Fun With Numbers
Last comment by Bryant 3 years, 9 months ago.

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News reports glibly assert that ISIS fields 10,000 men. How is it that such a small force can sweep away the Iraq army, fight Peshmerga, and resist Assad loyalists all at the same time? My inference would be that the number so avidly reported is utter nonsense, a relatively small number to downplay the threat and make it seem as if the US project in Iraq could have some hope of success.My impression is that we have absolutely no idea of the strength of ISIS just as we have been utterly clueless since the very beginning of our involvement in the entire theater of operations.We have warned the Syrians not to bomb these brigands when we should really be delighted that others are willing to do the dying for us. We worry about meeting Iranian troops fighting ISIS and ask for Iranian assistance. The reports coming out of the Middle East soothe us with comfortable numbers just as counts of enemy dead would indicate that we were winning the war in Viet Nam.It really is time to come home. Let's win the war in Detroit or Cleveland or any of the urban wildernesses that dot this country.

Latest Activity: Jun 30, 2014 at 5:23 PM

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Regional commented on Monday, Jun 30, 2014 at 22:31 PM

According to a recent article in The Guardian, the Iraqi military have "more than 250,000 frontline troops (not counting paramilitary police units), on paper at least"....and states that ISIS forces in Syria and Iraq number "around 7,000 but its numbers in Iraq appear to have been bolstered by other groups, including local Sunni militants and Ba'ath nationalists"...In addition, the Guardian article states "Two years ago a Kurdish official suggested the peshmerga numbered 190,000." These well-armed and trained Kurdish Peshmerga fighters may be the last hope for those in Iraq who dont care to fall under the rule of ISIS.

According to a recent Financial Times article, ISIS is fighting "intelligent campaigns...well-resourced, prepared, executed and adapted"....while the same article quotes "Patrick Skinner...(a former) Central Intelligence Agency (officer) who states “The Iraqi Security Forces [ISF] are mind-crushingly inept.”

The Guardian article cautions that "While (ISIS has)been able to operate easily in largely Sunni areas....alienated from the Shia-led government in Baghdad, the capital is a different proposition....Sadr City has a Shia population of some 1 million" indicating these Shia Muslims will not give up without a fight...most likely to the death.

theflyonthewall commented on Tuesday, Jul 01, 2014 at 15:36 PM

Expect the partition of Iraq along the Shia/Sunni divide.It seems that Kurdish officials also have fun with numbers. To arrive at 190,000, the Kurds must be counting grandma,grandad and the kids since the Peshmerga is not the only Kurdish militant group and most of the Kurdish region is mountainous and sparsely settled.

Regional commented on Wednesday, Jul 02, 2014 at 08:42 AM

exactly as ive stated my friend...the ISIS 'cakewalk' ends at the outskirts of Baghdad.....but dont expect the Shia in Baghdad to go out looking for a fight......unless theyre seriously to the peshmerga, theyre trying to ensure their people are it looks like right now well have three separate regions of influence...something ive stated many times over the past several years...sunni, shia, and kurd.....and if you look at history...well, those divisions have been there for centuries anyweays...

Bryant commented on Thursday, Jul 03, 2014 at 10:17 AM

ISIS may have a larger problem with Saudi Arabia since declaration of a caliphate effectively declares the Saudi ruling family as illegitimate. And there's a new sheriff in town as the head of Saudi Arabia's CIA equivalent.

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