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The US should petition the UN to approve the redrawing of national borders.  Syria would become divided up into three areas (Alawite to the west, Sunni to the east and south, Kurdish to the north) and Iraq would be as well (Shia to the south and east, Sunni to the west, Kurdish to the north).  The Sunni sections would become their own country, Shia would become its own, and Kurdish its own.  The governments would be set up along a semi-representational system which guaranteed Human Rights and regional security, but otherwise leaves them to work out the details for themselves.

This is the only practical way to stop the killing long term.  Unfortunately, it has no chance for success because certain parties (Russia, Iran, and Turkey in particular) would never agree to it.  So it's dead in the water as is pretty much every single other reasonable means of ending this war.  In that light, my suggestion is just as useless as yours is because it's never going to happen.

not necessarily, there is the South Sudan example and even if you can't have formal international borders, you can still have "de facto" autonomy like the Kurds in northern Iraq or even a more formal federal structure with wide legal powers for each region. There are many ways to get there.

First you need a plan, then you need someone to drive that plan. Who thought a few years ago that the U.S. would be able to conclude a nuclear agreement with Iran?

 A US ground force contingent in Iraq should be contemplated if the Shia lead government agrees to certain concessions.

yes, much better than my plan ..... attack ISIS from the East! ;)

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here is why a failed state, like Libya, is in no one's interest: weapons.

Libyan Weapons Arming Al Qaeda Militias Across North Africa, Officials Say

WASHINGTON -- An unchecked flood of weapons out of Libya, including thousands of shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missiles, is providing new firepower to al Qaeda-linked jihadist militias across northern Africa, according to Defense Department officials, accelerating conflict and raising new risks for U.S. and western interests.

There has been a continuing flow of weaponry since the fall of Libyan strongman Muammar Gaddafi in October 2011, said outside experts and Pentagon defense officials, who agreed to brief The Huffington Post on the North African arms trade on the basis of anonymity to protect their identities. The weapons include small arms, anti-tank mines, rocket-propelled grenade launchers, light machine guns, crates of ammunition and rockets, truck-mounted heavy machine guns, anti-aircraft artillery and Russian-made Strela anti-aircraft missiles.

(...)

Arms looted from Libyan depots or sold by fleeing Gaddafi loyalists make up the bulk of the weapons that are being transported across Libya's poorly guarded borders.

(...)

"Conditions in that part of Africa, North Africa, are not entirely dissimilar to Iraq after the U.S. invasion in 2003, with lots of different militias and armed groups feeding off of vast arms stockpiles," Hoffman said. The al Qaeda-linked militias "are armed almost to the extent of a small army -- we're not talking about yesterday's terrorist with an AK-47 and a knapsack. Look what they're carrying away from Libya -- heavy machine guns, heavy mortars, plastic explosives are the accoutrements of a small army."

(...)

Defense officials at the Pentagon expressed frustration at having an incomplete picture of where the arms are going. One official, discussing the shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missiles known as MANPADS, for Man-Portable Air Defense Systems, said "there are thousands of them" flowing out of Libya, "but we're not sure where they are, exactly. It's really a gap for us."

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/02/20/libyan-weapons-al-qaeda-north-africa_n_2727326.html

The AQIM/Ansar Dine militants that conquered northern Mali in 2012 were equipped with the same Libyan weapons. If the Gaddafi regime had not fallen, the crisis in Mali in 2012-13 might not have happened. A failed state like Libya is a problem not just inside its borders, but throughout all of North Africa.

Edited by Sgt Joch

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I believe the bigger problem with rearranging Syria would be the infrastructure and resources are not broadly speaking, ethnically aligned.  You'd wind up with a few Danzigs and Sudetenlands I think by the end of the whole arrangement.

 

here is why a failed state, like Libya, is in no one's interest: weapons.

A failed state is in no one's interest, much the same Detroit defaulting on its debts is in no one's interest.  There's a lot that could be bad from Syria crumbling (realistically, it already is a failed state at this point IMO).  But is any of it bad enough to justify military intervention and again the hundreds if not thousands of dead and trillions spent?  

