Mosul: US policy toward state regulation “ISIS”


The control of state regulation in Iraq and the Levant “Daash” on the city of Mosul, the second largest city  of  Iraq, on June 9, 2014  represented  a big shock,  and especially that  the state organization  was awarded   a  quick media victory    to  expand and control  on  other cities and to form a  threat of access to Baghdad and start crawling toward Irbil, and  those developments were bigger than  being ignored. The rise of state regulation   , the expansion of its influence,   control over large areas in Syria and Iraq, and then declaring an Islamic caliphate in the June 29, 2014    has contributed   to change the US approach to the crises in the Middle East in general, and the Syrian crisis in particular,  so  it is no longer  its resolve  of  a priority for the administration of US President Barack Obama,  but to  focus  on the face of state regulation, and stop its expansion in Iraq and to deprive it from    safe havens “in Syria. Based on what is   mentioned above  ,  this paper might be interested in  the analysis of  US policy toward the organization of the state, especially after more than a year of  its  control over the city of Mosul, and   its fight against it. Accordingly, this paper is divided into several    axes  :

  1. organization of the State in Iraq and the Levant “Daash”: the context of the emergence and influence

The emergence of this organization   goes  back ,  according to the Arab political analysis , to the exclusion and marginalization  policies pursued  by the ruling regimes in Iraq and Syria ,  and the  overwhelming flowage    that is sweeping the region as a result of the  difficulties  suffered by the political tracks to    form a  provoking element to ignite the   speech for extremism which   act well of investment of of local, regional and international situation, especially the regional  and international  understandings  which does not take into account the interests of those targeted by political and religious discourse of the organization, such as the  growth understanding between US  and Iran at the time, and in this regard , it is  to be said that Iran has been able during the US occupation of Iraq in April 9 / April 2003       to change  its  geopolitical  position in the Arab   Levant, and owning   of  effective   influence tools    in this Strategic theater, starting with western Afghanistan  and through Iraq and  end to  the coast of the Mediterranean Sea, and  such  Iranian   proficiency  has motivated  its  closer allies to adopt policies  of marginalization and exclusion  towards the communities and local  Sunni forces , and invest the remnants of al-Qaeda to practice hyperbole  of  power and legitimize tyranny from  the gate of  war on  terrorism. The  Iranian expansion in the region formed a suitable opportunity  for the emergence of state regulation in Iraq and the Levant “Daash” which leaned on the growing  sufferings of Sunni   in Iraq and Syria ,   sharpens their religious and media speech, and took advantage of the strategic preferences of the administration of President Barack Obama that changed the rules of the US move in the Arab environment  which dispensed of steel intervention strategies and  direct supervision, and merely to adopt the administration from behind to follow the ways of non- expensive intervention  .

Western analyzes have addressed, especially the US and in academic  way  reasons for the emergence of state regulation and historical roots, “Charles Lester” tried in his book “Islamic State: Brief Introduction” to answer a number of mutated questions about the historical roots of the organization in the Arab Levant , and its  propaganda  abilities that enabled   to attract many of jihadi elements, and  “Lester”     sees that the organization of the state in Iraq and the Levant “Daash” Unlike other extremist organizations, has taken several steps to build its state, and its  success in mobilizing many of the extremists who have the skills and managerial capacity to contribute to the construction of the Islamic state model.

The “Patrick Cockburn” has addressed in his book titled “the emergence of an Islamic state: Daash   and new Sunni  revolution,” the reasons for the emergence of state regulation, as   he saw in the daily humanitarian violations of the Syrian sunees  suffered  by the Syrian president and his  regional and international  allies  since the outbreak of the Syrian uprising in General 2011, and the structural problems experienced by Iraq since the US invasion in 2003. And  “Patrick”   sees  that the Syrian war to be considered  as  the Middle East version of the  European  thirty Years War “in 1618 m -1648 m”    between Catholics and Protestants, and the subsequent rapid disintegration of the joints of the state because of the ongoing war there, and adds that the destruction of the Iraqi state and the marginalization and exclusion and sectarian killings  of  Sunni component in Iraq, paving the way for radical organizations to emerge and rise  as the rise of  the state regulation in Syria and Iraq.

