Small Wars Journal

ISIS Turning Into a Guerrilla Army, Top General Warns

Thu, 10/20/2016 - 2:51pm

ISIS Turning Into a Guerrilla Army, Top General Warns by Nancy Youssef, The Daily Beast

The capital of the self-proclaimed Islamic State in Iraq is now under assault. But ISIS isn’t going anywhere. Instead, the terror group is beginning to rebrand itself from a “caliphate” to an insurgency, a top U.S. general fighting ISIS said Wednesday.

It’s much more than a change of name, or even a shift in tactics. It could well mean that there will be no “lasting defeat” of ISIS, even if it loses control of Iraq’s second-largest city, despite Secretary of Defense Ash Carter’s claim of such a victory just four days ago, when the Iraqi campaign for Mosul began. After two years of either training local forces to fight ISIS or hitting the terror group with airstrikes, U.S. officials said they believe it still could evolve into the kind of threat that has plagued Iraq since shortly after the 2003 U.S. invasion.

Fighting that insurgency cost as much as $2 trillion, according to one estimate, and the lives of nearly 5,000 American troops. At its peak, 170,000-plus forces were required to weaken that uprising. It would be the most bitter of ironies if, years later, Iraq once again devolved into a guerrilla war…

Read on.


Outlaw 09

Thu, 10/27/2016 - 3:22am is the most perfect example of why I say those in the US MSM and those people sitting in the DC circle have absolutely no idea about the "ground environment ie the players" in Syria and they never understood even Iraq....

This is a lead article posted by SWJ on Syria and the Kurds by a well know DC journalist....NOTICE he never ever utters a single printed word that many ME SMEs have stated since 1979 the Kurdish YPG/SDF our supposedly best anti Is fighting force inside Iraq/Syria is the same very US named Kurdish terrorist group called PKK...they just changed to names to get US support..AND to protect the "innocent so to speak"..

NOT a single word about that relationship which well known MS SMEs repeat over and over and over.....exists.....along with evidence of that relationship...why is that?

Secondly he utterly failed to mention the fact that that so called US Kurdish proxy is in fact fighting against the CIA supported FSA using Assad/Putin CAS and artillery.....why is that...????

AND he totally failed to mention that wherever YPG goes there is a sudden and total ethnic cleansing of anything Arab confirmed repeatedly by AI and the HWR and to a degree even the UN...BUT not a single mention in the article.

Basically this was a PR paid piece for the YPG nothing more nothing less and again absolutely no understanding of the ME and the ground players.

Why the Middle East knows not to trust the United States…

UNDER that title he could have written a far deeper meaningful article as the ME does not trust the US now and it is just not because of the Kurds.....

Outlaw 09

Wed, 10/26/2016 - 4:31am

Bill M...also notice my previous comments on the close ties between QJBR/AQI and now IS and the Iraqi IIS.....

The Isis commander who led the Rutbah operation is Abu Saleh al-Zoubayi -- the city's former chief of intelligence for Saddam Hussain

Secondly, really look at the role of Sufism inside Islam...more than meets the eye especially the Sufi Order....the Naqshbandi Order which al Duri leads the Iraqi Order and which was the strongest Sunni insurgent grouping next to AQI/IS....was working with IS inside Iraq and now has shifted against IS....much as they did in Iraq 2008-2010 period...first working with Is then against them....

Lastly check the impact of the political/religious thinking of Wahi Ali on Sufism in India and how it impacted the political development of the orthodox AFG Taliban......

Might in fact surprise a lot of people....

Outlaw 09

Wed, 10/26/2016 - 4:11am

Bill M...reference my posted comments below on the importance of Diyala to the IS and all the Sunni Salafist insurgents.....

CTC at West Point ‏@CTCWP
"Losing Mosul, Regenerating in Diyala" by @Mikeknightsiraq & @AlexMello02… …

Who controls Diyala controls the entire Sunni insurgency....missed in 2003 and now suddenly "discovered" because the CTC writes about it...some of us tried to point this out in 2005 and were basically and largely ignored....

WHEN the Army tried to draw down in late 2006 early 2007 the Army attempted to then turn over the Diyala AO which had taken a complete BCT to half way control and enlarged the AO by 50% still covered by a single the face of an ever growing and aggressive guerilla war....make sense to anyone????

It did not then to me and still does not make sense 10 years later...

