Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Charge of the Knights 2.0?

There's good news for Basra today. PM Abadi, who is in town for security meetings and a ribbon cutting for a new 500MW power plant, has ordered a heavy security force to be sent to Basra to restore order and disarm tribes that have been wreaking havoc there. The force, including Abrams tanks, started arriving this morning.

It is very positive that Baghdad can now afford to redeploy (and hopefully sustain) some troops with teeth back to southern provinces after the ISIS war forced the government to send almost every unit that can fight to the front lines in Anbar, Salahadding, Diyala and around Baghdad.  If this effort in Basra proves successful it will have great implications for the broader struggle for restoring state authority.

The big difference between Charge of the Knights in 2008 and the mission that started today in Basra is that there are no American or British troops to help the ISF. Let's see how it goes.

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