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Mosul And Beyond


The election has the spotlight but the Iraqi army and its cronies have began the attack on the ISIS stronghold in Mosul…….and so far it is going as well as ca be expected….

Iraq’s special forces fought their way into the outskirts of Mosul on Tuesday, taking its state television building despite resistance by Islamic State group fighters that is only likely to stiffen when combat reaches the inner city, the APreports. It was the first time Iraqi troops have set foot in the city, Iraq’s second-largest, in more than two years. The advance was the start of what is likely to be a grueling and slow operation for the forces as they fend off booby traps and ambushes in difficult, house-to-house fighting expected to take weeks, if not months. Mosul is the last major IS stronghold in Iraq, the city from which it drove out a larger but demoralized Iraqi army in 2014 and declared a “caliphate” that stretched into Syria. Its loss would be a major defeat for the jihadis.

Tuesday’s battle opened with Iraqi artillery, tank, and machine gun fire on IS positions on the edge of Gogjali, with the extremists responding with guided anti-tank missiles and small arms in an attempt to block the advance. Airstrikes by the US-led coalition supporting the operation added to the fire hitting the district. Inside the village of Bazwaya, 3 miles east of Mosul, white flags hung from buildings, put up a day earlier by residents eager to show they would not resist the Iraqi forces’ advance. Some residents stood outside their homes, and children raised their hands with V-for-victory signs.

All seems well and there is even the optimism that after Mosul then on to Raqaa in Syria the capital of the caliphate……and let us hypothesize that Raqaa goes as well as Mosul and the barbaric ISIS meets with doom…..but who will be the spear point in Raqaa?

US military officials say an operation to isolate the Islamic State-held city of Raqqa should get underway within weeks, warning that intelligence shows planning is taking place there for external terror attacks. The officials said the only capable local force to work with in such an operation in the near term is the Kurdish-majority Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF). But the officials acknowledged that intense consultations with Turkey in recent days, including a phone call between US President Barack Obama and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Oct. 26, had not resolved the matter of Turkey’s intense opposition to using Kurds in any operation to take the IS stronghold in Syria.

Source: Who will liberate Raqqa?

Obama is making U.S. special operators and locals do most of the fighting. When ISIS falls, Iraq and Syria need better leaders to keep this from happening again. So, what’s the plan?

Who will get to Raqqa first? What happens after Mosul falls? And what comes next for Syria and Iraq?

President Barack Obama is on the verge of seeing the central tenet of his Middle East strategy hit on-the-ground reality. After the U.S.special operations war against ISISends – the war thousands of American troops today are leading thousands more Iraqi, Syrian, and Kurdish locals to fight — who does the president think should hold, build, and govern those key cities that U.S. forces soon are expected to help liberate? And who actually will?

Source: What Comes Next After Raqqa and Mosul? – Defense One

(Keep in mind that the above is a pro-war site with very optimistic observations)….

Will this be the end of ISIS?

Most military analysts believe it’s only a matter of time before Mosul falls.

Mosul is Iraq’s third largest city. The Islamic State captured it in June 2014 during a campaign that left it in control of territory the size of the United Kingdom. But on Oct. 16, 2016, a coalition of the Iraqi army, military forces from Iraq’s autonomous Kurdish region and paramilitary units, began an attackto recapture the city.

Source: Is the Islamic State finished? Five possible scenarios | Informed Comment

With the downfall of ISIS, will this be the end?

Even as coalition forces mass on the suburbs of Mosul and prepare their assault on the last major ISIS stronghold in Iraq, strategic planners are far from declaring victory. After all, only two years ago the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) or ISIL, captured the Middle East and the world by storm when they launched their bold and brutal offensive across broad swathes of Iraq and Syria. Major cities from Ramadi to Aleppo were toppled like dominoes, and for a time even Baghdad appeared vulnerable. Today, as ISIS begrudgingly withdraws from occupied territories, they are re-inventing themselves as a transnational threat, as evidenced by horrific ISIS-affiliated or inspired terror attacks in Brussels, Paris, Jakarta, San Bernardino, and Manhattan. US ground commander Lieutenant General Sean McFarland’s grave warning is already proving prophetic: “Military success in Iraq and Syria will not necessarily mean the end of [ISIS]. We can expect the enemy to adapt, to morph into a true insurgent force and terrorist organization capable of horrific attacks.”

Source: ISIS: An Adaptive Hybrid Threat in Transition | RealClearDefense

There is more to come than people realize…..but will the world be ready?

