Are U.S. Ground Troops in the Middle East Inevitable?

bloomberg september 23On September 23 2014, Professor Raymond Tanter was on Bloomberg  TV. Discussing the U.S. battle against the Islamic State military group in Syria with Trish Regan on “Street Smart.”

US Boots On Ground unnecessary for Obama  to Succeed if Arab States Keep Iran from Iraq & Help Kurds.

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Where does Turkey fit in the coalition against IS?

cctv september 23For more now on the coalition against the Islamic State, CCTV America was joined by Raymond Tanter. He’s a professor of political science and a former member of the National Security Council in the Reagan-Bush White House.

Tanter Iran worsened Iraq Shiite-Sunni split, allowing ISIS 2 Gain Sunni support + Proxy Threats 2 CampLiberty PMOI.

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U.S. attacks on IS in Syria not in Iran’s interest

USA_Iran_250609Baku, Azerbaijan, Sept. 11

By Umid Niayesh – Trend:

U.S. President Barack Obama said in a televised address to the nation that the United States would strike at the Islamic State in in Iraq and in Syria, too, if needed. This is not at all in Iran’s interest. The Islamic Republic has failed to incorporate the Syrian regime into the anti-IS coalition, an Iranian expert says.

Syrian president, Bashar Assad has no place in the United States new anti-IS strategy, despite all efforts made by Iran, Hassan Hashemian, Iranian expert on Arab region issues told Trend on Sept. 11.

Hashemian also said that Iran itself will be excluded from international anti-IS efforts in Syria, but may be permitted to continue its current position in Iraq.

Iran first tried to dissuade the U.S. from attacking the IS in Syria, the expert explained. When it failed, as second step the Islamic Republic tried to be a part of the coalition that would have made Assad a strategic ally of anti-terrorism coalition.

However, the U.S. refused to accept Iran’s participation and over 40 countries including some regional countries which are against Iran’s policies in Syria will be part of the coalition, Hashemian underlined.

What will be Iran’s reaction towards the forecasted air strikes?

Raymond Tanter, the president of Iran Policy Committee Publishing, believes that Iran is likely to condemn any violation of Syrian airspace and double down on its support for Assad in view of prospective U.S. air attacks and support for Free Syrian Army.

Tanter who served at the White House as a Senior Member on the National Security Council staff told Trend that Tehran can support Assad even more by ordering additional Hezbollah forces into the fight against the Free Syria Army before it becomes more of an effective fighting force with training in Saudi Arabia.

Iran also might transfer more units of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) Qods Force units to Syria, from where they are operating now in Iraq, Tanter said. He went on to add that Tehran could provide Assad with surface to air missiles to attack American aircraft operating in eastern Syria, but it is unlikely.

Iranian officials have started making statements against the possible air strikes as well as formation of the anti-IS coalition.

Iran’s Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Marzieh Afkham expressed suspicion about the international anti-IS coalition, saying there are fundamental questions in the seriousness of the coalition to fight terrorism honestly. She noted that “some countries that join the coalition are supporters of the terrorists in Iraq and Syria.”

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Obama’s Moment to Seize the Day in Iraq

descargaReports President Obama authorized surveillance flights over Syria suggest he is beginning to seize the moment given to him by the horrific execution of American journalist, James Foley. If he authorizes airstrikes into Syria against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), even over the horizon from Iraq, it could reinforce the “moderate” Free Syrian Army against both ISIS and Assad. Even if such strikes also helped Assad against ISIS, they would be worth the effort.

Interests

If the surveillance over Syria indicates the President if abandoning his strategy of defensive containment and going on the offensive with a mini-surge—sending additional military advisors to Iraq in a rollback strategy to defeat ISIS, the surveillance is in the American interests. Rolling back ISIS from Iraq makes more sense if the President authorizes or our partners conduct raids into Syria, because ISIS forces will flee to eastern Syria when attacked in northwest Iraq.