Outlaw 09

Tue, 10/25/2016 - 6:19am

Reading some US-based analysts writing on Aleppo & you'd think only JFS & Ahrar alSham existed. Bizarrely no mention of any other actors.

Such CT-narratives play into Assad/Russia narrative & totally misunderstand Aleppo opposition dynamics.

A self-fulfilling CT prophecy.

We see the exact same problem when dealing with IS....why is that?

Outlaw 09

Mon, 10/24/2016 - 3:53am

Well worth reading....

Hassan Hassan ‏@hxhassan
Will ISIS defend Mosul or will it live to fight another day? The binary is misleading. A third choice exists:

The dangers of a protracted battle to retake Mosul
Hassan Hassan
October 23, 2016 Updated: October 23, 2016 05:23 PM

The thing about military strategies, an American general said recently, is that they tend to crumble once soldiers begin to engage the enemy. This can apply to the Mosul strategy: protracted fighting could lead to the collapse of a relatively promising strategy to expel the group from its most significant stronghold.

As the battle for Mosul began last Monday, many wondered whether ISIL would stay to defend the city or choose to live to fight another day. After all, the determination of Iraqi forces and their international allies to expel the group from the country’s second largest city means the outcome is almost certain, even if the stronghold is a symbolic and strategic priority for ISIL.

The group chose to withdraw in Fallujah when it became apparent it was overwhelmed militarily, while it fought until the end in Ramadi and Manbij.

The binary choice, however, may not apply to Mosul. ISIL will, most likely, choose to fight until the end. But even if it does not do so, the alternative will not be withdrawal to preserve its forces. Instead, it will probably fight in the hope that the current strategy – built on delicate sectarian, ethnic and political balances – unravels.

The group will choose this path because the stakes for it in this battle are too high. If the current composition of Iraqi forces fighting ISIL expel it from Mosul with relative speed and minimal damage to the city, the win could be a true game-changer for the country and the future of the group. If we know one thing about ISIL, it is that it will not allow this to happen. Typically, it excels at political tradecraft rather than military operations. This ability will be brought to bear in the defining battle for Mosul.

So far, Iraqi forces appear to have the upper hand. The division of labour in the battle and the demand for Kurdish and Shia militias to stay out of Mosul proper are encouraging signs that a victory will have far-reaching consequences for the group. Yet, will the current strategy hold? What happens if the battle drags on for several months? Will the forces continue to show restraint? What if professional forces inside the city feel compelled to seek the help of militias fighting in the vicinity?

The forces fighting on different fronts against ISIL around Mosul are the definition of strange bedfellows. Competing agendas in an area seen as vital for each side to ensure their long-term interests mean that it will be only a matter of time before rivalries start to cause trouble. This trouble might be minor for the overall battle, but it could be disruptive.

Iraqi forces expect the fight to end soon. If the battle drags on, overconfidence can turn into frustration and overreaction. As The Washington Post reported on Friday, Iraqi forces on the front lines are complaining about the slow and sparse close-air support provided by the United States-led coalition. Tal Afar, north-west of Mosul, could become a flashpoint. Turkey continues to insist on having a role in the battle, as Shia militias operating under the banner of Hashd Al Shaabi seem set to launch an attack to retake the city.

Hawija is emerging as another issue for the international coalition. The city is an ISIL stronghold that many wanted liberated before Mosul given its location west of Kirkuk. There are disagreements between Kurdish and Shia militias over who fights in the city. Leaders of Hashd Al Shaabi visited Kirkuk on Saturday to discuss the issue with Kurdish officials, especially after ISIL stormed into Kirkuk and clashed with the Kurdish peshmerga in half a dozen locations inside the city.


ISIS can't afford a quick loss in Mosul. Its focus will likely be the "soft underbelly" of the operation: divisions

BUT on the other sectarian side of this conflict....the Shia.....
Maliki: "Coming, Nineveh!" operation also means "Coming, Raqqa", "Coming Aleppo" & "Coming, Yemen".

Maliki: Coming everywhere where Muslims are fighting those wanting to apostatise from Islamic teachings.

This is the same Maliki who called the Anbar campaign in 2013-2014 "a fight between the followers of Hussian against the followers of Yazid"

REMEMBER this is being driven by the Obama/Rhodes/Kerry FULL tilt to Iran as the regions main new hegemon ALL via the IRAN DEAL...think abut that for a moment....

