There has been no shortage of military excitement lately with much of it centered on the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). The map appearing at right is from the Washington Post (see: http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/white-house-beginning-to-consider-conflicts-in-syria-and-iraq-as-single-challenge/2014/06/19/b14bd8b4-f7ac-11e3-a606-946fd632f9f1_story.html?wpisrc=nl_hdtop)
I think it does a nice job of putting much of the current state in the Middle East into perspective. While it doesn’t break down the ethnic borders separating Kurds, Sunni and Shia, it shows that Syria border’s Iraq and that Iraq serves as a buffer between Syria and Iran.
The map also shows the logical sense behind considering the actions in Syria and Iraq as one AO.
President Obama is still mulling over what major actions to take.
As I stated in my last post, my money was on UAVs because they can be targeted precisely with good intelligence (hence the recent order for deploying Special Operations). Foreign Policy noted “Obama said – (special forces) will work alongside Iraqi military forces in special intelligence centers, using drone video feeds and spy satellite photographs to track and attack ISIS fighters. They'll also be in a prime position to help carry out U.S. airstrikes the moment Obama orders them”
Where does that leave MISO?
Well – for one thing cyber influence should be under way and likely there should be ample mobile phone targets in the AO as well. They key question is what do you want the target to do? What is the desired effect?
My goal would be to try and put the enemy off their game. Not necessarily waste my time or bandwidth trying to get them to surrender, but for them to constantly look over their shoulder for that Predator or for more accurate fire from the Iraqi military because they have better intelligence and more confidence.
Have we gone so far as to provide the Iraqi force with some rudimentary MISO capabilities and training? If so, how is it working out?
I’ll leave you with this parting thought:
Shifting gears a bit, assuming for the moment that the active MISO force is not starting to get stretched by new commitments in Africa, Asia and Latin America, have we, as a community, been smart enough to figure out how to harness the power of the Reserve MISO force to bolster the overall capability posture?