U.S. Special Forces can act as spotters to identify targets in Syria, as they do in Iraq; otherwise, widening the battlefield space would not be as effective against ISIS. The President shattered his own campaign pledge of “not placing boots on the ground,” when he authorized deployment of U.S. military advisors in Iraq: They are at risk, walk on the ground, and wear boots. The deteriorating strategic landscape in Iraq gives the President political space to act in the national interest and jettison his prior vow not to be drawn into another land war.

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Raymond Tanter, Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, Alhurra TV, Arabic

alhurra sep 1On 24 August 2014, Raymond Tanter was on Alhurra an Arabic TV.channel.

Tanter used for his discussion on Iraq, Iran, and Syria the following talking points. He called for a regional strategy that incorporated the porous borders of the Iraq and Syria as a point of departure and to support moderates in these three countries.

Turning to Tehran to help stabilize Iraq would be like asking an arsonist to help put out the fire. So the road to stabilizing Baghdad does not run through Tehran. The road to Baghdad runs through a coalition of moderates in the region and in Iraq. And the road to Baghdad bypasses Damascus to provide more robust support to “moderate” Syrian rebels.

Likewise, Washington needs to take action to relieve the plight of Iranian refugees held in prison-like conditions in Iraq. Called the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI), these Iranian dissidents are the core of the prodemocracy movement and largest unit within the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI).

The NCRI/PMOI provided intelligence to Washington that helped save American lives in Iraq and continue to expose Iranian cheating on its nuclear weapons program. Hence, Washington should help resettle them to third countries, including the United States.

To watch the complete interview please go to: http://youtu.be/lCu3FaAWszI

Raymond Tanter on Bloomberg TV

26 agosto 14Boots on the Ground: Obama’s Options in Iraq.

On August 25 University of Michigan Professor Emeritus Raymond Tanter and Bloomberg’s Phil Mattingly discuss President Obama’s strategy for combating Islamic State in Iraq. They speak on “Street Smart.”

U.S. boots on ground in Iraq & Air Surveillance over adversary Syria an ally of Iran that pressures Camp Liberty.

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Stopping the Islamic State Might Be Obama’s Chance to Salvage His Middle East Policy

453868884_720The social media-produced execution of journalist Jim Foley released on Aug. 19 focuses attention on whether President Obama will stay the course in Iraq or take necessary actions to defeat the Islamic State (IS).

Now, in the context of Foley’s execution, will the president stick to hisstrategy of defensive containment or adopt a mini-surge, sending additional military advisors to Iraq in a rollback strategy to defeat IS? The latter, however, makes sense only if the president authorizesconduct raids into Syria, or America’s partners do, because IS forces may flee there as they are attacked in Iraq. And unless Special Operations spotters were deployed to identify IS targets in Syria as spotters do in Iraq, widening the battlefield space would not be as effective.

According to a report in the Washington Post on Friday, the administration has prepared options for legal authority to use force against IS across both Iraq and Syria. They include temporary justification under the War Powers Resolution, constitutional authority for emergency action to protect U.S. citizens, and consulting with the Congress for open-ended authorization to fight IS. But the same article states that the president has not requested to see contingency plans for broader airstrikes in Syria. If the administration goes the open-ended consultation route with Capitol Hill and the president ignores the contingency plans, it might be a signal that he is not serious about defeating IS.

But if the president does adopt a strategy to include Syria, the American people can be persuaded with an Obama-like 2008 address — such a midcourse correction is optimally-timed to save his presidency from further ignominy. As Daniel Pipes wrote, however, “I do not customarily offer advice to a president whose election I opposed,” I also hesitate to make suggestions that might save the Obama presidency. But the national interest in preventing IS from using Iraq and Syria as launching pads to execute attacks overrides political concerns.

