NO Will or Coherent Strategy to Contain the Islamic State

The Islamic State, is the most serious threat facing world stability and humanity today, a group of terrorists grew from a few hundreds to about 30-40 thousands, with brutal propaganda attracting the world’s degenerate psychopaths to join, control the area the size of Britain. They have no air force, no outlet to seas thus have no navy, no sophisticated satellite system or high technology intelligence service, no diplomatic mission, no state structure, no facilities to manufacture meaningful arms, yet the mighty USA led Nato, western allies, EU and UK seems unable or unwilling to cognation the danger… questions needed to be asked….do we have strategy to confront this satanic psychopaths …the answer is NO.

The house of commons overwhelming  vote in emergency recall last friday authorising the government limited, militarily action against the Islamists terror group Islamic State (IS) in Iraq  exposed our  democracy’s dilemma in dealing with the very threat to its existence and and function as the best political system man invited yet.

Following the way debate went all day and how the three  main parties  formulated the wording of the motion, it seemed  Prime Minster David Cameron priority was to wipe last year (Syria bombing vote) egg off his face than carrying the parliament with him into an effective policy to deal with the most serious menace the modern world faces today. Only a blind man ( or a politician pulling the wool over our eyes) would ignore the fact that the  Islamic State (IS) caliphate had openly  declared war on us, on our allies and interests in the region, on our way of life and aiming  to destroy the  “ blasphemous” democracy itself.

With its former leader Tony Blair’s interventionist albatross around its neck Labour insisted  on limiting participation in the American led Arab and international coalition to confront and contain IS into what boils down to a symbolic gesture with meaningless – Almost laughable – military efforts . Royal Air Force RAF six, raise a later  to eight, ageing  tornados (just a bit over two  percent of attack aircraft available for action by local coalition forces) in the skies of Iraq only; no action in Syria and certainly no involvement of combat troops on ten ground.

Not only the vote and commons discussion  exposed a wide gap between two realities . The politicians’ over-sensitivity to public opinion, of which they are terrified ( mentioned back in 1941 by General Sir Alan Brooke, WW2 General Chief of Staff, who once called Churchill  “ that public menace” , when an entry in his  diary  he questioned the ability of our democratic system to produce real qualified leaders of the nation). Politicians’ very action ( or inaction) planted their own  seeds of suspicion within the system . The other reality is the one  on the ground. Not only daily reality of those on the receiving end of IS terrorism, but also of soldiers required to do the job.

Reaction to the vote  by military experts and Britain’s  top soldiers whether Lord Richards ( Until last year Sir David Richards Chief of of the Defence Staff CDF)  or Lord Dannatt warning against half measures  arguing either go with full force and plans ( ha….alas … Coalition lunatic Military spending review?  ) or not to go at all. This gap unveils  Cameron government ( and Mr Miliband’s ) lack of coherent overall strategy to deal with IS. In fact, not once Mr Cameron nor both front benches  used the correct term IS ( the name the Islamists self-declared Caliphate gave itself)  but  calling this threat to democracy ISIL. It was obvious wether by agreement, intention or – worse- by  ignorance , both labour and coalition government ostriched their view of the enemy to “a terrorist group corrupting our young muslims.”

Several military experts  quoted an old marine saying, that fighting IS is like tackling an octopus, no point hitting its tentacles in Iraq but you have to spear its eye in Syria. Syria, is off limit according to the mandate the Commons gave the government.

To admit that IS was a mini-state (  like the Taliban self declared Emirate in Afghanistan in mid 1990s  that gave al-Qaeda bases and the ability to carry out atrocities like 9/11) labour would lose the excuse to insist on Security Council Resolution first before action. Admitting this reality also would lose Mr Cameron the fig-leaf of limiting the danger to just fighting terror group not a caliphate reviving the medieval  colonial ambitions by declaring war on the non believers and invading their Christaindoms, spreading its version of Islam by the sword.  Aims stated in IS literature  and public speeches by Caliph Ibrahim ( Aka ISIL leader Abu bakr el-Baghdadi) echoing the “achievements and conquests”  of early Islamic caliphates of 8th and 9th century AD – which included parts of Europe. Caliph Ibrahim controls an area the size of Great Britain including historic towns and villages in Syria and Iraq, with resources, oil fields and advanced American and Russian weapons captured from Iraqi and Syrian fallen army bases.  Both Mr Cameron and Mr Miliband prefer closing their eye when the target finder points at  Syria .

