General Barbero’s claims are bolstered by the fact that the administration, which goes out of it’s way to reveal it’s war plans to anyone who listens – including radical jihadists -, has previously announced it’s intent to seize Mosul. So not only are American soldiers ill-equipped at this point to attack the city, but ISIS knows that they will be attacking soon:
“Added Mr. Barbero, who commanded troops in the Persian Gulf War: ‘We all know the conditions for this. This is going to be a different fight. They are going to fight to the death in Mosul, and we have got to make sure that the conditions are set so we can destroy them.’
An offensive less than four months from now would help Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton dispute Republican charges that the Obama administration is letting the Islamic State run a global terrorism operation. Some Republicans argue that more American boots should on the ground for the fight.
The administration and Iraqi leaders want the offensive completed, or nearly so, before Mr. Obama leaves office in January, which would allow him to claim U.S. victory in the second war for Iraq.
The top U.S. military spokesman in Baghdad said the command is trying to accelerate the timeline for military, not political, reasons.
‘I am not aware of any influence like that on the timeline for Mosul operations. We are supporting the Iraqi Security Forces and their timeline,” Army Col. Christopher Garver told The Times. “We will do what we can to help the Iraqis make that happen.’
He noted that Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has said he wants Mosul liberated by year’s end.
An enemy on the ropes
The U.S.-led Operation Inherent Resolve has three main pillars: train and advise the Iraqi Security Forces, supply weapons, and conduct airstrikes and surveillance.
Col. Garver said Army Lt. Gen. Sean MacFarland, the in-country commander, wants to accelerate the timeline to increase pressure on an enemy that has lost territory. The Islamic State retreated from three major towns in Iraq — Tikrit, Ramadi and Fallujah — as well as from territory close to Raqqa, its so-called capital in Syria.
‘When you have an opponent on the ropes, you don’t let him off the ropes; you press the attack,’ he said. ‘This prevents the enemy from reconstituting his force and rebuilding combat power. We believe we — the coalition and the Iraqi Security Forces — have the initiative and are gaining momentum. To keep that momentum moving in our favor, we will do what we can to accelerate the campaign.’
At a coalition war planning session last week at Joint Base Andrews outside Washington, the overall war commander, Army Gen. Joseph Votel, expressed caution about a quick Mosul schedule.
‘I think one of the key things we took out of the meeting this morning was, with respect to Mosul, was we shouldn’t underestimate the amount of preparation necessary to take on an operation like that,’ said Gen. Votel, who runs U.S. Central Command.
‘It’s a big city — 2 million people, large geographic area — so we want to make sure we’re well-prepared. So, things like force generation, making sure we’ve got the right stabilization plan in place, and we’ve got the right political aspects in place here to help manage that city after the fight has gone, I think are important aspects.’”
Source: Washington Times