Not really.  Just as much as we shouldn't expect Germany to swoop in to save Detroit from its own economic hole in the ground, while Germany could certainly benefit from a more prosperous Detroit, it's a remote enough problem as to not terribly affect Germany on a whole.  While the US would prefer a stable Syria, Libya etc etc, they were never political allies in a meaningful way, major trade partners, or strategic locations worth mentioning (Wheelus AFB being distant enough past to be discarded).  

Well armed militants are bad.  Got it.  But are they any worst than well armed militants anywhere?  Should the US be deploying troops to fight Shining Path Guerrillas?  How about Moro Liberation sorts?  Perhaps Lebanon again?   Somalia is quite a mess, perhaps there too.

There's just that big line you have to draw between "this is a problem" and "this is a problem we need to commit blood and treasure to" and I feel no case has been made that Syria is so important as to command that degree of attention, or such a cheap investment as to be easily handled with modest assets.  

Pardon the delayed edit:


Libya is actually a really good example of exactly why Sgt Joch is advocating a silly course of action.  There was fairly minimal national interest beyond humanitarian issues and the danger of continued chaos.  It was sold as a modest adventure requiring only aviation and some special forces stuff to completely resolve.  The locals would all get behind one faction and then tah-dah!  Libya is all great and okay now.  Except for it turned out to be much more complicated, and rapidly exceeded the collective desire of the west to deal with, either requiring a larger intervention to prevent the revolution from eating its own....or what happened instead and simply walking away because we were all in for the simple short solution, and no one was willing to take the longer solution because it was such a minor interest in the wider spectrum of things.

Which is why you should never trust someone who will tell you a conflict will be simple, easy, or cheap.  Statecraft is a messy thing, and sticking your nose into a civil war is about as messy as it comes.  

Edited by panzersaurkrautwerfer

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In the news lately; Russians are having maintenance and logistics problems in Syria.

Not that there is any evidence that their arrival was having any major effect on the civil war.

Edited by Nidan1

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Is the Hind usually used in a much more close-in approach, in contrast to the AH-64 stand off methods?

I know the Apache certainly can and does come in hard and low, but I'm curious how much stand-off capability the Hind has?

I'm assuming the US helos have much better optics/thermals, which allows them to stay back that bit more, where must the Hinds close in fast to ensure on-target CAS, eg VERY close air support.

US helos only have better optics/thermals when it comes to old helis, Such as the MI-24P. But the MI-35, MI-28, KA-52 all have thermals and advanced optics. Keep in mind the MI-24Ps only have static 30 mm guns.

In the news lately; Russians are having maintenance and logistics problems in Syria.

Not that there is any evidence that their arrival was having any major effect on the civil war.

I'm sorry which news is this from? 

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Libya is actually a really good example of exactly why Sgt Joch is advocating a silly course of action.  about as messy as it comes.

 deleted

Edited by Sgt Joch
written in anger, never a good idea

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I'm sorry which news is this from? 

Across a few sources actually.  The maintenance issues generally are described as readiness rates of 70% for combat platforms, and something like 50% for transports.  This is in cooler headed circles held as about to be expected given the expeditionary nature of the conflict, and Russian lack of experience with same, rather than any special failing of equipment.

As far as having little effect, the Syrian regime lost some more ground, and has made little if any gains against the FSA.  While Russian planes are hitting targets, it does not appear the Syrian Army is able to exploit that.  The question remains to if that's a flaw in targeting (what is being hit is not relevant) or the Syrian Army is just too broken to realistically go on the offensive.
 

As to Joch:



Right Captain, much easier to just sit on the sidelines, hurl insults, shoot down everything and actually provide no useful input to the discussion.

I think advocating a response proportional to national interest is quite useful input, as is illustrating the reality of a military intervention on the ground in Syria is highly useful.  I will contend that you still have done nothing to show how it would be as cheap, or as easy as you seem to think it would be besides repeating that Mali happened, while failing to discuss the clear differences in region, threat, and political situation.