Not only Britain’s top soldiers, but American military experts  and British trained officers in the Jordanian Arab Army told this blog  that airpower alone ( using £680,000 cruise missile or £250,000 laser guide-bomb to destroy a £20,000 Toyota pickup truck with  mounted 23MM machine gun) might at best halt the advance of IS fighters on Baghdad or Erbil, but will not regain ground they control. You must use troops on the ground for this job and to capture their bases in Syria.

Although RAF contribution mean very little- if any- in military terms, or even in the political propaganda-sphere, in which IS had little challenged sorties ( United Arab Emirates female squadron leader 35 Year old Major Mariam al-Mansouri sticker on her 500LB bomb “ hey ISIL guys, you have been  bombed by a woman; have a nice day” was the first  spitfire hit  against IS Luftwaffe in the propaganda skies ) Britain’s participation in the coalition is  essential to assure hesitant Arabs to take more active direct role, especially in the next, inevitable stage of ground troops ( that if they are serious about defeating this satanic caliphate ). The Arabs don’t  trust the Americans , seen in the region as gunhoe reckless and ignorant . Britain, with its historic ties and experience is more trusted. Arabs call for more British leading role, mainly political and diplomatic to iron-out a few problems to have a more coherent strategy in encircling IS and drafting them.

First Turkey’s role is ambiguous.  Turkey did little to stop IS activists and leaders recruiting on its soil and raising money, making no attempt to stop recruits crossing the borders with Syria and Iraq in both direction. At the same time Turkish army stops Kurdish fighters crossing the borders to assist their kinsmen and other minorities ( especially Christians) stone throw across the borders. Turkey so far refused to let the coalition use the Nato basis on its soil ( adding to flying time from Cyprus and gulf and from aircraft-carries  thus giving pilots only few minutes over IS targets). Its leader Receb Tayyip Erdogan publicly, financially and covertly supports Muslim Brotherhood, seen by all ( but Qatar)  Arab Coalition partners as a threat as bad as IS ( IS follows a more explicitly declared long-term aims which are identical to those MuslimBrotherhood keeps only within members circles) and they hope some active British diplomacy would help solve those issues. The Turkish parliament voted this week to allow their army to fight IS , it remains to be seen whether they would cooperate with PKK( Kurdish workers Party) which

did most of the fighting and spearheaded the attacks that pushed back IS.  One day after the vote the Turkish ruling party propaganda likened IS to PKK. A week earlier the Turkish government was criticised by liberal and secular press in Turkey for letting IS open a communication and service bureau in Istanbul, a de-facto consulate, the same papers also exposed Mr Erdogan’s duplicity exposing how IS leaders operate openly from luxury hotels in Southern Turkish towns. The Americans are unlikely to succeed in their diplomacy to persuade the Arabs to build a coalition of ground forces to defat IS. This coalition to be effective would also have to include Egypt as happened in the first Gulf war 1990/1991. The British Saudi-Egyptian (1946) founded Arab League is the key. The 1964 Joint Arab Defence Pact ( used in 1990 gulf war) can be used for action, to confront IS in Syria ( Syria is a pact member and AL treaty is between states not governments), while helping both Baghdad with this understanding (No way pro-Iran Shia controlled Iraqi government would allow sunni forces on its soil) and providing some military training and leadership the Iraqi army desperately needs. The Commons vote explicitly rules our “ combat troops”. Our excellent SAS are not   classified by the MoD as “ combat troops” besides troops to be deployed and urgent humanitarian missions, was also agreed by all sides in the commons.

If the prime minister and the Foreign Office can come up with some imaginative plan to secure coalition ground forces and turn their back on the unhelpful rhetoric of alienating Damascus regime ( including Mr Cameron laughable accusation that  Assad regime was buying oil from ISIL. When  I questioned Downing Street,  their “evidence” was nothing more than Alastair Campbell infamous dodgy dossier on the eve of 2003 Iraq war); then we just might one day claim the credit for  taking the first meaningful step in drafting IS.