WikiLeaks - The Podesta Emails-Arming Rebels To: Date: 2014-09-27 15:15 Subject: Congrats!

Send our love to Chelsea, Marc and Grandpa. Can't wait to meet Charlotte. On Aug 19, 2014 9:22 AM, "H" wrote: Agree but there may be opportunities as the Iraqi piece improves. Also, any idea whose fighters attacked Islamist positions in Tripoli, Libya? Worth analyzing for future purposes. *From*: John Podesta [] *Sent*: Tuesday, August 19, 2014 09:19 AM *To*: H *Subject*: Re: Here's what I mentioned Hit send too soon. Meant to say Syria elements are vexing. On Aug 19, 2014 9:17 AM, "John Podesta" wrote: > I think we are headed down this path in Iraq, but the Syria elements are > On Aug 17, 2014 3:50 PM, "H" wrote: > >> Note: Sources include Western intelligence, US intelligence and sources >> in the region. >> >> >> >> 1. With all of its tragic aspects, the advance of ISIL >> through Iraq gives the U.S. Government an opportunity to change the way it >> deals with the chaotic security situation in North Africa and the Middle >> East. The most important factor in this matter is to make use of >> intelligence resources and Special Operations troops in an aggressive >> manner, while avoiding the old school solution, which calls for more >> traditional military operations. In Iraq it is important that we engage >> ISIL using the resources of the Peshmerga fighters of the Kurdish Regional >> Government (KRG), and what, if any, reliable units exist in the Iraqi >> Army. The Peshmerga commanders are aggressive hard fighting troops, who >> have long standing relationships with CIA officers and Special Forces >> operators. However, they will need the continued commitment of U.S. >> personnel to work with them as advisors and strategic planners, the new >> generation of Peshmerga commanders being largely untested in traditional >> combat. That said, with this U.S. aid the Kurdish troops can inflict a >> real defeat on ISIL. >> >> >> >> 2. It is important that once we engage ISIL, as we have now >> done in a limited manner, we and our allies should carry on until they are >> driven back suffering a tangible defeat. Anything short of this will be >> seen by other fighters in the region, Libya, Lebanon, and even Jordan, as >> an American defeat. However, if we provide advisors and planners, as well >> as increased close air support for the Peshmerga, these soldiers can defeat >> ISIL. They will give the new Iraqi Government a chance to organize itself, >> and restructure the Sunni resistance in Syria, moving the center of power >> toward moderate forces like the Free Syrian Army (FSA). In addition to air >> support, the Peshmerga also need artillery and armored vehicles to deal >> with the tanks and other heavy equipment captured from the Iraqi army by >> ISIL. >> >> >> >> 3. In the past the USG, in an agreement with the Turkish General Staff, >> did not provide such heavy weapons to the Peshmerga, out of a concern that >> they would end up in the hands of Kurdish rebels inside of Turkey. The >> current situation in Iraq, not to mention the political environment in >> Turkey, makes this policy obsolete. Also this equipment can now be >> airlifted directly into the KRG zone. >> >> >> >> 4. Armed with proper equipment, and working with U.S. advisors, the >> Peshmerga can attack the ISIL with a coordinated assault supported from the >> air. This effort will come as a surprise to the ISIL, whose leaders >> believe we will always stop with targeted bombing, and weaken them both in >> Iraq and inside of Syria. At the same time we should return to plans to >> provide the FSA, or some group of moderate forces, with equipment that will >> allow them to deal with a weakened ISIL, and stepped up operations against >> the Syrian regime. This entire effort should be done with a low profile, >> avoiding the massive traditional military operations that are at best >> temporary solutions. While this military/para-military operation is moving >> forward, we need to use our diplomatic and more traditional intelligence >> assets to bring pressure on the governments of Qatar and Saudi Arabia, >> which are providing clandestine financial and logistic support to ISIL and >> other radical Sunni groups in the region. This effort will be enhanced by >> the stepped up commitment in the KRG. The Qataris and Saudis will be put >> in a position of balancing policy between their ongoing competition to >> dominate the Sunni world and the consequences of serious U.S. pressure. By >> the same token, the threat of similar, realistic U.S. operations will serve >> to assist moderate forces in Libya, Lebanon, and even Jordan, where >> insurgents are increasingly fascinated by the ISIL success in Iraq. >> >> >> >> 6. In the end the situation in Iraq is merely the latest and most >> dangerous example of the regional restructuring that is taking place across >> North Africa, all the way to the Turkish border. These developments are >> important to the U.S. for reasons that often differ from country to >> country: energy and moral commitment to Iraq, energy issues in Libya, and >> strategic commitments in Jordan. At the same time, as Turkey moves toward >> a new, more serious Islamic reality, it will be important for them to >> realize that we are willing to take serious actions, which can be sustained >> to protect our national interests. This course of action offers the >> potential for success, as opposed to large scale, traditional military >> campaigns, that are too expensive and awkward to maintain over time. >> >> >> >> 7. (Note: A source in Tripoli stated in confidence that when the U.S. >> Embassy was evacuated, the presence of two U.S. Navy jet fighters over the >> city brought all fighting to a halt for several hours, as Islamist forces >> were not certain that these aircraft would not also provide close ground >> support for moderate government forces.) >> >> >> >> 8. If we do not take the changes needed to make our security >> policy in the region more realistic, there is a real danger of ISIL >> veterans moving on to other countries to facilitate operations by Islamist >> forces. This is already happening in Libya and Egypt, where fighters are >> returning from Syria to work with local forces. ISIL is only the latest and >> most violent example of this process. If we don’t act to defeat them in >> Iraq something even more violent and dangerous will develop. Successful >> military operations against these very irregular but determined forces can >> only be accomplished by making proper use of clandestine/special operations >> resources, in coordination with airpower, and established local allies. >> There is, unfortunately, a narrow window of opportunity on this issue, as >> we need to act before an ISIL state becomes better organized and reaches >> into Lebanon and Jordan. >> >> >> >> 9. (Note: It is important to keep in mind that as a result of >> this policy there probably will be concern in the Sunni regions of Iraq and >> the Central Government regarding the possible expansion of KRG controlled >> territory. With advisors in the Peshmerga command we can reassure the >> concerned parties that, in return for increase autonomy, the KRG will not >> exclude the Iraqi Government from participation in the management of the >> oil fields around Kirkuk, and the Mosel Dam hydroelectric facility. At the >> same time we will be able to work with the Peshmerga as they pursue ISIL >> into disputed areas of Eastern Syria, coordinating with FSA troops who can >> move against ISIL from the North. This will make certain Basher al Assad >> does not gain an advantage from these operations. Finally, as it now >> appears the U.S. is considering a plan to offer contractors as advisors to >> the Iraqi Ministry of Defense, we will be in a position to coordinate more >> effectively between the Peshmerga and the Iraqi Army.) >> >>