In a related context, “Michael Lewis,” and Hassan Hassan adds in their books titled “Daash  terrorism  Army  ” that Syrian President Bashar system  contributed  in the creation of jihadist groups, in addition that he set free most of jihadists detained in the detention centers . And  the authors confirm  that the   Assad regime adoption  of   a strategy    that will help in spreading terrorism to be used as an excuse to call his regime to the negotiations  table  with the international community to fight the terrorists , and then employ paper terrorism to undermie the Syrian opposition’s demands, and thus  stressed that “Bashar al-Assad is not part of the solution against Daash, but he  is part of its beginning until now. ”

And  most of the American analyzes   go ,   which addressed  reasons of  the rise of extremism in the Middle East,  to the failure of US President Barack Obama’s policy in the region, particularly with regard to the withdrawal of US troops from Iraq and Afghanistan .But there are  an American analyzes add to the American failure ,that contributed to the emergence of state regulation ,  the management of the government in Iraq before the US invasion and after. As it is seen in authoritarian policies that  adopted by  former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein and sectarian policies pursued by former Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, were the reason behind the emergence of state regulation, and the growing of its  strength. From   what is mentioned above  , we note the broad consensus between the Arab and American analysis on the origins of state regulation.

Accordingly,  the emergence of state regulation  represents   the crises of the  Levantine state or the end of it ,  it  will not be able to continue on its system and laws that have worked out  many decades;  the time in which the state established its rule and  based  on a single identity, specific identity of certain  identities of the country, has ended. If Levantine state do not succeed in building a political arrangements  to  enable the rest of the country components to reach  the institution of the resolution, at the same time  to  consolidate a true national  space , they will remain in the bloody crisis, and  always on the brink of collapse ,   and is threatened by the specter of the transition to Somalia, or Afghanistan, with all   tragedies  and devastation  suffered by  these two countries .

When Mosul fell  in  so resounding fall,   the state  organization  began to  review of its  victory, which seizes on one of the oldest Islamic urban and most importantly, to establish    Caliphate  state in it  , and  the  victorious  Caliph  ascend  platform   one of the oldest   mosques , and  the interpretation adopted by the US administration to a large extent   concerning  ISIL  Daash ”   that it is the legitimate son of the crisis of the political system, which was established in Iraq after 2003,  and it was   devoted  in it  during  the past eight years of  former Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki   the tendency  of monopoly, exclusive, and renewed the traditional belief  of   the single-identity rule in which  all other country identities   are revolved in its  orbit and shrapnel. In this context and  after the  control of state regulation on the city of Mosul, a few days later, US President Barack Obama noted in his speech to the reasons  of such control by saying: “Iraqi leaders could not  to overcome  their ethnic differences, and  put it aside” The   US President  attributed the collapse of the Iraqi army to this political factors; when he said: “If the Iraqi security forces are unable to deal with the gunmen and  fight them, this refers to the problems in the morale and commitment, rooted in the existing political problems in the country.”

Second  :   US intervention against state regulation in Iraq and the Levant “Daash”

The fall of the city of Mosul and the collapse of the Iraqi army  inaugurated of new regional and international political stage, as the control of state regulation on more than 220 thousand square kilometers in the west of Iraq, eastern Syria and the approach of expansion   to Erbil and Baghdad, and the removal  of the political borders between Syria and Iraq  demonstrated   on the seriousness of the growing security threats and the limited containment  policies . The most important data of  changes  of  this stage is the resumption of US intervention in the Arab Levant environment.

In the seventh of August / August 2014 , US President Barack Obama ordered through his speech to carry out limited air strikes ” against militants of organization  and delivered aid to displaced people of  areas attacked by state regulation, especially religious minorities  like  Al- Ezeidean, whom the organization considered them as a idolatress group and   permissible for them to kill their  children and the captivity of  daughters. In September / September of that year,  the US president  announced  his  overall strategy  to weaken  the organization of the State  and destroy it   when he said: “I will not hesitate to use force against Daash in Syria as in Iraq. This is the  main principle  committed by my administration  :   who threaten   the United States of America will not find a safe haven.

