The past few days have mystified and infuriated those who occupy that demographic in America that is described as those with some knowledge of the military.
That period also exposed the current administration’s pursuit of the defeat of the ISIS (or ISIL as it is called by our inordinately self-centered President) as a military Potemkin village. This plan or strategy apparently has been constructed with the sole purpose of impressing the ignorant with how fearlessly our President is willing to deal with the “J.V. team.”
Of course it is unlikely that he will avoid emulating King Abdullah of Jordan and actually take a personal hand in smiting the ISIS proto-caliphate with righteous rage for their exhibition of barbarism. In other words, his “plan” makes sure that he, himself, won’t have any skin in the game.
As I understand what the plan entails is having 25,000 Iraqi soldiers and some 10,000 to 15,000 Kurdish Peshmerga fighters overwhelm the current estimate of approximately 2,000 ISIS military personnel. The plan calls for these five brigades of Iraqis to attack from the South, with parts of this body blocking any ISIS retreat escaping by moving East or West. The Peshmerga will block any attempt to escape by way of the North. The amount of detail that is being offered up is rather extensive, sharing information with ISIS military planners which apparently excludes on the serial numbers of any weapons that will be used in this planned rescue of the Iraqi city of Mosul.
Of course, Obama’s plan has one feature that I’ve never seen discussed. To put it simply, it ain’t gonna work. No way, no how.
This is February, and Obama’s plan is currently scheduled (and has been announced) to be activated sometime in the sixty to ninety days in the future time frame, in April or May. Based on all the details that have been “leaked” by the Department of Defense (which we should always keep in mind is totally controlled by the Obama White House) appear to assume that there will be no changes from today in terms of ISIS manpower or weaponry in use by those who plan on resisting the advances of the Iraqi army and associated Peshmerga forces.
Germany’s nineteenth century Field Marshall, Helmuth Karl Bernhard Graf von Moltke generated one of the more well-known military axioms ever penned: “No plan survives contact with the enemy.” This hasn’t changed regardless of the numerous wars and conflicts since. And there should be no doubt in anyone’s mind that it will still be true when ISIS and the forces attacking Mosul come into contact.
Any plan that assumes that the leaders believe that they know everything that is needed to be known about the enemy proves only one thing: These “leaders” are incompetent.
A couple of months ago, I wrote an article regarding planning (but not related in any way to war plans) that discusses the fallacy of having faith in the idea that plans that rely on ceteris paribus conditions actually works.
In a nutshell, ceteris paribus describes a situation where everything remains frozen and will never change when you only change one variable that you can control.
Obama’s plan controls only one variable, namely, the date that the Iraqi/Peshmerga military force will advance on Mosul. After that moment when the marching forward begins, the only other thing that Obama will control is the date on which he will announce that anything that goes wrong will be someone else’s fault.
It seems that Obama and whoever is announcing the details of his plan appears to believe that ISIS won’t reinforce Mosul with more troops, weapons, mines, capture women and children for use as human shields or even just abandon Mosul and disburse beyond the reach of the forces that he has assembled. As I said, ceteris paribus conditions never apply except in a faculty lounge intellectual argument, which is about as far from reality as the average human can ever get.=
As mentioned earlier – this ain’t gonna work. At least the way Obama may see it playing out in his mind.