ISIL: Pig Iron Knows What’s To Be Done

christopher_lee180-11

27th November

Westminster

Pig Iron – The Man Who Can Kill ISIL

 

A man with a limp called Pig Iron sat in the gallery and listened to the Prime Minister. Every few words he would nod slowly in agreement. Yes ISIL is bad news. Yes What goes down in Syria is bad news. Yes it is bad news letting others fight our battles. But when the man in the suit got to the bit about let us go bomb, then Pig Iron sat taller and shook his bearded chin in defiance. No. No. No.

 

In the bar across the road Pig Iron looked more like what he had once been. Special. Special Forces. Sturdy. Untrusting eyes. Thick hands with whittled down nails. He had spent much of his Service life in those parts as he called them. Oman with Salusbury-Trelawny in the Sultan’s Dhofar Brigade. Clugged down in Waddhi Something or Other with his Firquat irregulars he did not quite trust and just a couple of sandbags on the floor for protection in their Land Rover. Iraq in1991. Cleaning up the mess in 2003. As an instructor in Jordan attached to the Little King. Four decades or so a long way from Lympstone where he had learned to hold his breath in Peter’s Pool in the Royal Marine basic training course.

 

So why the head shaking? Chipping in with a few RAF sorties would make Cameron feel good he says but would have no result and anyway, the record shows 60% of Iraq RAF sorties are aborted.

 

Pig Iron knows the Middle East as much as many. He knows what is happening and who it is happening to. The rest he hears. He says with the wisdom of a man who drinks lager with a whiskey chaser (or maybe it is the other way round) that we should sector Iraq and Syria put French, US, British and maybe Australian special forces backed up with Kurds in each of the seven sectors under (reluctantly) a US commander with a second in command British Commander Operations – that is, the guy driving the whole thing.

 

The US Marine Corps, RAF and French should provide close air support. The US, French and Royal Navy should use air launched, drone launched and sea launched (including submarine launched) assets to ground-soften ISIL.

 

The seven sectors would be separated so no ISIL command and control and force movement could overlap. British and American ISTAR – information, surveillance, target acquisition and reconnaissance – should feed the lot through a distributing joint command HQ. At the command with all the fancy titles they could handle would be commanders-in-chief of the major Gulf states.

 

And then? And then you go in and clean out ISIL as an operating force inside six months.

 

Much of ISIL will not be killed unless they are looking for early blood baths and mythical virgins. ISIL will disperse. And then? And then it is a hot pursuit job. You continue operations not as an army sitting on its bum but as a fast moving opportunity force harassing stragglers, acting on ISTAR follow up.

 

And then? You hand back the Middle East to the Middle East with Western guys on the military advisory top table and on two year tours. We are there for the duration.

 

Job done? No. But a good place to start from. Maybe Pig Iron knows a few things from 40 years that have been forgotten elsewhere. Forgotten? Another shake of the beard. Nope. He reckons they know. So? So no one wants to get real. There are, he say, no votes in real. But that is how it eventually has to be done.

 

 

 

 

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