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Tal Abyad Is Why America Should Arm the Kurdish Army

Updated on June 20, 2015

Why is America so reluctant to arm directly the Kurdish Army in Northern Iraq? It is all political fear and paranoia and President Obama has refused. Sure, the Kurds get limited arms from the USA via Baghdad because Obama refuses to recognize the Kurds as a political entity. But with Baghdad so corrupt and the shia\sunni factions that control it refuse to allow, again, for political fear of paranoia, many arms to go to the Kurds, one solution is being held back. That solution is to arm the Kurds with heavy weapons directly and allow them to take the offensive with US advisors to allow for air support. The Kurdish Army is large and defiant against ISIS when Iraqi soldiers run and flee.

When ISIS first began its rampage through Iraq and Syria, the brakes were applied when they met the Kurds. Instead of fighting a prolonged battle of attrition, ISIS went for the easy targets where little resistance prevailed. That was the first time. The second time was at Kobani, where the Kurds, alone, defended the town against overwhelming odds, around 4000 ISIS battled 800 Kurds. While the US did provide air support, it was the Kurds that held and fought every meter of that town that is known as a "Little Stalingrad". After months of fighting, ISIS had enough and sought easier targets. Of course, Kobani was totally leveled, but the Kurds held it even though Turkish tanks were within fire range and did not assist (Turkey hates the Kurds). The third time was at Tal Abyad, where the Kurdish Army attacked and with US air support chased ISIS out of the key town. The town controls the only road to ISIS' capital of Raqqa from Turkey. ISIS receives supplies and fighters along this key road and now their supply route is blocked. The capture also links other Kurd forces in the area that had been isolated. Much of Northern Syria in parts are now under Kurd control and could be used as a safe haven for refugees. Tal Abyad was defended by 200+ ISIS fighters who sent out SOS calls for reinforcements or they would retreat. Airstrikes prevented this from happening.

It is crystal clear that the Kurds are the best in Iraq and when supported by US airstrikes, can push ISIS back. Of course, none of this is happening because Baghdad does not want to lose control of Iraq to the Kurds and neither does Iran. So, because Obama is incapable of acting like a leader, he must have Baghdad's approval with all arms to the Kurds. Baghdad may approve some and not other weapons and then keep them for themselves. They know the Kurdish Army has proven it is far better and it is embarrassing. Even the goal to train 24,000 Iraqi men by October has failed because recruitment is 17,000 short!

Arm the Kurds, do not worry about what Turkey, Syria or Iraq has to say. That would be the first step to destroying ISIS.

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    • perrya profile imageAUTHOR

      perrya 

      2 years ago

      Doug, your idea is with merit for sure. It may end up that way but Obama is determined to avoid any real war with ISIS.

    • Doug Cutler profile image

      Doug Cutler 

      2 years ago from Temperance. Mich

      We should also give a reward for each vehicle and weapon the Kurds recapture from ISIS that those cowardly Iraqis let them have.

      The Kurds deserve a homeland. I say divide Iraq since it was a made up country to start with after WWI. The Kurds should get the north part.

      The U.S. needs to keep up the pressure on the oil trucks, refineries and the fields until they can be secured. Let the Kurds have these too.

    • perrya profile imageAUTHOR

      perrya 

      3 years ago

      Russia has sent Syria some of their Mig 31, probably flown by Russian pilots. The Kurdish forces are the key to dealing with ISIS. They should give much more support. Obama is just a very reluctant warrior.

    • profile image

      Kevin Goodwin 

      3 years ago

      The U.S. government has begun to funnel weapons directly to Kurdish forces fighting Islamist militants in northern Iraq. U.S. The decision to arm the Kurds, via a covert channel established by the CIA, was made even as Pentagon officials acknowledged that recent U.S. airstrikes against the militants were acting only as a temporary deterrent. In a reflection of the administration’s reluctance to fight another full-fledged war in Iraq. There are no plans to expand the limited air campaign, to prevent the massacre of Iraqi minorities. U.S. military officials said they have conducted 17 airstrikes against fighters from the Islamic State, a jihadist group that has swept across in northern Iraq

    • perrya profile imageAUTHOR

      perrya 

      3 years ago

      It seems that Turkey is finally seriously considering creating a buffer zone along their border inside Syria. Of course, this plan was vetoed a long time ago by them if the US did not provide air cover for them. Obama said it would not happen. Now, Turkey is willing to do it all alone. The kurds could be armed on a limited basis and it would never pose a threat to Turkey. They are overly paranoid about them.

    • profile image

      Rusty 

      3 years ago

      You are missing some of the argument. Much of not arming the Kurds has to with our relationship with the government in Baghdad and our NATO ally, Turkey. They don't want the Kurds becoming too strong. Also, what you are referring to advisers for close air support are called forward air controllers. They generally are only a few troops embedded within a unit. The Marine Corp has there own people and the Army normally relies on Air Force TACPs. We need to be real careful about who we embed them with. I've been real concerned about the calls to embed them with the Iraqi Army. When the Iraqis run away to blend in with the populace, these guys are going to be left to die.