Justifications   emerged  in this context   that prompted the President to re-involve his country in the region for several reasons,  some of it related to bad estimatation  of  its management of the depth of societal crisis in the Arab Levant  and  bounced on the interests of the United States in the case  the  the peoples of the Levant do not achieve its  goals , and  reach  their  political and social ambitions, as well as to the lack of sufficient knowledge of the goals of the organization of the state, where there was a conviction in Washington that the scope of work of  organization is local , targeting local communities without threatening the interests of the United States in  Arab Levant .  US President acknowledged after  the organization began  to prepare for the invasion of Erbil, “the capital of the Kurdistan region , closer  of its allies  in the region “that his administration  underestimated  the seriousness of the state regulation, while they overestimated the Iraqi military force in dealing with it , and  other reasons behind the return of the United States to pursue a solid policy is  related   to   the  extension  of the regulation   which  breached   the management of the Syrian crisis internationally, and turned  Syria to a scene where security threats flowing to reach the world. As  the seriousness of the consequences of enabling of  state regulation and penetration power in the social classes in the region, and the inability to continue  to employ  it  regionally and internationally, in addition to threatening  energy resources trade in the Gulf and Levant were the basis of forcing the United States to review its policies toward the conflict files in the Levant and the transition from the position of  asceticism to the involvement  and leadership circle.

US strategy announced by  President Barack Obama in his speech from the White House in Washington, at dawn on November 9, 2014 m, to  confront the state regulation in Iraq and Syria   based on   the two basic   axes  :  systematic air strikes , and support the “Sunni” forces  to conduct  ground fighting missions  , and in Syria could intensify international approach in ways to curtail state regulation in three frames as follows: launch air strikes against state regulation in Syria, and not allow it in  any “safe haven”, and the exchange of intelligence information; whether related to the structuring of the organization or financial and human resources,  and work to coordinate  of  international efforts to curb the migration of foreign fighters. In addition to the lack of reliability on  Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, and the claim of the existence of strengthening  of  the opposition to confront extremists, while continuing  of  the necessary diplomatic solutions to resolve the Syrian crisis.

The military  respond to the rise of state regulation  based on  the following themes:

* Establishment of an international and a regional military alliance for the purpose of the face of the organization, which included 60 countries.

* Dependence on limited military intervention which is based on air strikes and the activity of intelligence and  limited  special operations  , and avoid direct American military intervention.

* Arming, training and support  allied ground forces , such as the Iraqi army and Kurdish Peshmerga forces and the Syrian  moderate  opposition .

Perhaps the deeper problems of this response is the absence of the land  forces that are reaping the results of air combing,   and  United States of America are still looking for   an effective and  military  feasibility  of  a regional  Sunni   power   to undertake this task without taking into account the interests and demands of this force , and  its options  are confined within the Turkish role   which afraid of it, and the role of Iran which fear of its political consequences.

Consistent with this, the political and military American response based on   what  American officials call  : the policy of “Daash First, Iraq first; the US government believes that to  confront the state regulation is the main priority at this stage and  should not be hampered by trying to expand the conflict to include other more complex issues such as the political solution in Syria. It also gives priority to Iraq for  reasons, including the presence of a joint security agreement between the two countries and the presence of official relations with the Iraqi government and the Kurdistan Regional Government.

The United States linked    its  support  to  the Iraqi government in a package of political and military steps that it was requested  to be adopted in order to integrate the Sunni Arab community and Sunni fighters in this confrontation and to mitigate the sectarian tension that was invested by the  state regulation. Militarily , the United States asked  to form Sunni armed force  called the  “National Guard” composed of tribal fighters and local fighters, and as a matter of fact  the United States have already  adopted  , in the first months that followed the control of state regulation on the Mosul and other cities, the idea of ​​forming a “national guard” forces; In a press release issued by the President on September 10 / September 2014 AD, said the United States  in addition of its support for the Iraqi and Kurdish forces , it “will also support Iraq’s efforts to build the forces of the National Guard to help the Sunni communities to secure their freedom from the control of state regulation.” It also demanded the restructuring  and rehabilitation of the Iraqi official forces , including the seventh  division of Iraqi Army deployed in Anbar .

Politically  the United States of America accused  the former prime minister Nuri al-Maliki  of the great responsibility for   what was happened  in Iraq, and that was part of a rhetorical strategy to respond to the accusations made against the US President that he did not do enough   to remain  forces  in Iraq. Therefore  it has become   to get rid of Nuri al-Maliki   one of US conditions for a future political settlement, backed by what  the Americans  call  of a government   of more representative of the spectrum of the Iraqi society .