I believe you are also mistaken in who is hurling insults.  And as far as I can tell I've been fairly strongly against the idea of a NATO ground force for Syria, and have had little else that has required my shooting down.

As to glass jaws, I am curious as to how I have given that impression.  If anything I am curious as to how you're so easily offended as to forget to make an argument.  This is proving rather tiresome in that you have done absolutely nothing to show:

1. Why it's specifically in the interest of the American people to be involved in a land war Syria-Iraq

2. Why does the US have a duty at all to respond to anything in the middle east.

3. How the very different terrain, people, and military problems of Mali apply to Syria

4. How invalid anything I have said is in regards to the complexity, and threat of fighting in Iraq or Syria is, and how your low ball estimates of forces required are accurate.

It also begs the question that barring a specific reason why the US should go, why you are not too demanding for Canadian forces to be deployed to Syria.  They should have more than enough forces to accomplish the mission by your estimates without American augmentation beyond perhaps logistics.  

Why are you not demanding Canadian forces be sent?  Why cannot Canada live up to the international obligations you demand of others?  The world wonders.

 

And what was your proposal again? Ah yes, just continue the current course of action, even though you admit, it will probably lead to a failed state. Yes, obviously a brillant military strategy.

We still won World War Two without invading Norway.  Not every battle must be fought head on, nor every prize worth the price paid for it.  While you jeer at my course of action, I will contend not acting is better than acting stupidly.  

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Russian logistics are 100% in order. Supplies are flying in or shipped in. There hasn't been a supply shortage nor malfunction yet. SAA lost ground in certain areas where the line was thin, Gains are being made in key areas although not as large as need it be. Once they deal with their biggest problems I'm sure they will focus on other areas. SAA is having troubles because some country near by (cough* Saudi Arabia) has gaven more then dozens of ATGMs to them, They(FSA, Or ISIL) are so trigger happy they are wasting ATGMs on earth movers. But this isn't a problem, Overall SAA will have success. And in this success FSA and ISIL will exploit weaknesses and take advantage. It appears to me FSA and ISIL are informed and up to date of SAA positions, Almost like someone is providing them info. Maybe a corrupt officer. According to a few Russian sources in the last 3 days around 285 targets have been striked. And the Russian air force will now be focusing on Daesh convoys and supply routes. 

This air campaign will work to a certain extent, Without some motor rifle lads deployed this may take a while. I have had some disappointment in terms of SAA's recent failure, recapturing then losing a small town to rebel groups.  That is how Urban warfare is, You make one mistake and the enemy has control of a key area. And especially when you are fighting against dozens of groups, With thousands of members. It still is unclear who will win in terms of territorial gain, I'd say give it one more week.

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 I'd say give it one more week.

Really? Its gonna take a lot more than a week mate.

Edit: unless we're thinking of different things, just realised maybe you were thinking about a particular situation on the ground not the whole mess

Edited by Luka

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Russian logistics are 100% in order. Supplies are flying in or shipped in. There hasn't been a supply shortage nor malfunction yet. SAA lost ground in certain areas where the line was thin, Gains are being made in key areas although not as large as need it be. Once they deal with their biggest problems I'm sure they will focus on other areas. SAA is having troubles because some country near by (cough* Saudi Arabia) has gaven more then dozens of ATGMs to them, They(FSA, Or ISIL) are so trigger happy they are wasting ATGMs on earth movers. But this isn't a problem, Overall SAA will have success. And in this success FSA and ISIL will exploit weaknesses and take advantage. It appears to me FSA and ISIL are informed and up to date of SAA positions, Almost like someone is providing them info. Maybe a corrupt officer. According to a few Russian sources in the last 3 days around 285 targets have been striked. And the Russian air force will now be focusing on Daesh convoys and supply routes. 

