Tuesday, September 22, 2015

OIR is very, very different from OEF/OIF.

Let's remember that ISIL doesn't view Iraq and Syria as separate countries. As such, OIR is against the so-called Islamic State on both sides of the border.  In addition, there's another war being fought concurrently in the Levant between the Syrian Regime and opposition forces.

OIR in Iraq and Syria can only be won with boots on the ground.  The air campaign has been very effective in supporting US-backed groups that are fighting ISIL, but more cooperation is needed between those groups and others to make the gains last.  There are several groups that (if they cooperated) would be very effective in retaking areas past the Mar'a line and into Ar Raqqah from ISIL, but these gains can only last if the Syrian Regime (now backed in force by Russia) doesn't wipe those groups out from the western front.  Unfortunately, there are a lot of cogs in this war, and not all of them are spinning in support of each other.

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