Turkey will ‘clear the way’ for them by air strikes (etc) if IS does it (and more training, equipment,money, etc, blind eyes to oil sales and all the rest).

    Will IS do it? That, at the moment, is hard to say but there are some serious carrots being offered for them to do so. Basically the US/Israel/etc are trying to offer them Syria on a plate, giving them an airforce (and cruise missiles, etc) to further the CoS’s desires for IS actions.

    The way I read it is that the offered deal seems to go like this, CoS to IS:

    1. You can have the areas (plus maybe a bit more) in Iraq.
    2. Leave the Kurds alone (though SA will grumble at that).
    3. You can have Syria.
    4. Then you can have Lebanon.

    5. Don’t touch SA, don’t touch Jordon, don’t touch Turkey.
    6. Become best buddies with Israel (after all you are going to be sharing long borders with them after you have won) .

    7. We will support you in these directly and indirectly, but don’t go ‘off reservation’ or we will bomb you and you might lose some support from us.

    Will IS take that deal? Pretty attractive when you think about it. Strategically it sets them up to crush Israel in, say, 5 years.

    If they can pull it off, which is by no means assured of course, even with US/Israeli/SA/Turkish/etc help.

    Of course IS could be cunning and pretend to follow the script, just enough to get the US more involved against Syria….just speculating out aloud …. they may be brutal but they are not stupid.

    Will it all go by the CoS’s wishes? Of course not, it will almost certainly become a total CF at least, just the disparity in desires between the CoS ‘partners’ guarantees that, let alone what IS really wants to do.

    Then there are the jokers in the pack..Russia and China, both of which have great incentives to get the US to tie itself up in the ME again, take the pressure off in the Ukraine and the Pacific and give the US a very, very bloody nose (though Putin must also have wet dreams at night about IS taking over SA).

    Interesting times….

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