This air campaign will work to a certain extent, Without some motor rifle lads deployed this may take a while. I have had some disappointment in terms of SAA's recent failure, recapturing then losing a small town to rebel groups.  That is how Urban warfare is, You make one mistake and the enemy has control of a key area. And especially when you are fighting against dozens of groups, With thousands of members. It still is unclear who will win in terms of territorial gain, I'd say give it one more week.

From what I've read Vladimir the Syrian sands have not been kind to Russian aircraft, I believe that that and Russia's inexperience in expeditionary actions such as this are to blame for the readiness/logistical issues.

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While you jeer at my course of action, I will contend not acting is better than acting stupidly.  

well considering your proposal is to continue the current policy and considering the current policy is basically a carbon copy of the 2011 Libya operation, I would not be so quick to judge which  proposal is "acting stupidly" or a "silly course of action".

Is'nt the definition of insanity to keep repeating the same thing, but hope for a different result?

At least my proposal may result in a desired outcome, while your proposal can only result in a failed state. Now it might be the U.S. decides that it is not in their interest to step into the Syria mess which is of course their absolute right. However, let us assume Syria becomes another Libya, what will be the next target of the Islamists? Jordan? Egypt? Can the U.S. afford to stand on the sidelines  forever while the middle east goes up in smoke?

As to Canadian troops, they were in Afghanistan, where they had one of the highest per capita casualty rate than any NATO country, they were involved in the Mali op and are currently in Syria.

 

 

Edited by Sgt Joch

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Really? Its gonna take a lot more than a week mate.

Edit: unless we're thinking of different things, just realised maybe you were thinking about a particular situation on the ground not the whole mess

I meant to see if the Syrian counter offensives are a success or not.

 

From what I've read Vladimir the Syrian sands have not been kind to Russian aircraft, I believe that that and Russia's inexperience in expeditionary actions such as this are to blame for the readiness/logistical issues.

Inexperience? I don't think so. And would you be kind enough to send me some links? I mean I'm gonna check these articles but I want to also read the ones you were.

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I meant to see if the Syrian counter offensives are a success or not.

Inexperience? I don't think so. And would you be kind enough to send me some links? I mean I'm gonna check these articles but I want to also read the ones you were.

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2015/10/25/russia-vladimir-putin-ash-carter-syria/74586002/

 

This article talks about the dusty conditions.

Edit: I should mention that I am not insulting the Russian military when I talk about its inexperience, waging war "far" from home is always difficult, one only needs to look at the early North African campaign in World War 2 for my country's expeditionary teething difficulties.

 

;)

 

 

 

 

Edited by Raptorx7

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Thats gotta be a joke, If the article was written when Russian air strikes were first sent into operation, I would have agreed because the base capacity was low, And the facilities were not set up yet. But the article being written just yesterday makes me feel as if it has a political bias to it. Of course, I wouldn't want to offend you in anyway. Every news has its bias and I'm not calling your source any names or anything. But the airstrikes have tripled actually. Capacity is at 150 plus air strikes daily(the base in latakia), Just because there are that amount of aircraft deployed doesn't mean all of them will be deployed at once. It would just add to the air space clutter, Or it just is not needed. 

Edited by VladimirTarasov

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Russian logistics are 100% in order. Supplies are flying in or shipped in. There hasn't been a supply shortage nor malfunction yet. 

I'd contend the absence of malfunctions to be utter nonsense simply because we're talking about machines with moving parts.  By all accounts it sounds like something that'll get smoothed out, just that equipment is wearing out faster than intended when placed at a higher operations tempo in an environment that hates anything that has an air intake.  Given the echelon at which most Russian stuff is repaired it is also reasonable that it might lead to longer downtimes as equipment is either sent back to Russia without replacement on hand, or support facilities are established.

That said if strikes are as effective, and as numerous as boasted, it begs the question as to why no progress at all has been noted, and why seven days from now the ground truth would be dramatically different.

Related hard hitting journalistic writing:

http://www.duffelblog.com/2015/10/russian-troops-syria/

well considering your proposal is to continue the current policy and considering the current policy is basically a carbon copy of the 2011 Libya operation, I would not be so quick to judge which  proposal is "acting stupidly" or a "silly course of action".

