US Intel: ISIS No Weaker After Year of US Bombings

by gjohnsit –

This still image made from video released by the U.S. Central Command on Tuesday, Sept. 23, 2014, shows a structure in Tall Al Qitar, Syria moments after a U.S. airstrike. In three waves of nighttime attacks launched over four hours early on Tuesday, the U.S. and its Arab partners made more than 200 airstrikes against roughly a dozen militant targets in Syria. (AP Photo/US Central Command)

It’s both ironic and fitting that on this 25th Anniversary of the start of our military adventure in Iraq that American intelligence agencies have called the war against ISIS a stalemate.

 According to officials familiar with the situation, US intelligence agencies have offered a new assessment of ISIS, cautioning that a solid year of US airstrikes against them in Iraq and Syria hasn’t left ISIS any weaker than they were when the strikes began.
Surprisingly, even though the military has been bragging about how great the war is going throughout the year, military commanders aren’t disputing the assessment, and are simply saying that they believe progress will come at some point in the future, when Iraq retakes Ramadi.

 Kurdish forces, Syrian Kurds in particular, have been making very big gains against ISIS in recent months and were threatening to break this stalemate. However, Turkey started feeling threatened by those Kurdish gains and have now turned their military might on those same Kurds who are fighting so well against ISIS.

This, of course, runs counter to all the stories about how we are winning.

 U.S. intelligence agencies see the overall situation as a strategic stalemate: The Islamic State remains a well-funded extremist army able to replenish its ranks with foreign jihadis as quickly as the U.S. can eliminate them. Meanwhile, the group has expanded to other countries, including Libya, Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula and Afghanistan.
The assessments by the CIA, the Defense Intelligence Agency and others appear to contradict the optimistic line taken by the Obama administration’s special envoy, retired Gen. John Allen, who told a forum in Aspen, Colorado, last week that “ISIS is losing” in Iraq and Syria.

This intelligence report comes from the “CIA, the Defense Intelligence Agency and others”.
The money quote from the report is, “We’ve seen no meaningful degradation in their numbers…Overall ISIS still retains the ability to plan and execute phased conventional military campaigns and terrorist attacks.”

In related news

Remember the news from two weeks ago? That after seven months and $500 million, the Pentagon had only managed to train 60 moderate rebels to fight ISIL in Syria.
It was a scandal, one that cost the program 20% of its funding. Last week, all 54 of thementered Syria. They were boldly called the “New Syrian Force” by Pentagon officials.

Then this happened.

 Those fighters — 54 in all — suffered perhaps their most embarrassing setback yet on Thursday. One of their leaders, a Syrian Army defector who recruited them, was abducted in Syria near the Turkish border, along with his deputy who commands the trainees. They were seized not by the Islamic State but by its rival the Nusra Front, an affiliate of Al Qaeda that is another Islamist extremist byproduct of the four-year-old Syrian civil war….
Also abducted were at least six other fighters from Division 30, but an American official said they were not among the graduates.

Oh. My. Gawd! Is this a real Pentagon program, or are they trying to create a sequel to Spies Like Us?

Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos

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Posted By: Keith

Writer, political junkie, rabid rock music fan, amateur gardener, astronomer and ornithologist, cook extraordinaire, sipper of fine wine and, more than once, the funniest guy in the room.

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