Although the United States and its cohorts are at the heart of the current terrorism inferno in the Middle East, they are still going everywhere with their bombs and military advisors, pretending to sell security and liberty.
Strange enough, the US military officials are now pressurizing Iraq to launch an offensive to recapture Mosul from ISIL. This is while Baghdad says the timing is for Iraq to decide.
Comments by the Pentagon officials suggesting the Iraqi army would soon stage a counter-attack against the death cult in the northern city have already provoked an angry response in Baghdad. Defence Minister Khaled Obeidi has expressed irritation, saying a military official should never disclose the date and time of an attack.
The Pentagon might be trying to sow fear among the terrorist group or build an aura of inevitability about an imminent operation. It might also try to build a narrative by forecasting the timing. But the move is still a strategic mistake:
1. The timing of the Mosul mission is for Iraq to decide. Those who predict the attack is likely to take place in April or May have no knowledge of the issue and are not having any part in it.
2. The mission (if any) would be carried out by the Iraqi army and Shia-Sunni volunteer forces, and not as the US Central Command and its PR circus would like to suggest, by coalition personnel and Iraqi forces – backed by US airpower.
3. Iraqi forces doubt US willingness to support them in any planned offensive. That’s why they are angry about the US military messages – which is still miles away from taking the least responsibility for the mayhem that has afflicted the Middle East since its 2003 invasion.
4. The overall plan to storm Mosul and choke off the ISIL line of supply will carry serious tactical and strategic risks. But it’s still achievable – as long as Washington and its PR clowns stay out. They only seek to ignite the powder keg of sectarianism and control a covert domain that is fast becoming the main arena for geopolitical contestation in the 21st century.
Altogether, it doesn’t take a strategic mastermind to grasp that only Iraqis can evict the death cult from Mosul. But liberation is just the beginning. No effective strategy to counter the foreign-backed death cult will emerge unless the intricate issue of good governance in the city is also fully addressed.
There is little doubt that the liberation of Mosul will have to involve all the inhabitants of the city as well, regardless of their ethnic, religious and ideological differences. This could happen within the framework of a special political arrangement enabling all parties to control their areas and manage and protect them in the future. Now that’s the real game-changer.