It would be a carbon copy if it was directed at the Assad family holdings.  It's an air campaign directed against ISIS, and it has had some results as far as limiting just what ISIS can do (namely destroying heavy equipment, and some of the "strategic" type assets they previously controlled.  Also limiting command and control functions).  The point is not to produce a winner in the Syrian Civil War, it is to ensure the loser is ISIS.  And that goal and resources invested are proportional to the US interest in the region.

I would suggest you better understand examples before employing them.

 

At least my proposal may result in a desired outcome, while your proposal can only result in a failed state. Now it might be the U.S. decides that it is not in their interest to step into the Syria mess which is of course their absolute right. However, let us assume Syria becomes another Libya, what will be the next target of the Islamists? Jordan? Egypt? Can the U.S. afford to stand on the sidelines  forever while the middle east goes up in smoke?

What comes after Kosovo and Bosina?  At what point will Serbian aggression finally be checked?  The gates of Vienna?  The shores of Newfoundland?  

The slippery slope fallacy is called a fallacy for a reason.  We can afford sitting out a terrible everyone vs everyone civil war, while ensuring same civil war consumes much of ISIS's momentum and resources.  Also if we step in at all times there will never be a strong regional response to anything.  It will be like Iraq when this all kicked off, they didn't have to fight because of course the Americans would come back in and win this one for them.  They can die again, I'll just shuck my uniform off and hide in Bagdad until this blows over.

Oh.  Wait.  The US isn't showing up in force? 

 

As to Canadian troops, they were in Afghanistan, where they had one of the highest per capita casualty rate than any NATO country, they were involved in the Mali op and are currently in Syria.

Hate to break it to you, Canada just more or less quit being an active player in Syria, and it sounds pretty much like the French had Mali handled with about six dudes and a French flag because they're that good.  I demand Canada own up to it's part in keeping the middle east safe, and deploy a 15,000 person task force.  Ya'll pretty much have Strykers (LAV IIIs at least), some tanks, jet planes.  Ought to go swimmingly by your maths.  

Another relevant piece of journalistic awesome:

http://www.duffelblog.com/2015/09/world-begs-us-military-force-syria-bitch-later/

 

 

 

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No.  Not at all.  It's actually a humor website written mostly by US veterans.  See example:

http://www.duffelblog.com/2015/10/mutant-super-soldier-cant-find-job/

Wherein Wolverine from the X-Men and Hulk from other comics struggle with employment after leaving government service.

It's pretty funny most of the time.  

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well considering your proposal is to continue the current policy and considering the current policy is basically a carbon copy of the 2011 Libya operation, I would not be so quick to judge which  proposal is "acting stupidly" or a "silly course of action".

What you fail to grasp is that the criticism leveled at your concept is well reasoned and very solidly backed up by reality.  That means your proposal isn't well informed.  It might not be "silly" or "stupid", but defending it without addressing any of the criticism leveled at it certainly isn't doing you any favors.

As to Canadian troops, they were in Afghanistan, where they had one of the highest per capita casualty rate than any NATO country, they were involved in the Mali op and are currently in Syria.

The "per capita" figure shifted around between a bunch of countries depending on time frame.  At one point Estonia had the highest per capita casualty rate.  But your point that Canadian armed forces are quite capable of fighting is certainly true.  When it wants to. And as we are seeing with the withdrawal of Canadian participation in Syria, it doesn't want to.  Why not?  Because it's not in Canada's national interests.

Steve

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I'd contend the absence of malfunctions to be utter nonsense simply because we're talking about machines with moving parts.  By all accounts it sounds like something that'll get smoothed out, just that equipment is wearing out faster than intended when placed at a higher operations tempo in an environment that hates anything that has an air intake.  Given the echelon at which most Russian stuff is repaired it is also reasonable that it might lead to longer downtimes as equipment is either sent back to Russia without replacement on hand, or support facilities are established.