According to Real Clear Politics, the president’s overall popularity is quite low: Between July 29 and Aug. 20,  42 percent approved and 52 percent disapproved of the overall job he was doing across nine different polls. The numbers were worse for his handling of foreign affairs, which, between July 29 and Aug. 12, only 35.8 percent of those polled approved versus 53.8 percent who disapproved over six polls.

A poll by Pew-USA TODAY taken Aug. 14 to 17 — prior to release of the execution video — indicates support (54 percent approve, 31 percent disapprove) of U.S. airstrikes in Iraq, but concern about getting too involved (51 percent worry about mission creep, 32 percent worry Washington will not do enough to stop the Islamists). Responsibility to act in Iraq increased between July and August, suggesting the assassination will result in greater support for airstrikes and responsibility to act in Iraq.

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Still no help for Iranian dissidents

iraq-deaths_c0-16-512-357_s300x200Consider three principles. First, in Plato’s Republic, one definition of justice is to give each person that which is due. Second, Martin Luther King stated, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” Third, King also said, “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.”

Two groups receiving “due justice” are Iraqi Yazidis and Afghan interpreters. It is intolerable for the State Department to ignore virtual imprisonment by Baghdad of Iranian dissidents stuck in Iraq. To defend Yazidis and offer visas to Afghan interpreters but not to Iranian dissidents is an injustice to those whom we promised to protect and have provided useful intelligence to us; such actions degrade the good deeds done for Yazidis and Afghans.

With United Nations actions in support of Yazidis, the arc of justice tilts in their favor. They belong to a pre-Christian and pre-Islamic sect, which is vulnerable to the Islamic State (IS); it believes Yazidis are apostates deserving execution. The International Rescue Committee describes how 30,000 Yazidis are on Mount Sinjar, Iraq, under siege by IS. The UN Security Council condemned attacks by IS and expressed its “deep outrage” about the treatment of Iraqis from vulnerable minority communities, especially Yazidis and Christians, displaced by such attacks.

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Preparations for Assaults on Iranian Dissidents in Iraq by Iran’s Forces and Proxies

20861a34-74b5-4c36-b1a2-76c2f2601f05Consider the strategic value of Iranian dissidents in Iraq, current preparations and prior attacks by Iranian regime proxies, and responsibility to protect.

For Tehran, Iranian dissidents in Camp Liberty, Iraq are of strategic import. Despite the regime’s charm offensive, talks on its nuclear file are likely to deadlock. And even if negotiations resume after a pause, military options are bound to become front page news again. The dissidents have extensive contacts on the ground in Iran and are potential strategic assets for Washington and its allies against Tehran. The dissidents have historic ties in the area that can help tilt the balance against radical Sunnis and counter an extremist “Shiite arc” of Tehran and its counterpart in Damascus.

Iran seeks to demoralize the dissidents in Iraq so they abandon their cause, repatriate them to Iran, and destroy them as the only organization that challenges clerical rule in Tehran. Moderate Sunni Arab Kingdoms like Jordan and Saudi Arabia are quietly sympathetic to the dissidents because they help counter the threat from radical Iran. Because of their strategic import, during June 2009 demonstrations in Iran in which colleagues of the dissidents participated, Iraqi forces acting on behalf of Tehran attacked the dissidents in Camp Ashraf, Iraq on July 30. Iraqis raided the Camp, killed 11, held 36 as hostages, and then releasedthem in October.

When unrest recurred in Iran during February 2011, Baghdad again ordered an attack to be launched against dissidents in Ashraf on April 8. There is video evidence of Iraqi forces directly aiming and firing at Camp residents.

On September 1, 2013, there was an attack on Ashraf that killed 52 residents, and assailants seized 7 as hostages. The UN stated, “The missing persons arereportedly being held somewhere in Iraq and may be at risk of being returned involuntarily to Iran, which would be a serious breach of international law.”

Rocket and mortar shells fell on the dissidents in Camp Liberty, killing six and wounding over fifty, on February 9, 2013. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) called these attacks, “a despicable act of violence” and described residents as asylum seekers entitled to international protection.

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