Outlaw 09

Mon, 10/24/2016 - 3:33am

The proverbial "Pandora's box" has been now truly opened and it will never be closed for the next two decades and the Obama WH has contributed greatly to this...."non action" is in fact "action".....

EXACTLY what IS wants...fits their narrative to the letter.....
Kurdish authorities have issued an order of deportation of all the Arab refugees from Kirkuk.
السلطات الكردية في...

If true, exactly the sort of political impact #IS was hoping to have on the way down, lays the ground for recovery.

IS claims it will ride out "defeat" in the desert and return. Not an empty boast

"The [Shia militia] flags are rankling Sunnis as well as Kurdish Peshmerga fighters taking part in [#MosulOp]."

Sectarianism which has been unleashed by the FULL Obama/Rhodes/Kerry tilt to Iran as the next regional hegemon is going to haunt the US for the next 20-30 years in the ME....

Outlaw 09

Mon, 10/24/2016 - 2:28am

In reply to by Bill M.

Ahem....Bill solid of the hardest things I did in my long intel life and it cost me heavily was the attempt via the former NTC COG to change the entire Army trng scenario in in 2006/2007 to try to reflect the actual events on the ground in Iraq modeled on Baqubah Diyala.and attempted th first changes to instill some guerrilla components into the scenario BUT at every turn I was confronted by the forces of COIN..why Baqubah as that was in fact the epicenter of the Salafist and QJBR/AQI guerrilla war....the pullback/R&R center for fighters and their families from Ramadi and Mosul when things got to hot for them, recruiting and training area, use of the Diyala river basin for smuggling and movements, isolated houses for safe houses, great LOC routes into and out of Baghdad, Mosul, Syria and the west of Iraq, great rat runs for movement of troops, money and weapons and only a SINGLE BCT to cover from the Iranian border to Baghdad and north to Mosul.

THAT BCT never ever was a threat to them as they simply moved around it and avoided it as long as it did not interfere much with them.....if it started to interfere well then they cranked up the IED fight and started ambushing...traditional guerrilla responses.....

We blew it and blew it badly....and it cost us lives and wasted tax payers money.

How mnay times have I heard the mantra at the NTC and the other trng sites....this is one way to do it.....

New Masters of Revolutionary Warfare: The Islamic State Movement (2002-2016)

Beyond stating the obvious, which is that revolutionary movements tend to ebb and flow over time based on various conditions in the field, I think his principle point is that a counterterrorism strategy is insufficient in countering this type of warfare. He argues we have become overly focused on foreign fighters, while true is only part of the picture. We have also become overly endeavored with networks, and the belief that if we remove a few critical nodes the network will collapse. Like many tactics, they look on paper or PowerPoint charts, but in practice they fall short. Getting it wrong isn't bad in itself, that is to be expected in any war during the initial phases. What is bad, is failure to learn after more than 15 years of doing this. It seems our approach is now engrained in our CT doctrine as "The Way." It's a way, a way to nowhere.

The ultimate political objective of the U.S./the West is to transform outlying states and societies -- such as those of the Greater Middle East -- more along modern western political, economic, social and value lines.

It is in this context that we must understand the President's current campaign to first degrade, and then to ultimately destroy, ISIL.…

In this specific regard (to wit: by knowing that the ultimate political goal of the U.S./the West is to transform outlying states and societies -- such as those of Iraq and Syria -- more along modern western lines) to understand the following comments from our President. (Which are found at the bottom of the item linked immediately above):

"The brutality of ISIL is no match for the yearning of millions who want to live in security and dignity.” He continued, “With allies and partners and the service of our dedicated personnel, our diplomats, our civilians, and our military, we will destroy this barbaric terrorist organization and continue to stand with people across the region who seek a better and a safer future.”

Herein, the "better and safer future" -- that the "people across the region seek" -- is, from the standpoint of the U.S./the West, only one which mirrors the way of life, the way of governance and the values, attitudes and beliefs of the modern western world.

It is in this context that we might understand why:

a. The current "resistance to unwanted western transformation" entities -- such as ISIL, AQ, etc. -- will continue to morph. (This, so as to be able to continue the "resistance to unwanted western transformation" fight against the U.S./the West.) And, why:

b. The U.S./the West will need to morph also. (This, so as to [a] be able to overcome these such -- ever-changing -- "resistance to unwanted western transformation" methods and activities of our current and future enemies and to [b] achieve, in spite of same, the transformation of these outlying states and societies -- more along modern western political, economic, social and value lines -- as we desire/require.)

