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Australia will send a military force to the United Arab Emirates to contribute to the US campaign of airstrikes against Islamic State (Isis) militants in Iraq.
In response to a formal request from the US for specific Australian defence force (ADF) capabilities, the prime minister, Tony Abbott, said Australia would supply 600 personnel – made up of 400 from the air force and 200 from the military, including special forces – along with equipment to the coalition force against the Isis movement.
Up to eight Royal Australian Air Force F/A18F Super Hornets combat aircraft, a Wedgetail surveillance aircraft, and a tanker and transport aircraft will be sent to the United Arab Emirates.
“In addition, the Australian Defence Force will prepare a special operations task Group as military advisers that could assist Iraqi and other security forces that are taking the fight to the [Isis] terrorists,” said Abbott. Military advice would also be provided to Kurdish Peshmerga forces in northern Iraq.
ADF personnel will be based in the US headquarters “to ensure close coordination” with the US and to support planning and logistics.
“We are not deploying combat troops but contributing to international efforts to prevent the humanitarian crisis from deepening,” said Abbott.
For once its possible to praise Bill Shorten for something because the on this occasion the opposition is sticking with the long standing tradition of solidarity with the government when our troops are deployed into harms way. In fact with the exception of the far left Greens who have been predictably tacitly defending the IS Islamofachist killers in the northern part of Iraq there is an almost universal feeling in this country that going to war to stop the atrocities committed in the name of Allah. With the brutal murder of a British aid worker fresh in our minds who could possibly think that there is any other choice but to go into northern Iraq and Syria with all guns blazing?
I rather firmly of the opinion that a predominately air based campaign will be more successful on this occasion than it was in the previous forays into Iraq. I think this for a couple of reasons. Firstly the current crop of Jihadis have very little willing support from the people in the territory they nominally control. This has to be a natural consequence of their brutality and continuing war crimes. Without some support from the population for their aims and methodology then all they have is fear from the people who currently live under their rule. While that is a good motivator for population compliance its not going to help them much in terms of defending the territory that currently occupy. Secondly the local geography of dry desert mostly flat territory provides little cover and that means that vehicles and men on the move are hard to hide form air surveillance and more importantly air strikes. If its moving and holds armed men then it can be taken out form the air.
I think that we can be pretty sure that the Kurds in the north will not tend towards the excesses of war that will alienate the Sunis who we want on our side n this war but I am far less confident of the Shia militias who may well be inclined to take some sort of revenge on the Suni population if they are perceived to be at all sympathetic to the IS Jihadis, this issue was front and center in the weekend news reporting out of Iraq on the ABC.
One thing that I don’t expect though is that there will be many IS Jihadists taken prisoner. Fanatics can not be trusted to be honorable nor is it to be expected that they will surrender when their situation is hopeless. Rule 303 is also likely to be applied by the ground forces that mop up as well. If many of them are taken prisoner its likely that bleeding hearts like the loopy Greens will want to see them tried by one court or another. While that may suit the namby-pamby Greens I just don’t think that you want to give too many of these scumbags the venue to further promote their hateful ideology.
Its of course too early to predict the result of this war but I don’t share the pessimism of dyed in the wool extreme lefties who are already wishing for failure here. Frankly failure is not an option because we have to excise the cancer from he middle east if any of us are to sleep well in our beds into the future the death cult has to be, well, killed as quickly and completely as we can do it. Fortunately there seems to be a quite broad range of nations who are willing to join into this sadly necessary task.