[guest post by Dana]
Today, President Obama announced that he is going to send up to 300 American military advisers to Iraq as a response to the Islamic militants who are threatening the government in Baghdad.
Speaking after a long meeting with his national security team at the White House, Obama also said that he’s positioning American assets in the region to “be prepared to take targeted and precise military action if and when the situation on the ground requires it.”
The president also reassured the public that he would take steps to prevent this from turning into a wider mission in Iraq:
American combat troops are not going to be fighting in Iraq again,” Obama said. “We do not have the ability to simply solve this problem by sending in thousands of troops and committing the kind of blood and treasure that has already been expended in Iraq.”
The administration has not ruled out future airstrikes.
Also, it is being reported that Isis has seized Saddam Hussein’s stockpile of old chemical weapons, which include Sarin and Mustard Gas, from a military complex 80km northwest of the capital.
The State Department reassured that they “don’t believe” Isis will be able to utilize the material.
“We do not believe that the complex contains CW materials of military value and it would be very difficult, if not impossible to safely move the materials,” State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki.
Psaki however added that the US remained “concerned about the seizure of any military site by the Isis.”
Further, we learn more about Isis. Apparently, they run like a well oiled machine and maintain detailed records of their yearly actions to fulfill their primary mission of setting up an Islamic caliphate in the territories the group controls. According to the Financial Times:
“They produce [annual reports] almost like a company, with details of martyrdom operations and targets. You have a clear overlay of structure, planning, and strategy to the organization,” said Nigel Inkster, a former assistant chief of Britain’s intelligence service MI6.
Two significant observations made by the Institute for the Study of War: The network pursues a traditional insurgency strategy known as “clear, hold, and build” and its organization of 15,000 armed men functions more like a military, than a typical terrorist group.
According to the article, the group recorded 1,083 assassinations in 2013 and 48 murders by knife in 2012, and they also document the number of “apostates run over.”
Analyst at the institute, Alex Bilger warns:
A counter-terrorism strategy that does not take these characteristics into consideration will underestimate and fail to defeat this enemy.