Q: Thus, a "generational battle" -- to overcome this such "native/civilizational resistance," and to achieve, in spite of same, the transformation of these outlying states and societies more along the alien and profane political, economic, social and value lines of a foreign civilization (to wit: that of the U.S./the West)?

A: Yep. And obviously. This, given that "universal values" (neither the Soviet/the communist version back-in-the-day, nor the U.S./Western version today) appear to exist.

Outlaw 09

Thu, 10/27/2016 - 2:56am

In reply to by Robert C. Jones

Ccouple this with the current US WH FP of "doing nothing stupid because we do not like to do the playbook" and you what some might just call a "nightmare"....

If one really and seriously looks at the current Syria using all available materials printed/published/talked about in the US think tank world and the US MSM...AND the Obama WH spin room......there is not really much being published concerning..."just why the Syrian people and we forget that the Syrian people stood up and demanded change"...first peacefully via the standard street demos, leaflets, and protests BUT when genocide, starvation, prison/torture/disappearances and attempting to kill them off general brutality at a level not seen in the West was unleashed on them.

When 73% stand up then that should these days count for something...the West has basically abandoned them and who steps into the void Syrian jihadists/Salafists defending their own people AND we wonder why they have a strong identity within that 73% Syrian population..because we the West did nothing and still does nothing...

"Why am I still here and fighting?

Aleppo is my city. Syria is my country."

23yr-old Omair Shaaban, on living/fighting under siege.

The US MSM has yet to print articles that contain the over 1300 villages and towns there have been relatively speaking free and democratic council elections for the local area governance containing surprisingly a high percentage of women....who have effectively stepped in and replaced the Assad corrupt governance....governing at the local level for their local needs. AND surprisingly never giving up the idea of a "Syrian" nation state.

WHEN we talk about Assad and Russia bombing civilians. This is the key....they not only want to destroy the rebel insurgents ie the fighters THEY want to destroy that new form of local elected governance that is actually the longer term threat to both Assad and Putin...simple actually.

The Obama WH has largely as has western MSM totally forgotten the civic pride and unity the idea of flag and nation state gives to local insurgents....

Aleppo tonight.
Syrian rebels take a "SELFIIIE!" with AssadPutin illumination flares over the city. …

JUST as the fighting by the Ukrainian armed forces unit called "the Cyborgs" in the totally destroyed international airport at Donetsk FAR longer than Stalingrad gave overall pride to the UAF when they were on the verge of being overrun by the Russian military invasions forces....the same now goes for some aspects I call this the "Alamo" affect....

Robert C. Jones

Wed, 10/26/2016 - 9:44pm

In reply to by Bill M.

Jihadist, Shmehadist. This is the Crack the Intel community and Islam "experts" have been selling to politicians, General's and the public for 15 years. Exaggerated poppycock from people with little to no understanding of insurgency. As my team medic was fond of saying years ago when similar illogical thinking was taking place, "step away from the crack pipe."

How about some Clausewitz instead of hysteriawitz? The first, the most important thing, is to which kind of war one is in. Well, currently the Islamic State, carved from the states formerly known as Syria and Iraq, is in civil war with those two governments. What happens if one "defeats" a civil war opponent in traditional military terms with no reconciliation program in place, and no viable political alternative on the table for the people to get on board with?? Simple. It fractures the proto state back into a handful of violently competing revolutionary conflict movements.

Simple question: What is the US better at dealing with? Weak little states, or powerful revolutionary movements? That is rhetorical. Clearly we dominate weak states, and get strung out for years by efforts to resolve foreign insurgencies. Why. Why, would one convert a weak little state we can easily control into a collage of powerful insurgency movements we have clearly demonstrated are beyond our control??

We are trying to make our infeasible plan for the region work, rather than working to get to a feasible plan. We need to reframe the problem for what it is, not for the fantasy our experts have enabled us to believe.

Outlaw 09

Sun, 10/23/2016 - 3:32am

In reply to by Outlaw 09

Bill....just a side one really paid much attention to the
Fedayeen Saddam or who some called the Black Fedayeen...a well trained guerrilla set of units that simply "vanished" when we arrived....many "disappeared" into Salafists insurgent camps as the early fighters.