That said if strikes are as effective, and as numerous as boasted, it begs the question as to why no progress at all has been noted, and why seven days from now the ground truth would be dramatically different.

For sure any sort of Russian report of what is going on in Syria must be taken with a huge helping of salt.  Media is state controlled and has a track record of lying about the most fundamental facts.  Since this is Russia's first campaign from foreign territory that is not contiguous with the Russian Federation, it's in an environment that is very hostile to aircraft (sand, heat, etc.), and it involves aircraft that have not been used in combat before... there's almost no chance that things are going "100%" OK.  The odds of that being the case are astronomically poor.

I am not saying that the air campaign is going badly, just that Russian media is not a good way to make a determination either way.

Regardless, even if the airstrikes are going exceedingly well by Russian military standards, they aren't going to make a difference on the ground at all.  Not in any way that is meaningful towards securing Russia's "war aims" of keeping Assad in power.  At best the airstrikes are going to keep Assad's regime on life support for a few more months than it otherwise would have been.

Related hard hitting journalistic writing:



http://www.duffelblog.com/2015/10/russian-troops-syria/

So true!  Which is exactly why I mentioned this very thing a few pages ago ;)  If the US does something it gets criticized, if it does nothing it gets criticized.  If it does something right it is ignored, if it does something wrong it's highlighted every chance that comes up.  It's predictable at least.

Steve

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I think i re4ad last week or maybe earlier about an early (just post Russian strike campaign beginning) SAA armored offense that rapidly degraded into a debacle, due to the unexpected numbers of rebel AT missiles.

Sounded like heavy losses in a over-confident frontal attack. I Forget the name of the town...

Anyone else know of this? 

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When it wants to .....  Why not?  Because it's not in Canada's national interests.

Burnt

This thread has slowly taken over my evening entertainment programme, who needs TV.

Anyone else know of this? 

Kuweires offensive? 

http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13940624000469

Edit: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kuweires_offensive_(September_2015–present)  - the wiki page. I know its wiki but still as long as you keep that in mind it can (emphasis on can) be a good source of info.

Edited by Luka

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It appears as if the SAA is no more able to exploit Russian air support than the Iraqis are with US air support. Not sure why either country even bothers.

CBSs 60 minutes ran a special on the air war this weekend. I'm on my phone else I'd link it, but it should be an interesting watch to those in this thread. A USAF General laments that Iraq blames insufficient strikes from the US, but points out that we have had enough strikers up continuously and have yet to say "sorry no one available." You could tell how he really appreciated those criticisms...

Edit: As someone in a USN strike fighter squadron, 100% up rates never happen, ever. The sortie rate is actually pretty appropriate for a modern air force, but there's no way expeditionary maintenence is perfect. It's nothing against the RuAF, but modern jets always have something wrong with them.

Edited by Codename Duchess

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Re: ATGMs and Insufficient Airstrikes

I would say it's a cultural thing, in the sense that it's a society adverse to blaming someone for mucking it up.  In working with the Iraqis, despite catastrophic leadership failures, poor planning and all and all poor choices on the part of the Iraqi partners, it was always some piece of equipment there wasn't enough of, something breaking, or that we didn't provide some asset.  Rarely the equipment or asset would have made a difference (or, because they didn't have enough printers they weren't able to produce enough copies of orders to stay awake, and THAT is why two of their checkpoints got wiped out when they went to sleep during the day and got murdered, so give us printers and Baghdad will be secure).  I'm taking the ATGM reports with a grain of salt, as suddenly waves of TOWs from 360 degrees makes defeat acceptable...while the possible reality that it was simply poor tactics, over-confidence in the loud noises made by Russian airstrikes, and much more modest means that actually did the heavy lifting.

In terms of airstrikes, honestly the Iraqis won't have enough airstrikes until each Iraqi soldier has a personal JTAC and AC-130 with orbiting F/A-18s.  This is imperative and it is our fault they lack the means for total victory.  

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