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 on: September 13, 2014, 10:15:33 PM 
Started by Crafty_Dog - Last post by seawolfpack5
For you translation pleasure, bearing in mind one language won't directly form to another;

New York via Pakistan International.  One of several companies "priest-class" direct to New York.  Departs South Orly (Paris Airport), offering the best correspondence with the provincial villages ("in the area", I.e., greater NY area).  New proof of the efficiency of PIA.
PIA is an international company of spectacular development:  3 million passengers a year, take offs every 6 minutes.
A successful caring construct with passenger satisfaction.
For a true crossing.
New York where (with, actually) 60 other big metropolises in the world, leave via PIA.

 on: September 13, 2014, 09:17:07 PM 
Started by Crafty_Dog - Last post by ya
An old Pak International Airlines ad...might have been the spark for KSM.

 on: September 13, 2014, 05:37:00 PM 
Started by captainccs - Last post by MikeT

 on: September 13, 2014, 09:27:45 AM 
Started by captainccs - Last post by Crafty_Dog
Second post

 Kurdish Peshmerga Forces Have Room to Grow
September 12, 2014 | 0456 Print Text Size

Though a limited force, the Kurdish peshmerga could prove critical against Islamic State


As the United States prepares for more aggressive action against the Islamic State, one of the key pillars of its strategy is to work with indigenous armed groups that can roll back the militant group's gains. The Kurdish Peshmerga forces, despite their fabled reputation, have diminished as a fighting force over the last decade of relative peace in Iraq's Kurdistan region. With serious training and significant foreign support, however, the Peshmerga fighters can still play a critical role in the overall strategy against the Islamic State.


Considerable divisions exist within the organizational framework of the Peshmerga forces. Indeed, to a large extent, the Peshmerga concept remains an idea based around a shared goal, rather than a single monolith. The term is essentially a catchall for the armed forces of the various Kurdish factions, rather than the name of a single army.

At the highest level, the Peshmerga forces can be primarily divided into two main factional fighting groups, one reporting to the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan and the other to the Kurdistan Democratic Party. These factions operate in largely distinct territorial areas, and their command and control and logistics structures differ. Within the two broader groupings there are also many families, clans and individuals that invite their own loyalties. Estimates generally indicate that some 60,000 fighters fight under each party, with the Ministry of the Peshmerga Affairs claiming an additional 50,000 fighters. These estimates include a large number of veterans and untrained civilians who have rushed to the lines to repel the Islamic State.

The rivalries within the Peshmerga groups have led to poor coordination on the battlefield between Patriotic Union of Kurdistan and Kurdistan Democratic Party units. This has even been the case in the Regional Guard Brigades, a force that combines fighters from both factions into single units. In locations where Regional Guard Brigades have failed, less professional but more highly trusted Peshmerga units that remain under party control have performed better. No effective command structure exists across the entire Peshmerga force due to the split of prevailing loyalties among the two factions. There is also a marked divide in sharing logistics and supplies, which diminishes the effectiveness of both factions. The involvement of People’s Protection Unit forces from Syria as well as Kurdistan Workers' Party forces from Turkey, particularly in the north and northwest, has further complicated the situation on the ground, even though these fighters add considerable force and much-needed combat experience.

While most of the Peshmerga fighters (particularly those in the Regional Guard Brigades) have received some amount of training, the units as a whole are inexperienced. Many of the older commanders gained experience fighting former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein’s army. However, that fight involved using guerilla tactics against a mechanized conventional army. Those skills do not necessarily translate into an ability to operate against a fluid opponent that is proficient in light infantry maneuver warfare, or an ability to effectively carry out counterinsurgency and counterterrorism operations. In addition, the bulk of the ranks have very little combat experience and have mostly been involved in garrison duty over the last decade. U.S. Special Forces operating alongside Peshmerga forces in a more conventional way in 2003 also described them as "wild" and said they were forced to organize the Peshmerga fighters into assault units to prevent friendly fire incidents. Finally, none of the senior Peshmerga officers have experience with modern combined arms offensives.