The use of RC controlled IEDs and RC bomb circuit designs were already hitting Baghdad US forces three months after our arrival....the designs were being constantly updated and shipped around Iraq four months after we arrived.....funding streams and setup of 25 cells completed three months after we arrived.....and on and on

Example of something far a large Black Fedayeen base in Diyala over 12,000 C5 air to ground rockets disappeared and largely remained disappeared until 2008 when suddenly they were being used as a direct fire IEDs against Bradley's and Hummers being fired via PVC plastic pipes very accurately BTW....

Starting in 2006 the US military stated getting hit with well planned and carried out "swarm attacks"...carried out by usually four different insurgent groups depicting a C&C not previously seen...

the sudden appearance of Russian hand thrown parachute slowed AT grenades were first thought to be IEDs until AQI released an open source video on them and that still did not initially convince the Army of the problem...THEN the grenade made it's way through all the Salafist insurgent groups.

The production of HME reached levels by 2009 never seen before with organized insurgent production reaching literally tons per month.....

The level and expertise of IEDs also climbed after we arrived and regardless of what we threw at them in the way of counter IED they evolved even faster their designs and counter measures....

All the ear marks of an adapting evolving guerrilla insurgency....and what did we throw at the problem COIN, COIN and more COIN.

AND many will not like this comment...our total attention on QJBR/AQI via JSOC while killing and capturing a bunch of people never really dented AQI nor the other Sunni Salafist insurgent groups...just as the targeting of IS leadership in Iraq and Syria has achieved just about the same levels of failure...

AQI and now IS is still alive and well and fully in the fight in over 30 countries and still spreading...

COIN overlooked the simple fact...we were in a true Mao phase two guerrilla war and never fully realized it...and COIN cannot respond to a fast adapting evolving guerrilla force that was smart, well led and organized in 1991 not 2003.

They had a 12 year head start and we had what...not a clue.

Just a side comment...the ODAs I worked around in Baqubah were far more interested in chasing Baathists than AQI/IAI why ...their comment not mine..."it is like fishing for fish in a small barrel"....far easier and looked good for the numbers....there is where we went wrong and badly....

Outlaw 09

Sat, 10/22/2016 - 4:02pm

In reply to by Bill M.

Bill...there were no organized "jihadists" in Iraq when we marched into Baghdad...there were through well trained, well funded and well organized Iraqi Sunni Salafists...big difference. As they had been at "war" with Saddam since the end of the Kuwait fighting and the Shia uprising.....a good ten years of war experience against Saddam and we failed to even know it existed.

The Iraqi intel side IIS was deeply focused on the Shia uprising as well as the Sunni Salafists and BTW if they were caught it was a quick trip to Abu G and immediate hanging....

BTW the large number of IIS intel officers assigned to monitoring those Sunni mosques where there was suspected Salafist activity ACTUALLY flipped when we arrived and immediately went over to the largest Salafist insurgency group at that time...Islamic Army in Iraq or IAI...and in many cases formed new IAI cells all over Iraq......BTW one of the top Salafist mosques was located in Basara....a typical Shia area and it was under heavy IIS surveillance for years.

BTW...QJBR...or AQ in the Land of Two Rivers had members who came out of IAI in 2003 and QJBR called out the "Islamic/jihadi movement" from the steps of the Green Dome Mosque in Baqubah, Diyala in early 2004...the intel world had a hard time trying to write reports using the full QJBR name and in mid 2005 decided after much internal debate to go with AQI....

Remember AQI now ISIL is not Salafist in nature but true Takfirist...a really big difference..if one goes back to the debates between the mothership and QJBR and they were intense....QJBR was even in 2004 not following AQ just as ISIL is not following AQ but in direct competition to AQ.....because in my view of the differences between actual Salafist thinking and the thinking of a Takfirist...

BUT back to the core issue...we walked right into a full blown Mao phase two guerrilla war and never even recognized it.....and initially it was exploited by the Baathists such as al Duri who was a closet Sufi....not not think for a moment that even Sufi's cannot become insurgents...

Bill M.

Sat, 10/22/2016 - 2:40pm

In reply to by Robert C. Jones

Defeating ISIL's physical strong holds is an appropriate step in the over all campaign. As you imply, it is only a step, what follows will actually be more critical. Of course ISIL and affiliated groups will revert to guerrilla warfare, many people have been this obvious fact for years. One doesn't have be an expert in revolutionary war to predict this. However, the General's comments were still appropriate, because he is signaling both the White House and the Iraqi Government that isn't over after Mosul if liberated. What should be a statement of the obvious for almost any military person, may not be so obvious to those within the beltway.

