This is coolbert:
All it takes is eighty Australians.
As extracted from Strategy Page the observations of the usually very reliable and astute Colonel Austin Bay with my commentary.
"Ramadi as a Lesson in Defeating the Islamic State" by Austin Bay
"An Iraqi army counteroffensive has retaken the city of Ramadi and dealt the Islamic State group a major defeat. The victory is hard-earned. It also has a back story."
"In May of this year , when Islamic State fighters seized Ramadi, its Iraqi defenders fled. Cellphone video recorded caught their flight, and the Islamic State put the imagery of fear and cowardice to immediate use."
"But come December,  the Iraqi army has returned, and except for holdouts in a suburb, the Islamic State's holy warriors have retreated. Cellphone cameras now record Iraqi soldiers celebrating."
. . . .
"Coalition special operations troops are no longer so covert. Special-ops.org reported that 80 Australian special forces soldiers embedded in front-line Iraqi units and directed over 1,000 airstrikes. This is precisely what Washington should have done in mid-2014, when the Islamic State first invaded Iraq: provide embedded air control teams and combat advisers."
* In the proverbial nutshell the presence of the Australian troops made the world of difference as was needed. Without the Australians and the airstrikes Ramadi would have become a carve-up almost senseless. BY THEMSELVES THE IRAQI NATIONAL ARMY WOULD NOT HAVE SUCCEEDED?
* Those main fighting units of the Islamic State NO LONGER will involve themselves in treacherous city fighting as has been the case recently in Kobani and Ramadi? In this case Ramadi was defended by a small number of second-stringers that still gave a good account of themselves?
I fear the Islamic State to be much more resilient with greater staying power than the experts might like to accept is the case. Time will tell.
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That's also about the number of Australians (and Kiwis) that it took to defeat the entire Italian Army in the desert during WW2.
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