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Davy51

Is this the acid test ....

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of NATO & will it be shown up to be nothing more than a collection of countries that want the security of being in the club but are not willing to stand up & deal with s***  that is hitting their particular fan. We have the Turks standing idly by while IS are active a few miles away attacking Kurds in Northern Syria. I fear this conflict will highlight which nations will stand up & be counted when the chips are down.

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At the end of the day, most Countries look after their own particular "national interests" (with the possible exception of the UK of course!); and joining clubs like NATO, the EU or the UN; is fine as long as it's high on benefit and low on commitment. The Turks have been stuck in an age old conflict with the Kurds, and don't seem able to grant them an independent State in their ethic zone of occupation. That's why I suggested that Turkey (with Iran, Syria and Saudi Arabia) was one of the essential players in the Region to help construct a political settlement, that would provide the end game for a post  ISIS peace deal. Which would simply require the division of Iraq into three - Kurdistan in the N/East; the Shiate area in the East and the Sunni area in the West. After all, Iraq was a total invention of Britain and France after WW1.

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Yes, the end game would have to involve a political settlement & history has shown that an early political settlement can save a lot of lives.

Incidentally Obs, are these IS fighters the remnants of the Afghan Taliban with a new name or are they a new breed of barbarian ?

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I think, given the readiness of our media to constantly pass on the propaganda of these nutters; recruitment is now from every headcase believer around the world, and numerous groups are appearing elsewhere. However, according to news reports; ISIS consists of an elite leadership of intellectuals, many being graduates of western universities; a military command structure formed by ex-Bath Party Generals of Saddam's Army, who we made redundant; and the rest from disaffected Sunni Iraqis and would be martyrs from around the globe.

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I think it is inevitable that British soldiers will end up on the ground fighting ISIS.... air power alone will not win a ground battle.... especially when the likes of the Kurds are using rifles against tanks

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Obs do you want British soldiers on the ground?

 Lt, better to have British soldiers on their turf rather than fight them in a few years time on ours!.

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Kije, I've never wanted our soldiers on the ground, in any of the recent political adventures. As I've said all along, conventional forces are a blunt instrument; and imo "the war against terror" is best conducted by intelligence led operations by special forces and drones, to take out specific targets.  Although there will no doubt already be special forces to call in the air strikes and train the Kurds etc. Whilst the job won't be done by air power alone; if supporting  properly armed and supplied local forces, they should be able to do the job.

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What we really need against these IS troops is commitment from fellow arab & muslim nations to be at the forefront of any ground action so as to negate the idea that there can be any religious reason for this war & so steal the thunder from the hate preaching religious zealots.

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Unfortunately, until and unless you can get the four big players in the Region involved in negotiation and compromise; what started as a proxy war against Assad, fuelled by sectarian division; progress will be slow. The Turks regard both ISIS and the Kurds as terrorists, and hate Assad; and are happy to see them wipe each other out; they perhaps have a point in questioning their use of ground troops, when their NATO allies won't. Both Assad's Syria and Shia Iran have been alienated by the West; who basically won't co-operate with them. The Sunni Saudi's and the Gulf States have been funding ISIS to date, and have only recently officially dropped them from their Xmas list, due to their appalling crimes.

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