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Chuqs News

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Rise of the American Mercenary


I have been very verbal on what I think of private “security contractors” or what they really are…mercenaries……

But first….a mercenary?

The word “mercenary” comes from the Latin “merces,” which means “wages” or “fee.” Thus, taken literally, a mercenary is any person who serves merely for wages. Although this definition could apply to many of us in the working world, it’s most closely associated with the professional soldier, or someone who is hired by a political entity to fight in a conflict. That conflict could be a war, a coup attempt or a prohibition campaign designed to reduce illegal drug trade.

Back in the 1930’s Americans that went to fight in the Spanish Civil War were labeled as treasonous because they were fighting for another country. In thew 1960’s Americans signed on to fight for numerous African civil wars and were threatened with loss of citizenship……let’s not forget those Americans that freely go and fight in the ranks of the IDF….these were all mercenaries.

Today we have thousands of armed mercenaries fighting across the globe but they are safe under the crappy deal of a defense contractor……

Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has asserted several times, and quite vociferously, that there will be “no American ground troops in Syria” if she is elected president in November.

While the definition of “ground troops” is flexible, there is a second reality that very few people are talking about in Washington today.

Not unlike the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq—where private military contractors fed, trained, equipped, and protected U.S. military forces “on the ground” in unprecedented numbers—an escalation of hired security forces in a hot spot like Syria would likely boost the presence of U.S. “boots” without causing the political heartburn of putting more actual soldiers and Marines in harm’s way.

Source: Rise of the American Mercenary | The American Conservative

A retort is that it is a free market….and yada yada yada…..

Clearly, the division between mercenary and non-mercenary soldiers was getting fuzzy. The four Geneva Conventions had to account for these nuances as they tried to formalize rules regarding how combatants and noncombatants would be treated during wartime. According to the Geneva Conventions, a lawful combatant is a soldier who belongs to the armed forces of a state. Lawful combatants can legally participate in hostilities with an enemy of the state and must be granted prisoner-of-war status if captured. Notice that members of the French Foreign Legion are lawful combatants by this interpretation.

One of three amendments of the Geneva Conventions, the first Protocol of 1977 clearly defines all of the criteria that a soldier must meet to be considered a mercenary. A mercenary is a person who:

  • Is speci­ally recruited to take part in a conflict, but isn’t a member of the armed forces of the state that recruited him
  • Ac­tively engages in hostilities
  • Is motivated by private gain and is paid substantially more than the ordinary armed forces of the state
  • Isn’t a national of the states involved in the conflict
  • Doesn’t reside in a territory controlled by the states involved in the conflict

As such, a mercenary isn’t a lawful combatant and enjoys no protection under the Geneva Conventions. He can be executed or charged with murder if he kills either a combatant or a noncombatant.

In 1989, the United Nations General Assembly passed a resolution that outlawed the use of mercenaries. However, only 30 countries have ratified the resolution to date. Many countries, including the United States and Iraq, have not signed the accord, mainly because mercenaries, while discouraged by international law, offer several advantages that make them attractive to countries at war. (as usual the US only recognizes laws that benefit them not to make the world a better place)

To be labeled a mercenary hurts their feelings…..but by any definition they are mercenaries. So do not get all butt hurt by the truth.

We have a military….and if it is not capable then may I suggest that we reinstate the draft and make room for more troops.

If Johnny wants to go to war then do the honorable thing and go as a soldier defending your country not some greedy toad looking for a big payday.

The Middle East is awash in mercenaries…..fighting from all sides not just Americans……

Media reports have recently focused on the role of Iraqi Shia militias in the battle for Aleppo, essentially foreign legions fighting on behalf of the Syrian state.

Despite their differences, both the Spanish and Syrian civil wars witnessed the intervention of foreign legions, entire units of regular armies, militias, and air forces from other states, opposed to foreign fighters, independent individuals who chose to fight for an ideological cause.

Source: Column: Syria, the Spanish Civil war and foreign legions – Middle East Observer

A mercenary by any other name is still a mercenary……if you live for war then do not get butt hurt by the term.

Ace News Room

Chuqs News

Editors Notes:

I would remind you that this blog is produced free for the public good and you are welcome to republish or re-use this article or any other material freely anywhere without requesting further permission.

News & Views welcome always published as long as NO bad language or is not related to subject matter.

To keep online information secure, experts recommend keeping your social media accounts private, changing your passwords often, and never answering unsolicited emails or phone calls asking for your personal information. Need help and guidance visit https://acepchelp.wordpress.com and leave a comment or send a private message on Telegram @Aceone31

Ace News Services Site Links Listed Here:

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