Iraq, Islamism & Terrorism-The National Defense-Some Wednesday Links

Yes, there’s oil involved and the policing of the global marketplace for it (oil which we would do well to get more of here at home, but which won’t likely happen with a ballooning EPA and an activist-sympathetic administration). There’s also Israel and the larger region to think about strategically, as well as our national security.  Should ISIS/ISIL be able to control and hold any territory, like other Islamist held territories or those sympathetic to Islamist causes, this will create a genuine threat to our interests and safety pretty soon afterwards.

Thousands of fighters from the Western world have joined their ranks. This is dangerous stuff.

Vice magazine has another dispatch up from the Kurdish controlled territories of Iraq. Perhaps the Kurds would not easily give up Kirkuk after taking over its defense from fleeing Iraqi Army forces and defending it from ISIS/ISIL.

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https://twitter.com/MsIntervention/status/481798600092286976

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Walter Russell Mead tears into the current administration’s unraveling foreign policy, while Jeffrey Goldberg takes a rather bleak, non-interventionist stance, and tries to redirect focus away from the Obama blame (whom most of the press is just getting around to judging more objectively after exhausting all other options):

I’ve often thought of real neo-conservatives as liberals who’ve left the fold. Many Left-liberal loyalties and underlying liberal humanist sympathies remain, but now married to American military power and a more realist look at international affairs. The use of force is justified to promote those ideals, especially regarding Israel.

So, perhaps the more Left-liberal and ‘progressive’ our culture drifts, an eventual backlash out of the grad schools, social sciences, and policy-halls of liberal humanitarian thought awaits.

Just as many libertarians are most vocal about criticizing liberal collectivism and Statism, neo-conservatives are often most vocal about criticizing Left-liberal and non-interventionist foreign policy.

What am I missing?

From Foreign Affairs: ‘Kurds To The Rescue’

Full piece here (published 06/17/14)

Not so fast.

Why would ISIS fight against the Peshmerga (Kurdish military forces) and the fleeing Maliki troops, and any opposition they face on the way to Baghdad?

As for the Kurds, why not just defend your land and interests, lay low and angle for the best, especially without provoking Turkey:

‘The Kurds have drawn their battle lines north of Mosul, across the south of Kirkuk province, and through northern Diyala province. So long as ISIS respects that line, Kurdistan would have very little reason to invite war.’

Why support American forces now when you’ve been burned in the past and America has so little influence?

Another VICE dispatch, talking to an Iraqi Army member having fled to Erbil, in Kurdish-controlled territory:

We could do much worse.  This blog is generally sympathetic to Kurdish aims: Independent Kurdistan-A Good Outcome For American Interests?

In his book Where The West EndsMichael Totten describes visiting Northern Iraq briefly as a tourist with a friend, and the general feeling of pro-Americanism in Kurdish Northern Iraq that generally one can only feel in Poland, parts of the former Yugoslavia etc.

Related On This Site: Longer odds, lots of risk: Adam Garfinkle At The American Interest’s Via Media: “The Rise Of Independent Kurdistan?”From Reuters: ‘Analysis: Syrian Kurds Sense Freedom, Power Struggle Awaits’

Repost-From Michael Yon: ‘The Battle For Kandahar’Dexter Filkins Book On Afghanistan And Iraq: “The Forever War”Repost-’Dexter Filkins In The NY Times: The Long Road To Chaos In Pakistan’