    • profile image

      TheBizWhiz 

      3 years ago

      So, long story short, you are just giving complaints about what not to do. Gotcha. Remember, when you are sitting on your hands, be sure to pull them out every once in a while so they don't fall asleep.

    • Justin Earick profile image

      Justin Earick 

      3 years ago from Tacoma, WA

      The solution is to stop banging your war drums every time your undergarments are twisted in a bunch, especially when it involves the Middle East. Daesh controls a small area. So they must be isolated, like North Korea. They won't be able to govern their tiny area for long, since they ban soccer, music, dancing, cigarettes etc... If we can keep countries from buying their oil, and the people won't stand for their form of governance, they will be overthrown before long. They killed their own security lead for smoking cigarettes, for christ's sake. That's not a sustainable model. Whether from within, or by the peshmerga, or whomever, they will be toppled. We need Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Jordan, Egypt et al to handle it themselves. Saudi Arabia spends more on their military than any country besides the US and China, they're big boys. We give billions to Egypt every year to keep the Israeli border secure, they can afford it. We need to stay away. The fuel that keeps Daesh going is the media hype over a handful of videos that keeps their name in the news (Muslim fear-mongering is good for ratings, unfortunately), and attracts disaffected/disenfranchised Muslims to their hideous cause.

    • profile image

      TheBizWhiz 

      3 years ago

      So are you offering complaints or solutions Mr. Scholar?

    • Justin Earick profile image

      Justin Earick 

      3 years ago from Tacoma, WA

      Y'all are living in some alternate universe. We are doing more to fight Daesh than any other country. Obama is leading the air strikes - not Jordan, not Saudi Arabia, not Turkey or anyone else. Obama. More air strikes against Daesh than all other countries combined. The only thing more he could do is send in ground troops to Syria (without the okay of congress, btw, blatant executive overreach you seem adore). Is that what you scholars want? Another quagmire to explode our deficit and enrich defense contractors while our kids die? For what?

    • perrya profile imageAUTHOR

      perrya 

      3 years ago

      Sounds like Obama is taking the minimalist approach.

    • profile image

      TheBizWhiz 

      3 years ago

      I err is human. Hind sight is 20/20. What is really pathetic is to sit on your hands and not do anything at all when you have the power to do so.

    • perrya profile imageAUTHOR

      perrya 

      3 years ago

      You do speak some truth, but I think ignoring ISIS is a real mistake, which is what the USA has done so far.

    • Justin Earick profile image

      Justin Earick 

      3 years ago from Tacoma, WA

      Pathetic is repeating the same old mistakes over and over again, in a pitiful attempt to act like the worlds bully in order to cater to the xenophobic tendencies of chicken hawks at home. Do we have to go over the past again - Vietnam, Korea, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan... none of it has worked out well for us, even short-term victories (like arming Mujahideen) have been short-lived. The media lies and fear-mongers bc war means best ratings possible. The Pentagon lies bc a hammer sees everything as a nail, and defense contractors pay generals (et al) very well in retirement to go on tv beating the war drums. The defense contractors want war bc profit. Politicians want war to act tough (by sending other peoples' kids to die) in order to cater to chicken hawks. And you scholars fall for it bc... I don't know. Daesh has killed a whopping two Americans, and whatever combination of - blood-thirst, nativism, xenophobia, Islamophobia - has caused people to freak our like Ebola (which also killed only a hand full of Americans).

    • perrya profile imageAUTHOR

      perrya 

      3 years ago

      At least Obama is providing some limited arms, which is better than nothing, still I agree it is pathetic.

    • profile image

      TheBizWhiz 

      3 years ago

      Justin,

      They are brave now because of cowards who think that we should leave them alone and let them spread. Your attempt to repeat the same thing that you political party told you to say is pathetic.

    • perrya profile imageAUTHOR

      perrya 

      3 years ago

      Good to know jim

    • profile image

      Jimmy 

      3 years ago

      I initially had doubts about helping the Kurds. That changed the last time the aliens visited me. They assured me their survival was crucial to the future of the Earth.

    • perrya profile imageAUTHOR

      perrya 

      3 years ago

      No, they don't hate me. They hate Americans like you who because we fail to follow through when things get messy. Iraq is messy. So many factions and only the Kurds have proven their worth so far. Some Iraqi units are great fighters but their own leaders make it impossible. To think that the US totally bail from Iraq and let ISIS run amok is showing the world the USA is a mighty nation that cannot be trusted. Your solution is why Hitler rose to power, afraid to oppose evil. Obama's approach has proven you cannot ignore it, otherwise, it simply gets worse.

    • Justin Earick profile image

      Justin Earick 

      3 years ago from Tacoma, WA

      Let's see; we armed the Mujahideen against Soviets, which helped bring about 9/11. We armed Hussein against Iran, and he turned it on the Kurds in Iraq and Kuwaitis, which has led to us spending $12 trillion (plus thousands of dead military members, and hundreds of thousands of dead Iraqis) on stupid wars you love to cheer lead for. We arm and train the Iraqi gov't forces, yet they tuck tail and all of the weapons wind up in the hands of Daesh. When has the US arming rebels ever worked out well? They don't hate us for our freedom, they hate us because of the prevalence of people such as yourself.

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