As mentioned, the much younger rank-and-file fighters lack combat experience as a whole. They also lack Arabic language skills, adding to their alienation from Sunni tribes. These younger recruits have cultural backgrounds that differ from those of the once-fabled Peshmerga fighters, who were viewed as tough boys from the mountains born with rifles in their hands. Instead, the average Peshmerga fighter is now an urban youth with little to no experience in handling weapons or living in rough mountain terrain. In fact, notable portions of current Peshmerga fighters are volunteers from the Kurdish diaspora.
Logistical Shortfalls

Peshmerga equipment consists of significant amounts of heavy weaponry including tanks, rocket artillery and howitzers, but the force lacks the ammunition and the logistical and maintenance support required to sustain offensive operations. This is not the only shortfall; the level of sophistication of the weapons systems available to the Peshmerga fighters also poses a setback. The vast bulk of Peshmerga heavy weaponry derives from old Warsaw Pact supplies captured long ago from Hussein's forces. The deployed equipment's age and lack of maintenance have already resulted in a number of reported breakdowns and malfunctions.

Peshmerga forces also lack the appropriate communication tools to allow them to convey information within and among units. This limits fighters' ability to respond to Islamic State activities in a timely manner or to convey orders or intelligence in a secure manner.

On the whole, the Peshmerga forces remain particularly effective in core Kurdish areas, especially in defensive operations in the mountainous regions dominated by Kurdish populations with terrain that is well known to the Peshmerga fighters. The Peshmerga forces have not fared as well in the open plains, where the Islamic State's superior mobility has proved a key advantage against the slower-moving Kurds.

Indeed, considering all the challenges faced by the Peshmerga fighters, they have shown themselves to be an effective defensive force and have held back the Islamic State after initial tactical retreats in Arbil province. These tactical withdrawals have allowed Peshmerga forces to regroup and correct their dispositions, although in doing so they still have faced significant planning and management shortfalls.

The Peshmerga forces are far better prepared to carry out defensive operations than to take the fight to Islamic State militants. However, with adequate support -- air power, supplies, equipment and perhaps even advising -- they might be able to carry out effective offensive operations. The more time the Peshmerga fighters have to train, especially if they get foreign advisers, intelligence, and air support, the better they eventually will be able to operate. Training and foreign support are crucial to bolstering the force's offensive capabilities; even now, the Peshmerga forces can perform some offensive operations with proper support. This was evident during the Mosul Dam operation in which the Peshmerga fighters, led by the Iraqi Golden Brigades and supported by American air power, smashed through Islamic State defenses. Though the Peshmerga forces currently have some serious limitations in offensive operations beyond their core territory, their capabilities can grow with enough international support.

Read more: Kurdish Peshmerga Forces Have Room to Grow | Stratfor
Follow us: @stratfor on Twitter | Stratfor on Facebook

 on: September 13, 2014, 09:02:55 AM 
Started by captainccs - Last post by Crafty_Dog
Maybe the WSJ has been reading my posts here?

Our Non-Ally in Ankara
Turkey bugs out of the anti-ISIS coalition. Why not a base in Kurdistan?
Sept. 12, 2014 6:37 p.m. ET

Was it only a week ago that Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel listed a "core coalition" of 10 countries willing to join the U.S. effort to destroy the Islamic State? Since then Britain has categorically ruled out military strikes in Syria, while Germany has ruled out any use of force. Now Turkey is bugging out.

The Turkish abdication goes a step further than the Brits or Germans. Not only will Ankara take no military action, it will also forbid the U.S. from using the U.S. air base in Incirlik—located fewer than 100 miles from the Syrian border—to conduct air strikes against the terrorists. That will complicate the Pentagon's logistical and reconnaissance challenges, especially for a campaign that's supposed to take years.