III Barack Obama’s strategy to the test: the fall of Al-Ramadi

The diplomatic, military, logistical and intelligence support provided by the US administration for the government of   Iraqi President Heydar Ebadi, as well as support for troops of Anbar tribes  were not sufficient to avoid falling  the city of Ramadi, Anbar province  to the hands of the  state regulation in May / May of this year. As its fall triggered a broad debate within the United States on what is called “the failure of Obama’s strategy in the war on Daash.” In spite of the complaint within the US political circles of  the  lack of clarity in the face of the organization , the fall of the Al-Ramadi , in its details  and gravity, is the one who launched this debate. In fact, it seems that there is no  clear  American  strategy   in its war against the state regulation. The US president, who described the defeat in Ramadi as a “tactical withdrawal”, he said, “we will win the war,”  and  returned to admit that there is no strategy for the war on the state regulation.

In addition, the level of  American reaction to the control of state regulation on the Al-Ramai city was  weak . There was nothing more than  to  increase the number of air strikes on their positions  in a few percentage , and the announcement of  to provide  Iraqi forces with advanced shells. Perhaps this  weak respond was due to the disagreement within the administration   in the way of dealing with the organization of the State; as there is deep disagreement and contradictory visions in the perception of this war. The position of US President Barack Obama seems to be still with what might be called  “interference of  minimum”, and that he aspires to leave the White House as little as possible of military interventions, regardless of their political and  strategic results for this position , while the term of former US President George W. Bush Bus was full of  military interventions and toppling  regimes , and  the Republicans and some among Democrats and even the US military institution and the Ministry of Defense   have interventions and pressures on the Iraqi government, and  in all cases, this   dispute within the administration,   and  the failure to build a unified strategy to confront the state regulation  were   also  of  the failure factors in this confrontation   in spite of   past  more than a year on the fall of Mosul and the formation of the international coalition led by the United States of America.

Thus, the controversy did not prevent   American options to be drawn    according to the vision based on the balance between the various forces, and employ this balance for the  service of  its  overlapping and conflicting priority in dealing with the phenomenon of state regulation . And these priorities can be summarized as follows:

* Limit the depth of the organization movement, and work hard to curtail  and neutralize its tools .And to prevent its members from returning to their country, and continue to the  approach of encircling   them  in  Levantine geography   and  also  their  subject to the fire of war and   ended.

* Retrieve control of Iraq,  and hold its threads    more closely, for its intrinsic value as a country of  strategic oil site , and for the hope of holding of  Kurdish paper as a pressure tool to all players in the region.

* Synthesis  of Turkish behavior to ensure  the American interests   circles .

* Adapt the regional alliances that are willing to cooperate in the fight against terrorism, and employment in the context of the international coalition.

* The need to engage all local  communities in the development of   political choices  in the Arab Levant  taking care of local privacy, and helps in creating a political climate  to  issue a framework in which  national powers  are shared in the fight against state regulation.


After more than a year of  United States war against state regulation , it  seems that there are two different rhythms in the understanding of this war; the rhythm of the United States “regardless of division within the United States to see this war : a slow rhythm , it  is talking about a long-term battle stretching from three years to five years, and they must complete all of its elements, namely:

* Building forces of the local community in areas dominated by the organization of the State which  shall undertake fighting  it . It ensures the control of the land after its liberation and  to do  the police missions. And rehabilitation of these forces and build their capacity through training, armament, logistic support and intelligence.

* Weakening of state regulation, by targeting the sources of its  strength, cut  financial sources , and try to prevent the flow of volunteers to it , and the dismemberment of the geographical area controlled by.

The  path of political reform  should be equivalent  to all of that, in the sense that the organization of the state is a product of the crisis of  system of government  in Iraq, and there will not be possible  to confront it without dismantling its social acceptance base, and reintegration of the Sunni community in the political process.

The other rhythm is Iraqi, a fast rhythm, it  wants to accomplish  the battle  in a limited  months without being complemented by its members, according to the American understanding. Has not been supporting the construction of local forces, have not been supporting fighters of  the tribes  from the remains of  Awakening  organizations  who  proved  of highly efficient in withstand to confront  the  organization of the State  in more than one part of Anbar  province, even before the fall of Mosul, when the battle began in the valley Horan, Late in 2013, and  state regulation began to stretch  in the province since that time, and the international coalition plans were not completed to target sources of power of the state  organization, military, financial and logistical, and most importantly  nothing was accomplished in the  political reform  file .

The battle to liberate Tikrit and Salah al-Din province  was clearly revealed  of these two different rhythms . There is no doubt that this contradiction in the rhythm of the war on the state regulation was one of the most important factors that confused battle. Many of the Iraqi parties, including  the influential  ones and of  decision  makers , do not agree with the US  vision  which was based on  long-term  battle.

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