As for DoD not listening to the White House, I don't think that is the entire story. Some in DoD still has Center of Gravity disease, and they'll be confused for awhile when the so called COG defeat doesn't result in a decisive victory. I suspect the real issue is that the White House wants a victory before the President transitions out of office, which is likely part of the calculation in the timing. Regardless, it needs to be done.

Hopefully we're past the phase as a country where we'll never have a Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld again that blatantly deny there is an insurgency, when we're in the midst of one. On the military side, generally speaking, I have seen little evidence we have learned our lesson when it comes to contingency planning to address the fight after the conventional fight. I wouldn't be surprised that within my life time we get in another war, where we achieve a spectacular victory over our adversary's conventional forces, only to once again pull defeat out of the jaws of victory because we failed to consolidate our victory with well planned out, resourced, and executed stability activities.

Returning to Iraq, "we" can't fix the ethnic divides there, nor the external support to various groups from various actors around the globe. It is probably a waste of resources to try. If that assumption is true, what does that portend?

As to Outlaw's comment there were no jihadists in 2003, that is quite simply wrong. We captured jihadists in 2003, and they were just beginning to come out of the woodwork. They weren't the initial insurgents, but AQ and others sensed opportunity and exploited it.

Outlaw 09

Sat, 10/22/2016 - 3:46am

In reply to by Robert C. Jones

Well stated..........

I wrote a number of years ago for SWJ and FP that when we arrived in Baghdad we were already in a Mao phase two guerrilla war between Saddam and several large Sunni Salafist insurgent groupings SINCE 1991……not “jihadist but Salafist groupings” and we never even realized it until the guerrilla insurgency hit us full force in 2005/2006 and not many were willing to even accept that concept. COIN was their answer to the problem.........WHAT a full on intelligence failure...

I had in my hands the hand written journal of the Iraqi Salafist leader of IAI even stating that with complete evidence….and that was basically ignored in Abu Ghraib in 2006…ignored even at the National intel levels when assistance was asked for.

The failure to “see and fully understand this”.......has cost the US military dearly since then…..

General Petraeus……has recently even indicated we must talk with AQ and now JFS in Syria....AND what was the response to that????......NOT IS but AQ/JFS as this is where the historical differences lay and those differences can only be removed by dialogue now……we are not going to kill our way through the idea of AQ as AQ/JFS talks to the Sunni Muslim and many Shia Muslims in the world of “perceptions” and this world of “perceptions” is far different from the world we ourselves view to be reality.

Until we fully and completely are willing to discuss those “perceptions” and our views on those “perceptions”…..sorry to say this so called war is going to continue for decades longer with continued killing on both sides........

Robert C. Jones

Fri, 10/21/2016 - 3:21pm

A blinding flash of "no kidding, sir." I've been putting out for months that any military defeat of ISIL will merely convert the current civil war back into a fragmented revolutionary conflict and restore AQ as the leading NSA UW leader in the region. If the Pentagon would have listened to the purpose given by the Whitehouse for this campaign, and not just the task ("defeat") we would be In a very different place right now. Know the type of war you are in, and when the success of your campaign will naturally convert it into a different type of conflict.

Outlaw 09

Fri, 10/21/2016 - 3:40am

WHY is it that when three major ME/Syrian SMEs not tied to major DC think tanks and or DoD/DoS write weeks ago and post the internal statements of IS leaders to back up their analysis that owning territory or not owning territory does not mean the end of IS and that it is back to guerrilla warfare....WEEKS ago...WHY is it that many in the DoD/DoS and the Obama WH cannot seem to remember that QJBR/AQI/IS came out of the guerrilla phase two Mao model in 2003 along with a large Sunni Salafist insurgency element ....seems we forgot that small going back to their roots is not a problem for IS and how in the heck is ISF to control a full scale guerrilla war based in the Sunni areas directed against the Iraqi state and ISF....

But outside the world of social media and a few ME think tanks located in the ME....these articles got little to no take up in the US MSM nor in DC....

BUT let a US General state what they stated literally weeks ago AND it makes MSM headlines.....and anyone care to explain the disconnect????