The U.S. military will no doubt find work-arounds for its air campaign, just as it did in 2003 when Turkey also refused requests to let the U.S. launch attacks on Iraq from its soil in order to depose Saddam Hussein. Turkey shares a 750-mile border with Syria and Iraq, meaning it could have made a more-than-symbolic contribution to a campaign against ISIS. So much for that.

Harder to get around is the reality of a Turkish government that is a member of NATO but long ago stopped acting like an ally of the U.S. or a friend of the West. Former U.S. Ambassador to Turkey Francis Ricciardone declared this week that the Turkish government "frankly worked" with the al-Nusrah Front—the al Qaeda affiliate in Syria—along with other terrorist groups. Ankara also looked the other way as foreign jihadis used Turkey as a transit point on their way to Syria and Iraq. Mr. Ricciardone came close to being declared persona non grata by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's government last December.

This history—along with the Erdogan government's long record of support for Hamas in Gaza and the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt—explains why the excuses now being made for Turkey's nonfeasance ring hollow. ISIS has taken Turkish diplomats and their family members hostage in Mosul inside Iraq, but Turkey is not the only country whose citizens have been taken hostage. Ankara also fears that arms sent to ISIS opponents may wind up in the hands of the PKK, the Kurdish terrorist group. But that doesn't justify shutting down Incirlik for a U.S. operation.

The unavoidable conclusion is that the U.S. needs to find a better regional ally to fight ISIS. True to type, Arab states such as Saudi Arabia are proving to be reluctant partners, at least in public, and it's unclear how much the new government in Baghdad can contribute before its army regroups.

The better bet is with the Kurds, who have the most on the line and are willing to provide the boots on the ground that others can't or won't. Incirlik has been a home for U.S. forces for nearly 60 years, but perhaps it's time to consider replacing it with a new U.S. air base in Kurdish territory in northern Iraq. America may no longer have friends in Ankara, but that doesn't mean we don't have options in the Middle East.

 on: September 12, 2014, 02:48:27 PM 
Started by greg jah - Last post by Crafty_Dog

Good post, but allow me to point out to you as a new member that around here we strive for "thread coherency" i.e. putting posts into existing threads where possible.

For example, your documentary here would belong well in the Middle East thread (SNAFU, TARFU, and FUBAR)


 on: September 12, 2014, 02:42:47 PM 
Started by HUSS - Last post by Crafty_Dog

 on: September 12, 2014, 01:07:34 PM 
Started by greg jah - Last post by greg jah
Hi everyone,

I thought I would share this ISIS/ISIL documentary which came out a few weeks ago. As I understand it, it is the first documentary produced by a journalist embedded within the caliphate. After watching the documentary, I realized that I had seriously underestimated the intelligence, organization, and capability of this group. Particularly noteworthy (and sad) is the systematic brainwashing of children within the caliphate, the selective use of extreme violence to subdue local populations and intimidate their enemies, their use of a post-colonial and religious framework to justify and legitimize what they are doing, and the extreme motivation of their fighters. This, combined with their ability to make sure the basic needs of people within the caliphate are met, and to capitalize on (and address) resentments and problems that existed prior to them entering an area has provided them with an incredible strategy / ability to capture and conquer territory. It makes me think of a middle-eastern reincarnation of the Khmer Rouge that learned from its mistakes.



PS - For the record, I think it is important to state that ISIS is not synonymous with Muslim. There are Muslims around the world who are offended by (and willing to fight against) ISIS.

 on: September 12, 2014, 10:43:55 AM 
Started by Crafty_Dog - Last post by Crafty_Dog
If anyone has any nominations to or within the Tribe please get them up right away on the Tribal forum!

 on: September 12, 2014, 09:00:09 AM 
Started by Crafty_Dog - Last post by DougMacG
 Saudi Arabia has an extensive border with Syria.

This link is still up at WhiteHouse.Gov at this writing:

Background Conference Call on the President's Address to the Nation
ISIL has been I think a galvanizing threat around the Sunni partners in the region.  They view it as an existential threat to them.  Saudi Arabia has an extensive border with Syria. ...

Please show us that border!

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