US adviser: Mosul battle is relatively slow but guaranteed results

2017/04/25 (00:01 PM) - Number of readings: 30 - Number (3907)

The political adviser to the US embassy in Baghdad, Gary Crabo, wrote an article on what will be the situation after the liberation of Mosul and what will be the American role in the establishment of security and stability in the long term in Iraq after that stage.

"The battle for liberating Mosul seems to be going well, but at a relatively slow pace," says Crabo, a fellow at the Center for Middle Eastern and International Studies at the University of Denver. The actual fighting from house to house in Mosul is being handled by Iraqi troops and well-trained police and soldiers at the hands of US forces.

Armed militants on the other hand are trying desperately in various means of resistance through infiltration between the civilian population for the purpose of protection and their occupants as human shields in front of the advance of Iraqi forces.

Despite all this, the final outcome is clear: that the Da'ash organization will be expelled from Mosul and all of Iraq, but the timing of this can not be challenged exactly and without a doubt it will end with high losses on both the military and civilian sides.

But there remains a big question for Baghdad, Washington and Ankara. What is after Mosul is liberated?

Prime Minister Haider al-Abbadi made it clear that the future of Mosul is a matter for Iraq only. In the meantime, the Iraqi army and security forces have only entered the city of Mosul while the Kurdish Peshmerga forces remained outside the border and the Popular Popular factions were assigned the task of protecting the areas adjacent to Mosul from the west.

On the other hand, Turkey has sent a group of special operations forces from its army on a mission to train Kurdish and Sunni Arab soldiers, but Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he would not allow a demographic change and disruption of the ethnic fabric of some areas of Mosul, An important part of it.

The problem now is who will rule Mosul, a city with a high percentage of Sunni Arabs with an important part of Kurdish and Turkmen minorities. However, the Iranian-backed buildup has made a significant contribution to the fight against Daqash in the Nineveh Plain area of ​​Nineveh Province. If these forces move toward Mosul as the battle develops, it will certainly not only provoke another ethnic war in Iraq, It is also likely to bring Turkish intervention and even Peshmerga forces, regardless of Iran.

One might imagine a repeat of the civil war in Iraq from 2004 to 2009 during the US occupation, which could not be pacified without a force of 140,000 US troops.

Once again, it can be proven that the American role in this situation can not be dispensed with.

The return of Mosul and the expulsion of an organization from Iraq should not be an end to the American role in Iraq. Even President Trump, who previously claimed his support and rejection of the US invasion in 2003, now admits that the withdrawal of US troops from Iraq in 2011 was wrong. Neither Iraq nor Iraq can repeat that mistake.

During his visit to Washington last month, Prime Minister Haider al-Abbadi told President Trump and even the US press that he prefers the presence of US troops in Iraq after the return of Mosul. But even if Trump agreed to this need and pledged it, he had to expect that there would be strong opposition in Iraq. Most of this opposition will come from the Shiite majority in parliament and from the leaders of the popular popular factions.

On the other hand, it is very likely that Kurds and Sunni Arabs will welcome the US presence. Here, too, the place where American diplomatic and political prowess plays a role will be a way out of this dilemma.

It is time for America and many of its European and Arab allies to start encouraging Baghdad and the various parties to establish a decentralized federalism in which the Kurds enjoy a greater autonomous autonomy and Sunni Arab autonomy on the self-rule of the Kurds today.

Even Prime Minister Abadi spoke of giving greater powers of self-rule as the only way to overcome ethnic and sectarian strife in Iraq.

But oil resources will remain a major challenge as long as most of Iraq's oil reserves are in Kurdistan and predominantly Shiite areas. None of them will want to give up. But there may be a certain arrangement whereby Arab Kurds and Shi'ites can agree to build refineries and pipelines across Sunni Arab territories that will calm the latter and reassure him that he will not be isolated from taking advantage of the country's natural resources.

The United States and other Western, Gulf and Asian allies may play a vital role in investing in these projects, as well as providing urgently needed assistance in rebuilding the infrastructure of cities such as Mosul.

The US military presence in these areas will help in training and arming local forces to impose security and stability and prevent any tensions, the same task that was carried out by US forces with diplomatic activity in Iraq until the withdrawal from it in 2011.
The Iraqi army will provide a service to protect all of Iraq as representing all ethnic and sectarian components and will receive assistance from the US side.

A US presence would strike a balance with the Iranians and allow Iraqi factions to decide their own future without allowing any outside force to exert influence. The US presence could also calm the Turkish and other Sunni Arab states in the region to prevent the emergence of another organization that would leave a sympathetic organization.

This solution to the Iraqi problem has been on the table since the US invasion of Iraq in 2003 and even during the British occupation of Iraq in the 1920s. It's time to give him another chance. All other alternatives have been tried and failed. Adhering to this solution may perhaps help President Trump bring Iraq back again.