Friday, December 26, 2014
Global SITREP E12-14: 2015 War on the Islamic State
Generic image of an American airborne assault in the Middle East
26 December 2014: Things have progressed to the point where one final SITREP is indeed required to close out the current year. I believe there is now no doubt that despite all claims to the contrary by the Obama Administration, large numbers of elite American combat troops are returning to staging areas in Kuwait and Iraq, and possibly even the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, in order to close with, engage in ground combat and utterly destroy the forces of the newly declared Caliphate, the Islamic State. I believe this to be the case because otherwise there would be no reason for the U.S. State Department to have published a little more than two weeks ago its case for an "Authorization for use of Military Force against ISIL (Islamic State). In modern parlance, that amounts to a de facto U.S. declaration of war against the Islamic State.
The initial element of the American "boots on the ground" contribution to the component land forces of the Combined Joint Task Force - Operation Inherent Resolve (CJTF-OIR) engaged and decimated a sizable Islamic State force that was attempting to overrun the Ein al-Asad Air Base in Iraq's Anbar Province. The two-hour battle occurred on Sunday morning, 14 December between 0100 and 0300 hours in the al-Dolab region, approximately 6 miles from the perimeter of the air base. Within the next month an additional 1,300 elite US airborne troops will deploy. This deployment will include an entire Brigade Combat Team of the 82nd Airborne Division, Ft. Bragg, NC (hence the image above).
Another Western power contributing combat troops to CJTF-OIR on the same January 2015 deployment schedule are "hundreds" of the United Kingdom's best troops according to the BBC and other UK news sources. These two January 2015 deployments, I believe, will constitute the vanguard of other NATO ground forces being requested to deploy into Iraq. Germany may have to change its constitution in order for Chancellor Angela Merkel to make good on her pledge to send even more German combat troops to Iraq in support of CJTF-OIR objectives - unless NATO as a whole authorizes deployments as it did for combat operations in Afghanistan.
With only five days to go before 2015 can officially be rung in as the New Year, we can already see that the deployment of American, British, German and likely other NATO combat forces into Mesopotamia will make for early headlines. Getting these forces into Syria might not be too far behind as 2015 progresses. The Syrian border cannot be permitted to provide sanctuary to the enemy's forces as had occurred all along the Afghan-Pakistan frontier.