The U.S.-supported Iraqi Army commenced its campaign against Mosul nearly 10 months back. It was an unequal battle as the Iraqi army had numerical superiority of 3:1 and in addition had air support from the USAF and Navy. The opponents of the Iraqi army, the ISIS had fewer soldiers and no air cover. T

o students of military history, it is inconceivable that despite total "control of the air," the Iraqi army has suffered heavy casualties and despite incessant bombardment has made extremely slow progress in capturing Mosul. This action does not speak highly of the government troops who lost large swathes of land equal in area to France, to the Islamic State in a matter of weeks, two years back.

The foremost exponent of air power as a decisive factor in modern war, Guilio Douhet, must be turning in his grave at the poor showing of the Iraqi army against the hardcore militants of the Islamic state.

The battle is on and even now remnants of the Islamic State are holed up in the main mosque. Even if Mosul is taken, a large tract of land in Iraq will still remain with the ISIS. Mainstream media has been covering the battle and in particular, the Al Jazeera News Channel.

Arab armies

The Arabs have not won a war during the last 100 years. Both Saddam Hussein and Gamel Abdul Nassar the Egyptian leader had built up massive armies with the latest weaponry. However, the Arab armies were routed in actual battle.

The Iraqi army of Saddam Hussein put in a poor show in the two Gulf wars with the U.S. The elite Revolutionary guards were no match for elite troops of the U.S. Army. The same army after the overthrow of Hussein lost 60 percent of Iraq to ISIS when the U.S. withdrew its troops.

Battling the ISIS

The Iraqi army has been battling the Islamic State fighters for two years.

It was not making any headway and only some progress was made after Obama authorized a handful of advisors and air cover. Without air cover, it was well nigh impossible for the Iraqi army to have defeated the ISIS and recovered territory occupied by the Islamic State. All credit to the USAF and Navy military personnel for these gains.

One wonders what will happen if the USA withdraws its support. Will the Iraqi army be able to hold on to its gains? Not likely.

The future

The long drawn battle for Mosul is now in the final stage. Th US has given an umbrella of air support and U.S. advisors are on the ground directing the army. How long will this continue? Will the U.S. remain perpetually in Iraq with the resultant strain on its economy? This is a million dollar question.The fact remains that the removal of Saddam has unleashed forces that can devour the entire Middle East. Donald Trump has a problem on his hands and it is a moot point how he plans to solve it.